Five Tips For Bulking Up From A Skinny Guy Who’s Now Jacked
From nothingness, the universe was created. From a simple caterpillar, a butterfly emerges. A dorky teen grows up to be a fashion model, or a bodybuilder. The one constant in life is change, and in our Transformation of the Week series, AskMen is celebrating men who have turned their lives around through dedication, commitment and hard work. Is that you? Email us your story and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be featured next week!
Fitness transformation stories almost always seem to be about weight loss. But there are those among us that want to pack on a few pounds or get stronger or simply be more confident at the beach. And some of those guys have been slim forever and think aloud, “why do I even need to go to the gym?”
Thirty-one year old Reddit user Mikey67Tang was one of those guys, until his wife practically pushed through the gym doors. And now, “I wish I could go back 10 years and kick my scrawny ass,” he wrote. “Today, I couldn’t be having more fun!”
He didn’t hire a trainer or dive into an incredibly restrictive diet. In fact, he didn’t even have any specific goals when he started. But what was intriguing however, was the idea that he could re-sculpt his through a combination of food and pumping iron. He followed a series of programs he discovered on other Reddit threads. First a simple six-month PPL (push-pull-legs) program and then a 5-3-1 lifting schedule for the next four.
A year ago, he had never touched a weight. Now he’s posting YouTube videos crushing a 315-pound squat double.
He shared a simple diet that require he eat five times a day, including two snacks with things like Greek yogurt and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and supplemented with Omega-3, probiotics and glucosamine. But most importantly for him was hitting his eating goals each day. He shared these tips for gaining:
HIT YOUR MACROS! – I remember plateauing with gaining weight and was pissed because I felt like I was eating sooooo much. As I spoke with people about my diet, it was discovered that I was not hitting my fats. The noob in me didn’t want to get “fat” so yeah, I cut my fats in half but kept everything else the same. This is when I started getting more into the nutrition side of things and started to understand a lot of “WHYs” – WHY you need fats, WHY calories are key, etc.
Surround yourself with like-minded people and people who are bigger and stronger than you. I attest much of what I learned to a select few at my gym who were just super cool to me from day-1 even though I was a complete noodle and they were big/strong as hell. They helped with my confidence, eating habits, goals, and in general provided a great deal of experience and knowledge that I used everyday from that point on. They also added a special element to going to the gym. It was always cool to say ‘hey’ and to have them be there for me, and me for them if a spot was ever needed haha.
Don’t ego-lift unless on a day when you’ve planned to test your 1RM. A few months back and trying to speed up my bench press progress I got a spot on the lift and just started trying to hammer out weight that I couldn’t handle. Like trying to hit sets of 5 reps at a weight that I could barely squeek out one shaky rep on a good day. I jacked up my elbow to the point where I got to watch chest days wither down to light cable work for a good few weeks. Instead of taking a step forward it was definitely two steps back. This was perhaps my biggest lesson and will be something I’ll try to avoid at all costs.
SLEEP! Weekdays turned into bland and boring yet tightly scheduled around the gym and didn’t have much time to do much of anything. I’d wake up at 6am, eat, work, gym and be home around 8-8:30pm with enough time to eat, watch a show or two with the wife and dogs, then shower and be in bed by 10-10:30pm. I prioritized sleep as much as possible. So much of what I learned pointed to sleep being the big contributor to maximizing muscle-growth and feeling great for gym days. The days I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat as well and it definitely affected my workouts. I really learned what people meant when they say this game of iron is a ‘lifestyle.’