One of the best ways to change your life, is to change your body.
I used to be a weak, skinny guy.
See above, left side.
I exercised regularly, but it was mostly cardio and kick boxing. I wasn’t muscular at all.
But I never cared about being huge. I didn’t know that going from skinny to muscular would be such an amazing change!
Back then I thought I had a great body!
Now I am looking at my old photos and wonder: What the fuck was I thinking? Where is the great body?
Haha, I know.
It’s funny to see your old-self and realize that you looked ridiculous. But it also feels amazing to see the progress you’ve made!
UPDATE 30.11.15 Keep reading or Get My FREE Workout Routine for maximum gains!
The only thing I had back then was a relatively low body fat.
Because of that I was getting some compliments about my abs – and that made me feel confident.
I thought that when you have defined abs you have an awesome body.
But I had a Justin Bieber like body. (That’s not a nice body)
I was 152 lbs of skin and bones and I admit I couldn’t do a single pull up.
Barely 6-7 with strict form.
Ok, maybe you have heard that story a hundred times. A bony guy transformed to brawny.
No big deal, right?
The problem is that:
So Many People Struggle To Go From Skinny To Muscular
The most often excuses are:
- Blaming your genetics and believing you are a hardgainer.
- Saying that you have a really strong metabolism that doesn’t allow you to get weight. Meaning that you tend to eat a lot, but you can’t build muscle.
I was telling these lies to myself too.
Back then, I thought it was the truth.
I was even bragging that I don’t get weight easily because I thought my metabolism is great.
I said that I will never have to worry about becoming a fat slob.
However, I was wrong.
Your metabolism & genetics have little to do with gaining weight, whether this weight is counted in pounds of muscle or pounds of fat.
Neither genetics nor your metabolism can keep you skinny. Forget that nonsense.
I gained 38 lbs in one year of training and you can do it too!
You can go from skinny to muscular. And it’s not as hard as you might think.
Is Transforming Your Body From Skinny To Muscular Difficult?
I will have to answer this question with another question.
Is there something worth of achieving that it’s easy?
Of course not.
Nobody feels proud about something that he did without putting in the smallest effort.
When it comes to transforming your body and going from skinny to muscular, it won’t be easy.
But it won’t be extremely hard either. The fact that I did it means that you can do it as well.
(And you can accomplish it even easier and faster than me!)
Because I will share with you everything I have learned in the process.
I will clear some myths that you don’t need to believe.
Like the existence of a post workout anabolic window.
The fact is that if you enjoy the process, you won’t find it difficult at all.
It might be tiring sometimes. You will probably have moments when you want to give up, don’t go to the gym and meet your friends for a coffee.
Temptations exist everywhere!
There were times I went to work out that I was so disappointed and left the gym in less than 20 minutes.
It isn’t always sweet and easy.
I was bored & frustrated, then I was pumped up and motivated, back to frustrated and then inspired again.
During this whole process, I learned one super important thing. (You won’t build muscle without realizing it.)
Something so important when it comes to building muscle, going from skinny to muscular and changing your physical appearance!
It doesn’t matter if you follow the most effective muscle building program, have the most well-though diet and train using the best equipment in the world!
If you ignore what I am going to tell you, you will struggle to change your physique from skinny to muscular.
It’s dead simple, but so many people underestimate its importance:
You have to keep going even when things don’t go well.
You have to go to the gym c-o-n-s-i-s-t-e-n-t-l-y.
What does this mean?
- Whether you feel like it or not.
- Whether you are tired or fresh.
- Whether you broke up with your girlfriend or not.
- Whether your pet died or not.
- Whether you lost your job or not.
Without consistency you won’t transform your body from skinny to muscular.
It’s not going to happen.
Consistency is everything.
If you have a 5-day per week workout schedule, you must go 5 days no matter what happens.
Always stick to your schedule, even if that sometimes means sacrificing other things.
I have sacrificed parties, clubbing and fun to accomplish my goals.
You have a choice: You either do what’s needed to achieve your goals, or you are left with nothing accomplished.
Transforming your body is not difficult.
Obviously, it is more difficult than sitting on the couch eating pizzas.
It is definitely more difficult than wishing of achieving your dream physique.
What do you prefer?
Your dream physique? Or your pizza physique?
So Did You Achieved Your Dream Physique?
Of course not. My body needs a lot of development.
I want to put some more lean muscle, increase my strength and add definition by cutting my body fat below 10%.
Right now I guess I am about 17-18% plus so I have way to go.
I don’t have my dream physique yet. I just went from skinny to muscular.
That’s a great start, but it’s only the beginning of the journey.
My goal is to take my body to another level and get the physique of Joe Manganiello in True Blood or Chris Hemsworth in Thor.
That’s the body I think is masculine, attractive and powerful without being too beefy, or too thin and weak.
How You Can Put 38 Lbs In One Year & Go From Skinny To Muscular
Now let’s get into the interesting part.
I have told you my story and now you can hear what will really benefit you.
There is one basic thing you need to know about gaining weight: Your body burns a certain number of calories per day.
These calories are called “maintenance level calories”.
If you want to add weight you have to eat more calories than maintenance.
If you want to lose weight & fat you have to eat less than maintenance. So simple.
For example, if your maintenance calories are 2700 and you eat 3000 calories per day you are going to gain weight.
So why don’t you eat 4000 calories? Wouldn’t you add weight faster?
Yes, you would. But you are going to add a lot of fat too.
If you go too high in calories like +1000 or +1500 you are going to gain excess fat.
Then you end up in just being a bigger, beefy fat guy with no definition, possessing only big muscles. You are not skinny anymore, but you don’t look so good either.
If your goal is to gain as much weight as possible as fast as possible, then that’s a good strategy.
If your goal is to look and feel great, then that’s not the best way to go…
There is a sweet spot around 200-500 calories above maintenance that seems to work best in gaining muscle without adding much fat.
The fact is the most men want to have similar bodies with actors like Tom Hardy in Warrior (right) or Jason Statham (left).
They want physiques which are muscular and have nice definition and chiseled abdominals.
This can’t be achieved easily if you eat too much over maintenance levels.
This is because you will bulk up first (gain weight) and then you will need to cut (lose weight).
Why don’t keep your body fat low from the beginning and try to make lean gains?
As much as this is possible. You can’t make 100% lean gains. You will always get some fat.
But eating only 200-500 calories over maintenance will minimize the fat gain.
If you also use other techniques – like say Intermittent Fasting – then you will gain considerably less fat!
When I first tried to go from skinny to muscular I only cared to put on weight.
I followed the classic road that everyone was following.
The road of Cutting after Bulking.
I gained about 28 lbs, but a big amount of that weight was fat. I went from 10% body fat and visible abdominals to 20% body fat and one flat abdominal.
It didn’t feel so good, although I was more muscular.
My body didn’t look as amazing as I have imagined it would look. Then I changed my approach and tried to make what is known as “lean gains”.
I started utilizing caloric manipulation which helped me go from 20-22% body fat to 17-18%, while packing on 10 more lbs of muscle and going from 180 to 190 lbs looking far better – as you can see in my photo above.
I don’t have photos to share from when I was at 20-22% body fat.
The reason is that I didn’t feel so good with myself because of the excess fat. I still have some excess fat, but I am gradually reducing it. So in my experience, that’ the best approach.
Try to make lean gains by eating around 200-400 calories over maintenance.
From Skinny To Muscular In 9 Steps: For Skinny Guys Who Want to Build Muscle
1. Be Obsessed
When I started, I did basic bodyweight exercises, I started reading books on bodybuilding and other stuff.
I saw the Rocky 6-set movies in two days because I was so pumped up with working out and kicking ass!
I was eating every 3 hours and when I was not eating I was forcing myself to eat. One or two times I threw up because I had eaten so much. Yikes…
As you can see, I was obsessed.
Are you obsessed with your goals too?
Keep that in mind: Being obsessed is good. It will help you succeed.
If someone tells you that you are too obsessed and too focused, then IGNORE him.
For some reason, losers believe that obsession is something bad. I guess that’s why they are losers?
But you aren’t. You are made to be a winner. You have to be obsessed if you want to achieve anything in life.
2. Schedule Your Meals Based On What Suits Your Lifestyle
If that’s eating 7 small meals per day – which is about one meal per 2-3 hours, then fine. But for most people, that’s not an easy thing to do.
So, find a schedule that fits your lifestyle and ignore the guru advice that you have to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism active.
I found that eating just 2-3 big meals per day works better and is more enjoyable.
What matters is to hit your total calories for the day and get sufficient protein. When you eat plays only a minor role.
3.The Right Amount Of Protein
Getting enough protein is ESSENTIAL for building muscle.
Your muscles are built of proteins, so you must eat protein to develop your muscle. It’s like 1+1=2.
What’s the right amount of protein? It’s about 0.82 grams per pound of body weight.
4. How To Get The Right Amount Of Calories
Remember that I told you that you should keep your calories a little above maintenance?
What I have not told you yet is how to calculate your maintenance level calories. Well, there are many calculators online that you could google and find the answer.
But I will make it easy for you. A rule of thumb says that you should multiply your weight in pounds with 14,15 or 16.
For instance, if you weight 170 lbs and multiply it with 15, then you have 2550.
That’s your maintenance (approximately).
If you gain weight easily, then you should use 14 as your multiplier. If you gain weight slowly, then use 16. But you will figure that out in the process.
5. What To Eat
My diet mostly consists mostly of these foods. These are great for building muscle because they have lots of protein.
Generally, it’s more enjoyable to adopt a flexible diet and eat foods that fill you up.
Of course, you must hit your daily caloric intake. But you don’t need to follow absurd, strict dietary protocols.
You don’t have to eat only chicken and rice if that’s not enjoyable for you. Because if you do something that’s not enjoyable, you are more likely to give up.
When you enjoy your diet, that’s when you are going to stick with it easier!
A few days ago, I finished my workout and bought a grab of popcorn.
Some guys show me and thought that I was insane. Popcorn after the gym? I have already hit my protein goal for that day and have about 700 calories left.
I could easily eat popcorn after the gym.
That’s what it looks like when you enjoy your diet and get results as well!
Too low in carbs => Impaired performance, high cortisol
Too low in fat => Hormone issues
Too low in protein => No muscle
The key? Balance.
— Damian Pros (@dareandconquer) February 18, 2016
6. What To Drink
I was drinking 3.5-4.5 liter of water per day and I was going in the WC every 30 minutes.
Obviously, you want to limit fizzy drinks and high-caloric beverages. I told you that you can be flexible and go from skinny to muscular.
Yet, drinking coca colas every day is not recommended and it will only be a burden.
You should only drink water, tea and plain black coffee. Limit all the other drinks. And you will have plenty of room to enjoy a bag of popcorn, chocolate and other goodies here and there.
All in all, you want to drink a lot of water.
3L per day is a good milestone to hit every day. It also helps in keeping your skin clean and youthful.
7. Make The Cardio Pleasant
Cardio helps to burn more fat and keep your gains lean. Beyond that, cardio is great for your health.
Most guys in the gym hate cardio and only lift weights. That’s not the best practice. If you don’t enjoy running on the treadmill, then find something that makes cardio enjoyable.
In my case, I began taking more dancing classes.
Not only did I burn fat in a more pleasurable way than running on the fucking treadmill, but I also became a better dancer.
8. What Training Program To Follow
I have tried several routines and workout programs.
Some worked and some didn’t.
What I found to work best?
To Have A Variety
You can’t only lift weights and skip the machines entirely or vice verca. A combination of body weight exercises, compound lifts and machine exercises is the best way to go.
Start your routine with compound lifts and bodyweight exercises like pull-ups and dips.
Then finish with machine exercises to pump up your muscles. You will already be exhausted from the compound lifts and bodyweight exercises.
You need to go softer after that.
UPDATE 30.11.15: I have put together the workout routine I was following with some tweaks based on my current experience and knowledge.
Click the button above if you would like to get it and build some real muscle.
9. Then Comes the Mindset
You have to be totally focused on your goal.
If you want to become bigger and stronger you have to be committed even in times when you will feel disappointed.
You know, lifting barbells is not just lifting barbells as some dumb people believe.
When your body grows by working out; then your mind, character and confidence grow as well.
You start feeling so powerful after every workout.
You make mistakes and learn from them.
But you will be constantly becoming a little better.
“What Are You Taking?”
Sometimes people ask me: “what are you taking Damian”?
Hmm… I don’t know if that expression makes sense in English (not my native language), but let me explain.
They mean, if I use any muscle building substance.
The answer is no.
I wasn’t on any fucking life draining steroid and I will never going to be.
My results are typical. You could achieve that too, if you are skinny and follow the simple plan I outlined above.
However, many people are so ignorant of the effects / results of steroids – that believe you got steroids just because you packed some muscle…
My goal was to build an attractive & strong body. Not a bodybuilding physique like Kai Greene has. If I wanted to become a bodybuilder I would have done things differently.
The only supplement I have ever used was whey protein. And that’s because it saves me time. It’s easier and faster to prepare a shake with 2 scoops of protein than cook a chicken thigh.
Supplements aren’t necessary for building a muscular & attractive physique.
You can get everything you need from your food. Literally everything.
Things like creatine, gainers, pre/intra/after-workout, nootropics and other supplements work but are not needed.
Some of these can help. Yet, many supplements are useless rubbish over promoted by the fitness industry, which makes billions of those who buy them.
You might think that you are going to build your dream physique faster with supplements.
But never try to go straight to the outcome by jumping the process. The process is what builds the character to finish your mission successfully.
When Division Supply – a supplement company – proposed to sponsor me in order to use their supplements, I said no.
Slow and steady wins fast and clumsy in the long run.
Think about the tortoise and the hare story.
It’s not hard to go from skinny to muscular.
Follow the tips I outlined above and you can achieve it too. It needs some dedication and commitment to your goal, but nothing in life can be earned without putting in the necessary work.
PS: What’s your transformation story?
Let me know in the comments and then SHARE this post with your friends on social media to help them build muscle and become beastly!