I’m Skinny Fat! I Don’t Know What To Do!
Calm down and think. Let’s look at this problem. It’s very, very common, especially amongst guys with slightly smaller bone structures (I would just about include myself in this category), yet “higher” body fat percentages. They clearly aren’t that lean, and have slightly chubbier faces.
You’re not masculine, as you have no muscle. Yet you’re not “attractive” either, due to higher body fat levels. Two big problems. Which one should you attack first?
Get Ripped, Or Get Jacked?
Ultimately, it’s up to you, and some guys will value muscle over low body fat. Generally speaking, I’ve noticed that:
- Smaller/shorter guys
- Guys who have been skinny most of their lives, and
- Guys who were picked on when they were younger
all tend to value gaining muscle as being more important than having lower body fat percentages. They don’t mind having larger waistlines and puffier faces if it means their arms, chest and traps are significantly bigger.
Whereas guys who are naturally a thicker set, and/or more masculine, and/or more self-confident, tend to value fat loss as being more important.
Therefore it really is up to you.
If you really want to lose fat, read this and get shredded in a sustainable fashion. You should be able to gain some muscle too if you’re a newbie.
Getting shredded and gaining a bit of muscle at the same time is an incredible feeling. Nothing beats it. I’m very jealous of you 😉
How Much Muscle Can You Gain Whilst Shredding?
As a beginner, you can get both to some degree, for a while. I DO NOT suggest aiming for this, as I believe most of your efforts such be focusing on one thing, but the option is definitely there for you to do both.
The problem with telling guys to do both is that they mess up their nutrition when you say this. They eat at around maintenance calories, which is fine, but it’s not optimising either muscle growth, nor is it causing any real fat loss.
In the long-term, I believe you are better off prioritising one. Then later switching emphasis. For your first year, focus on getting shredded. Or focus on getting a lot bigger.
But in terms of results as a beginner, skinny-fat guy, you can potentially re-comp for about six months to one year, and get the following results:
Gain 10-15 pounds of muscle + lose a load of fat, if you focus on losing fat.
I’ve not speicified the amount of fat you can lose because over a 6-12 month period it’s more or less limitless. But the more fat you lose, the less muscle you will gain. Period. Just be aware of this. And if you do this for your first 6-12 months of weight training, muscle will be a lot harder to gain afterwards.
So you may have only gained about 10 pounds of muscle in your first year of training, and now it becomes three times as hard to gain any further muscle, forever. Whereas if you lean-bulked during this first year, you could have gained 20 pounds of muscle before hitting the “wall” of difficulty, if you like.
You will have a FAR bigger and better muscular base if you lean-bulk during your first year of proper weight training. This foundation will be with you until you hit the ageing process in your late thirties, usually.
Which brings me to the point…
Skinny-Fat Men Over 40 – What To Do?
Most Men Over 40 aren’t overly concerned with gaining muscle – the majority want to lose weight. If you want more muscle, simply lean-bulk and enjoy the muscle and strength gains you get – 5-20 pounds; depending on how over the “40 barrier” you are.
Now, if you’re like most skinny-fat Men Over 40, you will want to lose the timber. You will still want to gain muscle, we all do if we’re being honest, but the fat loss side of things will be of a greater priority.
In this case, realise that diet will be at least 80% of the fat loss equation. Training becomes more important when lean-bulking, but the goal of training during a fat loss phase is always to maintain muscle. If you’re a newb and you end up gaining muscle, great. But the goal is to maintain.
Because your diet is 80% of the equation, you’ve got to do the following in this order:
- Figure out your daily maintenance calories
- Eat at 90% of this number so you gradually lose weight
- Implement a weekly cardio routine, and STICK TO IT
- Implement a weekly, full-body training routine
Training full body and only focusing on compound movements will free up more time for cardio – great if you’re a busy guy. Also, if you’re skinny fat, you’re weak all over – you don’t have any “weak points” to work on. Therefore in my strong opinion, you should only focus on:
- Military press
and other variations. You don’t have to do all of them, but the point is to focus on exercises that give you fantastic bang for your buck.
There you go – what to do if you’re skinny fat. Younger men, more often than not will be better off gaining the muscle foundation that will stick with them for a long time. Men Over 40 are more likely to focus on losing fat.
Focus on ONE. Not both. However, by focusing one one, you normally get a healthy dose of both if you’re a relative beginner. Enjoy 🙂
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