By Drew Stegman
Here's the sad truth for many skinny guys: You can train incredibly hard, watch your diet closely, get enough rest and recovery and still struggle to build muscle.
When I first started hitting the gym, I was seriously close to giving up multiple times. I had been lifting weights for months and was seeing no results at all. I was on the brink of total frustration and thought I was destined to be skinny for the rest of my life.
Thankfully, I got some help. Doing some research myself and getting trained by a personal trainer really turned things in the right direction!
I want to teach you how to do the same thing. To help you get started, here are 5 BIG muscle building mistakes that nearly all skinny guys are making (and solutions).
MISTAKE #1...YOU DON'T EAT ENOUGH
Many guys think they eat enough to gain muscle, but in reality they don't even come close! I've been saying this for years: If you're not getting as big as you want, then obviously you're not eating big enough.
Many skinny guys have a Lamborghini style metabolism and this means they have to eat much, much more to gain muscle. If you fit into this category, you simply need to eat more than you're eating currently.
Solution: Keep A Food Journal
How many calories are you consuming each day? Do you keep track? If you don't know the answer to the first question and you answered no to the second, then it's time to start keeping a food journal. A food journal will allow you to track the types of foods you eat, the amounts, what time you ate those foods and how many calories you're consuming each day.
Then, when you notice you've hit a plateau, you can go back and take a look at your food journal and make the appropriate changes to your diet. Obviously if you've stopped gaining weight, it's time to increase your calorie intake. On the contrary, if you notice you're putting on too much fat then you need to start eating less. Of course, skinny guys typically don't have a problem with the latter!
MISTAKE #2...YOU CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE TOO MUCH
Many bodybuilders take the old approach of "keep your muscles guessing, so you can put them in a state of confusion". But true bodybuilders (the ones who actually see results) understand that there are only a couple of things that are important when it comes to picking out a solid workout routine:
- One that is suitable to them
- One in which they can follow for 8-12 weeks
A primary reason why skinny guys fail to build muscle is because they're too impatient to stick with one workout routine.
Solution: Stick to a workout routine for at least 4-6 weeks
Pick a workout routine that primarily focuses on heavy, compound movements and stick with it. During each week of your workout routine, make sure you're constantly finding ways to make things harder for yourself. Some great training techniques to help you mix up your workouts include dropsets, supersets, lifting heavy, zero rest, etc.
MISTAKE #3...YOU'RE ON INFORMATION OVERLOAD
Sure it's important to gather information and do your research, but you might be researching a bit too much.
This was Kalin's problem before he became a TABB client.
Since Kalin had read so many different bodybuilding articles, he honestly believed he was making good gains. After all, he knew a ton of stuff about working out. But whenever he looked at himself in the mirror, he saw nothing but a skinny weakling staring back at him.
I call this "analysis paralysis". What basically happens is that you get so caught up in gathering different fitness information across the web that you actually forget to do what the article is telling you to do.
Solution: A Weekly Fitness Media Fast
Stop reading articles, books and testimonials for an entire week. You've probably already gathered enough information to be successful in the gym anyway!
MISTAKE #4...YOU DON'T KEEP TRACK.
Never measuring your stats or keeping track of your progress is a sure fire way to stay skinny.
That's why successful bodybuilders always keep track of:
- How much stronger they're getting
- What their scale weight is week after week
The guys using our system also take progress pictures once a month. Why? The more you keep track, the more results you'll see.
You're losing weight but your chest increased a half inch? If you didn't weigh yourself on the scale, you would never know.
Keeping track of your progress will allow you to stay motivated and will let you know if anything needs to change in your program to see better results.
Solution: Keep a Workout Journal
Start keeping a training journal and after every workout, write down how many sets, reps and what exercises you did. Also write down your scale weight, which you should be measuring once every week anyway.
MISTAKE #5...YOU DON'T HAVE ANY SOCIAL SUPPORT.
If you have no clue how to do calculus and you get thrown into a calculus class without any help, you can expect what the results would be: disastrous. With an experienced mathematician at your beck and call, however, you would be able to look to them for advice. It's the same thing when it comes to bodybuilding.
That's actually why Calvin became one of our clients. Although he had played football at his university for over 4 years, he still wanted to have somebody hold him accountable.
Having a training partner/mentor will force you to:
- hit the gym on a regular basis
- train harder
You can also look to them for motivation and inspiration, incorporating what they do into your own program to improve your own success.
Solution: Find a Mentor/Training Partner
Find somebody who's already ripped and muscular and knows what they're talking about. Seek advice from them and start doing what they're doing.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
You'll notice that I gave you a fantastic solution to each of the mistakes above. But if you try to apply everything at once, you'll most likely fail and will be back to square one again.
So instead of overcomplicating things and overworking yourself, make gradual changes. Start by applying one of the solutions every couple weeks. Continue to do this until you start seeing the results you want.
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