There are two kinds of skinny people, one who is skinny-lean and one who is skinny-fat. Both the category people are mostly confused when it comes to dicing their physique.
Being skinny-fat leads to a physique that doesn’t look overweight, but lacks muscle mass and has fat stored in all the unwanted places. Perhaps the best way to describe it is that you look “soft” while having a healthy body weight.
Being skinny and lean leads to a physique that lacks muscle mass but doesn’t hold too much fat. Best way to describe is that you look kinda “hard” but a little bit “soft” too.
If you currently have any this two type of physique and would like to do something about it, this content is for you. In this piece, I will give you guidelines for each situation so that you can practice and excel.
Skinny-Fat Body Type:
a. Start with a slight deficit:
As you are already skinny you should avoid being in a huge deficit. Huge deficit will help you to lose fat fast but it will lead to muscle loss too, which we don’t want it. If you in a slight calorie deficit then there are huge chances you can add some muscle mass too. Deficit somewhere from 0.3-0.7% of body weight loss per week.
b. Protein Intake
To support muscle growth while in a caloric deficit, you certainly also need adequate protein. Current data dictates that a good protein target for most people is around 1.6-2.2g/kg/day of total body weight.
c. Resistance Training
You look soft and lack muscle mass is due to no lifting weights. Lifting weights are so important to take your physique to next level. It helps you to add muscle and burn fat.
There is a good study showing that when novice-to-moderate lifters are in a slight calorie deficit train with weights, they can gain muscle efficiently. But this certainly requires some effort.
To gain muscle you need to apply the progressive overload principle. That means you have to do more sets, reps, lift more weight, do all exercises with a proper range of motion and increase muscle frequency. (hitting muscle 2x or more in a week). Make sure manage fatigue via taking a light week off aka deload week after every 4-6 weeks.
Make sure you track your sets, reps and load. You can do it via old-school approaches like writing down in a diary or use any app or app notes.
Skinny-Lean Body Type:
1. Resistance Training:
If you fall into this category then your number one priority should be training. Doing sufficient amount of volume and increasing it over time will lead new muscle tissue. To gain muscle you need to apply the progressive overload principle. That means you have to do more sets, reps, lift more weight, do all exercises with a proper range of motion and increase muscle frequency. (hitting muscle 2x or more in a week). Implement deload when you’re really fatigued and not able to recover.
2. Calorie Surplus:
Be on a moderate calorie surplus that means eating above your maintenance calories. This will help you to add new muscle tissue but will also add fat. Gaining fat is a byproduct of calorie surplus and also indicates that we are gaining muscle tissue but gaining too much fat also changes the game. So it’s better to be on small to moderate calorie surplus.
To gain new tissue protein is the most important macro-nutrient. Literally, numbers of studies have been published on optimally meeting protein needs for athletes. These studies have been carried on a wide range of sports, including power-lifters, weightlifters, bodybuilders, and recreational lifters. Combining all of the research together leads us to the provisional conclusion that the optimal daily intake of protein is somewhere in the range between 0.8 and 1g per pound of body mass for those hard-training individuals that are looking to enhance body composition.
So now you must be thinking that the only difference between skinny fat and skinny lean is the energy balance (i.e.- calorie deficit and calorie surplus). I would say yes but there are other things to look after too. Like cardio, you must be thinking why didn’t i talk about it in detailed. Cardio is just a tool to increase your daily energy expenditure. It all depends on an individual’s needs, if he or she wants to do it then they can if not then you really don’t need it at all.
One more important macro-nutrient which will help you to train better is Carbohydrates. Make sure you don’t sacrifice carbs in both the phases (calorie deficit and calorie surplus) Carbs will help you to perform better in the gym plus its the primary source of fuel.
Lastly, I would say be patient and be consistent with for years. Track your progress in the gym which will help you to know how weight, sets, reps, etc you lifting per week.
Make sure you measure your weight daily first thing in the morning naked 5-7 days/ week to get an average regarding your weight number as our weight fluctuates daily due to water intake, stress, menstrual cycle, etc.
Yashovardhan Singh is a fitness coach with GetSetGo Fitness and a former national football player. He likes to keep a no-nonsense approach to fitness by applying scientific literature to provide results to his clients. Reach him at [email protected] for coaching.