Skinny Guys: Here’s the #1 Ingredient for Muscle Growth

If you consider yourself a skinny guy who has a fast metabolism, this article is for you.

What do you think is the most important ingredient for “gaining weight”? Should you pile down truckloads of calories and perform squats, dead-lifts, and bench presses three times a week? Should you slow down; you know, make sure to walk everywhere and never run? How about protein? Should you be taking in a gram, a gram and a half, two grams per pound of body weight? Will “eating cottage cheese” make you bigger?

The tactics listed within the questions above are all things you’re being advised to do in one article after another. You’ve been told that you’re different, burn energy faster than normal, and therefore need to simply eat a bunch of food and work out hard on “big” exercises. They’re telling you that it’s harder for you to put on muscle because you burn energy so fast.

I’ll get straight to the point: If you are a thin person, you have no disadvantage in putting on muscle compared to everyone else. You’d be at a disadvantage in a fat-gaining contest, but I’ll assume you don’t want to enter one of those anyway. Every “expert” seems eager to point out that muscle can’t turn into fat and fat can’t turn into muscle. So what makes anyone think that a proclivity to not put on fat equates to difficulty in gaining muscle? It’s not the same tissue – it’s not the same biological process.

You don’t need to “gain weight” – you need to gain muscle. If your muscle building routine is less than optimal and you start stuffing down more calories than you’re burning, you’ll have the joy of becoming a bone fide fat-ass like I did. When I see a testimonial from a guy who says he gained twenty-five pounds in eight or twelve weeks, I know he’s either lying or he’s gone from slender to fat. Muscle doesn’t grow THAT fast. I’ve seen guys at my gym who’ve taken steroids and not gained that much muscle. Think about it; those are powerful drugs. What makes you think there are natural bodybuilders gaining solid flesh that quickly?

If you’re really slender, there are probably three reasons for it working in conjunction. You probably burn calories fast which prevents you from gaining fat (good thing). You might also have small bones (genetic thing). You might also be starting out with naturally small muscles (also genetic, but reversible).

But you only want to gain muscle and that’s the same formula for everyone. That’s a matter of being diligent in your breaking down of muscle tissue and having it recuperate adequately. In fact, this is the number one ingredient for muscle growth. You simply need a long series of workouts in which you adequately tear down muscle tissue, coupled with a long series of recuperation periods between those workouts in which you adequately recuperate that tissue. It can work wonderfully even if you’re skinny and it can work terribly even if you’re fat.

So what does the above have to do with metabolism? If you work your biceps today, they’ll need a certain number of days for protein synthesis to occur which will provide repair and growth. They won’t repair and grow any faster if you stuff down mega calories. That’s like thinking an old Ford Pinto will go as fast as a Maserati just because you topped off the gas tank on the Pinto. In fact, mega calories can be extremely energy-taxing on the body. We’re talking about energy required for recuperation that ends up being wasted on simply processing excess food. That’s how your quest to get big can turn you into a fat-ass without much muscle, like it did to me.

So there’s the biggest ingredient for steady muscle growth. If you don’t get that right, it won’t matter if you use big exercises like squats and bench presses. It won’t matter how much food you stuff down. It won’t matter if you eat thirty grams of protein or fifty grams at each meal. The latest supplement breakthrough won’t help. Psyching up for a workout will mean nothing. Eating cottage cheese won’t make a difference.

If you don’t have your muscle breakdown and recuperation schedule ideally worked out, everything else is meaningless conversation.