A lot of you have sent through DMs and other queries after my latest video on how guys with a disposition of being skinny can gain muscle. To comprehensively answer this, I thought I’d write a blog about it where I will elaborate on some of the salient points I mentioned. Here are a few ways skinny people can put on muscle:
1. Right in the outset and even though you must be tired of hearing this – Eat more.
In addition to adequate protein, you need more calories. Use the following formula to calculate the number you need to take in daily to gain 1 pound a week. Give yourself 2 weeks for results to show up on the bathroom scale. If the needle hasn’t budged, increase your calories by 500 a day and re-analyze. Here’s the formula:
A. Your weight in pounds: ___
B. Multiply A by 12 to get your basic calorie needs: ___
C. Multiply B by 1.6 to estimate your resting metabolic rate (calorie burn without factoring in exercise): ___
D. Strength training: Multiply the number of minutes you lift weights per week by 5: ___
E. Aerobic training: Multiply the number of minutes per week that you run, cycle, and play sports by 8: ___
F. Add D and E, and divide by 7: ___
G. Add C and F to get your daily calorie needs: ___
H. Add 500 to G:___.
This is your estimated daily calorie needs to gain 1 pound a week. Follow this religiously to see assured results.
While eating more may sound enticing, you can by no means eat whatever you like. The smarter way to gain healthy weight is to increase the intake of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Add brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and sweet potatoes to get a good source of complex carbs which shall help your 1 pound a week goal.
2. Embrace those Essential Fats.
I place a lot of emphasis on the intake of essential fats. If good fats are taken in the right quantity at the right time, they can do wonders for your overall health and vigor. I recommend starting your day with a handful of pumpkin, watermelon or sunflower seeds for breakfast along with 1/4th of an avocado on toast. This also serves as a good meal at dinner along with your protein intake, as good fats keep you satiated for a longer duration of time. Debunk the myth around ignoring ALL fats – a diet devoid of essential fats leads to fatigue and deficiencies.
3. Protein Intake:
Probably the most important factor in muscle growth, protein intake is incredibly important. Ideally, protein intake should be 2 grams per kilo of your weight, however, you can start with 1 gram per kilo and eventually increase it over a period of 6-8 months. To counteract the effects of high protein doses in your body, for the health of your kidneys, make sure to consume 3-4 liters of water a day, excluding the amount consumed during your workout.
Try to stick with lean meats such as chicken breast or grilled fish your protein intake, or low-fat paneer and tofu in case you are a vegetarian, who should add a protein supplement to their diets.
4. Lift Daily.
Usually, people visit the gym with endless enthusiasm on day 1, workout hard and then refuse to go for the next four days due to muscle soreness. This is serious blasphemy in the fitness world – start with whatever weights or routines you are comfortable with, fitness isn’t a short journey, it’s a lifestyle change that cannot be hurried!
Just take a note of the weight lifted and try building up from that benchmark with every consecutive week at the gym. You should be able to considerably increase your weight and stamina by approx 6-8 kgs in a span of 6 weeks! Good luck!