Ways for Skinny Guys to Gain Body Mass

If you are one of those guys who can eat whatever you want and still lose weight or barely stay at the very lean weight you are at, take heart. You can safely gain body mass with a balanced, higher-calorie, higher-protein diet and resistance training.
Avoid binging and lifting too heavy too soon: that can lead to unhealthy eating patterns and muscular imbalances. Give yourself at least four weeks to see a difference.

Eat More Protein Daily

Eat at least half your ideal body weight in protein in grams. For example, if you weigh 145 pounds and stand six feet tall and would rather weigh 155 pounds, consume 75 high-quality grams of protein a day. Follow the sensible guidelines in the nutritional matrix called My Food Pyramid, designed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It recommends lean proteins, legumes and whole grains, eggs, nuts and low-fat dairy foods. For example, a three-egg omelet has 21 grams of protein, as does a cup of Greek non-fat yogurt or four ounces of ahi tuna.

Eat Several Smaller Meals

Eat several smaller meals and nutrient-dense snacks throughout the day to boost your daily calories and to make it easier to digest. This will also keep your blood sugar level. For example, consume “mini meals” that have protein every two hours. Eat half a tuna sandwhich on whole-grain bread. Two hours later, haave a milk or soy or almond shake with rice or hemp protein. Snacks can be a quarter cup of unsalted almonds or walnuts and two brown rice cakes slathered with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.

Resistance Training Three Times a Week

Use an intelligent resistance training program to build mass. Newbies can start with lifting three to four times a week. For example, work the chest, back and abs on Monday with three sets of 10 to 12 reps of 20 to 25 pound dumbbells for incline chest press, flys, bicep curls and push-ups to muscular fatigue. Tuesday can be legs and abs with lunges, leg press, hamstring curls and leg extensions at 30 to 40 pounds for three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Do crunches, 30 to 45 minutes of cardio daily for spinal stability and heart and lung health. Record your workouts in a notebook and measure with a tape measure the girth of your biceps, forearms, chest, waist, thighs and calves in inches to see gains.

About this Author

Sava Tang Alcantara has been a writer and editor since 1988, working as a writer and editor for health publications such as Let\’s Live Magazine and Whole Life Times. Alcantara specializes in health and fitness and is a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. She does volunteer work regularly and has taught free public yoga classes in Santa Monica, Calif., since 2002.