Skinny to Muscle Cover

This is it.

 

The complete Skinny to Muscle walkthrough of the exact principles, I used for gaining 40 pounds of lean muscle over the course of 7 years.

 

No, not in 12 weeks, as they preach on various crazy bodybuilding sites.

 

Over the course of years of dedicated training, healthy diet and persistence to keep grinding. Here’s a 1-year-old picture of my upper-body:

 

Go directly to Supplements

 

Shirtless Rued

 

Nothing crazy, but I’ve gone a long way from how I used to look – scrawny, slouching and weak.

 

If you are a skinny guy like I used to be, this Skinny to Muscle guide is for you. I want to teach you the basic principles of what I did to gain muscle and get the look of a man instead of a boy.

 

The guide is actually published as an e-book, but I thought “why not just share it here on Tallsome, so people can be inspired and use it for free in their own training?”

 

beginners-bodybuilding-exercise-guide

beginners-bodybuilding-exercise-guide

 

I have divided my Skinny to Muscle guide into different chapters:

 

First part of the Skinny to Muscle guide is my very practical run-down of the best basic exercises to incorporate into your training. I’m giving you 3 tips on each exercise, as I’ve found it’s what you can remember and actually use while training.

 

I didn’t want to overload you with a complete professional walkthrough of each exercise in depth because many of these exercises have to be learned.

 

And my take on learning the exercises is describing 3 things to keep in mind while doing them, so you don’t injure yourself.

 

injured-muscle

 

If you just keep the listed 3 things in mind while training, you should be in a pretty good place to ‘feel’ the rest of it and achieve that muscle learning or muscle memory that you need, in order to fully master say the squat, deadlift or pull-up.

 

Second part of the Skinny to Muscle guide is about food. Food is maybe the most important cornerstone of any training regime.

 

bodybuilding-food

 

Training, food, and recovery – those are the very basic pillars of any training program, and you really have to understand the importance and purpose of each pillar to accelerate your muscle growth.

 

Food is so important, because nutrition are your body’s bricks and mortar. You cannot build a house without bricks and mortar, and it is equally impossible to build muscle, if you don’t give your muscles enough nutrition to grow from.

 

There are some basic principles concerning food that I will walk you through, so you can take this knowledge and apply it in any way you want.

 

This also means that I won’t give you any strict diet or health plan. I won’t tell you what and when to eat.

 

What I WILL do is give you some principles to guide you and have you understand the underlying mechanics of what works.

 

I’ve read one too many articles about food and nutrition, and half the times, you spend an hour reading it, and the next day, it’s more or less gone from your memory, because it doesn’t relate to real-world stuff.

 

I promote simple principles around food and nutrition, as I do with my 3 things to remember when teaching exercises. The basic principles I promote concerning food is to eat a lot, eat often and eat healthily.

 

More on that later, when we hit the Food chapter in this guide.

 

Third Part of this guide on how to go from skinny to muscle, I share with you my favourite Supplements, what they do and how I take them.

 

I’m a big believer in eating healthy and covering the basics of what nutrition you need through real food. But I also don’t think, that I would have gotten to where I am today if I hadn’t supplemented my diet with whey protein, vitamins, fish oil etc.

 

It’s just way to time consuming and expensive to cover all your dietary needs through your natural diet every day. Eating that varied is tough to keep doing in a busy life with school, job, friends, family and all that.

 

So a very convenient way to stay on top of your daily needs is to buy supplements that are available for quite cheap on different webshops.

 

I will walk you through the stuff I eat, and why these have become my favorites. This has a lot to do with taste, price and nutritional values.

 

In the last part of the Skinny to Muscle guide, I’m gonna talk about mindset. Mindset is so extremely important if you want to succeed with your fitness goals. Or any other goals, you have in your life.

 

Without becoming all coachy, I believe that a lot of the planning, execution, preparation, dedication, endurance, and perseverance you put into your fitness is one-to-one transferrable to other aspects of life.

 

Fitness and strength training is such a great way to build character by setting a goal and deciding to work towards that goal for years and years.

 

The section on mindset in this Skinny to Muscle guide will focus on how to push your limits while in the gym and how to overcome your mind’s urge to quit before the body is exhausted.

 

As you will soon learn, I am a big believer in training to failure in each set. There are a lot of discussion on the topic, but I can only conclude that training to failure has worked wonders for my physique.

 

Did I remember to mention that these tips are all based on my own experience and are not per se rooted in a specific branch of literature or science on weight training? Well, now I have 🙂

 

Let’s get to it!

Skinny to Muscle

Exercises

Only use the best exercises over and over again – the fancy machines are a waste of time

There is a vast amount of sources to get inspired by, but also to get misled by. Many of the things you find on YouTube and on the bodybuilding sites are, if not misleading, then a derailed attempt at coming up with new or innovative ways to train.

 

In the eternal hunt for the secret exercise that transforms you into a machine, one comes across a lot of weird suggestions, but such an exercise is however nowhere to find.

 

There is a ton of exercises for each part of the body but forget about them all for a second.

 

You only need a handful of exercises for each body part. The key is to keep increasing the weight, as you get stronger.

 

What?! Is that it?! No percentages, no tables of progression, and no preaching about principles of overload and whatnot?

 

No, not this time. What you get here is what you need and nothing more than that.

 

Feel free to pick your favorites, alter the order of exercises, and tweak them to make them your own.

 

But the main structure of this school of working out is not in question, as it has been tested and proven for decades.

Your body is your own – and therefore no one can tell you how fast to progress or how exactly to go about in the gym.

 

The right progression is when you are strong enough to move on to heavier weights.

 

A simple advice on progression follows later on.

 

And remember good form! It’s not about the weights; it’s about the relative stress of the muscle, you want to train. I use something I like to call The Stretch n’ Squeeze Principle.

 

Basically, it’s all about using the entire range of motion that your joints can travel.

 

No need for more than 8 muscle groups

The body can be divided into eight muscle groups. For each muscle group, you will get a number of exercises you use to build your body into a shredded machine.

 

Maybe you will wonder why there are not 10 or 20 different muscle groups to work on.

 

That is because if you work with the following exercises they will focus on a specific muscle group in the best way possible, and that means that the muscles surrounding and supporting the muscle working are worked at the same time.

 

Therefore you do not need a dozen of exercises for every little muscle in your body.

 

In the following, I will walk you through the muscle groups and give you the All-time Favorite Exercises to make your progression skyrocket.

LEGS

Leg Muscles Rued

Basically, the legs consist of three parts: The thighs (front and back) and the calves. You get two essential leg exercises to work the front of your thighs and your calves. The back of the thigh, also called hamstrings, will be trained from the dead lift under back exercises.

SQUAT

King of legs is the squat. This exercise is the heaviest and hardest exercise I know, but it is totally worth the work. As with many things in life, what you put in is what you get out. Therefore, a heavy squat is worth incorporating as a very central focus point of your general workout. It is also said, that the activation of huge muscle groups like the legs release a natural growth hormone out into your bloodstream. In that way, the squat will fuel your entire body and add gains all over.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Press through your heels rather than your forefoot.
  • Keep your chest high at all times in a ‘proud’ posture with the shoulders drawn back.
  • Going deep with the right amount of weight is more beneficial than going half way with a ton

ONE-LEGGED CALF RAISE

Good calves make your entire legs look shaped. Use this exercise to get the nice tone that shows in shorts.

Find some kind of object to leverage your foot above the floor. Stand on one foot and push yourself up and down in a slow and controlled movement. Rep range is a bit higher here than I normally recommend; an example is to do 20, 20 +15, 15 + 10, 10 for each foot without any rest between. But if you’re stronger than that, just go to failure on one foot, hit failure on the other, and start over with your first foot without enjoying any rest in between sets.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Go deep and high – full range of motion is key
  • Enjoy the eccentric phase – it is for free
  • Keep your knees still to avoid using momentum and strength from the bigger leg muscles

BACK

A broad and toned back makes the t-shirts sit well and helps you keep a nice and sound posture throughout the day. One piece of advice that goes for all back exercises is to draw your shoulders backwards and down. This is to take the pressure off the spine in exercises like deadlift, bent-over barbell, and rows. Do your back exercises before any wings and biceps exercises to have a good grip and pulling strength in the bigger and more demanding back exercises.

DEAD LIFT

The dead lift is a very fundamental exercise. It will build your back from ass to neck and works a wide array of muscles. Also, the deadlift will build you some serious hamstrings – the back of your legs. These muscles support the back in drawing the weight from the floor and up into a proud posture with your chest held high.

Use some pads for better grip, since you will rapidly increase the weight of your dead lift. This requires a lot of grip strength, thus building great underarms that can hold on to the bar.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Use mixed grip for better grip strength
  • Extend your legs and back simultaneously – not first one and then the other
  • Keep a curved back at all times – never do a rep where the upper body is falling forwards

BICEPS

The bicep is the muscle that people choose to show off when demonstrating their strength. It is the classic sign of physical strength, and a big bicep looks really good and supports all the pulling exercises. It is important to note that biceps only account for 1/3 of the arm size, so be sure to work that triceps as well.

DUMBELL CURL

This exercise is executed by standing up holding one dumbbell in each hand. Turn your hands outwards and draw through your biceps to lift the weights simultaneously. Turning your thumbs outwards with your palms facing up, you concentrate the force on the biceps, targeting these muscles as much as possible.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep your elbows aligned with or in front of your hips.
  • Full range of motion is the direct way to a long, thick and athletic biceps.
  • Keep a straight back, high chest and no swaying back and forth.

PREACHER CURL

This exercise is the same as dumbbell curls, but you just hold your hands differently to involve the muscles of the underarms. Instead of palms facing upwards, you will now want to hold like if it was a sack, a joystick, or a dumbbell in a preacher curl. That means turning your palms a little inward so that the dumbbells are vertical instead of horizontal.

Do this exercise directly after the normal curl to squeeze out that last juice of the biceps.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep elbows and weights in front of you.
  • Don’t drop the weights on the way down from a rep – use the negative phase
  • Do as many as possible directly after normal curls – using the same weights

WINGS

Wing Muscles Rued

One of the most important features of getting that desired, athletic V-shaped body is the wings. They sit under and behind the armpits and allow you to drag yourself upwards with help from the biceps. Big wings won’t make you fly, but they will give you a broader back, a shaped body, and a strong pull-up.

PULL-UPS

The pull-up is the king of wing exercises. It is a hard exercise that levers your body from the ground and up over the bar that you are holding on to. A reason to love the pull-up is that it is a very natural and basic movement that will save your life when hanging from a tree or from a cliff side. Being able to lift your own body weight is overall satisfying at a very basic level.

Three things to keep in mind

  • A wider grip targets wings more than a closer grip biceps-involving pull-up.
  • Try not to arch your back forward – keep a straight back with the shoulders pulled back and down.
  • Don’t relax your shoulders in the hanging position – lift yourself up a little bit by drawing down your shoulders and keeping your neck free.

If you’re a small guy, it will be easier than if you’re a big fellow. The starting point for those, who cannot do pull-ups is – no, not only pull-downs as many advise – negative pull-ups.

NEGATIVE PULL-UPS

Negative pull-ups are a great aid to either start doing normal pull-ups or to just squeeze the last juice out of a set of pull-ups. The word negative refers to the negative phase in which the force is applied, the way from being up high to slowly letting your body descent towards the floor. Jump back up or use a chair to get up again, and repeat until your negative phase goes too fast because you’re exhausted. Learn to love this way of finishing a set – it is a very simple way to hit your wings and biceps a little extra.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Descent slowly – let the descent last 3 seconds.
  • Continue the negative movement until the end of your range of motion – until you hang.
  • Keep a proud posture – chest high, shoulders back, chin up.

CHEST

The chest is a favored muscle group to train – simply because it feels delicious and doesn’t hurt as much as e.g. the squat. I am using three exercises to build a full chest from shoulder to shoulder. The three exercises are bench press, incline bench press and cable cross – as simple as that.

BENCH PRESS

My personal favorite exercise in the world. Lying on the bench, shoulders back, and thrusting the weight towards the ceiling is a very satisfying feeling. Go for good form, meaning proper technique – and then loads of weight. The bench press works your overall chest and is the best base for any chest workout. So make friends with the bench and take your workout back to basics.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep your feet shoulder width apart, flat on the floor and use them only for stabilizing.
  • Touch down the bar on your chest around your solar plexus – not all way up at your neck.
  • Remember to breath – blow out your air at the top of the movement

INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS

Why is this exercise so important to do? It will save you from a weird, hanging chest where all muscle is located in the lower area – the pectoralis major. Instead of that, we want a full, squared Superman chest that goes from the lower to upper chest. This athletic chest is build through great focus on upper chest. The upper chest is important in giving you the boundaries around the whole chest-pack. So go full range with good weights and set yourself apart from the other guys.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Normally, two settings upwards from a flat bench is the best when targeting upper chest.
  • You can go super deep with dumbbells – do it, but don’t overstretch your joints
  • Feel the muscles working – squeeze upper chest when the dumbbells fly high

TRICEPS

The triceps muscles account for 2/3 of the total volume of your arms. Many will focus on biceps, but killing your triceps is crucial for getting big guns. Your t-shirts will love you for going hard when working on the triceps – and the pump you get from triceps is wonderful. When you train this part of your arms, the extension of the arm is what matters. Any type of extending the arm from bent to straight is putting stress on the triceps, but I still have some favorite exercises I’d like to share with you.

FRENCH PRESS

Find a bench, get a curl bar and some weight. Now you are ready for the king of triceps workouts. The general idea is to lie on your back and bring the bar from just behind your head to a place above your face by stretching your arms. When doing the French press, you want to lie pretty high on a flat bench, meaning that your head is very close to the edge of the bench. This allows you to lower the weight down behind your head and get a big range of motion from down there and all the way up over your face. Remember a good grip – you don’t want to lose any teeth on this one.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep your elbows in, making them point towards the ceiling – not outwards.
  • End exercise early above your face, not above the chest – this keeps the stress on triceps constant.
  • Let your body rest mainly on your upper back – don’t stem downwards the bench with your head or neck.

DIPS

This is an exercise that, when executed in good form, is a very powerful mass builder. Not only will you grow a serious set of deep-cut triceps – you will also develop your chest and shoulders during this guy. Find some parallel handlebars that are pretty narrow – close to your hips, and allow you to move up and down. But hey – every gym has those standard dip racks, so walk over there. I almost didn’t put this exercise in here, because it can harm and injure you, if you make mistakes like 1) going too deep, putting a lot of stress on the elbow joint, 2) damage your hands if you don’t use gloves or pads, because your entire weight is on your palms, and you need those hands for a lot of other training, or 3) again, going too deep will also stress the front part of your shoulder, which takes a long time to recover from once the damage is done (believe me). Therefore, the next tips are very important to keep in mind at all times, doing the dips. After all, dips are great, but be aware of the ways this exercise can set you back.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Don’t lower yourself too far down – aim for a right angle (90 degrees) between your upper and lower arm.
  • Get something to support your hands and maybe your wrists
  • Look straight forward and breath – breathe out when you’re at the top of the movement

SHOULDERS

For the shoulder, the military press and the lateral raise are the two princes that will pack on clay to your width. Having strong shoulders is important when wanting the V-shaped athletic body. The shoulders are the top point of the V, and they must be the broadest part of our bodies.

With just a little effort, you can round up your shoulders instead of having the sharp, weak ones that show in a t-shirt, a shirt or a tank top. The shoulders consist of three different parts, of which you must work all of them to get powerful and rounded shoulders. The two exercises described here work the front and side part of the shoulder region. The back part of the shoulder is worked in back exercises, like the row.

MILITARY PRESS

The Military Press is a wonderful exercise, taking us back to basics of what shoulder strength is all about – leveraging stuff from low to high.

The basic exercise is performed with a barbell, some weight, and maybe a pair of pads for the hands. Stand with the barbell resting on your upper chest and thrust it into the air. This is the basic movement. It’s normal to be strong to start out with, killing the first couple of sets, and then suddenly failing on the third or fourth. When this happens, you can squeeze out the last power by supporting the lift a little with the legs. This is down by bending slightly and then doing a little jump simultaneously with the shoulder press.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep a tight core – keep a straight back, tighten your bum and push hips a little forward.
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Have your elbows underneath your hands so the bar doesn’t fall forwards.

LATERAL RAISE

This exercise targets the outer part of your shoulders, which really adds to your broadness. Start out with light weights if you’re new to this one. Choosing a weight that is too heavy ruins the exercise because you have to use the momentum from the entire body.

Remember to lift the weights high and nearly straight arms. And as always – take your time on the way from high to low and learn to love that eccentric phase where the magic happens. “Time Under Tension” is a term to explore if interested, but the main concept is that the muscle needs to be stressed for longer time and throughout the entire movement. So enjoy the stretching and stressing of the negative phase on your way down.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Go for that very proud posture with a high chest, shoulders back and looking straight ahead.
  • Pay attention not to fall forward, rounding your upper back
  • Have your pinky be your hand’s highest point when holding the weights horizontally

ABS

Those abs, those abs. A lot of guys and girls consider this muscle group the very most important of them all. Having great abs takes the focus off of everything else when the shirt comes off. The reason why is hard to tell – I think one of the reasons is that shredded abs or so hard to get and maintain. The muscle build up is one thing – the low fat percentage is another. You can have super strong abs, but if you have just a little fat on the belly, the boundaries between the abdominal muscles fade. A common saying goes, “A six-pack is achieved in the kitchen.”

A simple but efficient approach to working the abs is to split the ab region into two parts, where you have it all covered without doing any weird twists, rolls or flips. The two areas to cover when doing an ab workout are the regular front region and the sides.

To get the desired six-pack, you need strong muscles at the front of your stomach. These muscles are trained by contracting your abs from the breastbone down towards your hips. In the following, you will get three exercises to skyrocket the development of your ab muscles.

THE WHEEL

The ab wheel – a wheel with levers on each side – is a very powerful tool to get strong abs. The exercise is done by sitting on your knees, grabbing the wheel and rolling away from your knees as far as possible and then back again. Sounds easy, but it really is hard and you have to keep some things in mind when doing the exercise.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Keep a straight back – don’t let your stomach hang down when rolling outwards.
  • Keep straight wrists – a lot of stress is put on the hands, so don’t twist your wrists.
  • Look down at the floor when rolling out – it will ensure that your head is an extension of your spine instead of looking up and straining your neck.

WEIGHTED SIT-UPS

Some people can do hundreds of regular sit-ups. That isn’t what we are aiming for when building bigger muscles. Endurance is great, but not in this context. We are aiming at a rep range of about 10, and to fail at the 10th rep, we need to apply extra weight to our sit-ups. Therefore, you find yourself a weight plate that you can do 10 and only 10 sit-ups with – holding the plate behind your head.

There is no good reason to treat the abdominal muscles any different than the rest of the body’s muscles. So there is no need for the usual higher rep range – go hard and go heavy.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Lock your feet underneath something or find a bench made for sit-ups.
  • Do not use the weight to pull your head upwards – just hold it towards your neck.
  • Full range of motion is key – touch down with upper back and go all the up, touching your elbows on your thighs.

LEG RAISES

Leg raises work your lower abs and give you a nice and athletic V-cut. Do this exercise when lying on your back on a mat. You can use the weight of your own legs and raise and lower your feet from the ground and up to a 90-degree angle. Or you apply extra weight (read: apply extra weight!) by holding a medicine ball or other object between your feet. NB: Don’t use a dumbbell because of the risk of dropping it on yourself when raising your legs.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Instead of tugging your hands in underneath your hips as many do, hold them behind your head.
  • Try to keep your lower back grounded instead of letting your back arch at the bottom of the exercise.
  • Don’t go beyond raising your legs to a 90 degrees angle where your soles point at the ceiling – nothing is achieved by exceeding this point.

SIDES

For an awesome abdominal region, the sides are as important as the front. Sides contribute to building a solid core all the way around, from your back muscles to the front of your stomach. To build the sides, you only need two great exercises. In time, you can adjust your core sessions as you like, but let these exercises be the foundation on which you build.

DUMBBELL SIDE BEND

Choose a heavy dumbbell to hold in only one of your hands. Lean over to the side of the dumbbell until you feel a stretch on the opposite side of the core. Then raise your body into the starting position and repeat.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Retain a ‘proud’ posture with your chest held high and not bending your spine.
  • Do not bend forwards or backward – aim at following a straight line when going sideways.
  • Choose heavy weights – this movement is easy if you don’t apply enough force.

OBLIQUE TWIST

Sit down on a mat with a dumbbell or even better – a medicine ball. Cross your legs and lift them a little off the ground. Lean back a little so your body forms a V, and grab your weight with both hands. Twist from side to side by rotating your upper body and tapping your weight on the floor alternately on each side of your hips.

Three things to keep in mind

  • Lean back until you feel your abs are being activated and stay there throughout the set.
  • Look straight ahead at all times even though your torso is rotating.

Adjust the movement so it feels right to you – try to target your sides and feel the muscles at work.

Now that you have your exercises covered, you need to give them all you’ve got. In the next section, you are introduced to the mental aspect of pushing yourself hard.

 

Food

Meal Prep food

As important as hitting the gym hard is food. Food is covered in short in the following section, as supplements are in the next one.

 

There are no limits of how much every fitness coach stresses the importance of food. And for a reason!

 

But let’s take a step back and forget about the hundreds of amino acids, the weigh-ins after every meal, the food logs, and the hysteria that surrounds eating for growth.

 

When the board is wiped clean, remember this sentence and let it guide your diet for growth: “Eat healthy, eat often and eat a lot!”

 

Then, the coaches will say; “Healthy is reading labels and calculating levels, often is about setting timers and ‘a lot’ is about 500 kcal above your level of equilibrium, but very hard to determine.”
Translation is needed and available.

 

What they are trying to tell us is that you need to pay them to tailor a diet for you, coaching you for discipline and measuring a range of different parameters to make basic knowledge into science and try to pinpoint the optimal level of intake by the calorie for you. Sounds expensive?

 

It is expensive, and I cannot advise you to spend your money on this. Use the money saved on food instead.

 

A simple approach to eating healthy is getting equal amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

 

Your protein intake is especially important. To be sure that you get enough protein, you can eat meat, cottage cheese, fish, cheese, nuts, and other sources of protein.

 

If all these foods are hard to find and eat, then a protein shake made with a good whey protein powder here and there is a good thing to include in your diet.

 

A fitness coach proposed to me a meal planning structure of 7 meals a day.

 

These 7 should either consist of 4 solid and 3 fluid, or 3 solid and 4 fluid. A solid meal is food as you know it – a fluid meal is a protein shake and the like.

 

Eating/drinking 7 meals may sound like a lot, and it is – but the main idea is to stay full throughout the entire day instead of eating large meals with a lot of time in between.

 

If you want to, you can use my structure as inspiration:

 

I eat breakfast (solid), drink a shake at 10 (fluid), eat lunch (solid), eat a small energizing meal an hour before working out (solid), drink a shake after working out (fluid), eat dinner (solid), and finish my day with a shake before going to bed (fluid).

 

This adds up to 4 solid meals and three fluid ones.

 

Supplements

It’s a jungle out there, and I’m sure you and your friends have encountered product labels with names like BCAA, HMB powder, N. O. pre-workout, casein, CLA, beta alanine, vitargo, glutamine, ZMA, etc.
Do not buy any of this stuff! Maybe I will be assassinated by the supplement corporations, but this I have to tell you. I don’t eat this stuff and neither do my friends – and we are actually able to grow without all that, believe it or not.

 

What you need is a healthy diet – that is the foundation of all the rest and the reason why it is called a “supplement” and not “replacement”.
When you eat healthy, often, and a lot, and you are still in doubt whether you have your needs covered, that’s when you can start to supplement.

 

I myself have tried it all for various periods of time, and I keep coming back to what works for me – three basic supplements.

 

Protein Powder

pure-whey-protein-bulkpowders

This is a very researched and proven supplement, which is protein in the form of powder.

 

The powder is added to water or milk and then shaken to a drink. Protein powder usually consists of about 80% of protein depending on the brand and kind.

 

This is a very high percentage of protein, especially when considering the low amounts of fat and sugar in it.

 

It is not very expensive if bought from an online retailer – I personally prefer protein from Bulk Powders because of the flavor and price

 

 

or MyProtein, but you can try different kinds to find your favorite.

 

myprotein banner

They often have small samples of protein powder to try before buying the bigger portions.

 

A huge guy once told me in the gym: “You cannot build a house without bricks!” – and that is a nice way to put it.

 

If you lack proteins and the diet isn’t enough, then you won’t really get fitter and bigger. Therefore, I highly recommend supplementing with good quality protein.

 

If you also have a high metabolism and burns everything that goes into your mouth, it is also a good way to add some extra calories to your diet.

 

As mentioned in Food, I drink a shake in the morning, after each workout, and at night before bed. This gives peace of mind and will have your required protein intake covered.

 

Fish Oil

super-strength-omega-3-bulkpowders

 

This is the exact supplement I’ve been taking for years now. I start every morning with swallowing one pill of multivitamin and one pill of BulkPowder’s fish oil.

 

Fish oil is scientifically proven to have various healthy impacts on your body and brain.

 

These often come in capsules that you swallow with water (or a protein shake). Try to google fish oil and read about what a wonderful thing this is.

 

I take fish oil because of these reasons – and because I know, I won’t get the recommend amounts of fish through my food during the week.

Vitamins

Complete Multivitamin Complex™

Also a very proven and basic supplement. A pill containing various vitamins ensures your overall health and gives your body the best conditions for building muscle.

 

Choose a kind that has a lot of 100%’s in it or close to a hundred percent of recommended daily intake. It will often say GDA on the label, meaning Guideline Daily Amount.

 

Mindset

 

Mental barriers

When you work out, you will face what I call ”the two barriers”.

 

These barriers are in your mind, and you will have to overcome them in order to keep going.

 

Body and mind are completely interlinked – so being able to push through your mental barriers is essential when pushing your body further.

 

First barrier

When doing a set during your workout, you will eventually feel tired towards the 7th or 8th rep, depending on the amount of weight. Many people quit at this point, feeling the muscles getting tired from the work. The first barrier is your mind saying: “I’d rather stop in order to save energy”. But this message has its origins in the ancient human mind – wanting to conserve energy for harsh times. We live in the 21st century, and the game has changed from then to now. Therefore, you want to use that energy in order to stress your muscles, which leads to growth. Overcome the first barrier, do the extra reps and do not stop when early tiredness gets to your mind.

 

Second barrier

Congratulations! Every set from now on, you will be able to push through the first barrier. That is accomplishing much more than the majority of people working out. Way too often, you’ll see people dropping the weights too early without pushing themselves. It is clear to everyone, and not at least to themselves, that they could have done a couple more reps – no problem. You know that you can! Being able to do so, breaking barrier number one, is so essential for your results. As they say: “What you put in is what you get out”.

The second barrier is a tough one. This is where I usually fail on my bad workout days. The first barrier is easy to break once you get to like the feeling of pushing yourself a little extra. The second barrier is facing you when you find yourself having done three and a half set – feeling exhausted from pushing through barrier one several times. You want to drop the weights because you think; “I’ve done a good job on this one – it must be enough”. When you hear this little voice in your head, you cannot listen! This is really what kick starts your muscle growth – pushing through barrier number two.

Chest high and chin up – pull yourself together and give it 105% in that last set. When fatigue hits you, grab some lighter weights and go to failure with these ones. It is all about crossing the line of what you initially, before picking up the weights, thought would be possible for you.

Your results are closely linked to your mindset around working out – squeeze the last juice out of your fibers, and you will be rewarded in the long run. If you managed to create a mindset of pushing through barrier two on every exercise, you will get to feel the famous ”pump” that Arnold talked about. And after your workout, you can look at yourself in the mirror, and — besides seeing your pumped up body — be satisfied with the great work your body and mind put in today.

 

Now it’s your turn!

Now you have the basic tools you need to do a complete program of working out, structuring your diet and building muscle – the easiest way possible.

For more detailed descriptions of exercises, I recommend using bodybuilding.com’s exercise guide. They have videos showing all exercises and a detailed description of each one. Look back through the exercises and try to keep the pointers in mind when hitting the gym.

You have also been given a number of tips on mental strength, eating right and supplementation, and these pointers should follow you on your entire fitness journey.

The same principles have helped me, many others and they will give you a head start into the wonderful world of fitness.

If you follow the guidelines of this Skinny to Muscle Guide, you are on your way towards building the body you want.

Thank you for reading, and I wish you the best in completing your personal fitness goals – the simple way.

4 Comments
  • Mattias
    December 28, 2016

    Good stuff! Nice mix of facts and fun little notes 🙂 Need to gain some kg myself, so I’ll try your guide this coming year. Keep it up!

    • Rued
      March 26, 2017

      Yeah, use it as a source of inspiration and motivation even – I hope you found something of use to your training 🙂

  • Colin
    February 19, 2017

    Thanks, this was really informational and helpful!

    • Rued
      March 26, 2017

      That’s so good to hear – and why I wrote it in the first place 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions regarding training as a tall guy, supplementation or anything else.

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