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It’s frustrating when you are seen to be too skinny and you want to bulk up, but you either don’t know what to do, what to eat or how to get there. Meanwhile, you are probably seeing the other “buff” guys getting ahead in life, while you’re there sitting at a disadvantage. It’s not fair, but sulking about it isn’t going to make any difference.
Bulking requires the right type of weight training, but moreso, it requires the bodybuilder to consume the right type of calories with their macro split. Skinny guys need to bulk. And to bulk, you need to consume a calorie surplus.
The thing is, if you consume food at a calorie surplus, won’t that put you at risk of getting fat? Especially if you are consuming as much as you can while sitting at an office desk at work?
But it is definitely more possible if you consume the wrong type of calories and have the wrong macro split as a part of your diet.
So how should you approach your macro split if you want to bulk up without getting fat?
Firstly, assess your body fat.
If you are skinny, but you are sitting at less than 15% body fat, then you will be able to focus on a macro split that will consume alot more fats and carbohydrates. If your body fat is above that (let’s say your body fat ranges in the 20-30% range), then you will need to consider another macro split that will be more geared towards your protein intake. This should also help you lose the unwanted body fat, while still stimulating muscle growth.
You follow the instructions in this post to measure your body fat using body fat skinfold calipers.
Set a realistic weight gain goal.
Aim to build up to 1kg of lean muscle each month. This should allow you to build up to 12kg in muscle each year. It might not sound like alot at first, but over the course of a couple of years, everything will add up and you will get the physique that you desire.
For example, guys that are over 6 feet in height and that are skinny will usually have their bodyweight between 70-85kg. This isn’t light by any means, but it does mean that you are at a disadvantage due to your height and you will need to work on building more muscle over the long-term.
However, within 2-3 years, you will be able to grow your muscle size and your body weight to 85-100kg.
Something to keep in mind is that the added bodyweight might make you feel heavy, so you should consider whether this will be something that you will be happy with, as it is often difficult to lose the weight that you’ve gained by adding lean muscle.
Macro split for skinny guys that want to bulk.
Ensure that you have a calorie surplus.
If you want to put on more muscle size, you have to consume a calorie surplus in your diet. This means that if your body’s calorie intake is 2500 calories, you will need to consume more calories (say 3000 calories) to ensure that you can put on the muscle size that you need.
If you consume less than the required calorie intake, you will lose bodyweight and muscle size.
Consider the following macro splits.
- 35% Protein
- 45% carbohydrates
- 20% fats.
- 30% Protein
- 40% carbohydrates
- 30% fats.
These macros aren’t set in stone, but should be used as a guide for consuming the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein in your daily diet.
Aim to have 1.6g of protein for every kilogram that you weigh. This figure should be the minimum amount of protein that you consume throughout the day.
For example, if you weigh 80kg, you should ensure that you consume at least 128g of protein throughout the day.
1g of fat for every kilogram that you weigh. However, you will need to adjust this based on your body fat percentage and even the amount of carbohydrates that you plan to consume.
You should be cautious about the type of carbohydrates that you consume. Rather than consuming ‘starchy carbohydrates’ such as rice, flour, bread, pasta, and sugars; you should aim to consume carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits (especially green vegetables). These contain carbohydrates that won’t store as body fat, but will still provide you with the energy that’s needed for your daily activities.
Keep sugars to less than 10% of your total calorie consumption.
Recommended reading resource
Start paying attention to the labelling on your food items so you know exactly what you are consuming. Work towards a macro plan that will be aligned with your bodybuilding goals.
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