Most people are SKINNY-FAT.
I know because I’ve been there.
In this post, I will reveal a method that will eliminate this issue.
First, let’s present some hard-to-hear truths:
1. Most people are skinny-fat
Skinny-fat is exactly what it sounds like – skinny (low muscle mass and tone) + undeniable fat deposits around the waist (sometimes man boobs too).
Some people are more skinny than fat (think Matt Damon) while others are more fat than skinny (think DiCaprio), but in all cases, skinny-fat is the final outcome.
I would say that this is the body type that most modern men have, at least where I reside.
90% of the men I see have undeniable guts/pot bellies/massive spare tires around their waists. This applies to most gym-goers too.
The owner of my gym didn’t lose an inch off his gut throughout my training season there even though he lifts and has an entire facility at his disposal.
2. High Metabolism Ectomorphs are a mega-rarity
Everyone talks about that mythical ectomorph that can eat 5k calories and keep his shredded abs. Sorry. That dude practically does not exist. After all, the body is an energy-efficient machine, or else survival will become even harder.
Many people think that they eat 5k calories and “never gain weight” but when they actually calculate their consumption it amounts to 2 packs of cigarettes + 3 waffles or about 1000kcal.
The vast majority of ectomorphs are SKINNY-FAT.
If you are just skinny, without fat, you will have a visible set of abs as well as defined (not big) muscles.
The vast majority of ectomorphs are skinny but with a spare tire around their waists.
Putting them on a dirty bulk is a recipe for a disaster as far as body composition is concerned.
3. The fat won’t go away until you make it.
People want to hear lies rather than truths. But those lies only postpone the deep realization needed to progress further.
Here’s the truth:
If you have a notable amount of fat around your waist and man boobs, the only way to fix the issue is to lose the fat.
Or in other words, if you decide to go on a bulk while in that state, things will go from bad to worse. You will only add extra lard to the same places. Some muscle will be gained, but it won’t be enough to outweigh the fat deposits.
Forget about re-compositionning. You cannot lose a notable amount of fat while gaining muscle too naturally.
The only exception would be body parts that are lagging HARD. For example, if you have never trained your chest in your life and it’s flatter than an IKEA table, you will add some muscle there even when you are in a caloric deficit as long as you train the fibers.
4. Forget About Barbell Strength
This is not the time to obsess over how much you bench, dead, squat. If you can’t let go of your barbell addiction, you will never fix your body composition.
Recently I watched a training video of mine made 10+ years ago. In it I deadlift 200kg for 2 reps.
I looked like garbage. Clearly skinny-fat holding a ton of lard and water around the waist. Bloated face too.
Eventually, I ended up losing 25kg after that video to get leaner.
Destroying Skinny Fat: A Simple Program
- SIMPLE CARBS = ENEMY NUMERO UNO
Simple and to a smaller extent complex carbohydrates are the poison behind skinny-fat bodies.
Every single humanoid walking around with a massive gut and hanging tits that appear almost ready to lactate is a victim of carbs, specifically fast sugar.
Carbs have a ton of negatives, namely:
- Raise insulin levels (insulin spikes make it very hard for the body to mobilize fat stores.)
- Empty calories. When you eat a waffle you get 200 calories of nothing but sugar. When you eat 3 eggs, you get the same amount of calories with a lot of protein, vitamins, healthy fats…etc.
- Estrogen-lovers. Carbs lower your testosterone.
- Fast carbs come without protein. The vast majority of carb meals come without protein. (There are many exceptions, of course.)
- Protein in carb food (plants) has low bio-availability (it’s difficult to absorb it)
Most skinny fat individuals consume too many carbs with little protein and healthy fats. The results are constant insulin spikes and deficiency of muscle-building nutrients (protein).
As a result, the body has no choice but to reflect its fuel source.
Cutting the evil carbs and increasing the protein intake is the most important part of reversing a skinny-fat physique.
I repeat – cutting carbs and increasing protein and fat intake is the most important factor.
Nutrition > Training
You don’t get man boobs because you don’t do push-ups or whatever. You get man boobs because you eat a lot of unhealthy carbohydrates and too little protein.
If you get on a good diet and don’t lift, you won’t get a big chest, but you won’t have man boobs either.
Or in other words, the following applies:
High carbs + low protein +/- low/high fat – training = Skinny-fat
High carbs + low protein +/- low/high fat + training = Somewhat trained skinny-fat
High protein + low carbs +/- high fat – training = Skinny
High protein + low carbs +/- high fat + training = Decent
But carbs are not evil, screams the dreamer.
Of course, the carbs that you get from vegetables, fruits, and honey are not nearly as harmful as the “technological” carbs that are everywhere around us.
Refined sugar is “naked” sugar and causes instant energy spikes and subsequent drops.
That said, high-caloric fruits (e.g., bananas) hurt the skinny-fat transformation too when consumed in large quantities.
2. Low PROTEIN = ENNEMY NUMBER TWO
To build muscle, you need protein. You already know that so there’s no need to complicate things.
3. BAD FATS = ENNEMY NUMBER THREE
The third enemy are the so-called trans fats – the type that causes cellulite in women. You find them in chips and other semi-technological food.
They have to go to.
Hormonal Profile: A Calorie Is Not A Calorie
Skinny-fat people tend to have testosterone levels in the lower range and estrogen levels in the higher range.
This happens for the following reasons:
“Pointless” carbs a.k.a. sugar are nothing but empty energy. The body can do two things with them: a) use the energy b) store them as fat for later.
The absence of healthy fats and protein lowers your testosterone naturally. The extra fat that you gain contributes to estrogen increase.
For that reason, it’s not accurate to say that a calorie is a calorie because it is not:
1000kcal from sugar and 1000kcal from fat and protein offer the same amount of energy, but the first wrecks your hormonal profile and boosts your insulin while the other improves your hormonal profile and creates more stable insulin levels.
If you decide to do an extreme cut and only eat 1000kcal for example and get all of them from ice cream, you will lose weight, but you will also lose muscle and lower your testosterone while developing unhealthy eating habits.
If those 1000kcal come from protein and fat, you will save more muscle, lose fat faster thanks to the lower insulin levels and preserve or boost your testosterone.
What exercises should I do?
Technically. it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing some sort of resistance training that’s challenging.
However, most people will be better off with bodyweight training for the following reason:
The bigger you are, the easier it is to lift heavier external objects. When you start cutting, you will inevitably get weaker, and the weight on the bar will decrease.
This is not a problem as long as you don’t get mental about it which most people will.
Meanwhile, bodyweight exercises encourage leanness. The extra fat that you carry has zero benefits when you’re doing pull-ups. When you lose weight, pull-ups become easier, not harder. This gives you positive feedback and encourages you to keep going.
That said, any resistance method will work.
Harder On The Muscle, Easy on the CNS
This is not the time to perform low rep routines that under-stimulate the muscles and overclock the central nervous system.
Focus on a high-rep range (6+ reps). Do exercises that give you a nice pump and try to add reps and eventually weight.
Train a muscle group once every 3-4 days. E.g., Chest on Monday and then on Friday.
Don’t do methods that burn your CNS (e.g., forced negatives, assisted sets…etc.) When you know that you won’t be able to perform the next rep with good form, stop the set.
Should I do cardio?
It’s ok if you’re more fat than skinny but definitely do not overdo it. It’s much easier to burn fat by eating correctly than it is by doing cardio.
I recommend walking because it’s easy to implement and does not make you as hungry as intense running for example.
Rippetoe says that I am skinny and should bulk up?
If you want to improve your body composition, do not take dietary advice from Rippetoe or anyone brainwashed by him.
People get skinny-fat for 4 reasons:
- Too many carbs
- Not enough healthy fats
- Not enough protein
- No resistance training that sufficiently stimulates the musculature
To reverse the process, you have to do the opposite:
- Fewer carbs (preferably up to 50 grams a day, at least during the cutting phase)
- More fat
- More protein
A caloric deficit is also necessary. The fatter you are, the more aggressive it can be. However, just replacing the foods and getting 200kcal less than your maintenance a day, you will produce results.
If you don’t want to do a lot of calculations, you can do intermittent fasting too, although it’s not necessary.
- Produce a higher hypertrophy stimulus by following a volume routine with a greater frequency. Stay away from 1RM, 3RM, and 5RM attempts. Those destroy your CNS. Train a muscle group directly every 3-4 days.