Understanding how to build muscle mass can be hard, especially for scrawny guys who feel like they can never gain weight. However, the same principles of how to build muscle apply to gifted athletes and skinny people alike. If you consistently stick to a solid plan, you WILL build muscle - no matter how little of it you begin with. Here are the most important rules on how to build muscle for skinny guys.
Food is Your Friend
Most guys treat nutrition as an afterthought, but your food intake is the most important part of how to build muscle! This is truer for skinny guys than anyone else. If your body is naturally skinny, it's going to take a lot of consistent eating to force it to grow.
So what you should eat? The basics are tons of protein, plenty of complex carbohydrates, and lots of healthy fats. Don't skimp on the calories or portion sizes, either. Meals like steak and potatoes, fish and rice, and eggs with oatmeal are all staples for guys who want to gain muscle. Snacks such as nuts, dried fruit, and jerky are also great sources of extra calories.
Consistency is also key. Plenty of scrawny guys say they "eat a lot," when all they really consume is one big meal and maybe a couple of snacks per day. If you're really struggling to put on weight, you should be eating four to six meals each and every day. If the scale isn't moving, you're not eating enough!
Heavy Weights for Mass
When it comes to weight training, think big for size gains. Gaining muscle mass is a matter of getting stronger, slowly but surely. Skip the dinky exercises and focus on powerful movements like squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. Train as hard you can three to four times per week, and make sure you add weight, reps, or both every time you're at the gym. Keep a training journal and always aim to beat your personal bests.
Don't even think about neglecting your lower body, either! Anyone can put a little size on their arms or chests, but heavy leg work is what will really get your progress going. Put every bit as much effort into squats as you do benches or curls, and you'll be amazed at you fast you build muscle.
Sleep Like a Baby
When you're at the gym, you're not building any muscle. Lifting weights actually breaks down muscle tissue, and you've got to rebuild it bigger than before with plenty of protein and calories from the food you eat. Your body can only do this while you sleep.
This is the most overlooked aspect of how to build muscle. Most busy people only get four to six hours of sleep each night, but skinny guys need eight or more if they really want to grow. Obviously, this much sleep will require some sacrifices. You can't waste time throughout the day, party every night, and still expect to have eight hours to spare.