Learning how to build muscle fast and naturally as a skinny guy can be a daunting and frustrating task without the help of muscle gaining supplements.
The key to building muscle mass naturally is to consume foods with high amounts of protein, lift to fatigue, eat often, supplement with creatine, consume liquid meals and recover.
Let me tell you a short story of my journey as a skinny young college kid who had no idea how to build muscle naturally or fast.
When I was in high school and early college, I had the hardest time putting on any kind of muscle mass. My metabolism was through the roof, I couldn’t afford food or supplements, and I was naturally skinny. I would go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and lift for 1.5 to 2 hours per session.
Little did I know, I had no idea how to build muscle. I would do 3 sets of 8 reps every exercise. I would never push my muscles to fatigue and I never properly nourished or recovered my muscles.
It was until I started taking my Kinesiology courses that I started to realize that I was doing everything the wrong way.
I found out in order to build muscle as a skinny guy, I needed to lift to fatigue, eat highly nutritious, protein packed meals, hydrate and recover to properly allow my muscles to grow.
When I started making these small changes, my whole outlook on lifting changed. I started to see my pants and shirts fitting tighter, I could lift 2-3 times more than when I started, and my body started to tone up and chisel out.
The only downside is I had to go shopping to find new clothes that actually fit. My family still can’t seem to find me pants that fit.
So what are the tricks to put on that muscle mass?
Use these 6 rules and learn:
How to Build Muscle Fast & Naturally as a Skinny Guy
Rule #1 Pack on the Protein
In order to build muscle fast, you need to pack on the protein. Not all protein is created equally. Various forms of protein will give you more benefits than others. Whey protein, for example, contains a large range of amino acids, allowing you to absorb it more quickly. Whey is one of the most effective protein forms for stimulating muscle growth in humans.
One study demonstrates whey’s ability to stimulate the greatest rise in muscle protein synthesis and give you a greater muscle cross-section when combined with chronic resistance training and enhance exercise recovery. Drinking a whey protein shake is one of the easiest ways to add 30-60 grams of protein into your daily intake.
Another study actually concludes that total daily protein intake is the most relevant factor in muscle growth, regardless if it is consumed around the time of the workout or not.
Getting this much protein in your diet can feel impossible. I personally have had good success eating about half my weight in grams of protein. It depends on your goals and how big you want to get in a certain amount of time.
Mix your protein supplements in with meat, fish, eggs, nuts, legumes and dairy to get your daily intake of protein in. The general rule of thumb is to match 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight.
Try Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein. I put a scoop of this in a shake every morning to start my day. They don’t call it the gold standard for nothing. This protein powder goes through the highest levels of testing. It comes in many flavors and is an easy way to get some protein into your diet.
Rule #2 Lift to Fatigue
If you want to build muscle fast at home as a female, you have to lift to fatigue. Most of us want to be strong and have more muscle. If you want the best of both worlds, you need to mix lifting heavy with lifting for reps. In either case you should lift to fatigue.
If you do 8 reps per set and still have some reps left in the tank, you’re either not lifting heavy enough for the rep range, or you’re not doing enough reps for the weight you’ve selected. The growth comes when you break past the barriers of lifting to light, or quitting too early.
One study goes as far to say that it doesn’t matter whether the weights are heavy or light, just lift to the point of exhaustion. Researchers found gains in muscle mass and muscle fiber size were virtually indistinguishable, as long as you lift to exhaustion.
This step is critical in your quest to teach yourself how to build muscle.
Rule #3 Eat Often
If you want to build muscle naturally, you need to eat often. In order for you to get the caloric and protein intake that your body needs to grow, you need to eat 5-6 times per day and ditch the 2-3 meals per day that our culture has ingrained into us. Try to get about 20-30 grams of protein per meal.
Get creative by eating omelets, drinking shakes, snacking on nuts, and varying what you eat on a daily basis. If you don’t, you’re going to get burned out on eating the same thing every day.
People constantly ask me how I eat so much but stay so lean. The trick is to focus on natural, fresh and frozen foods. Stay out of the middle aisles at the grocery store and you should be good to go. Anything processed and pre-made should usually be avoided.
Rule #4 Supplement with Creatine
Creatine is a substance the body uses to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the body. Muscle contractions rely on the energy from ATP.
Although studies show mixed results, analysis of the research shows that creatine moderately improves upper body and lower body strength when used correctly. Creatine seems to favor fast twitch muscles, and appears to be more suitable for intense and explosive exercises. One study shows that creatine helps with long term muscle growth by enabling you do a greater volume of work in a single training session.
Creatine is generally considered safe but you should always consult a physician before starting any new supplement or dietary program.
Grab yourself some Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules. This certain creatine is keto friendly, supports muscles size, strength, and power, and comes in easy to swallow capsules.
Rule #5 Consume a Portion of Your Meals in Liquid Form
When you eat breakfast, most of the time you probably think of oatmeal, eggs, yogurt and fruit. If you’re strapped for time or maybe you just want to vary how you eat your food, it might be time to convert some meals to liquid form. It’s going to be a lot easier to consume 5-6 meals if some of them are easy enough to drink.
In the morning, blend together a banana, peanut butter, brown rice flour, milk, blueberries, whey protein and maybe a little dark cocoa powder to give your meal a little twist.
In the afternoon, combine some veggies for a healthy green juice smoothie. Blend some leafy greens, ginger, cucumber, flax seed, lemon or lime, green apple, flavorless or vanilla protein powder, and any fruit you might need to mask some of the veggie taste.
I like to buy large, frozen containers of leafy green mixes, bags of blueberries, mangos, etc. Buying frozen ingredients in bulk is going to be best for your smoothies and your wallet. Plus, you’re not losing any nutritional value when you freeze your smoothie components.
Rule #6 Recover
One of the biggest mistakes I see exercisers make is not letting your muscles get adequate recovery. Your muscles will never grow if you are constantly tearing them down and not letting the nutrition and your body build them back up.
Certain athletes spend millions of dollars a year helping their bodies recover. It’s about time you spend at least some of your time doing the same.
Here are 6 ways to help your muscles recover:
1. Listen to your body. My rule of thumb is to only work the same muscle vigorously twice in one week. Some people can get away with three times a week but they are pushing the limits. Make sure you listen to your body and let your muscles rest if they are not fully recovered.
2. Eat to recover. If you’re eating 5-6 meals per day and getting the recommended amount of protein in your diet, this one should be no problem. Your muscles are going to need to replace the lost nutrients and minerals after your workout. Foods like bananas, oranges, pineapples, cherries, meat, eggs, and dairy are great recovery foods. If you want them to grow and develop, this step is very important.
3. Get hydrated. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Your muscles are going to need to flush out toxins and replace any liquids lost during the workout. If you don’t like water, try chocolate milk. One study shows chocolate milk has double the carbohydrates compared to plain white milk. Consuming carbs after your workout replenishes glycogen lost from your training. Also try coconut juice, cherry juice, and even tea to help you recover. Avoid drinks with large amounts of sugar.
4. Massage and foam rolling are going to reduce muscle soreness, allowing you to work out more often. You can also improve blood flow and flexibility if you do this often enough. One study showed a 10 minute massage improved some cardiovascular responses, such as stroke volume.
5. Cryo-therapy, ice baths and cold showers are a great way increase blood flow, reduce inflammation, reduce muscle pain and soreness, and speed up the removal of lactic acid. Get these in as often as you can to keep your muscles and body in tip top shape.
6. Sleep. Your muscles can’t recover properly if you’re not getting 7-9 hours of sleep. Your body needs to enter R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) sleep to repair. The more you skimp on this, the harder it is to put on the mass you’re looking for.
Once you’ve learned how to build muscle, you next need to learn how to properly recover.
Summary: How to Build Muscle Fast & Naturally (for Skinny Guys)
Learning how to build muscle can be a challenging thing for some, especially if you are naturally skinny or have a hard time eating a lot throughout the day. If you stick to doing these muscle building tactics consistently, it should give you the upper hand in putting the muscle on that you’re looking for. Like anything, if you put a little time and commitment to doing things correctly, you will reap the rewards of your labors.
Do you have trouble putting muscle on? What’s holding you back? Let me know below!!