Today we’re going to share five rare muscle building tips for skinny guys who want to build muscle quickly and naturally. The information below will require you to read with an open mind.
Muscle Building Tip #1 For Skinny Guys: Train on a stable surface
Unstable surfaces are more neurologically challenging. Let’s compare a supine dumbbell chest press on a ball versus a dumbbell chest press on a bench. During a supine dumbbell chest press on a ball, most skinny guys will barely be able to press 50 pounds a side and the unstable surface will result in firing the lateral stabilizer motor units you don’t need (to prevent you from flipping off the ball), so it reduces neural drive from the muscles you do need and are trying to improve (pecs, shoulder flexors and triceps). Whenever the body recognizes an unstable foundation for force production, its force generating output is orchestrated (down-regulated) accordingly. In short, overloading the muscle is required to stimulate new muscle growth so why limit the load? There’s no point! And if you think you’re “core” is getting a workout, it’s not because those muscles are only acting as stabilizer. You’re not overloading your “core” muscles with sufficient stimulus so trying to build your chest up on a stability ball is a big waste of time.
Muscle Building Tip #2 For Skinny Guys: Clarify your goals
Here’s a really dumb thing for a skinny guy to say, “I want to gain a lot of mass!” Can you be any more vague? A better goal is, “I want to gain 12 pounds of muscle by July 1st.” You need specific and measurable goals if you ever want to see them become real.
Muscle Building Tip #3 For Skinny Guys: Stop believing, “You got to shock the body.”
Even today, you’ll hear this quote come up in gyms, forums, infomercials and other media with the belief that “you have to tear down the muscle and then build it back up.” But is this true? Absolutely, the catalyst for change is variation from your norm level of fitness. But the idea that one has to annihilate one’s tissues and physiological/neurological processes must be brought to question. Is getting a sun burn necessary to experience a tan? Does increased bone density require a fracture? Do calluses require lacerations? Does tendon strength require tendonitis? Does ligament strength require a rupture? When seeking adaptation, the goal should be to seek out least amount of unaccustomed activity. In fact, you want the stimulus to be virtually imperceptible as an increased challenge. This would be considered the most ideal stimulus for the most immediate adaptation response, especially in the beginning. In weight training, we strive to increase our loads approximately 2% each workout. Anything more and you’ll move more towards microscopic tissue damage and associated signs to injury including delayed onset muscle soreness, edema and lengthy recovery period.
Muscle Building Tip #4 For Skinny Guys: More is less!
This is a training principle that extends from the above tip, and stresses that for many instances, you will get a quicker training effect from doing a smaller amount of training. In short, you will see more results when doing less training.
90% of people use volume as the primary stressor and get the result they seek 10% of the time. 10% of people use intensity as the primary stressor and get the results they seek 90% of the time.
Be careful when you hear high volume people say, “I got results from using high volume…see, it’ works!” because it usually works for other reasons.
Muscle Building Tip #5 For Skinny Guys: Always ask, “Is there anything I can do before this… to better prepare for this… to lesson the leap?”
Can running have a positive influence on your health? Of course, but the level of participation is key. Why do people spends months recovering from a marathon? Was 26.2 miles the perfect distance for each of those 20,000 people to run on that given day at that time of the day? There are many variables that must be progressed based on what you are currently accustomed to. Here are some areas of progression that must be considered:
- From none to some
- From sloppy to controlled
- From small range of motion to large range of motion
- From stable surface to unstable surface
- From light to heavy
- From slow to fast
- From minimal volume to more volume
- From minimal effort to maximal effort
Understand that “micro progressions” are not “wimpy”. It simply means, “You’ve got to EARN THE RIGHT to do more, go faster, lift heavier etc. And CONTROLLING EVERYTHING YOU DO is the key!” It’s not about how much you do but HOW WELL you do it! Remember, we’re trying to get a sun tan, not a sun burn!
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