If you’re a self-described “skinny” guy looking to build muscle and gain weight, then chances are that even adding just a little size to your frame can seem like a monumental task. Conquering Everest on your very first climb, during the middle of winter, without supplemental oxygen, or a sherpa might genuinely appear to be a more achievable goal.
It’s also likely that the advice you’ve received in real life and online has you believing that your failure to gain mass over the long-term is the result of your genes, or due to having a metabolism faster than a F-35 combat fighter. After all, “you can’t fatten a thoroughbred” is the one corny phrase you’ve probably heard enough times to make you contemplate actually eating a horse to see if that might do the job. The fact is it’s just not true.
Sure, genetics and metabolism plays a part, but it’s actually a smaller part than you might have been led to believe. The truth is that for any “hardgainers” amongst us, bulking up is definitely achievable.
If you are a skinny guy and struggle putting on muscle and weight, you’ve come to the right place as we share one of the often overlooked and yet critically important component to your success.
Keep It Simple!
If you have spent any time trying to find out exactly how you can add muscle it’s probably likely that you have been overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting information available out there. But in reality muscle building can be reduced to three proven elements.
At its most basic muscle growth occurs when you apply a stress to your muscles that they are not accustomed to, you feed them properly and give them adequate time to recover.
In other words:
1. Lift progressively heavier weights
2. Provide ample fuel to your muscles
3. Rest so that your muscles have time to regenerate and grow.
It really is that simple.
Eating For Muscle Is Just As Important As Lifting For Muscle
For most guys, hitting the weights hard is a given. Not only that, but rest periods are typically included in every training program, so getting those components down pat are generally not a big issue. This leaves the nutritional requirements of long-term muscle growth as the main obstacle restricting most skinny guys on their road to success.
In short, you cannot separate nutrition and training when it comes to muscle growth. You can perform perfect workouts day-in-day-out and and give your muscles the perfect amount of rest, but if you don’t eat correctly, you just won’t grow.
Typically you can get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need from whole foods. But if you’re a skinny guy trying to put on significant size and at the same time as you’re upping your workouts at the gym, you’re going to need to consume a significant amount of nutrients in order to reach your goals.
For hard gainers, while eating more sounds good in theory, it can be extremely difficult to implement in practice because quite simply they never feel like eating more. They often have to go to extreme lengths to essentially force-feed themselves in order to consume enough calories. At the very start of the process this can be almost impossible to achieve. You see, just as you need to train your body to lift more you need to train your body to eat more.
All you need is a helping hand and the good news is that there is an easier way. The key lies with the effective consumption of the right nutritional supplements.
Not All Supplements Are Equal
Chances are you’ve looked at supplements before and you will likely agree that the vast array of products on the market can be a minefield to navigate. Deciding what type of supplement is appropriate for your individual body and workout goals can be even harder. There is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to supplements and unfortunately a lot of it comes from the companies marketing the products.
Supplement companies tend to promise huge gains and despite all the impressive “before-and-after” photos, a lot of guys go out and pony up for the latest and greatest products on the market only to be left disappointed when their results fail to materialize. The key is to look beyond the bells and whistles and empty promises and instead focus on those products which have been scientifically proven to be effective and used as they are intended; an extension to your nutritional intake rather than a replacement.
The Best Muscle Building Supplements For Skinny Guys
Now before you rush out with your hard-earned cash in your hand, buying every available product under the sun, you would do well to first consider these proven and effective muscle-building supplements to add into your current bodybuilding regimen.
– Whey Protein
If you had to choose a supplement that promotes muscle growth, weight gain and to give you a performance edge, then whey protein is way up there on the podium. Whey is one of two proteins found in cow’s milk and the powder you can buy as a nutritional supplement has been filtered and refined to remove fat and carbs.
Adding whey protein to your diet will improve the rate that you can build muscle. It is a rich source of the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Together these amino acids make up the “Branch Chain Amino Acids” that have been found to be crucial to building muscle.
Whey protein is the fastest digesting protein available and the best time to consume it is before, during or immediately after your workout.
While whey protein powder is far more effective than any other protein form available, its effectiveness can still vary widely. There are essentially three major types of whey proteins – whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate. The differences largely lie with the extent of filtration that takes place and also the cost. A blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate and a small amount of whey protein concentrate is ideal for guys wanting to initially maximize their growth and recovery efforts.
– Creatine Monohydrate
Right up there in terms of its ability to accelerate your progress is creatine monohydrate, one of the most widely used supplements used by athletes across the world. Creatine monohydrate, also known as creatine phosphate or more commonly just “creatine” is an amino acid that naturally occurs in the body. It is acquired predominantly through our diet and when used as a supplement plays a crucial role in a person’s workout and recovery.
Creatine does not increase muscle gain or strength as directly as whey protein, but its effectiveness lies in its ability to replenish energy in muscle tissue allowing you to train harder for longer. In other words, it allows you to lift heavier weights with reduced fatigue giving you greater gains across the board.
In terms of the best time to take creatine, the studies are a little inconclusive. On the one hand it has been found to work best when taken before and after a workout, while other studies suggest post workout is optimal. It’s generally recommended to take creatine in smaller doses during the course of the day, so there is no reason why you can’t time your consumption to coincide with your pre and post work-out routines for maximum results.
They may not be sexy, but one of the most important supplements skinny guys need in their arsenal is that which is most often overlooked; the humble multivitamin. Make no mistake about it, multivitamins should be the foundation of any supplement strategy.
Multis encourage efficiency in your body for all of its various functions, including metabolism, muscle building, and athletic performance. When you’re hitting the gym with the aim to get massive you’re going to be burning through more nutrients than ever before and if you become deficient in any of these essential vitamins or nutrients the metabolic pathways critical for efficiency and performance will break down.
Vitamins are crucial to allow for the biochemical reactions critical for muscle building to take place. A one-a-day multi will ensure the nutrients that you may have missed in your diet are there to call on when you need them most.
The Bottom Line
Despite what you may have been led to believe, if you are naturally skinny or simply struggle to gain muscle all’s not lost. The basics of building a strong, healthy, ripped body have remained true throughout time, lift heavy, eat plenty and get enough rest. Follow these basic rules consistently and you will quickly pack on the mass.
For skinny guys, the process of getting your diet handled and creating a calorie surplus is going to be one of the biggest challenges you face when first starting out. While nothing can replace eating properly and giving your body all the essential nutrients it requires, if you’re trying to put on significant size and you’re hitting the gym hard using up a lot of fuel, you’re going to need help from supplements.
The best muscle building supplements for skinny guys are those that have been scientifically proven to be safe and effective in getting you maximum results quickly. Add them to your diet, put in the hard work at the gym and get plenty of rest and you’ll find yourself conquering your Everest in no time.