What's the most effective way for tall, skinny, active guys to gain muscle mass?
I have several clients who are young, fit, active guys that are naturally skinny. They do lots of endurance, cardio, and core training with me (boot camp classes) but I don't do any heavy lifting in my classes. I'm looking for the best advice to give them in terms of nutrition and lifting to gain muscle mass in a healthy, effective way.
Nutrition - work around the most anabolic times...highest testosterone and HGH levels in the morning after waking(carbs blunt these hormones). Later in the day most people are the strongest but the hormones are dropping off so how do we counter this if you workout then...with another anabolic hormone, insulin, this is done by a fast acting carb drink 45 min after completion of evening workouts. Don't eat carbs immedietally before bed just casein protein about an hour before laying down, so as not to counter act any hormones released during REM and casein takes longer to digest so it fuels the body longer during sleep.
Recovery - Get enough undisturbed sleep and learn to cycle workout intensity (this depends on training level), eat a balanced menu, learn how to supplement with what works (such as Glutamine, Creatine, BCAA's).
Gaining weight might seem difficult at first but with complex liifts using the proper intensity, proper nutrition, and proper recovery, it is not unheard of to put on 10-20lbs in the first year of serious lifting.
2. Compound barbell lifts that hit the largest muscles in the body. Aim for the Quads, Hams, Glutes, Pecs, and Back.
Take care, Danny
1. Resistance training that emphasizes a small number of basic compound exercises (ie. squat, leg press, lat pulldown, cable row, weighted dips, bench press, overhead press)
2. Full body workouts three times weekly never on consecutive days.
3. Select weights that permit no more than 10 repetitions assuming good form and relatively slow cadence that minimizes momentum (don't sling the weights around). Note that leg workouts often respond better to higher reps and can go to 15-20 reps max.
4. Keep workouts to no more than one hour duration.
5. Start workouts with the largest muscle group (i.e. legs, then back, etc.)
6. If any isolation exercises are selected for auxiliary muscles (i.e. biceps, triceps, calves), then do at the end of the workout and keep it very simple and brief as these muscles get worked hard from heavy compound movements.
7. No more than two exercises per large muscle group and no more than 2 working sets per exercise. No more than one exercise per small auxiliary muscle. This assumes high intensity where sets are taken to positive failure or nearly so.
8. Ideal diet does not require nearly so much protein as often advised. However, it should likely be higher in natural fats than often advised. On the order 0.7 gram of protein per pound of LEAN body weight is adequate. This is only 80-100 grams of protein each day for most men. Fat intake should be at least 70 grams of natural fats each day. Saturated fats should not be consciously avoided as it raises testosterone all else equal and many quality sources of proteins and fats also have relatively high saturated fat. See latest research on saturated fats.
9. Training goal is to increase strength for reps. Increasing strength will lead to increasing muscle mass provided other factors are in line (such as diet, sleep, etc.). Increase resistance once you are strong enough to start workout outside the prescribed rep range (i.e. progressive resistance). For example, once you can do 10 or more reps in good form on lat pulldown, then it's time to increase the weight. Do not increase weight too rapidly and sacrifice proper form.
10. Keep a training log.
11. Calorie deficit is necessary for fat loss. Unfortunately, it makes muscle gains more difficult. A calorie excess on the order of a few hundred calories each day beyond TDEE is ideal for muscle gains. Tall skinny guys should go to about 500 calories excess each day.