TRANSFORM From Skinny-Fat To Lean & Muscular
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How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat – The Ultimate Guide
TRANSFORM From Skinny-Fat To Lean & Muscular
If you’re one of the many skinny fat people reading this, frustrated from not knowing what to do with your diet or training… Great news! There is a skinny fat solution.
Skinny fat people probably have a terrible experience of bulking up and seemingly just gaining fat, or trying to lose that extra fat, and just winding up even skinnier…but still with a nice round belly.
It’s a complete blow to your self-confidence and can result in a lot of confusion on what to do with your workout or diet.
There are two major reasons I personally think that causes people to become skinny fat.
The first being, you’re a naturally skinny guy. And you’re doing things that will turn you into a skinny fat guy, like being sedentary and not hitting the weights for example. Which leads into the second reason. And that’s from following poor weight loss advice from the mainstream media.
Just having this guide on how to get rid of skinny fat is putting you very far ahead of the average gym-goers. I wouldn’t have written it if I felt it couldn’t benefit the world.
I have a question for you…
Do you know why you always hear a bunch of nonsense, misleading ideas, and just downright horrible advice regarding fitness?
It’s because of a lack of knowledge.
For example, you may have heard some time in your life:
No need to worry about counting calories…
Spend countless hours in the gym each day, grinding out tons of sets, drop sets, supersets, giant sets, or whatever…
Drop hundreds of dollars per month on the worthless supplements that dudes on steroids push in advertisements…
Constantly change up your exercise routine to “confuse” your muscles… (Last time I checked, muscles lack cognitive function)
You need to obsess over “eating clean” to build muscle…
Those are just a few of the harmful lies and myths that are keeping you skinny fat.
This lack of knowledge is stopping you from reaching your fitness goals.
By navigating your way through all of that, you’ve probably fell into one of the biggest issues skinny-fat guys face. The problem is if you try to lose that last bit of stubborn body fat, you just get thinner, lose some muscle and still lack definition. On the other hand if you try and build muscle you just gain more body fat (especially on your midsection).
This is where we take the leap forward. If you don’t have the body you want, then something needs to change.
Why Men Get Skinny Fat
Hi, I’m Trent McCloskey… I’m glad you’re here.
I know what it’s like to look in the mirror and hate your body – even disgusted with yourself – from being so thin and skinny.
My turning point came to me when I was finally fed up with having ZERO confidence, hating how I looked in clothes, fearing moments with my shirt off, being very very single, and honestly feeling like my life had no purpose. Which soon led to a nasty spiral of depression which stormed over me for months and months.
Fitness was the lowest hanging fruit that I could grab and changed everything.
I knew I needed to make a change, and began a 3-year muscle-building journey where I hit nearly every roadblock in the book. After tons of failed programs and rebounding, insane amounts of effort with little payoff, stuffing my face until I felt like puking, draining my wallet on tons of supplements — I finally found a simple process that worked for me…
…And was able to go from 130lbs (at 6 feet tall) to 185lbs!
Since then, I’ve helped hundreds of men finally build a strong and muscular body they’ve always wanted.
And best of all, this plan on how to get rid of skinny fat is designed to fit INTO your life – not so that fitness and nutrition become the center of it.
If you can follow a few simple guidelines and commit to this, you’ll see the results you want without living in the kitchen or spending hours every day at the gym.
Also, to get the most out of this guide, make sure you are connected with me on social media! I will always have actionable tips, daily meals, my lifestyle, and more there:
And always remember you can ask me ANYTHING!
The Skinny Fat Problem
Most skinny fat people are doing excessive amounts of cardio or something along the lines of p90x style programs when trying to lose fat.
We won’t dive into why those typical programs (which are designed for your average person looking to lose weight) are ineffective in this post. But what ends up happening to the innocent skinny fat guy is that they lose some fat, along with some muscle. Yep, “weight” loss is exactly what they got.
If you follow these 3 things listed below, chances are, you’ll wind up among the frustrated skinny fat people:
- Minimal weightlifting but high rep training focus
- Severe calorie deficits
- Extreme amounts of cardio
See this is really what gets to me when it comes to weight loss and the media.
Instead of properly teaching people the fundamentals of weight loss, they come up with a new fad or crash diets that restrict types or amounts of foods you can eat.
This typically results in severe calorie deficits, which not only contributes to becoming skinny fat, but many other problems like hormonal imbalances, excessive fat storage, and much more.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SKINNY FAT PEOPLE
Well first, let’s dive into what it actually means to be skinny fat.
Essentially, you’re not overweight and typically have very low body fat levels, but lack muscle definition:
Here’s the real skinny fat solution – you must improve your body fat composition. Meaning, you must increase your lean mass ratio to your fat mass ratio.
Which brings me to my next point. Usually, an improvement in body composition results in an increase in body weight. Many skinny fat people obsess about scale weight and fear their weight going up.
You Will Probably Weigh More At Your Goal
If we are talking about visuals here, it does not matter how much you weigh versus how many pounds of fat are on your body.
An effective skinny fat workout should have you building muscle and strength. This is going to give your body the definition you’re after.
Nutrition Also Plays A Crucial Role Here
Most likely due to the workout routine you’re currently following that resulted in you being skinny fat, your fat cells have become more insulin sensitive than your muscle cells. So if you try to bulk up, it’s much easier to gain fat instead of muscle.
You may indeed be gaining some muscle, but you wouldn’t know because it’s hidden by fat gain.
And if you try to diet down, you’re losing both muscle and fat, so you never seem to get leaner, just smaller. Since our stomachs are the last place men lose fat from, this leaves you with a belly instead of a shredded six pack.
THE SKINNY FAT SOLUTION
As I briefly mentioned above, the proper skinny fat workout should be honed in on building muscle and strength as much as possible.
The picture above clearly shows that an increase in muscle mass (even though the scale weight most likely increased) looks a million times better.
The proper skinny fat diet should be a moderate calorie deficit (we’ll get to why severe calorie deficits are bad in a moment).
Why Severe Calorie Deficits For Skinny Fat People Are Bad
If your calories are very restricted, not only will you lose fat but you will also lose muscle. You can also do a lot of damage to your metabolism with very low calorie diets.
You then may fall down a dark dark path of thinking you need to work harder and diet harder. This also results in more muscle loss. You may see results on the scale, but when you gaze in the mirror, you are devastated in how you look.
Why Too Much Cardio Is Bad
What I explained above also ties in with excessive amounts of cardio.
Research shows that endurance training can interfere with your ability to gain strength and muscle. When you are dieting, it is very easy to lose muscle as well. Doing hours of cardio will only accelerate muscle loss. You NEED to add more muscle and strength!
Why High Reps Are Bad
Normally, people think high reps will “tone” your muscles. This is wrong. Bringing out muscle definition requires you lowering your body fat percentage.
Not to mention, high reps tend to contribute to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increase in fluid around the muscle fibers) and deplete glycogen stores in the muscles. If you mix high reps while in a calorie deficit, this is a perfect storm for muscle loss. Your body simply does not have the energy to recover from that kind of volume.
Your goal with fat loss should be to hold onto the muscle you have and possibly build some more. This is accomplished by lower reps and lower overall volume (while making consistent strength gains).
Chapter 1: Getting Started On How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat
These are new habits you’re going to be learning and implementing in your life. The best way to make this plan stick is to start small.
The fact of the matter is, you only need to start doing a few things right to start unleashing the flood gates to muscle and strength. With that said, don’t be overwhelmed when going through this guide. Take your time, and really let this stuff sink in.
Now, while going through this program, here are the main things to keep in mind.
It all starts with:
- Doing enough
- Adhering enough
Even if it’s making a small change in your food choices and hitting 3 intense lifting sessions each week. That’s sticking with the plan and doing enough.
Then, you’ll start to learn how to do these things well.
After, you’ll have the confidence to add advanced dieting and training protocols into your regime.
Before you know it, this stuff will be second nature to you.
So remember, shoot for ‘doing enough’ first and don’t overwhelm yourself. It’s the easiest way to make a new habit stick.
Why Would You Even Try? How This Is Going To Change Your Life
We only get one chance to play this thing we call life.
So why not strive to make it the very best?
I’m sure you can think of dozens of reasons as to why you’ll love to add muscle to your skinny fat frame. It’s why you’re here.
Gaining even 10 to 15 pounds of muscle strategically placed on your body while stripping away the excess stubborn fat is going to make a night and day difference!
Here’s what to expect with your new lean and muscular body:
- More confidence…
- You’ll have a body of a Celebrity, which women will go nuts over…
- Which will also increase your overall attractiveness and sexiness…
- Strong and athletic…
- Set the stage for lifelong muscle and health…
- Increase your masculinity…
And so much more!
I believe the gym is a metaphor for life.
Once you stick to the plan long enough. Push yourself in the gym. And build a great body…
It changes you.
It begins to open your mind and realize that anything you want in life, you can go after. And if you apply this grit and determination that’s developed in the gym…
Nothing will stop you.
That’s why all of this is worth it.
And I probably wouldn’t be writing this if I had not picked up my first dumbbell.
Without further ado, let’s get into the good stuff.
Chapter 2 – Hacking The Skinny Fat Body
The first order of business is learning how to master your small stomach capacity, low appetite, and fast metabolism. Despite being skinny fat our ectomorph body types are actually a blessing in disguise.
You’ll be able to enjoy your life, pack on muscle, lose stubborn fat, and know exactly what your body needs to keep it performing at its best.
But see nutrition is the trickiest part for how to get rid of skinny fat for most people…
Get it wrong, and it could seriously hurt your results and hinder your hard efforts in the gym.
Many “hardgainers” simply do not eat enough. On top of that, they are doing way too much in the gym and focus on the wrong exercises. OR they are living a very sedentary lifestyle on top of poor food choices.
This could be the reason you have yet to see any noticeable gains.
Almost any male who is consuming fewer than 2000 calories a day is never going to build himself up.
We may think we are eating “a lot of food”…
But if you would keep a food log for a few days (which I am about to teach you how to do) you would discover that you need to eat much more. No amount of BCAA’s, creatine, vitamins, or mainstream supplement will help you if you are deficient in the biggest factors—enough quality food.
If your training is in good order as measured by the guidelines of this guide, and you are sleeping well and not killing yourself in the gym, you will be right on track to transforming your body.
Always keep these 3 key skinny fat components in mind:
1) You must know the caloric intake that maintains your bodyweight.
2) You must consume a diet of nutrient-dense food.
3) You must train intensely.
Level 1: Eating And How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat
Nothing is worse than ruining your physique with a bunch of body fat. We’re already fairly lean. With that said, we must put an emphasis on lean bulking. In other words, eating just enough food to support our training without spilling over in a bunch of fat. And dialing in nutrition to lose that last bit of stubborn body fat. A recomposition if you will is the best approach on how to get rid of skinny fat in my opinion.
And here’s the best part. We’re going to use our natural slimness to our advantage when it comes to building muscle.
You see, when one is fairly lean, they have higher insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that shuttles nutrients into cells.
If you bulk up too fast, things start to go down hill. As body fat rises, the body becomes less insulin sensitive. Making it harder to burn fat, making it easier to get fat, and even your testosterone will take a hit.
Not to mention, protein synthesis rates will be suppressed.
So trying to “dirty bulk” your way to muscle gains is not smart.
And in the long run, gaining too much fat in the process will make it harder to lose the fat come time for a cut.
Weight Gain Expectations
As a natural lifter, we are limited to how much muscle we can build.
Typically, you can expect the scale to go up 0.5 lbs to 1 lbs lbs each week. That’s pure muscle! Although, the scale may stay the same depening on your starting position as you lose body fat and build lean muscle at the same time.
Don’t get discouraged. If you don’t have years of proper training under your belt, in your first year of training you could add 20 lbs to 35 lbs of muscle!
Talk about a transformation!
The Skinny Fat Calorie Algorithm
The first step is to determine how many calories you need to eat each day to put your body in a calorie surplus.
Think of your daily calories like this:
- Deficit – Lose weight
- Maintenance – Stay the same
- Surplus – Gain weight
Part of being able to adhere enough and stick to the plan comes down to keeping things simple. Here’s my favorite formula for calculating your daily calorie surplus or calorie recomposition (more muscle and less fat).
What we are doing here is taking an educated estimate on how many calories your body is burning per pound of body weight each day.
The great thing is that they already take into account our activity level so we don’t need to do a bunch of annoying calculations.
Typically, our maintenance calories (number of daily calories to maintain our weight) is around the number 15-16 times our body weight in pounds.
For example, I’m around 180 lbs. Since I’ve tested this, I do know that my maintenance calories are indeed around 2900.
To place yourself in a proper calorie surplus.
Start by taking your body weight in pounds and multiply it by the number 17.
If you’re skinny fat and really focused on losing the excess body fat, I recommend you start by eating 12 calories per pound of current body weight in pounds while following the training guidelines below.
Here’s how it will look –
Step 1: Find your body weight in pounds (weigh yourself in the morning after the bathroom).
Step 2: Multiply your body weight by the number 17
Example – 140 pound male
(140 lbs) X (17 calories per pound of body weight)
= 2380 calorie surplus
Just round up to 2400.
Adjusting Your Diet Based On Your Results
Now, with this part, you will need to be very diligent with tracking your calories as well as your body weight over the next couple weeks.
You can weigh yourself once a week on the same day or even once everyday and take the weekly average. Either method is fine, as long as you stay consistent.
If you nailed your calories on the first try, awesome job!
Again we don’t want to ruin our physiques with a bunch of fat gain. You should be gaining weight in the 0.5 to 1 lb per week sweet spot and feeling strong and powerful in your workouts. Or the scale should fluctuate around the same number by 3-5lbs if you’re focused more on a recomp where you’re losing fat and building muscle.
Although, we still need to take into account that everyone is different.
And we all live different lifestyles. Some of you may be very active throughout the day, athletes, etc.
If you aren’t gaining weight (especially strength in the gym).
Bump up your calories by 150. Ideally, these calories should come in the form of carbs. Simply do this by increasing a snack or adding more calories to your post-workout meal.
And then re-test until you nail the sweet spot.
The majority of guys I’ve worked with hit this sweet spot around 18 calories per pound of body weight. But again, everyone is different! You’ll soon learn what works best for you.
Level 2: Optimizing Macronutrients & “IIFYM”
All calories are not created equal…
We’ve all heard that “a calorie is a calorie,” and while there’s truth in this statement, it can lead us away from our journey to build an incredible body.
You see, when we’re just talking about mere weight gain or fat loss sure, it doesn’t matter where these “calories” come from.
When we’re talking about improving body composition, however (losing just body fat and not muscle, or maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat storage), we must not only follow the principles of energy balance, but we must do so with a proper balance of macronutrients.
A macronutrient is any of the nutritional components of the diet that are required in relatively large amounts: protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
How you balance your intake of these macronutrients has profound effects on how your body responds to the foods you eat.
For a very brief example: It is quite obvious that we need protein in our diets to build muscle. But actually not as much as you would think.
We also need carbs! The media sure has some believing that carbs are the enemies nowadays. But in reality, carbs are going to support our training efforts immensely! As well as support our mood, hormonal production, and many other bodily functions.
Fats are very important in our diets as well. First, not to mention that fats are more calorie-dense. So this will make it easy for us to hit our surplus with more fat in our diets.
As well, fats play a huge role in the production of testosterone! Yep, higher testosterone makes it a lot easier to pack on muscle and lose that stubborn body fat.
The bottom line is, the right diet not only provides the proper amount of calories but breaks them down into the optimal amounts of macronutrients as well.
Calculating Your Macros With Your Surplus
Side Note: Calories per gram of Macronutrients
Protein: 4 calories per gram
Carbs: 4 calories per gram
Fat: 9 calories per gram
Now we’re going to dive into how to properly set up your “macros” for maximum muscle gain and minimal fat gain.
Protein: 0.8g to 1g per pound of bodyweight is the sweet spot
Fats: 20% to 25% of daily calories
Carbs: Make up the rest of your daily calories (roughly 50% to 60%)
The percentages are a good guideline, but I prefer to look at the exact grams per day.
How To Count Marcos
We will use the same 140 pound male for example purposes.
Step 1) Identify Your Calorie Surplus
(140lbs) X (17 calories per pound) = 2380 calories
Round up to 2400.
This is your calorie surplus.
Step 2) Find Protein Macros
1 gram per pound of bodyweight
140 pounds = 140 grams.
(140 grams) X (4 calories per gram) = 560 calories from protein.
End Result: 140 grams of protein
Step 3) Find Fat Macros
25% of daily calories.
0.25 X 2400 daily calories = 600 fat calories.
(600 fat calories) / (9 calories per gram) = 66 grams of fat.
End Result: 66 grams of fat
Step 4) Find Carb Macros
Now that we have protein and fat macros, we need to see how many calories left will make up our carb macros.
Start by adding up the total protein and fat calories:
(Protein calories; 560) + (Fat Calories; 600) = 1160 total calories.
Next, subtract this from our total daily surplus:
(Total daily surplus; 2400) – (Protein & Fat calories 1160) = 1240 remaining calories
Finally, you can now find the number of carbs in grams:
(1240 remaining calories) / (4 calories per gram) = 310
End Result: 310 grams of carbs
Step 5) Putting It All Together
Daily calorie surplus – 2400
Which is made up of:
Protein ~ 140g
Fat ~ 66g
Carbs ~ 310g
Those are the amounts of protein, fats, and carbs to shoot for each day. So, when tracking your calories with an app or what have you (I use My Fitness Pal), you’ll be able to see what types of food to eat to hit your macros (which we are about to dive into the best foods to do so).
To double check your results, you can work backwards and add of the total calories for each of your macros:
Protein: (140g) X (4 calories per gram) = 560 calories
Fat: (66g) X (9 calories per gram) = 594 calories
Carbs: (310g X (4 calories per gram) = 1240 calories
(560 + 594 + 1240) = 2394 total calories
Pretty spot on with rounding (it will never work out perfectly, all good!)
Always remember, this calorie algorithm is just a means of giving you some guidance. This is why you must be tracking your calories on a consistent basis to see if you’re actually gaining muscle and strength or gaining too much fat; and adjusting as needed.
You don’t need to be super perfect either.
Getting within the ballpark is all you need to do. And most of the time, I shoot for 50 calories or so over just to be safe.
If It Fits Your Macros (I.I.F.Y.M)
Think of this nutrition guide as a non-restrictive diet. You can eat whatever you’d like as long as you hit your macros for the day.
The IIFYM diet is a popular way to make your diet flexible and enjoyable based on your standards. Some view this as a free for all to eat junk food.
That’s not the case here.
We need to give our bodies the most wholesome foods possible (more on this in level 5).
The idea here is to fill your daily calories with food to hit your set macros. The ones you just calculated above.
The reason for this diet structure is simple; to ensure we are getting the proper balance of protein, carbs, and fats.
Having a moderate amount of protein and fat with higher carbs creates the perfect storm for maximizing muscle growth while minimizing fat gain.
It’s actually difficult for your body to convert carbs into fat. By keeping fat low and carbs high (especially on training days) we can ensure that the majority of our daily calories are being used for muscle growth.
Level 3: Skinny Fat Appetite Manipulation
With Appetite Manipulation, we have a few things going on here.
1) Actual satiety levels of common foods.
2) Understanding what foods fill you up the most.
3) Then working with the best foods to fit into your meal plan to easily hit your daily calorie surplus.
What is Satiety?
This simply means how much a food is going to make you feel full.
Typically, what makes a food more filling than others is the fiber content, the water content, and the protein content.
So what does this mean for us?
We must choose wisely and choose certain foods at certain times.
If you’re always finding yourself feeling extremely full, but still struggling to hit your calorie surplus…take some time to analyze the types of foods you are eating based on their satiety level.
Then, consider swapping out a food for a less satiating choice.
A great example is potatoes. So instead of eating a baked potato, you can cut the potato up, add some oil and make some delicious baked french fries. This will add more calories and also make it easier to eat.
I find it very interesting that the foods you eat can actually determine how much you eat later in the day.
For example, if you ate a more satiating food earlier in the day, this could blunt your appetite and cause you to eat less later in the day. Not good.
Choosing less filling foods earlier in the day will allow you to keep your appetite high for your larger meals.
What Should I Eat If I Am Skinny Fat?
You know your calorie levels now. You know what macros to eat. Let’s take a look at some of the best foods to strive to eat.
Building a great body means nothing if it means facing health problems down the road (we’ll touch more on this in level 5).
Here’s how the above foods can be used to eat more calories in your day to day meals, truly hacking your skinny fat genes.
Also keep in mind, these are just suggestions in which I have found success with. Use the below methods as guidance.
Ideally, I want you to keep eating your favorite foods as much as you can. But, if you need to make adjustments, model the strategies below.
Optimal Meal Frequency
Always keep in mind, meal frequency or the number of meals you eat each day, does not matter. Overall daily calories matter.
I eat 3 big meals each day along with 1 to 2 snacks to hit my daily calories. Find out what works best with you and your schedule.
Level 4: Workout Nutrition
In this level, we are going to discuss Pre and Post workout nutrition.
Is it important? Could it make a difference?
Yes and no.
Most importantly, you must not forget that what matters most is overall daily calories. If you’re not eating enough, you’ll struggle to build muscle and strength. Meal timing and frequency is not relevant.
But, if there are ways to milk out more muscle growth. I’m all for them!
By doing a bunch of little, meager things right, they add up over time and make night and day differences.
And I do believe there are ways to get the most out of your training efforts with Pre and Post Workout Nutrition.
Pre Workout Nutrition
Research has shown that having protein before training increases protein synthesis rates.
But we need to take this a step further because there are also studies that claim that pre workout protein makes no difference on protein synthesis rates.
So how do you know if you would actually benefit from pre workout protein?
In this case, if you have a sizable meal (with at least 20g of protein) an hour or two before training.
You most likely will not benefit from pre workout protein.
On the other hand, let’s say you had a small meal before work, and ate lunch. Gym time may not be for another 4 to 5 hours. In this case research shows that you would benefit from pre workout whey protein to raise plasma amino acid levels.
I recommend 30g of protein 30 to 45 minutes before training.
Granted, eating carbs before a workout will not increase protein synthesis rates, but it is a fuel source your body can utilize quickly. Allowing you to push more heavy weight and reps. Which, in turn, will help build more muscle and get rid of skinny fat.
What kind of carbohydrates should you eat?
I recommend 40 grams of carbs 30 to 45 minutes before training.
My favorite pre workout carbs sources are rice milk or dried cherries/cranberries or bananas. Other great alternatives are white rice, figs, and potatoes.
Post Workout Nutrition
Similar to pre workout nutrition, the goal is to further stimulate protein synthesis rates. Our muscles were broken down in the gym and now we need to make sure to give them what they need to grow bigger and stronger.
But the idea that there is an “anabolic window” and that you need to eat at a certain time or you’ll miss out on gains is a bunch of B.S.
Although, a good rule of thumb for guidance is to get in your meal around 1 to 2 hours after training. Right after is fine too.
In my post workout meals, I like to make sure I’m getting at least:
30 to 40 grams of protein and 50 to 80 grams of carbs.
So is Pre & Post Nutrition even worth it?
I believe it is! And again, don’t over complicate things if you can’t easily eat at your calorie surplus each day. That’s most important.
But I will leave you before diving into the next level with this:
The study involved two separate groups of bodybuilders. The first group at pre and post workout nutrition as described above. And the second group ate their normal meals but at least 5 hours outside of their workouts.
And as you could already guess, the latter example saw better results.
Just something to think about! Make sure you master the first 3 levels first. Keep things simple.
Level 5: Optimizing Micronutrients & Lifestyle
All the levels of hacking your skinny fat genes are important, especially level 5 when considering long term health.
Now with that said, and as I’ve mentioned throughout the levels, it’s so important (for your success) to master each level at a time and move forward when you feel most comfortable.
The main idea for your diet to best support muscle and strength gains, long term health, and body composition.
Hitting your protein carbs and fats is one thing, but we need to strive for the majority of all daily calories from wholesome and nutritious choices.
As a general rule of thumb, strive to get around 80% of your daily calories from wholesome foods and the other 20% can come from a dessert or treat. (This will also make hitting your surplus easier.)
Micronutrients And How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat
Vitamins and minerals are essential for performance in the gym, energy levels, and overall well being.
I know, it does suck that the more filling foods are rich in micronutrients.
If you eat protein and fat from natural sources such as meats, eggs and raw dairy (if possible). As well as 1 to 2 fruits a day a long with plenty of vegetables, you’ll do a good job of giving your body what it needs each day to function properly.
If you eat good sources of carbs (discussed earlier), and do not abuse your body with junk food, you should get plenty of fiber in your diet.
Think of sprouted grains, legumes, beans, mushrooms, vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, celery, spinach, onions), pasta, and fruits, on top of your other daily foods and you’ll have fiber covered.
How much fiber?
Getting too much fiber can actually be a problem! So don’t try to be too healthy ha.
Men should get about 25g of fiber everyday.
With that said, you could also aim to get 10g of fiber for every 1000 calories you eat.
Adequate water intake is critical to your health and well-being.
Did you know that too much water can also be a bad thing? I actually struggled with this for a long time.
I always thought “the more the better” and it ended up giving me digestive issues. Not good with the thousands of calories I need to consume.
Keep this simple. Ensuring adequate water intake is easy.
Consume enough water evenly distributed over the course of each day and aim for HALF of your bodyweight in ounces as a good baseline goal.
You also need to keep in mind your activity level and climate and adjust your intake as needed.
Make Time In Your Lifestyle For Eating
With our meager appetites, it’s very easy to “forget” to eat your food or skip meals.
And like we already covered, meal timing or the number of meals you eat each day does not matter as long as you hit your daily surplus.
Although, I do believe you need to establish how many times each day you can fit into your schedule for meals and stick to them.
You can have a small meal before work, your lunch, pre and post workout nutrition (if needed), dinner, and a small meal or snack each day.
And honor those meal times each day!
This will also help with planning ahead. Nothing is worse than having your bedtime quickly approaching, you feel stuffed, but still have 1100 calories to eat.
Social Events & The Weekends
Don’t think you need to give up any great pleasures of life to build a great body.
As long as you hit your training sessions each week, get within the ballpark of your daily calories, and rest well…
You can still do all the fun activities you enjoy, such as having a social life, alcohol, etc.
(Unless something seriously hinders your gains… Then maybe you need to adjust something.)
Should You Still Do Intermittent Fasting If You Are Skinny Fat?
Here’s the deal…
Hitting your daily calorie calories/nutrition is most important.
If you find yourself having a difficult time eating all your calories, try working in a morning meal.
Side note: even if you are skinny fat and you’re worried about eating more calories than you’re used to, this is needed because you could be undereating and still skinny fat. Once we get you moving and training properly, you’ll need more calories each day to rev up your metabolism.
I don’t fast much anymore unless it’s a 24hr fast or sometimes even a 72 hour fast once or twice a year (remember fasting is just another tool in the shed that can offer some benefits).
A few of the benefits I did enjoy were:
1) I have no appetite first thing in the morning. I use short fasts to my advantage to ramp up my hunger a little and slam down a bunch of food.
2) I enjoy my productive mornings at work.
With that said, Neuroscientists from Yale claim that the brain works better when you feel empty rather than full.
The hunger hormone, known as ghrelin, can activate the brain’s hypothalamus and hippocampus, allowing you to work better, faster, and more effectively.
3) Reaping the benefits of fasting such as:
Increase in luteinizing hormone (a testosterone precursor).
Improved “autophagy,” which is the process in your body’s cells that eliminates waste and repair themselves (autophagy also plays a critical role in maintaining muscle mass and fighting the degenerative aspects of aging). This is the reason fasting got the headline that it can make you live longer.
Other cool things I have noticed from my fasting experience:
- The mental clarity combined with caffeine.
- Boosted immune system. I rarely get sick anymore.
- I feel my body absorbs food more efficiently.
- My acne went away.
- I crave more wholesome foods.
Your choice on if you should fast or not ultimately comes down to if you have trouble eating your daily calorie needs. It’s very easy to undereat when using IF (which is great for fat loss in SOME cases but make sure you’re still eating enough or you’ll start to see the negative effects from fasting and it can actually begin to work against you.
What About Popular Diet Fads, Athletes, or Top Bodybuilder Eating Habits?
The first things that came to mind were top bodybuilders and elite athletes. I assumed they ate incredibly “healthy.”
After reviewing some studies, their diets only consisted of a few different types of foods.
I still eat those foods in my current diet but where are the fatty meats or potatoes and other veggies and even the fruits, dairy, egg yolks, or coconut oil? You cannot just pick a list of “clean” foods and ONLY eat those.
You’ll probably end up creating holes in your diet leading to deficiencies in micronutrients.
Strike that balance and don’t be afraid to indulge a little. It will keep your diet enjoyable.
Giving you mastery and complete control which is the secret to sticking with it for the long term.
And What About Fad Diets Like Paleo, Low Carb, South Beach, Atkins, etc?
Keep in mind, the majority of people need to lose weight. Most mainstream diet advice will just keep us skinny fat.
This is why I gave you the tools on how to get rid of skinny fat to build your own diet with all the proper foods to support a great body.
(If you have some sort of allergy, of course, you can leave certain foods out of your diet and if you hate them.)
Can you begin to see how these levels are building upon each other? Again, the easiest way to get this stuff to stick is to start small.
Start by trying to hit your daily calories each day by tracking your calories in a smart phone app or online tool.
You can then start to make improvements with your protein, carbs, and fats.
When you feel you’re ready to add more to the plate, you can begin to learn how to optimize your micronutrients to improve your overall health, body composition, hormonal health and more.
For an added bonus, make sure you also check out article: Healthy Grocery List: 5 Steps To The Ultimate Meal Plan
Chapter 3: Gain The Muscle
I need to share something with you to always keep in mind.
Don’t limit yourself.
Under any circumstances. Not just in fitness.
If you complain that you’re a weak ectomorph cursed with horrible genetics or you’ve tried everything (which you haven’t) and you still don’t know how to get rid of skinny fat then you’re going to struggle to put on muscle and strength and transform your body.
“Under the right conditions (proper diet and workout) us skinny guys have the potential to actually build muscle the fastest!
A minimalist approach actually works BEST for us “hardgainers.”
We naturally already burn so much energy. This will allow for the fastest rate of progression without burning ourselves out. Or having to eat way more food than we already need too.
And not to mention, if you throw too much at the body (this goes for everyone) it’s going to have a hard time adapting and getting stronger. Focusing on what matters most will give the best returns.
Part 1: The 3 Scientific Laws of Muscle Growth
1) Progressive Overload
If you want to build bigger muscles, you must get stronger and lift heavier weights over time.
Chasing the “pump” or feeling the burn does not indicate any future muscle growth.
Muscles need a reason to grow. And the best reason for them is more and more mechanical stress and tension.
2) Recovery Is Just As Important
As much as we would all love to lift constantly and lift non-stop. It sadly does not work that way.
Proper rest is going to allow us to lift heavier weights over time.
Having the right setup in your routine will allow you to hit each workout feeling fresh and powerful! Leading to more and more strength and muscle gains.
3) Muscles Need the Right Amount of Food to Grow
Without eating enough calories each day, you will build little to no muscle and strength.
We also need to strive to fill the majority of our diets with wholesome foods rich in vitamins and minerals. No this doesn’t mean eating “super clean.” That can actually begin to work against you.
You will have to count your calories to make sure you are hitting the calorie amount each day.
There would be your secret if you were searching for one.
But what makes the difference between average and incredible physiques are those who follow those concepts long enough to see results.
Part 2: Mastering Strength Progressions
Mastering your strength progressions first comes down to having a protocol in place so that each workout builds upon the last.
The following protocols will be assigned to each exercise in the workout routine chapter. Not all will be used at the same time, but here they are for learning purposes.
Protocol #1 – Dual Progression Model
This method will be used most commonly. Especially when first starting out with RPT.
When you see these rep schemes: (4-6)(6-8)(8-10) That is a dual progression model.
Those are the number of reps for each set you should be aiming for. That also dictates the amount of weight you will be using along the lines of Reverse Pyramid Training.
The “dual” comes from a combination of increasing both reps and weight used on a given set.
Set 1: (4-6) reps
2: (6-8) reps
3: (8-10) reps
The goal is to take your weight on a given set and hit the top end of the rep range. So if you hit 6, 8, or 10, on your next workout, you can add 5 pounds to that set and start again from the bottom.
This could look like:
1: 135lbs x 5 reps
2: 125lbs x 6 reps
3: 115lbs x 10 reps
So your next workout would be:
1: 135lbs x 6 reps
2: 125lbs x 7 reps
3: 120lbs x 8 reps
Something along those lines, see how each workout builds upon the last? Even just adding one more rep, that is progress. And those little improvements add up over time, trust me.
Protocol #2 – Micro-Loading
Micro-loading is using lighter, fractional plates to make consistent strength gains.
Ideally, you would have to acquire fractional plates of 1.25 pounds to add to each side of the bar. For a total of 2.5 pounds.
Now of course, you can make great progress with micro loading. But if you are just getting started and fairly new to training…Think of micro-loading as the silver bullet you need to save for the right time.
The reason for this is simple:
When you get started on a new training routine, you can make some really nice gains really quickly. Meaning you won’t have a problem adding 5 pounds to the bar or adding another rep or two.
But in reality, adding another rep or 5 pounds is a HUGE strength increase.
As you become more advanced in your training, it becomes more and more difficult to make these huge strength gains.
This is when micro-loading comes into play.
First – The reps when micro-loading stay the same.
Second – Each workout you are adding 2.5 pounds total.
And don’t underestimate micro-loading.
That is adding about 15lbs a month to your key lifts!
That is insane!
Example for micro loading:
1: 200lbs x 5 reps
2: 180lbs x 6 reps
3: 160lbs x 8 reps
1: 202.5lbs x 5 reps
2: 182.5lbs x 6 reps
3: 162.5lbs x 8 reps
1: 205lbs x 5 reps
2: 185lbs x 6 reps
3: 165lbs x 8 reps
1: 207.5lbs x 5 reps
2: 187.5lbs x 6 reps
3: 167.5lbs x 8 reps
1: 210lbs x 5 reps
2: 190lbs x 6 reps
3: 170lbs x 8 reps
A Quick Lesson On Training Frequency, Volume, and Intensity
As cool as it would be…we can’t just hit the gym every single day with those progression models and get freakishly strong overnight.
We must have the proper set up of Frequency, Volume, and Intensity.
Let’s start with simple definitions:
Frequency – How many times a week you are training a particular muscle group.
Volume – How many sets and reps you are performing on a particular muscle group.
Intensity – The amount of weight/load you are using for each work set and rep of an exercise per muscle group.
Effective training programs talk about these three things and apply them correctly.
For example, have you ever heard of the typical bodybuilding split?
You know, the ones where you train one muscle group per day. Something like:
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Back
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Shoulders
Friday – Arms
Most training programs with this type of split mess up volume and intensity.
They may have a lot of volume, but not enough intensity. Or vice versa.
Don’t get me wrong, if you set up that type of routine correctly, you can make nice gains.
It is a matter of setting up the frequency, volume, and intensity up correctly to make the best muscle and strength gains.
When training with less frequency per week (above routine example), you must increase the volume and intensity accordingly.
If you are training each muscle group with more frequency per week, you must decrease the volume and intensity accordingly.
Although, beginners and intermediate lifters should lift with more frequency. This can lead to quicker strength gains.
When you reach the training routines, you’ll notice that each muscle group is hit with more frequency. That means the volume and intensity must be lowered a bit.
This prevents over-training, along with proper muscle recovery and strength gains.
Along with muscle recovery, you must also consider central nervous system recovery for maximum strength gains.
Your Central Nervous System is the powerhouse behind everything. It takes about 48 hours for you CNS to be fully recovered after an intense lifting session.
Even if you train a different muscle group the next day, you still aren’t performing at your highest potential. And that obviously becomes very important when trying to always push for strength and muscle gains.
Closing Thoughts on Mastering Strength Progressions
By utilizing the two above progression models when most useful, this is how you create lasting strength gains.
It is how you take that little weekly progress and keep adding and adding over time to create a truly incredible physique.
Again, in the training section, I will be clear on what progression models to follow.
With micro-loading being reserved for more intermediate to advanced lifters.
Are you starting to see the big picture? With these progression models, you can easily add 60lbs to your main lifts in a matter of your first 4 months.
Let that sink in…
60lbs to exercises that also contribute to your ideal body ratios such as:
- Incline Bench
- Weighted Chins
- Standing Overhead Press
- Barbells Curls
- Bulgarian Split Squats
To name a few…
Adding even 45lbs over the course of three months is going to give your physique a whole new look and level of strength. That is our underlying goal.
Part 3: Optimum Lifting Protocols
Entering Reverse Pyramid Training…
RPT, for short, is the most effective training method to add strength and muscle. It’s literally how I get my clients from skinny fat to muscular time and time again.
After the proper warm up (covered shortly) you are starting with your heaviest work set first. Then for your second and third set, sometimes even a fourth, the weight will become lighter.
Allowing you to still exert maximum force and effort, while adding a rep or two, even though you are becoming fatigued.
An example of three work sets using RPT could look like this on incline bench:
1: 165lbs x 5 reps
2: 145lbs x 6 reps
3: 125lbs x 8 reps
As you can see, the weight decreases by about 10% each set.
Rest a FULL 3-4 minutes in between RPT sets!
You can call your first work set the “money” set. You should always be striving to hit new personal records.
And since you are hitting the first set fresh and energized, you will hit new PR’s a lot more often! Leading to tons of strength and muscle gains.
Entering Standard Pyramid Training
Being the complete opposite of Reverse Pyramid Training, we are going to incorporate Standard Pyramid Training at the end of our routines to increase muscle fatigue and growth.
The rep scheme of SPT is set up like:
12, 10, 8, 6 reps
With usually no longer than 1 minute rest periods.
Most lifters make the mistake of lifting with SPT on their core lifts, like incline bench for example.
They pick a light weight and then keep increasing the weight as the reps go down.
The Problem: They are creating too much unnecessary fatigue before their heaviest set. Meaning they are lifting under their highest potential, leaving strength gains on the table.
That is why we will be using RPT on our main lifts. And SPT and rest pause on isolation movements to stimulate more muscle growth.
Back to SPT:
You will be using the SAME weight for all sets.
Rest time: 30-60 seconds between sets.
Progression model: Start with a rest time of 60 seconds. Each workout, knock off 5-10 seconds.
When you reach 30 second rest times between all sets (12 10 8 6), increase the weight by 5lbs and start again with a rest time of 60 seconds between all sets.
Entering Rest Pause Training
Rest pause training is the most effective way to trigger muscle growth with a light weight and works very well if you’re skinny fat.
The goal of this training method will be to trigger more sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increase in fluid around the muscle cells).
Think of heavy lifting (RPT) 80% of your muscle gains and the other percentage from adding in some extra volume to fill out the muscles. The cherry on top.
Rest pause is made up of two parts:
The Activation Set
The Mini Sets
The activation set is the first set to cause the initial muscle fatigue.
Throw in very short and strict rest periods of 15-20 seconds.
Then you perform your mini sets. These mini sets are done in a fatigued state because you are only resting 15-20 seconds. You can typically perform 3-4 mini sets after your activation set. And these can consist of 3-5 reps. Or even 6-8 reps depending on the exercise.
Let’s see what rest pause would look like in action:
Dumbbell Lateral Raise Exercise –
Perform Rest Pause Activation Set: 12 – 15 reps
REST: 15-20 SECONDS
Perform Mini Set 1: 3-5 reps
REST: 15-20 SECONDS
Perform Mini Set 2: 3-5 reps
REST: 15-20 SECONDS
Perform Mini Set 3: 3-5 reps
REST: 15-20 SECONDS
Perform Mini Set 4: 3-5 reps
You are keeping the SAME weight for all sets, including the activation set.
When you can do:
Activation set: 15 reps
Mini Set 1: 5 reps
2: 5 reps
3: 5 reps
4: 5 reps
Then increase the weight by 5lbs and start over from the bottom of the rep range.
Part 4: Warming Up For More Muscle & Strength
The goal of this warm up routine is not to create any unnecessary fatigue before your first work set, but rather, wake up/energize your central nervous system and muscles to prepare them for the heavy weight.
After this warm-up routine, you should not feel tired. You should feel strong and powerful!
If a lifter performs too many repetitions or uses too heavy of a weight or a combination of both, they are KILLING their power.
Making it more difficult to hit new strength gains.
The Ultimate Training Warm Up Routine
1) Shoulder Dislocations – 10 reps
2) Kettle Bell Weighted Halo – 6 reps per side
3) Scapular Wall Slides – 10 reps
4) Kneeling Twist – 4 reps per side
5) Band Pull Apart – 10 reps
Transition into Reverse Pyramid Training Warm Up Routine
1) 8 Body weight reps for the corresponding exercise in workout.
If your workout started with incline bench press, perform 8 bodyweight push ups.
If your workout started with weighted chin ups, perform 8 reps on a lat pull down machine.
2) Perform 5 reps with 60% of your first work set. Rest 60 to 90 seconds.
3) Perfrom 3 reps with 80% of your first work set. Rest 60 to 90 seconds.
4) Perform 1 reps with 90% of your first work set. Rest a full 3 minutes.
Begin your first work set!
The Ultimate Warm Up in Action!
Starting Exercise – Incline Bench Press
Work set goal: 135 lbs for 5 reps
1) 8 Body Weight Push Ups
(Set up weight on incline bench)
2) Perform 5 reps with 80 pounds on the bar
(Rest 60 to 90 seconds)
3) Perform 3 reps with 105 pounds on the bar
(Rest 60 to 90 seconds)
4) Perform 1 rep with 120 pounds on the bar
(Rest a full 3 minutes)
Perform first work set of 135 pounds for 5 reps!
Part 5: How to Choose Your Starting Weight
The ultimate warm up routine is at its most effective when you know what your work set is going to be, or the goal you’re shooting for in that particular workout.
If you’re new to training or to an exercise in this program, this section will help you select the proper weight to use.
Now here’s the thing, finding your starting weights is pretty much trial and error.
Taking the first week to guess and check.
If you need to take the first couple workouts to get used to the weights and exercises, go ahead and do so. Keep in mind, for every 10 pounds you add to the bar (or 5 lb increase on dumbbells) you’ll lose about two reps.
Learning proper form in the beginning is most important. When doing an exercise, ensure you are feeling the target muscles working. This may not hold true for all heavy compound lifts, but you should have an idea.
So if, on any given exercise, you cannot feel the target muscles working, consider adjusting your technique.
Always remember, you cannot compromise form.
It’s okay if you form is a little shakey if you’re new to weight training. But the amount of weight shouldn’t be the main problem causing this.
But if your form is good and the exercise feels easy, move up in weight.
Lastly, when you train, keep one rep in the tank.
Meaning, if you could incline bench press 135 lbs for 6 reps, stop at 5 reps.
You will still get stronger. This helps recovery and also lessens the chance of running into a plateau because you’re not grinding out reps. It will also help keep your form clean.
Unleashing Your Unknown Strength Potential To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat
Part 1: Creating Your Own Success
Only you, yourself, must create your own success. Take your thoughts and imagination, turn them into goals, write them down, and work towards them day after day.
You are essentially becoming a new person. Or creating a new self-image. It is a very powerful thing to think about. But chances are, the person who you are now (skinny fat), needs to be broken down and built up into something new.
This is your chance to develop a stronger you.
You need to start imagining your success with everything you do.
Now, I do not have all the answers as to how the mind works. But I do know that imagining your success and then taking action upon it works.
Applying this to the gym:
When you are getting ready for a set. Preferably your very first work set. The one you are striving to hit personal records on. Let’s say you are going for a PR of 200lbs on bench for 5 reps.
Take a second to close your eyes…
Calm your mind and forget everything that is going on…
Imagine yourself with the strength of the Man of Steel (Superman). Able to throw a car across the street or over a building.
Truly believe you possess this insane amount of strength.
Imagine yourself successfully completing the 5 reps, feeling strong and powerful.
Open your eyes, and hit your set with all you’ve got.
Just by doing this is going to increase your chances dramatically. Simply because you believe you will succeed with all your heart.
Don’t call the weights heavy.
Forget about telling yourself you are weak after a set.
Please don’t complain you didn’t hit a level of strength yet, you’ll get there, I know it.
Complaining will just make your journey all the more difficult.
Drop all the negativity and you will instantly become much stronger.
Part 2: Plateau Prevention
Another mindset hack. You will soon learn that in the training section, I prescribe set routines that are not meant to be changed up every workout. The reason for this is to actually make progress on certain exercises, but we will cover that shortly.
Although, we will all, sooner or later, hit a plateau.
Say you are going on your 6th week of hitting incline bench press. You made tremendous gains, but now the weight is feeling heavier and heavier.
Almost to the point where you are feeling anxious before hitting incline again.
That is the key right there.
If you get to the point where you are worried about not hitting your lift for the desired weight or reps.
Switch the exercise.
Now don’t abuse this. I go at least 4 weeks before switching an exercise.
YOU NEED TO MAKE PROGRESS
Beginners can go as long as 2 months without hitting a plateau.
The idea is to listen to your body and mind.
If you are worried that you won’t hit that lift. Chances are, you won’t. How to get rid of skinny fat truly starts with your mindset.
Usually for the 4 weeks on an exercise, I feel confident, powerful, and ready for each workout. But before I let the weight move me around, I switch the exercise. Again, don’t abuse this. You should not be switching the exercise before at least 4 weeks.
The point is, if you feel deep down, that you are going to have a tough time hitting the lift, switch it.
This will come in handy when you become more advanced in your training.
Your mind is a very powerful tool.
Part 3: Exercise Rotation
Don’t confuse this with “hitting the muscles from different angles” or “muscle confusion.”
That’s all marketing bullshit.
And last time I checked, muscles do not have cognitive function.
The exercises I lay out in the routine all have a purpose.
The problem, similarly to how I mentioned above, we will soon get used to and burnt out from an exercise.
Our bodies will then need a new stimulus to keep the progress coming along.
Exercise Rotation is switching the exercise to another similar exercise that work the same muscle groups but still is a new stimulus to the body.
Example of Exercise Rotation:
Incline Barbell Bench
A plateau soon sets in…
Exercise rotate to: Incline Dumbbell Presses.
Or another example:
Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
A plateau soon sets in…
Exercise rotate to: Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses.
Same muscles worked, but it is a fresh stimulus to the body.
Allowing continual progress.
The beauty of exercise rotation is that when you switch back to the initial exercise….you will feel stronger than ever and hit new PR’s!
Then you will make great progress again, then exercise rotate when a plateau sets in.
This is how you create forever lasting strength gains.
Database for Exercise Rotation:
- Incline Barbell Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Bench Press
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Weighted Dips
- Standing Barbell Press
- Seated Dumbbell Press
- Seated Military Press
- 1 Arm Standing Dumbbell Press
- Bodyweight Rows
- Weighted Chin Ups
- Weighted Pull Ups
- Neutral Grip Chin Ups
- 1 Arm Chin/Pull Up Practice
- Barbell Curls
- Incline Dumbbell Curls
- Standing Dumbbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Dumbbell Skull Crushers
- Skull Crushers
- Weighted Close Grip Dips
- Cable Rope Extensions
- Overhead Tricep Dumbbell Extensions
- Pistol Squats
- Hang Cleans
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Dip Bar Raises
- Ab Wheel Rollouts
- Renegade Rows
When To Use Exercise Rotation If You’re Skinny Fat
Remember the goal is to milk as much strength and muscle gains out of an exercise before reaching a plateau.
So don’t go crazy switching your exercises every workout. You won’t get anywhere.
Exercise rotation becomes VERY useful when you hit intermediate to advanced strength levels.
Beginners can make great gains quick and for a while before needing to switch the routine up. So don’t worry
About this yet if this is you!
*Note: I actually believe that is a huge mistake beginners can make that hinder their progress. Stay consistent. Results will follow.
If you are new to weight training, you probably do not have to worry about exercise rotation as much. A beginner could go 8 to even 12 weeks on the same routine before hitting a plateau.
Also, you may need to assess other factors such as nutrition, sleep, lifestyle, etc.; before changing your training routine. Everyone is different, assess your needs accordingly.
Exercise Rotation Schedule:
When to rotate? – Based on your needs or when you plateau on a lift for 2-3 weeks.
Number of exercises in rotation – 2
Example: Incline Barbell Bench Press and Incline Dumbbell Press.
Intermediate lifters can get burnt out from an exercise a bit sooner than beginners. Unlike the latter example, at this stage of lifting, you have the option of adding a third exercise into your rotation schedule.
Exercise Rotation Schedule:
When to rotate – Every 4-6 weeks or when you plateau on a lift for 2-3 weeks.
Number of exercises in rotation – 2 or 3
Example: Barbell Curl, Incline Dumbbell Curl, and/or Standing Dumbbell Curl
At this level, I still prefer only to rotate among 2 exercises. Keep 3 exercises for advanced strength levels. Where it is hard to make strength progressions quickly.
When you reach elite levels of strength, exercise rotation is going to become very beneficial. Strength gains at this level are going to be much more difficult to obtain.
Exercise Rotation Schedule:
When to rotate – Every 4 weeks.
Number of exercises in rotation – 3 Example: Standing Barbell Press, Seated Dumbbell Press, and 1 Arm Standing Dumbbell Press.
Part 4: Rep Range Rotation
Another effective protocol on how to get rid of skinny fat is to use (if you do run into a plateau) is rep range rotation.
You will reach the point where your body can become burnt out from lifting heavy weights all the time.
Rep range rotation is simply a matter of dropping your work set weights by 10 to 15 pounds and working in the higher rep range.
For example, if you were following a dual progression model, rep range rotation would look like this:
Normal rep range – (4-6)(6-8)(8-10)
Rep Range Rotation – (6-8)(8-10)(10-12)
This will give your body a nice break from the heavy weights. When you switch back to the normal rep range, you should feel fresh and recharged again.
Note: You keep the same exercises. This is how this method differs from exercise rotation.
This is something to keep in mind throughout your training career. The following routines will have alternatives which how exercise rotation and rep range rotation built in.
Chapter 4: How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat Workout Routines
Monday – Upper Body
Incline Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Weighted Chin Ups – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Standing Dumbbell Curls – 3 sets of (6-8) reps
Cable Rope Triceps Pushdowns – 3 sets of (6-8) reps
Dumbbell Lateral Raises – 3 sets of (8-12) reps
Wednesday – Lower Body
Barbell Squats – 4 sets of (4-6) reps
Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Weighted Box Step Ups – 3 sets of (6-8) reps
Seated Calf Raises – 4 sets of (8-10) reps
Farmer Carries – 2 sets of 50 steps
Friday – Upper Body
Incline Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Weighted Chin ups – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of (4-6) reps
One Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of (6-8) reps
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets (6-8) reps
Face Pulls – 3 sets of (8-12) reps
Notes For How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat Workout Routines
- Rest 2 minutes between all sets. Rest 1 minutes on lateral raises and face pulls.
- When you are strong enough to hit the top end of the rep range for all your sets, add 5 lbs and start from the bottom.
For example, if you can incline bench 135 lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps, on your next workout, bump up to 140 lbs.
Your next workout may then look like:
1: 140 lbs x 5 reps
2: 140 lbs x 4 reps
3: 140 lbs x 4 reps
Build up to doing 140 for 3 sets of 6 again, then add 5 pounds.
- Workouts are done on 3 non-consecutive days per week. (Monday Wednesday Friday) or (Tuesday Thursday Saturday).
- Don’t hesitate to refresh your memory with the training protocols in the earlier chapters. They’re very important.
- Make sure to follow the exercises in the order that they are placed. There is reason for this and it is based on exercise importance and your energy levels.
Chapter 5 – How To Fix Skinny Fat Weak Points In Your Physique
Building a strong, powerful, and functional body is one thing. And I think building an awesome looking body is just as important. It’s probably one of the main reasons you got into weightlifting in the first place.
Let’s start by defining what the ideal or perfect male body actually looks like. You know it when you see it. The features immediately stand out:
–The broad shoulders with bulging biceps and triceps extending below.
–A big, square chest on top of a clear V-taper that ends with a narrow waist and shredded core.
–Developed, striated legs that end in perfectly sized calves.
–While overall having very little fat, giving it a hard and dense look.
–Don’t get anxious if a body part or two are close to the ideal ratios.
Make sure you read the full article here: From skinny Fat To The Perfect Male Body
Understanding When You Should Start Looking For Weak Points
Don’t stress about this. If you’re a beginner, there’s no need to worry about weak points until at least 3 to 6 months of solid training on this program and gaining a nice amount of strength and muscle.
Right or left side bigger – Problem?
If this is the case for you (I know it was for me) opt for dumbbell variations of the key exercises.
Your body will even out over time. This is also another reason to practice good form. Most muscular imbalances are due to improper form.
Trying to add more reps on your smaller side will not do anything.
Although, you can start all dumbbell exercises with your weaker side to ensure you keep reps balanced with your stronger side.
How To Bring Up A Stubborn Muscle Group
Many make the mistake of trying to bring up too many stubborn muscle groups at a time. Or saying that “all my muscles are stubborn” and add way too much volume or training and end up getting no where.
After at least a few months of solid training (it may take longer) you’ll being to realize muscles groups that are stubborn.
Even though the workouts are structured to build the ideal body ratios, some muscle groups may need more attention.
The method to bring up stubborn parts is simple, add more volume to that particular muscle group.
But again, we can do too much and run the risk of over training.
You should only focus on 1 to 2 muscle group specialization at a time.
And ideally, they should be opposing muscle groups if you want to focus on two.
For example, this would be specializing on chest and back.
Or shoulders and biceps.
Or triceps and back.
Because chest, shoulders, and triceps are all involved with pushing. And back and biceps are involved with pushing.
And if you need to put emphasis on your legs, make sure to only add in one other muscle group if need be.
Increase the volume on a stubborn muscle group by adding one more heavy lifting set and one more higher rep set.
For your main key lifts such as:
- Incline Bench
- Weighted Chins
- Standing Press
- Bulgarian Split Squats
This is adding a fourth set of (10-12) reps
For isolation exercises, this could mean adding another mini set to rest pause or adding another set to a standard pyramid protocol.
Chapter 6 – Cardio: Can it Help Build Muscle?
Do we even need cardio? Will it help any on how to get rid of skinny fat?
Performing too much cardio can be the very reason you wound up skinny fat.
Now with cardio still being optional, here are the best types of cardio while muscle building and aiming to lose that last bit of stubborn body fat.
Walking, in general, is great for your health. That is the main reason I am talking about it now.
I now like to go for walks to clear my mind or even listen to audiotapes. Just to take a break from the day you know?
I encourage you to do the same. It’s nice for a change.
Aiming for 8k to 10k steps per day is the sweet spot. That will also greatly improve the quality of your sleep as well.
I have been including one day each week that I will run about 4-6 sprints. They are seriously a game-changer for transforming skinny fat.
Sprints also have been shown to raise testosterone. And after looking at Olympic sprinter’s physiques, I figured I’d throw a few in my regime.
Make sure to warm up properly before trying to go all out.
My routine is just taking a rest day and running 4-6, 40-yard sprints of about 70% to 90% intensity.
HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
Now here is where you may be crossing some boundaries. HIIT is comprised of moderate and high intensity level intervals.
Which can be performed on a track, elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc.
You can also think of it as sprinting for 15 seconds and walking for 45 seconds. And repeating for 10-20 minutes.
The reason I said beware of boundaries is because we don’t want to perform too much and lose our surplus in calories or hinder our strength gains.
My only recommendation to use HIIT is for those who gain fat easily.
Make sure you are tracking your calories accordingly.
- Stick to only 1-2 HIIT workouts per week.
- Keep them in between 10-15 minutes.
- You can do these after your workouts or on rest days.
Overall, it is important to keep cardio to a minimum when trying to add strength and muscle. We must keep our calorie amount in check.
But at the same time, it is equally important to get in some physique activity such as walking or a few sprints for good measure.
If you’re having a super difficult time gaining weight, you may need to consider dropping and excess physical activity for a little.
Chapter 7 – Benefits of a Great Workout Partner
After going through my fitness journey all by myself. I would suggest this as a last resort. The power of a great workout partner can make all the difference.
- You will push each other
- Keep each other committed
- And you will keep each other motivated
So on from there.
And of course, it’s always safe to lift with a spotter. Please take my word on that one. Failing on incline bench by yourself is a lesson learned!
Although, having a bad workout partner is worse than having none at all.
Choosing the right training partner may be a very difficult task, but very worth it in the long run.
How to find the right workout partner?
First, whether it is your friend, or family member, make sure they have similar goals as you.
This may be the time where you need to politely educate a friend properly.
Better yet, you can share TRAIN EAT LIVE with them! How cool would it be if your friend learned our training approach, got on the same mindset, set similar goals, and now you two are hitting the same workouts!
That’s truly how you get rid of skinny fat, with that extra accountability.
So it simply comes down to finding someone you enjoy being around and can work well with. If they desire similar goals, such as building muscle and strength. Then educate them on the proper training principles. Don’t force it on them though. It just may not be their time yet.
If they aren’t on a similar path as you, or even worse, they are uncommitted, or unmotivated…drop them.
Their bad habits will become contagious.
Lifting by yourself can be just as productive. Make sure you bring some good music, get in the zone and kill it! As well, don’t be afraid to ask for a spotter when you need it.
Chapter 8 – How To Track Your Progress If You’re Skinny Fat
Take a moment to step back. You have been doing a lot of reading so far and taking a lot of new information in on how to get rid of skinny fat.
You took the time to read this ultimate guide on transforming your body from skinny fat to muscular…
I know it will give you extraordinary results.
Only if you do 3 things.
Track your progress, give maximum effort, and stay consistent.
This is why so many people fail to see incredible results and build the body of their dreams and stay skinny fat.
You need to hold yourself accountable and trust yourself.
Stop making excuses, do what this guide says. This is how you will rise above and build a truly muscular physique.
Bringing you new outlooks on life, self-respect, discipline, confidence, and so much more.
It is what you wanted in the first place or you would not be reading this course right now…
Don’t allow yourself to fall off the wagon. It is okay to be strict, a little obsessive even, until you get the hang of things. But as of now, there are changes that need to happen.
Do what needs to be done.
On another note, tracking your progress is the only way to know if what you are doing is actually working or not.
Track all of the following data:
I suggest creating an excel chart. A notebook and pen also work very well.
Workout Routine –
Every weight used. Every rep lifted. On every exercise needs to be documented.
This is going to keep you help accountable for your actions, as well as disciplined.
This should also excite you! If you happened to count ahead…by following the rep schemes I talked about along with RPT… You can add 10-15 pounds to your key lifts PER MONTH!
Imagine taking your incline bench from 100 pounds to 160 pounds over the course of 6 months. Your physique will absolutely transform! Same goes for your other exercises.
It is very possible, only if you are consistent and get in your 3 workouts per week and always strive for that little strength improvement. They add up over time.
Tracking your diet is as important as tracking your lifts. You won’t be making those insane strength gains if you are not eating the proper surplus of calories.
On the flip side, you can even ruin your physique with too much fat gain.
Make sure you get a calorie tracking app or use an online tool.
Waist and Body Weight –
Track your waist measurement and body weight once a week to make sure it is not increasing too quickly. Measure your waist at belly button level, without flexing or pushing out.
Weigh yourself at the same time each morning after use of the bathroom.
With body weight, the sweet spot is gaining about .5 pounds to 1 pound per week. You then know you are gaining nearly pure muscle.
Adjust as needed. If you are gaining more, then you know you are gaining too much body fat. If you aren’t hitting that sweet spot, bump up your calories by 100-200 or so and monitor again.
Progress Pictures and Body Parts –
You can measure and take these once a month. This will give you more accurate results without driving you crazy.
It is also very awesome seeing the progress you are making and having pictures to document the experience from skinny fat to muscular!
If you need a refresher on how and where to take body part measurements, remember they were mentioned at the beginning of this course.
Progress pictures will last a lifetime. MAKE SURE YOU TAKE THEM. I would also love to show off your hard work on the website as well! 🙂
Take for example my 1 on 1 client Felix!
Interested in working with me 1 on 1 to accomplish your fitness goals? Click here to learn more about my coaching program.
I recommend taking these pictures:
- Front view relaxed
- Front view with flexed abs and double bicep pose
- Back view relaxed
- Back view with double bicep pose
- Side view with flexed biceps
- Side view with flexed triceps
Take your before pictures RIGHT NOW! Get them out of the way before you forget and before you start your new regime.
Again, you need to track your progress. It is the only way to know if what you are doing is working or not and to go from skinny fat to lean and muscular.
It actually makes me cringe hearing guys in the gym not knowing how much weight they are going to lift and just lifting on “how they feel.” That’s how you get no results.
Track your stuff.
Chapter 9 – Goals & Expectations
Setting goals that motivate and inspire you is what is going to keep your engine running until you hit the finish line to Conquer being skinny fat.
You must set truly inspiring goals for yourself.
No one wants to work their ass off for mediocre results.
You know who the people are with weak fitness goals. They are the ones who show up to the gym on occasion. Complain about being there.
Go through half-assed sets.
Wonder aimlessly from machine to machine.
And then have the nerve to ask why they haven’t gotten any results after giving up.
Now I must ask….
WHAT FIRES YOU UP!?!
Why did you read this guide in the first place?
Not because you just wanted to learn how to get rid of skinny fat. Well…that can still be a great reason 🙂
When I was skinny fat. I was teased, made fun of, and questioned if I had an eating disorder.
Things like that sparked my fire to drive my fitness journey.
Take a minute and start to think about those things…
I also do what I do because I want to live a long, healthy, and disease-free life.
I want to be fully functional and active in my 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond.
And yes, I will admit, I just want to look and feel sexy.
I want to be able to look in a mirror and smile, patting myself on the back for my hard work.
There is nothing wrong with having goals like that either.
The point is to find what truly drives and inspires you.
Then taking that reason why and riding it to the finish line without giving up.
- Where you are now?
- Current body part measurements?
- Your current weight measurement?
- Where do you want to be in 6 months?
- How you are going to get there?
To give you some ideas…
Remember NO HOLDING BACK!
Here’s one of my favorite goal setting methods for training:
I use the 10x Rule.
I set goals to add 10 pounds to my key exercises. It’s small enough that it can be done in a short amount of time but also big enough that you will need to push yourself.
When you hit there 10 lb increments, reward yourself in your favorite way. Add 10 more pounds and get right back at it!
Here, I wanted to share some fitness standards in which you need to strive for.
The closer you get, the more muscular and stronger you will become.
Exercise Strength Standards –
Incline Barbell Bench Press
1.2x bodyweight for 5 reps
Weighted Chin Ups
50% of bodyweight attached for 5 reps
Standing Overhead Barbell Press
0.85x bodyweight for 5 reps
Bulgarian Split Squats
Weighted with 50lbs for 5 reps
Chapter 10 – Final Thoughts On How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat
Sticking With It – Even When It’s Tough
Remember when you slip up, you did not fail
We are only human.
It is what we do ‘after’ we slip up that matters most with our success. You also cannot beat yourself up when these things happen. That could lead to a downward spiral. Treat yourself as if you were forgiving your best friend.
Remember Your Long Term Goal In The Face of Problems
We can fall into the trap of sacrificing our long term goals for instant gratification and short-lived pleasures.
When you are faced with the decision of skipping your workout…skimping on your diet, etc., try this exercise:
Ask yourself, would you like to take a week or two off of lifting?
Most of the time, the thought of skipping that long and realizing the damage that could do on your progress makes you get to the gym.
The same goes with your diet for muscle building. If you aren’t going to track your calories for a surplus one day…
Ask yourself, would you like to eat in a calorie deficit all week?
Of course not! We are trying to build muscle! That little trick of thinking of the long term goal will help tremendously with keeping you on track.
Action Steps To Get Started
We will touch on why this is so important and what causes us to forget our long term goals in a moment. The most important thing we can do to see results is stay consistent long enough to beat skinny fat.
1) Take your before pictures and set up what you need to track everything
2) Find your calorie surplus
3) Lay out your workouts
4) Study the material more
If you learn to get each day right…
Each workout right…
You’ll soon start getting the weeks right.
And then the months right.
Then the years.
You’ll continue to hit your goals, and your skinny fat to muscular physique will be starring right back at you in the mirror before you know it.
Start small. Keep going.
Thank you again, for taking the time to read this guide.
Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
The beginning of your new body and life.
I can’t wait to hear about your progress!
I know you can.
Like always, if you have any general questions about this course, please come ask.
I look forward to seeing your skinny fat transformation!
TRANSFORM From Skinny-Fat To Lean & Muscular
TRANSFORM From Skinny-Fat To Lean & Muscular
About Trent McCloskey
I'm Trent, the creator of Train. Eat. Live. My mission is to empower people around the world to take control of their bodies and change their entire life’s course through fitness.
Interested in working with me 1 on 1? Click here.