Ok, you are skinny, you have the limbs of a human spider and your muscles mainly shine through absence. Here is what you should do.
1. Forget Hardgainer Workouts
If you watched my video about body types, you may have concluded you’re an ectomorph. Searching about that you may then have found that in some bodybuilding circles that classifies you as a “hardgainer,” who supposedly needs special workout plans.
Nope, because no workout plan can change the length of your limbs or the amount of fast-twitch muscle fibers (those responsible for bulk) you have. This plan will build your foundation and you need to follow it just like everyone else. The only difference to someone with a mesomorph body type is that building muscle mass may take you a bit longer.
2. Do Compounds, Compounds, Compounds
Yes, I know that you are looking at all those guys with the big arms and, golly, don’t you want that too. Which is precisely why I want you to do the above plan. Because many skinny guys make one of the worst mistakes of all when trying to build muscle: they do isolation exercises that directly target the biceps (or some other body part).
Those guys with the big arms did (and probably still do) so-called “compound” exercises. These target many muscles at once, practically working on all the muscles in their arms. Do push-ups, and you exercise the main and upper chest, the fronts of the shoulders and the triceps. Do pull-ups or chin-ups and you exercise your back, your shoulders, your biceps and your forearms.
3. It’s Your Nutrition
One of the most important reasons why too many guys, no matter if skinny or not, fail to realize their full muscle-building potential is because their nutrition sucks. Your body builds muscles from protein and if that protein is not in your nutrition, it can’t do that.
Aim for about 1 g of protein per lb of body weight per day (or 2 g per kg of body weight).
4. Weight Gainers Aren’t Magic
That directly takes us over to those weight gainer supplements that are especially marketed to skinny guys who see themselves as “hardgainers.” These products are a mixture of simple carbohydrates and protein and have a lot of calories. The protein will make your muscles grow, but other than that weight gainers are just designed to make you fatter.
If a bit more body fat is what you want or if you are dangerously underweight, then a weight gainer is an ok product (and you can make your own). If you are of normal weight and just want to get more muscle, they won’t help.
5. “Eat Big To Get Big”
6. Don’t Lose More Weight
If you are the guy who is 5’4″ and 124 lbs and wants to lose weight because he wants a six-pack, forget any ideas you have about weight loss. Chances are you don’t need to lose weight to get abs, you just need to work the ab muscles to make them bigger. Skinny guys have a thin enough fat layer over their abs, but the muscle is not trained enough to be visible.
7. We All Have A Tummy When We Sit Down
I have seen this more than once, especially in reply to #5: “But when I sit down, my waist sticks out, I must be fat and that is why I don’t have abs!”
Dude, if you sit down and hunch forward a bit, the skin over your tummy rolls up, because there is less room for it. If in that position the skin was still as taut as a drum, you wouldn’t be able to stand up straight.
8. Don’t Entirely Forget Cardio
It is true that most people do cardio (jogging, cycling etc.) to lose weight, but that is only one reason of very many why you should take some care of your cardiovascular health. Even if you are skinny, keeping your heart and the supporting blood vessels in shape will benefit you. Because the stronger this system is, the more nutrients it can deliver to your muscles and the longer you can last during your workouts.