The Skinny Man’s Guide to Bulking Up

Go from scrawny to swole in no time at all.

Lift those free weights and chug all the malty protein powder you want—sometimes, gaining muscle and enjoying the satisfactory of a too tight t-shirt just isn’t a luxury that all men can understand. Because most fitness advice is targeted towards the averagely-built male, with an assumption of a mildly athletic background, many gym regimes aren’t suited for the guy with the freakishly fast metabolism who probably cringes at the idea of pull-ups. The term for all you naturally scrawny guys out there, not to be confused with the popular Ghostbusters-inspired Hi-C beverage, is “ectomorphs.”

Now, for guys looking to grow in size, bulking up should not be confused with putting on fat. Fitness expert and personal trainer Don Saladino of Drive495 (the guy who trains superhero actors like Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds and Captain America‘s Sebastian Stan, among others) shared his beginner’s guide on how to get bigger. Follow his simple guidelines, and there’s no way you’ll be the last one picked in dodgeball anymore. 

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Here’s some basic tips from Saladino to use as a a starting point for getting jacked. See you in the gym.

Your daily protein intake should be about 1-1.5 grams per pound, with your daily carb intake increasing to 2-3 grams per pound.
Keep the carbs clean that you choose to put in your body. Do not start consuming white bread and other unnecessary junk foods. Carbs could consist of rice, potatoes, brown rice pasta, gluten free oats, and cream of rice.
Get on a good protein supplement. Garden of Life makes for a great one because it is both organic and non-GMO.
Start to include healthy fats in your diet, like coconut oil or MCT oil.
 –Consumption of food must be done every 2-3 hours. Even if you’re not hungry in the beginning, allow your body to start adapting to that schedule.
Begin weight training 4-5 days a week. Don’t go overboard on the cardio, but still include 20 minutes, 2 days a week as maintenance.
Focus on the big 4: squats, bench press, deadlift and military press.
7-9 hours of sleep a day is a must. This is how your muscles will repair themselves.

*This is an easy cheat sheet to follow. Give your body 2 weeks, then analyze how you’re adapting to the schedule. You may need to bump your carbs up more but in the beginning, it’s all about allowing your body to adjust. 

Still in the mood to get swole? Check out our other ‘Fitness Friday’ columns