I Know Everything About Building Muscle—I Just Haven’t Done It Yet

Couple quick questions.

Are you satisfied with how much muscle you’ve built?

If not… do you know what to do? I mean the basics: Eat 1g of protein per pound bodyweight, get into a calorie surplus, lift weights, and sleep. That kind of thing. Know them inside and out? Rad.

But if you know the basics and you’re not satisfied with what you’ve built so far, what’s going on?

How is it possible to not be where you want to be when you know everything?

I’m not asking these questions to be mean, or a downer. I’m asking because I really want to see you reach your potential.

I’m asking because I want to see if I can wake you up. Is it possible that there’s a gap between intellectual knowing something and actually doing it?

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Warming Up For Gains

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to warm up. We’d all live active lives from birth, and our professions would keep us moving all day. Darkness would send us to bed, and sunlight would wake us in the morning. We could roll out of bed and go for a jog because our bodies would be balanced. The only warm up we’d need would be a big yawn.

While I’m sure there are some people in the world who live this reality, they are not the ones who are looking for personal trainers. Most of the people I work with spend some portions of their day in sedentary positions, which would make it riskier to jump straight into a gains-inducing workout.

What I hope to convince you of in this blog post is that warm-ups are not only great for improving your blood flow and joint lubrication, but can also be used as a mini workout to balance the body, expand your movement capabilities, and, most importantly, make the workout you’re about to demolish fun. Read More

The Skinny on Testosterone (With Dr Bhavsar)

In the Beastly community, we get a ton of questions about testosterone. It’s a tricky hormone that has a huge effect on our physiques, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there. In the past, we stuck to the standard advice: get good sleep, eat well, eat a lot, follow a good lifting program, and make sure you’re getting enough sun or supplemental vitamin D.

Then we got lucky. Dr Bhavsar joined.

Dr Bhavsar, or DoctorB, as he’s known around the community, is a urologist. We had to look that last word up. A urologist is a doctor who specialises in the male reproductive system, aka, the type of doctor you’d see about any issues relating to testosterone.

He started by writing an article in the community about sleep (member link here), then he gained 30 pounds, and then he wrote an article about testosterone. Both of his articles were big hits in the community, and we thought the testosterone one could be great as a blog post.

In his article, he talks about the link between skinniness and testosterone, how to raise your testosterone naturally, and how that may help you bulk up more quickly and leanly. He’ll also briefly go over both the pros and cons of taking testosterone (aka “steroids”), just so that you can better understand what’s going on with so many guys in the fitness industry.

The information on raising your testosterone naturally is so simple and healthy that I think it’s something that everyone who wants to build muscle should take advantage of.

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A Conversation On Aesthetics and Fitness

In this article we’re going to do something a little bit different. The idea came from one of our members. He started off by saying something fairly controversial. Then, as other members prodded him, instead of backing away from it, he doubled down. And I think his arguments are pretty compelling.

First, let’s set the stage. In our articles about attractiveness, we make the argument that attractiveness is visible health. Being very attractive just takes that one step further. Instead of looking healthy, you’d have to look healthy in a way that truly stands out—you’d have to be conspicuously healthy.

For an overweight person, the best way to build a more attractive physique is to become visibly healthier by losing fat. For us skinny guys, the best way to become more attractive is usually to build muscle. There are lots of objective goals you could set: bringing your BMI to 23 with abs, becoming 50% heavier than your date/girlfriend/fiancée/wife, or building your biceps up to the size of your neck, to name a few.

At first, progress can be very quick. If you’ve read our newbie gains article, then you understand exactly how quick. The interesting thing is that the 80–20 principle applies here. What I mean is that with a small amount of time investment—just a couple months—a skinny guy can usually get to the point where he looks healthy and fit. He’ll look attractive.

Not alarmingly attractive, but attractive.

At that point, progress will slow, and it can take a lot more time and effort to get to that next, very attractive level. After all, looking healthy is one thing, but looking so healthy that people go, “Wow, that dude looks healthy!” is a whole other thing.

But physical attractiveness isn’t the only way you can boost your attractiveness. It’s not even the only physical way that you can boost your attractiveness.

That’s where Rick J comes in.

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Train Around Chronic Pain & Still Build Muscle

I will be the first to tell you that chronic pain can really take away from exercise. It’s a huge reason a lot of people do not enjoy activities as much as they could.

Over the years training clients and conversing with fellow gym folk, I’ve noticed a trend in fitness and in sports where a lot of people just push past chronic pain to reach their goals. They’ve accepted it as their norm. While I do respect someone’s ability to get the job done regardless of their pain, I still believe that you can modify your training program to reach your goal and decrease pain.

I do not claim to be a pain specialist whatsoever, and I still refer people to see a physiotherapist if it is a serious injury. However, it’s rare to meet a client who doesn’t have at least one thing bugging them. You learn to tweak things, work around injuries, or even fix them. It’s amazing what well progressed exercise can do.

Not everything requires a doctor visit, pain killers or bed rest. In fact, I believe staying active in a healthy way while recovering from an injury is one of the best ways to recover more quickly.

In this article, I’m going to go over my process of working around chronic joint pain with my clients.

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How To Get Back To The Gym

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 Science of the Male Body Types: Endomorph, Mesomorph, & Ectomorph

The three male body types are the endomorph, the mesomorph, and the ectomorph. Endomorphs are stockier and chubbier, mesomorphs are broader and more muscular, and ectomorphs are thinner and leaner.

Or that’s what people say, anyway. Is it true that men can be split into those three body types? Men do have varying heights and bone structures. That’s an uncontroversial fact. But do these traits combine together to form distinct body types?

And do the different body types benefit from different diets and workouts? For example, is there such a thing as an ectomorph workout or an ectomorph diet? Or do all body types benefit from the same types of exercise and diets?

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How to Gain Weight If You’re Skinny

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 in order to have attractive upper body and lower body proportions? Can big legs make you look disproportionate? Can your legs look too big?

How Big Should Your Legs Be?

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 lower vs upper-body proportions.
  • How most workout programs might have more leg work than you need.
  • And most of all, how big should your legs be?

Curious?

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

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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