Really skinny guy want to get bigger, not sure where to start

  • dexterboi1231

    Posts: 40

    May 29, 2013 6:13 AM GMT
    I know there's a bunch of places I could find workout plans, but I'm never sure which one is the best. I don't want to get HUGE, I just want to have..a stronger appearance I guess, but sometimes I see some of these workout plans and I feel like they're more targeted for people who are trying to get super huge. I want to be...still "thin" but stronger arms (and legs and chest lol). So..where should I start?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 29, 2013 1:55 PM GMT
    Sounds like you're looking for an excuse to stay on the sofa. Getting huge is impossible for someone with your attitude, so you have nothing to worry about. It can even be impossible for a lot of guys with great attitudes and work ethic.

    You could start by joining a gym, which often comes with a free first time instruction to get you started. Once you have been dedicated to an introductory workout for a month, and you have a basic idea of how to train, choose one of the workouts posted on this site and try it out.
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    May 29, 2013 2:04 PM GMT
    dexterboi1231 saidI know there's a bunch of places I could find workout plans, but I'm never sure which one is the best. I don't want to get HUGE, I just want to have..a stronger appearance I guess, but sometimes I see some of these workout plans and I feel like they're more targeted for people who are trying to get super huge. I want to be...still "thin" but stronger arms (and legs and chest lol). So..where should I start?


    Time to get motivated.

    You'll need to change your diet first and foremost. Sounds to me like you aren't eating the right foods to help build muscle. Luckily you being 'skinny' can work in your favor as any extra proteins you ingest will be easier for your body to hold fast to to help with muscle growth.

    Get yourself a decent pre-workout. This will help give you the energy to out last your work out routine. Personally I use to do P90X and Insanity, but both programs are geared toward lean muscle... I recently picked up Body Beast, which is more geared toward muscle growth. Finding the right program is crucial, and as cheese as some of these programs are, their techniques allow me to 'practice better form before getting myself to a gym!
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    May 29, 2013 2:14 PM GMT
    The *best* plan is the one you actually *use*.

    As Nivek said, getting *huge* is impossible without either:

    a) The genetic predisposition
    b) Steroids
    c) The intelligence, dedication and fortitude to out-smart your genes.

    You're right, many programs sell themselves on the "get huge" concept. They're trying to appeal to a certain demographic of men who want that look. But plan or no plan, nobody gets huge without a lot of work. So *that* is not the issue.

    Within reason, the musculature of the body adapts to the demands made upon it. That's what strength training and body building is: Triggering an adaptive response.

    Going back to my first sentence, find something you ENJOY doing that is physical, especially that involves the upper body. Whatever that is, do more of it. A lot more. Maybe for you it is swimming or TRX or push-ups and chin-ups or maybe it is lifting weights. Whatever, do it to the point you feel sore the next day. EAT MORE, especially protein. Drink lots of water. Rest a day or so and do it all over again and keep doing it.

    You will get stronger you will not get huge.
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    May 29, 2013 2:44 PM GMT
    Start with any excercise and the basics. Dumb bell anything and target shoulders, pecs, arms, legs, and core. Make little goals like bicep curls until you reach 30 pounds or dumbbell bench press until you can do 120 pounds three sets of 8. You can literally do anything at first to gain muscle. Once you start to plateau come back for more advice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 29, 2013 5:43 PM GMT
    I would suggest increasing caloric intake, reducing the # of cardio/ week and increase strength training. Also some supplements wouldn't hurt.

    Honestly though. Just eat Mcdonalds breakfast lunch and dinner + tons of proteins shakes and snacks. That'll help you gain weight and muscle, but you'll probably need a CABG at 40.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 29, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    Getting "huge" takes years and years of hard work, and genetics, and a good diet. You have nothing to worry about.
  • GWriter

    Posts: 1446

    May 29, 2013 5:53 PM GMT
    Not meaning to bash the OP, and I know he was just asking an innocent question, but it's still funny how people think they might get massive just by accident. Like they might wake up one day and say, "Shit, I got all swole! How did that happen?"
    It took me three years of hard work to gain 15 lbs of lean mass--although I started relatively late.
    Anyway, there is some sound advice posted here. Good luck!
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    May 29, 2013 6:11 PM GMT
    GWriter saidNot meaning to bash the OP, and I know he was just asking an innocent question, but it's still funny how people think they might get massive just by accident. Like they might wake up one day and say, "Shit, I got all swole! How did that happen?"
    It took me three years of hard work to gain 15 lbs of lean mass--although I started relatively late.
    Anyway, there is some sound advice posted here. Good luck!


    The last time i heard any one waking and realizing they gained crazy weight was The Hulk! icon_lol.gif love the post. nothing but the truth
  • dexterboi1231

    Posts: 40

    May 29, 2013 7:54 PM GMT
    I wasn't saying anything about getting huge by accident, but I see some plans that have like...people drinking 3 protein shakes a day after eating 5 meals and I just thought that might be too much for what I'm trying to accomplish.
  • dexterboi1231

    Posts: 40

    May 29, 2013 7:54 PM GMT
    Nivek saidSounds like you're looking for an excuse to stay on the sofa. Getting huge is impossible for someone with your attitude, so you have nothing to worry about. It can even be impossible for a lot of guys with great attitudes and work ethic.

    You could start by joining a gym, which often comes with a free first time instruction to get you started. Once you have been dedicated to an introductory workout for a month, and you have a basic idea of how to train, choose one of the workouts posted on this site and try it out.


    I don't understand this post. I don't get the "sofa" thing? Please explain what you meant. I didn't think me saying I didn't want to get huge would get such a weird reaction from people, and I really don't understand it.
  • GWriter

    Posts: 1446

    May 29, 2013 8:28 PM GMT
    Dexterboi
    Your statement about getting huge is getting a strange reaction because you are focused on the completely wrong thing. Adding even a few pounds of muscle takes effort and dedication.
    It's a bit like an obese person asking for diet advice and saying, "But I don't want to get super-model thin!" That's far off, unlikely in any event, and a distraction from what the real focus should be. Get healthy and fit first, then you can worry about taking things too far.

    Btw, I'm not aware of any bodybuilding plans that reccomend 5 meals and three protein shakes per day for beginners. Try starting with 3-4 healthy meals and one shake.
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    May 29, 2013 8:37 PM GMT
    I'm probably just reitering what everyone said but...

    You aren't going going to pack 50+ overnight - NOT happening. Get that thought out of your head right now - I'll wait............done? Good. Now you've learned patience. Don't get discouraged when you've been eating nonstop and at the end of the week you've only gained a pound.

    But before we even get to what to do with your body / you have to be motivated. This is where I and many others have fallen before. You have to really want it in order to do it. Find someway to get motivated. Usually people are motivated by a couple of things: sex, anger, joy, money and power. You aren't getting money or power by wanting to get bigger so that's a no go.

    Sex is self-explanatory: you want to be attractive to yourself and potential bed mates. Anger (this is my motivation tbh) gets you pumped: you're tired of being pushed around and teased because you aren't big and don't fit societies definition of attraction- they think you'll never be. You show em. You show em ALL. And finally, just basic joy in working out. You enjoy it do you do it. It's a hobby. Getting big is just a side benefit.

    Second thing is to find a gym and go regularly. Not just once in a while - get a set schedule. Every other day. Everyday if you can...start off small by doing some machines just so you get used to it and then after some weeks start breaking your schedule and routine down into more complex workouts. Since your trying to increase mass, lift heavy with low (4-icon_cool.gif reps.

    But it will all go to waste if you don't EAT. You gotta eat a lot. Calculate your intake so you know how much you need to be a certain weight. That said don't eat garbage all the time. Them you'll just get skinny fat. You need full calories like peanut butter which is crazy filled that good protein - which you also need. Think one gram for every pound you have. You should also be sure to get a good meal in ASAP after your workout. I do use the protein powder that has 1200 cals but I'm terrible with it - need that twice a day. Don't rely on it though.
  • dexterboi1231

    Posts: 40

    May 29, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    GWriter saidDexterboi
    Your statement about getting huge is getting a strange reaction because you are focused on the completely wrong thing. Adding even a few pounds of muscle takes effort and dedication.
    It's a bit like an obese person asking for diet advice and saying, "But I don't want to get super-model thin!" That's far off, unlikely in any event, and a distraction from what the real focus should be. Get healthy and fit first, then you can worry about taking things too far.

    Btw, I'm not aware of any bodybuilding plans that reccomend 5 meals and three protein shakes per day for beginners. Try starting with 3-4 healthy meals and one shake.


    I mean, I'm new at this so I don't know, for all I know some people really do have that as their main goal (to get huge asap). I thought there might be different plans targetted for different people who want to become different levels of "bigger," but if what you're trying to say is that to get even slightly bigger you have to go through the same challenges, I'm sure there was a less bitchy way to put it than to say that I'm trying to stay on the sofa (like the first poster did). I ALWAYS get weird and unexpectedly bitchy reactions on anything I post on realjock (whether it's fitness, relationship, sex), and it usually tends to come from older (age-wise) people who seem to be taking out some sort of weird frustration on me.
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    May 29, 2013 8:41 PM GMT
    GWriter saidDexterboi
    Your statement about getting huge is getting a strange reaction because you are focused on the completely wrong thing. Adding even a few pounds of muscle takes effort and dedication.
    It's a bit like an obese person asking for diet advice and saying, "But I don't want to get super-model thin!" That's far off, unlikely in any event, and a distraction from what the real focus should be. Get healthy and fit first, then you can worry about taking things too far.

    Btw, I'm not aware of any bodybuilding plans that reccomend 5 meals and three protein shakes per day for beginners. Try starting with 3-4 healthy meals and one shake.
    This. To offer a comparison, I have a good friend who hates his body but won't go to the gym because he is convinced it will give him stretch marks and saggy chest when he's 65. The time that he could be spending on his health is spent leading a sedentary life.

    As far as eating goes, I would even take it a step further and say you don't need a shake or supplements for a good while. Three healthy big meals per day, and end to sweets and junk food. Be sure to eat after a workout.

    If you are sedentary now, all exercise you engage in will result in a positive physical and mental change, provided you progress in moderation. When you plateau, reform your strategy.
  • muscsportsguy

    Posts: 133

    May 29, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    Wow, give the guy a break. All he said is he doesn't want to get huge, and now people are jumping all over him and inferring he doesn't want to work hard. That's not what he said. To the extent some people think he's naïve and asking the "wrong" question...come on. He's a beginner looking for advice. Isn't that part of what the RJ community is supposed to be all about?

    When I was 22 and just out of college I weighed 140 and was very naturally skinny/lanky. To this day I'm a "hard gainer," and have to work to keep every pound I've gained over the years. So, I do agree with those who say you'll have to be prepared to work hard.

    To the extent you're looking to start a fitness program, here are a few tips I've learned over the years.

    1. Join a gym and set a goal for yourself of how often you want to go. Try for 4x per week. Force yourself to go even when you've got excuses not to go. It needs to become part of your routine or else you won't see the desired results.

    2. Don't "over work" your muscles. Split your body into muscle groups and concentrate on 1-2 groups per workout. A good way to do it (although, there are plenty of ways you can break this down) might be: Day 1 - chest; Day 2 - arms (biceps and triceps); Day 3 - shoulders and back; Day 4 - legs.

    3. Aim for 3-4 different exercises per muscle group, and 3 sets of each exercise. Do sets of 6-10 reps. Higher reps at lower weight will help you build muscle and definition without getting huge. You should probably not do any more than 12 sets of a particular muscle group per day - and you ALWAYS need to rest muscle groups. Don't do the same muscle group on consecutive days.

    4. Pay attention to your diet. You probably don't need to make wholesale changes right away, but pay a little more attention to getting vegetables and protein, and reducing your sugar (particularly fructose) and corn syrup intake. Again, to begin with, don't try to make wholesale changes. But migrate toward more veggies and protein and reducing your fats and sugars.

    5. Try to mix up your workout routine every 3-4 months (new exercises for each of the muscle groups). There are lots of free websites which will give you suggestions for exercises for all the various muscle groups. Just use those resources to try and mix it up.

    6. Focus on form and not weight. Particularly starting out, use weights that allow you to push yourself but fully perform the exercises. If you push the weight too much too soon, you risk injuring yourself and you won't get the desired results.

    OK - that's probably enough for now. Agree with all those who say that when you start to plateau, start looking for new advice and new ways to mix things up.

    Good luck!
  • dexterboi1231

    Posts: 40

    May 31, 2013 12:59 AM GMT
    muscsportsguy saidWow, give the guy a break. All he said is he doesn't want to get huge, and now people are jumping all over him and inferring he doesn't want to work hard. That's not what he said. To the extent some people think he's naïve and asking the "wrong" question...come on. He's a beginner looking for advice. Isn't that part of what the RJ community is supposed to be all about?

    When I was 22 and just out of college I weighed 140 and was very naturally skinny/lanky. To this day I'm a "hard gainer," and have to work to keep every pound I've gained over the years. So, I do agree with those who say you'll have to be prepared to work hard.

    To the extent you're looking to start a fitness program, here are a few tips I've learned over the years.

    1. Join a gym and set a goal for yourself of how often you want to go. Try for 4x per week. Force yourself to go even when you've got excuses not to go. It needs to become part of your routine or else you won't see the desired results.

    2. Don't "over work" your muscles. Split your body into muscle groups and concentrate on 1-2 groups per workout. A good way to do it (although, there are plenty of ways you can break this down) might be: Day 1 - chest; Day 2 - arms (biceps and triceps); Day 3 - shoulders and back; Day 4 - legs.

    3. Aim for 3-4 different exercises per muscle group, and 3 sets of each exercise. Do sets of 6-10 reps. Higher reps at lower weight will help you build muscle and definition without getting huge. You should probably not do any more than 12 sets of a particular muscle group per day - and you ALWAYS need to rest muscle groups. Don't do the same muscle group on consecutive days.

    4. Pay attention to your diet. You probably don't need to make wholesale changes right away, but pay a little more attention to getting vegetables and protein, and reducing your sugar (particularly fructose) and corn syrup intake. Again, to begin with, don't try to make wholesale changes. But migrate toward more veggies and protein and reducing your fats and sugars.

    5. Try to mix up your workout routine every 3-4 months (new exercises for each of the muscle groups). There are lots of free websites which will give you suggestions for exercises for all the various muscle groups. Just use those resources to try and mix it up.

    6. Focus on form and not weight. Particularly starting out, use weights that allow you to push yourself but fully perform the exercises. If you push the weight too much too soon, you risk injuring yourself and you won't get the desired results.

    OK - that's probably enough for now. Agree with all those who say that when you start to plateau, start looking for new advice and new ways to mix things up.

    Good luck!


    Thank you for this icon_smile.gif and for anybody else who gave constructive advice. Time to get the gym membershipicon_biggrin.gif
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    May 31, 2013 4:13 AM GMT
    Start with what you can handle safely, increase it slightly every couple weeks or so, and gloat over your achievement after a year or so...and post nekkid pics.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    May 31, 2013 5:41 PM GMT
    Most gym memberships will give you some complimentary training sessions when you join. If you can afford it, getting a trainer will help you out. But if you can't (and most can't when they're starting out) use the complimentary sessions to make sure the trainer teaches you the basics of how to use the equipment. At least get a plan to start out with.
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    May 31, 2013 10:00 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidStart with what you can handle safely, increase it slightly every couple weeks or so, and gloat over your achievement after a year or so...and post nekkid pics.


    I think those are all great things that he should do. icon_biggrin.gif

    But seriously, your diet should also include more protein than carbs and balance your protein intake between plant-based and animal-based.
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    May 31, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
    chefBH said
    paulflexes saidStart with what you can handle safely, increase it slightly every couple weeks or so, and gloat over your achievement after a year or so...and post nekkid pics.


    I think those are all great things that he should do. icon_biggrin.gif

    But seriously, your diet should also include more protein than carbs and balance your protein intake between plant-based and animal-based.

    I don't mean to question this (I mean, look at me!) but he isn't going to make any real gains without carbs. When you try to put on mass, you're going to get some fat no matter what. He can start weighing more heavily towards the protein when he's cutting and is comfortable at the weight that he's at but I think initially, he should just try to get as many good calories as possible.
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    May 31, 2013 10:39 PM GMT
    I'm 5'5" and was 185 in high school and never had heard of any performance enhancing anything. I was not fat. I was strong and very built. That came, in my case, with plenty of solid food, and circuit training 3 times a week, believe it, or not.

    Get up. Get moving. Eat.

    Research this. There are thousands of articles.
  • Levirgo

    Posts: 2

    Jun 01, 2013 5:35 PM GMT
    Hello Dexterboi1231,

    Read your post and agree with Muscsportsguy (excellent job by the way!). It's great to see that there are still people out there that put their talent to good use for others. You will find that when people buff up on the outside, they tend to lose their heart and soul inside more and more.

    In this world obsessed with obesity, us tough gainers have difficulty because all we hear is you can eat anything. Wrong. At the age of 34, I had precancer removed from my body and was told either join a gym or go on meds for cholesterol. When I sleep, my body burns 3,000 calories. So I joined not just a gym, but a Health and Wellness Center. I really like it because I see a nutritionist who has helped me gain almost 25 pounds in a year in a healthy way. They also have nurses who check up on your progress, form as well as hydration, lean body mass and body fat. There are personal trainers who for free show you how to work with the equipment that will help you with your desired goals and areas of attention. You are welcome to see them again a few months down the line for new exercises, but are always there when you have a question. They do offer personal training but it can be pricey.

    I found that weight powder can be very difficult to suck out of a straw without the veins in my head popping out. I really enjoy a spoon of peanut butter mixed with milk, add some fruit that you like and if you want add weight gainer (Monster Mass from GNC mixed with a small scoop of "Super Food" found in Whole Foods) and blend it up for a refreshing protein and healthy calorie supplement after meals. Never before otherwise you are filling up on the stuff and not getting the nourishment your body needs.

    Shop around, ask for tours, and see what is best for you. You may or might not like a facility or a find that a trainer is not right for you and always have the option of finding a new one.

    You know your wishes and goals, like mine, 140 or 160 would be excellent and I know it takes time. I just wish to be at the point where I can pass a lifeguard stand or people and not hear, "that guy is disgusting" or "does he even eat?"

    If you ever need any ideas, words of encouragement, or would like to share, send me a message.

    Best wishes with your goals,
    Brian
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 02, 2013 9:59 PM GMT
    I'm a hard-gaining ectomorph myself... Started at 130 5'11... 3 years later am 160... Have been gaining a steady 10 pounds a year doing gymnastics and changing my diet. On my current diet I'm eating 6 meals a day... 30g of protein per meal.. so eating just about every two hours. In the beginning, I was force feeding myself... I couldn't possibly eat every two hours. Now I'm hungry every hour and thirty minutes. It's pretty weird... and it's a strange schedule to people who aren't familiar with weight gaining. They don't realize how hard it is.

    So I train 5-6 times a week in gymnastics or hand balancing and eat 6 times a day. I'm on track this year to gain more than ten pounds... I'm already at 9 pounds since last September.

    In the process of eating six meals a day I learned how to cook, and I now I really enjoy cooking. I'm a Chinese major so I cook a lot of Chinese dishes... Here are some examples of the meals I make..

    GoLean Protein Cereal/Soy Milk/Protein Bar
    3 Eggs/Bread
    Sandwiches
    Kung Pao Chicken/Sesame Chicken/Five Spice Chicken/Orange Chicken/Pesto Chicken/etcetcetc
    Steak and Potatoes
    Taco Night
    Tuna or Salmon
    I eat a ton of Rice and Bread... and a Jar of Peanut butter a week
    Yogurt

    I don't eat out so I spend 75 dollars a week on groceries. Diet is just as important as your workout plan!
  • pelotudo87

    Posts: 225

    Jun 06, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    I understand that you want to gain some muscle but not be huge (which is fine, everyone has goals), but I can guarantee you that you will not get huge on accident. As other posters have stated, it takes years of working out and dieting to get huge.

    I'm not sure what your current fitness level is, but from your pictures it looks like you have a low bodyfat percentage right now. I would go on a slight bulk (10-20% over caloric needs), and if you are new to working out, a 3x a week full-body workout focusing on the main lifts (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, etc.). Once you master those lifts, then go on to a bodypart split.

    Once you reach your desired size, then go on a cut with a slight deficit and keeping weights heavy and reps low / moderate. If you lower your weights and up the reps to try to "cut up," you will lose weight because you will essential start doing cardio with weights, but you will also lose muscle mass as well. Cut fat through diet and some HIIT cardio.

    However, I also think that a free weight / bodyweight circuit may be an option now as well. It will definitely help you lose fat, and may build a little muscle, but it will primarily be a fat-stripper...however, it may appear that you have gained a lot muscle since you will be leaner.

    So those are two options.