How To Get Back To The Gym

Written by Marco Walker-Ng on December 1, 2016

You’re at a dinner party and you’ve just finished telling your uncle how you started going to the gym, got all kinds of sick gains, and then how you lost them all when school intensified and you just couldn’t keep it up.

He retorts, “Max, you just need to get back on the horse.” Uncle, this is actually sound advice and we will listen, but there are some things you need to know. Not everyone gets back on the horse the same way. Heroin overdoses tend to happen more frequently in users who are newly clean because they forget that their body does not have the same tolerance anymore. If you haven’t lifted weights in a while and you attempt the same workouts you once bullied in the gym, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the bullying.

You may also be surprised at how little it takes to rebuild muscle, or how quickly you can do it.

Inside this article we’ll be discussing a quick and safe way to return to the gym and the skillset needed to make you a landmark in your own fitness world.

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The Skinny on Body Types: Endomorphs, Mesomorphs & Ectomorphs

Written by Shane Duquette on November 15, 2016

There’s a theory that guys can be sorted into 3 distinct body type categories: endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs.

Is that true?

Different people do have different heights and bone structures. That’s a fairly uncontroversial fact. What’s far more interesting is how these traits can combine together to form groups of guys who respond to exercise and diets in fairly different ways.

For example, people don’t grow proportionally. Our limbs grow longer faster than they grow thicker. So shorter guys tend to be thicker, taller guys tend to be thinner. Then consider that being a heavier person causes your body to develop thicker bones to support the extra weight, and that having thicker bones allows you to build more muscle mass. So you have shorter, stockier guys who can build more muscle more easily than taller, skinnier guys. Then factor in that these naturally skinny guys need to expend more energy to move their longer limbs, but because they aren’t as wide, they also have proportionally smaller stomachs.

We already have 2 archetypes that require totally different approaches to exercise and nutrition, and we haven’t even covered half of the reasons why.

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How To Gain Weight If You’re Skinny

Written by Jared Polowick on October 7, 2016

It’s always pretty entertaining reading articles meant for skinny guys looking for information on how to gain weight that are written by well-meaning but naturally muscular or obese writers.

They just don’t get how tough it is for us skinny guys to gain weight.

It’s like an obese person taking weight loss advice from someone who’s naturally skinny. The skinny guy would confidently say, “Well, yeah, just stop eating. It’s easy. I do it all the time.”

It took me years to realize how much of the mainstream fitness information is really weight loss information in disguise. It took me even longer to figure out how to convert all of it into information that we can use. And longer still to break it down into 5 simple concepts.

This information is hard to find, evidence-based, and if you put it into action, it will radically change your life. Just like it did for the thousands of members in our program.

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How Big Should Your Legs Be?

Written by Shane Duquette on September 27, 2016

Most guys have a subconscious instinct to squat a little less, bench a little more. Most lifting programs tell us that we should suppress that instinct. But what if those lifting programs are wrong?

What if this whole “don’t skip leg day” thing is making us think that we should be training our legs far more than we actually should be?

What if it’s just this new bodybuilder “X-physique” trend trickling down to the mainstream lifter, even though the average lifter is far more interested in building a strong, healthy, athletic, attractive, v-taper?

In this article we’ll cover:

  • The advantages of training your legs enough.
  • The advantages of prioritizing your upper body after that.
  • The most attractive proportions.
  • How most workout programs might have more leg work than you need.
  • How to get the most benefits with the fewest downsides.


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The Social Workout: A Skinny Guy’s Guide to Confidence

Written by Shane Duquette on July 20, 2016

A few weeks ago we got an email from a Beastly member, Nick, saying that he had referenced our Ectomorph Aesthetics article on his site. He thought that it perfectly described the physique that women find the most attractive. That got me curious about what his site was all about, so I checked it out.

It turns out that Nick has started up a business teaching guys how to improve their confidence so that they can meet women in an honest, authentic way. This confidence extends to success in business and with friends.

His approach hit home with me.

As a skinny guy, building muscle was so important to me because I thought my skinniness would prevent me from attracting the amazing woman who I wanted to raise a family with, or that it would prevent me from defending her. My confidence suffered as a result, and I approached muscle-building with a sense of desperation.

By the time I met the woman of my dreams, I had gained over fifty pounds of muscle. We spent our first date drinking beer, chatting, and doing handstands in the park.

A couple of days ago my friend asked her what she first noticed about me. I was surprised by her answer. It wasn’t my long hair or tattoos; it was how strong I looked. She even told her roommate about it after our date.

As someone who runs a fitness website for skinny dudes, I wish I could tell you that she fell in love with me because of that strength. It sure made a strong first impression, but I think she fell in love with me because of something else.

Being a strong guy has value. So does being a confident guy. But being someone who can turn a weakness into a strength is the real ticket.

I think it’s amazing how Nick now makes his living teaching other guys how to do the thing he was known for being awful at. He turned his greatest weakness into his greatest strength.

This article might help you do the same thing, and if you’re a single guy looking for love, this could even be the article that changes your life.

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How Much of an Ectomorph Are You?

Written by Shane Duquette on May 17, 2016

Have you ever wondered whether you’re an ectomorph or not? What your muscle-building potential might be? How much of a hardgainer you are? How your physique might look after gaining 10, 20 or even 40 pounds of muscle?

These three quizzes should help you figure all of that out, and you can do it right now from the comfort of your own home.

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73 responses

The Skinny on Abs

Written by Shane Duquette on March 24, 2016

Having abs shows that you’re even leaner than you need to be, that your posture is confident and athletic, that your muscles are strong, and even that your hormones are very masculine (study). Abs look so good because having all of these things at once shows that you’re not just healthy, but obnoxiously healthy.

Fortunately, we just so happen to be the body type that can rock a washboard stomach year round without suffering the negative side effects that other guys risk (perpetual hunger, reduced libido, etc). This gives us a real physique edge over the other body types.

However, as naturally skinny dudes with naturally smaller muscles, our walk across Abbey Road is a little atypical. There are usually two types of ab advice you’ll come across, and neither works very well for us:

  1. Science says that abs are built in the kitchen. Usually yes, since most guys are overweight, and most overweight guys already have large ab muscles. In the Beastly community we see guys all the time who are more than lean enough to have great abs—but their posture is a little loose and their ab muscles are a little small.
  2. No pain, no gain. The most popular ab routines are high rep circuits that make your abs burn with hellish fire. Abs are muscles though, and doing high rep crunches to build bigger abs is like running a marathon to build bigger legs. Endurance work improves blood flow but it’s awful at making muscles bigger. You’ll see some guys with crazy abs doing these high rep routines, but this is like thinking that taking topless Instagram selfies gives you abs because guys with abs do it. It’s not why they have great abs, it’s just something they do because they like their abs.

So what’s the best way for us naturally thin dudes to build Abercrombie abs?

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59 responses

Ectomorph Aesthetics #2: How to Become More Attractive

Written by Shane Duquette on March 16, 2016

Four years ago we published an article called Ectomorph Aesthetics that covered everything you could possibly want to know about the most attractive male physique. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy for us naturally thin dudes to build up a perfectly attractive physique.

In that article we talked a lot about what was attractive, and not so much about how to become attractive. So in this short follow-up article we’re going to help you actually build up an optimally attractive physique.

Also, a few new really interesting bits of research have come out in the past few years. We’ll cover that too.


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63 responses

The Skinny Struggle is Real

Written by Shane Duquette on November 4, 2015

This article is for the skinny guys who haven’t been able to gain weight yet. For the the skinny guys who are still worried that it’s impossible for them. This one’s for you.

I wouldn’t blame you for your doubt. It’s common for us to see other people who were born muscular, or who were able to build muscle with just some casual effort. We try following in their footsteps and fall flat on our faces. This gives us good reason to assume that our genetics suck.

This is made worse by the fact that nobody understands our situation at all. All the mainstream magazines and websites feature bulking up routines for skinny guys seemingly designed by people who have never even met a skinny guy. Nowhere is there any mention of the actual reasons why gaining weight is so hard for us, nor are any solutions provided for overcoming them. Just people offering advice that worked for them without having any idea what we’re even struggling with. When that advice inevitably fails, we worry that building muscle is impossible for us.

Because their advice seems to work for everyone except us, what else are we supposed to think?

Then we get told to “just lift heavy and eat more, bro” from the gym rats. They blame our lack of effort, not knowing that we may have tried far harder than they did and still not gotten anywhere.

And we get the dismissive “oh, I wish I had that problem” from all the people who aren’t interested in building muscle because they were born with enough of it, who instead struggle with extra fat.

The advice we get doesn’t suit us, but our genetics are good. Uncommon, but good. I’m not just talking about the ease with which we can avoid obesity either. Even our muscle-building genetics are good.

In this article we’re going to go over the things that make it difficult to build muscle as an ectomorph, and then discuss ways that we can overcome them to finally build a ton of muscle.

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Ectomorph Travel: Maintain or Even Gain Muscle on Vacation

Written by Shane Duquette on July 14, 2015

The Skinny Guy's Guide to Muscle Traveling

You’re eager to build up a more muscular physique, and things are going super well. But lo and behold, disaster strikes—and not just a run of the mill muscle disaster, like running out of milk, but the worst kind of disaster imaginable: a vacation.

I bet just the mention of a vacation has your heart racing and your mind spiralling down into panic mode. Unfortunately, I’ve been there. I know what you’re thinking. Will all of your hard-earned muscle wither away if you don’t go to the gym for a week or two? Can you build muscle with bodyweight workouts? How many mojitos does it take to spike muscle protein synthesis? Why don’t they make luggage big enough to fit a barbell? Is there real coconut in a piña colada, or does it count as junk food? Will the customs agent mistake your whey protein for cocaine? (Can you really get jacked in prison?) How much of a tan will be enough to disguise your now skinny-fat physique?

In desperation, you might start googling around to learn more, but since only 3% of the population is trying to gain weight, good luck trying to find an article about how to maintain/gain muscle while travelling.

So what do you do?

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