Author Topic: Skinny guy trying to gain 10lbs of muscle w/o buying Gym membership or weights  (Read 11768 times)

Anti-ComplainyPants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Mississippi, USA
Bonus if we can figure this out without me having to quit running 3 days a week!

I'm 6'0", 28 y.o. and 140lbs. Yep, skinny dude. I'm a runner and I love it, but I've recently decided that I'm too skinny. I don't have any health problems (except some bad knees from an old running injury), but I would like to gain 10lbs for cosmetic reasons. When people see me with a shirt off, I'd like to perceived as a slender, fit guy. Not a holy-shit-that-dude-is-skinny guy.

I know the law that I'll have to adopt: Eat more calories than I burn. Ingest about 0.75g of protein per pound that I weigh daily. Do strength building exercises. I get all that - here's what I've got so far, and where I need some help:

I can eat more - I'll start taking hard-boiled eggs to my work fridge for a calorie-dense mid-day snack (bonus points if I coat the eggs in chili oil and smoke them for added deliciousness). Also nuts and peanut butter, and perhaps a habit of a mid-day teaspoon of olive oil for a quick boost of calories. Larger portions, blah blah blah.

Where I need help is figuring out:
  • Ideas for strength training without buying a gym membership or exercise equipment (I do already own a pull-up bar)
  • How can I gain and keep this weight while running 3 days a week (approximately 4-5 miles per day)?

I could take a hiatus from running to gain the weight initially, but that's a waste if I lose it once I start running again. Running is part of who I am, and I believe that there must be a way to maintain it while also gaining and keeping 10 pounds of muscle. My biggest struggle is to identify how to efficiently strength-train without purchasing equipment? Can it be done?

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6145
That might be tough without lifting heavy.  I went from 6' 153lbs to 182lbs with a ton of calories and lifting three times a week - I'm comfortably sitting around 175 now without too much effort in eating everything in sight, but getting there took some work.

Whole milk gives you a LOT of calories for not much money. Unfortunately, I don't have any solutions for you on how to gain muscle without lifting- I am not sure how effective body-weight exercises are for adding mass.

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6084
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
You need progressive overload (aka resistance)

Without weights or a gym membership it would be pretty tough to do.

You can do weighted pullups/chinups, do push up with your feet up on a chair and a backpack full of bricks, do handstand pushups, get some resistance bands and do pullovers, shoulder raises etc.

A heavy kettlebell can help too.

Personally a $15-20 a month gym membership is worth it to me. Especially since I save a TON of money on hot showers half the year.

neo von retorch

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3628
  • Location: SE PA
    • Fi@retorch - personal finance tracking
Borrow weights from someone.

Visit someone with weights.

Go with a friend that has a gym membership with guest privileges. Lift weights.

:)

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Push ups and pull ups.

You could buy resistance bands; they're very cheap and can be used for weight training.

You can make weights with household items. Use a brick, fill gallon milk containers with sand or water.

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
You might find these helpful:
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/07/17/a-skinny-guys-guide-to-building-muscle-and-bulking-up/
http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/06/08/9-mistakes-skinny-people-make-trying-to-get-bigger/

There's going to be a limit to how much you can put on with BW exercises only. 2birds' ideas for making them progressively difficult are the key. Otherwise, you'll reach a point where you're building endurance over strength.

Adding this to running isn't a problem, I think. Lots of athletes do strength training 2-3x week on top of their other/cardio workouts. I would simply do a MFSat run, TR strength train, or similar.

You have the diet concept down. You don't have to read my blahblah if you don't want, but here it is: you may or may not be able to reach the level of calorie intake you need with just your (awesome) protein & fat additions. If that's the case, I'd recommend adding calorie dense, low glycemic load carb options. Just a thought. (It's hard for me to eat +400 Cals of chicken, easier for me to do a combo of chicken w/brown rice)

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
The fundamental idea with body weight strength training is that, instead of adding weight to a bar, you progress to more difficult versions of the exercise. So, for example, you start with inclined push ups (hands on a platform higher than feet), move to a progressively smaller incline until you get to the floor, then start working on one armed push ups.

The disadvantages, compared to free weights: Since you have to spend a lot of time mastering knew skills (as opposed to say, learning how to press once, and just making it heavier, you will be continually learning new techniques). It is harder to incrementally load, since it is more difficult to add precise small increments (exactly how much harder is a push up if you move your hand out once inch?). The resistance also changes whenever your body weight changes, which makes it hard to figure out what is happening if you gain weight. Another problem is that you can run out of resistance (this is more of a problem with lower body lifts).

The advantages are that it is pretty fun.

Ultimately, you can get a lot done in this manner if you work hard, despite the disadvantages. The progressions on this website are pretty good: http://www.startbodyweight.com/
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 12:15:01 PM by vhalros »

phwadsworth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
I hate gyms, and I also try to keep muscle on, but tend towards pencil-necked.

do squats, lots of squats.  Do them unweighted, or use buckets of water/sand, or sacks of potatoes.  doesn't matter.
Burpees, lots of burpees.  and push ups.  and pull ups (I use the jungle gym at my local public playground), if you can build to doing muscle-ups that will pack on powerful muscle

If you can find anyway to do hanging dips, that will build some big upper body muscles.  I do these at the playground too.

I use this workout as a basis for an ever changing no $ strength builder.  Yes, it burns a lot of calories too, which is not in your goal, so eat 3 bean&cheese burritos afterwards, extra guac.

After that help your friends split and stack wood, dig fence post-holes, carry mulch and compost, rip up old asphalt, put up a new drywall ceiling, etc.  These can all be money making workouts instead of paying for a gym.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16609
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I've always had trouble putting weight on (when I was boxing I was 6' and 170 lbs).  Body weight training (squats, burpees, pushups, chin ups, etc.) never put much muscle on my frame and I did a ton of it.  About a year of doing heavy barbell stuff (following the Starting Strength program, then switching to 5-3-1 BBB option) I put on 35 lbs and had the same waist size.  If I stop lifting for a month, my weight will drop off.

Lifting weights is the easiest way to put on muscle mass because you can follow a simple progression and make small increments over time that will add up.

There's a reason that all endurance athletes look like skeletons.  One problem you might encounter is your endurance training (running).  Your body will adapt to the exercise you perform the most often.  Long distance endurance stuff tells your body to minimize weight and reduce muscle size for efficiency.  You can still get cardio, but switching to more of a sprint/rest/sprint/rest style of running is going to be necessary to tell your body that it's time to develop the bigger muscles needed for this type of exercise.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 12:26:59 PM by GuitarStv »

Philociraptor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1003
  • Age: 31
  • Location: DFW, TX
  • Eat. Sleep. Lift. Repeat.
If you can tolerate it: GOMAD - Gallon of milk a day. 2.4k calories.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16609
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
If you can tolerate it: GOMAD - Gallon of milk a day. 2.4k calories.

Having tried this . . . It works great for a short period if you're doing heavy weight training and have plateaued your strength level.  Kickstarted all of my lifts going back up again.  You'll need an exit strategy though, as you put on fat.

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
I've always had trouble putting weight on (when I was boxing I was 6' and 170 lbs).  Body weight training (squats, burpees, pushups, chin ups, etc.) never put much muscle on my frame and I did a ton of it.  About a year of doing heavy barbell stuff (following the Starting Strength program, then switching to 5-3-1 BBB option) I put on 35 lbs and had the same waist size.  If I stop lifting for a month, my weight will drop off.

Lifting weights is the easiest way to put on muscle mass because you can follow a simple progression and make small increments over time that will add up.

There's a reason that all endurance athletes look like skeletons.  One problem you might encounter is your endurance training (running).  Your body will adapt to the exercise you perform the most often.  Long distance endurance stuff tells your body to minimize weight and reduce muscle size for efficiency.  You can still get cardio, but switching to more of a sprint/rest/sprint/rest style of running is going to be necessary to tell your body that it's time to develop the bigger muscles needed for this type of exercise.

Addtl thoughts on this (I agree):

For muscular strength increase, the recommendation is doing 80% of your one-rep max. Should be able to do sets of 8-12, about 3-5 sets.

For muscular endurance, recommendation is 60% of one-rep max. Sets of 15-20, 3-5 sets. This is why, if you don't make BW exercises more difficult, you "plateau" and start building more endurance than absolute strength.

Starting Strength is an awesome and highly technical book.

If you can tolerate it: GOMAD - Gallon of milk a day. 2.4k calories.

Oh man, I think I'd be backed up all the way to China!

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
Good post, I'm interested in seeing the responses.  I'm in the same boat, 5`10" 130lbs, not trying to get beefcake, just want to look slim but fit, my goal is 150lbs at which point I'll hold there for a while and see how I feel/look.  I'm halfway there.  With your pull-up bar you already have half the equipment I do.  The only other thing I have is rings with straps that I hang from the pull-up bar, which I do some gymnastic style training exercises/static hold positions from.  Like vhalros said, the idea is to make body weight exercises incrementally more difficult as you progress.  Going from doing 5 pushups to 100 pushups isn't as significant as going from 5 knee pushups to 5 one-armed-one-legged elevated pushups.  I think this is where people complain about the limitations of body weight exercises, thinking they only involve increasing reps as you go.  But for me they make it more challenging in a skill-level way, not just a difficulty way, which makes it more fun to progress.  I've tried many different styles of workouts, including weights/gym, and this is my favorite due to just being more involved.

My exercise routine currently consists of:
planche progressions (on the floor)
front-lever progressions (rings)
pull-ups
l-sit progressions joined with iron cross progression at same time (rings)
pistol squats

I'm still working out the kinks and need to find someone to ask about areas I'm missing or over-working (hard because most people don't understand or even agree with gymnastic style workouts), but I'm really happy with just these exercises so far, and can see the effect.

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
You could probably get something going for under 3 or 4 hundred easily. Find a good deal on an olympic bar and weights on craigslist. Adjustable rack, and adjustable bench. People practically GIVE that stuff away after it becomes a coat hanger.  I once bought a pair of 45s and a pair of 25s for $30

southern granny

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
I go to a lot of garage sales and see exercise equipment, weight benches, rowing machines all the time for crazy cheap.  People just want to get rid of them.

fb132

  • Guest
You need progressive overload (aka resistance)

Without weights or a gym membership it would be pretty tough to do.

You can do weighted pullups/chinups, do push up with your feet up on a chair and a backpack full of bricks, do handstand pushups, get some resistance bands and do pullovers, shoulder raises etc.

A heavy kettlebell can help too.

Personally a $15-20 a month gym membership is worth it to me. Especially since I save a TON of money on hot showers half the year.
I agree with you, I try to save as much money as I can, but if there is a small luxury I don't mind spending my money on is having a gym membership. Just like the money you invest for retirement, I view the gym membership as an investment to my health. That 15-20$ per month is nothing compared to what it would cost you in medical problems later on in life and I agree it also saves money on hot showers. My Electric bill went down this year and I am sure it has to do with the fact that I don't take my showers at home anymore.

If you really want to avoid paying gym membership, do like MMM did and buy a barbell and other gym equipment through craiglist...one or the other is not a bad thing.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 05:22:35 PM by fb132 »

squatman

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
If you can tolerate it: GOMAD - Gallon of milk a day. 2.4k calories.

Having been there a few years ago, I'd probably pass now even though I did put on weight. Too much fat - you can put on weight more slowly and keep a better body comp. I think nutrition and sports science has advanced past the eat-whatever-the-hell-you-want concept for plenty of people. That said, if you're having trouble eating enough, drinking some extra calories is an easy way to do it.

OP: If you eat enough you can still put on weight while running 15 miles/week. You're making your job harder, but it's doable.

As for the gaining strength part, the upper body is easy without weights. Pushups, pullups, dips, handstands, planches, muscle-ups, and that's just a start. For those seriously interested in this type of stuff, gymnasticsbodies.com is a great resource (especially if being humbled is your thing...). Your lower body is where the problem's going to be. While you can challenge your triceps almost indefinitely with BW + weird angles, effectively lowering your mechanical advantage, the same is not true for your legs. To build your legs, you need to squat. Preferably with a barbell, and NEVER in a smith machine. Deadlifts are great too! The key here is understanding that air squats are not going to give you monster glutes and quads. Plenty of good comments in this thread on helping to get there. A Gold's Gym membership would suit you just fine for this endeavor.

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1847
Just eat more, preferably protein.  If you are having trouble putting on weight, make a shake using 2 cups of whole milk, 2 tbps of peanut butter, some chocolate syrup and a banana.  That is 700+ calories, so just add it to your daily intake and you'll start putting on weight.

MustacheNY

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 30
If your goal is to develop lean muscle definition that is extremely functional and that makes you look athletic and fit, bodyweight exercises can definitely get you there.  If you are extremely skinny, bodyweight exercises can definitely give you really good tone and definition, as well as functional strength, which is the most important thing.

However, if you want to get big size, then you will have to lift heavy weights, and that will take investment into buying weights to work out with at home, or a gym membership.

In my opinion, lifting heavy weights to try to add size is like buying a Ferrari to go to the grocery store.  It may look nice, and it is good at what it does, which is go real fast and handle well in a race track type setting.  But, it certainly is not functional for anything other than that and looking pretty.

You can get plenty ripped with bodyweight exercises for what it seems that you want to accomplish.  Every seen a gymnast?

If you don't have a background and are a complete novice, I would recommend an app like You Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG).  As a former gymnast, I have found it to be a very well rounded fitness program that does a nice job of taking someone from a relative beginner level to a relatively high level of strength and fitness.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
At my lightest in my twenties, I was about 130lbs. I'm now 190lbs muscle in my early thirties. I'm a hard gainer, even protein shakes didn't work for me. I ended up finding something that DOES work: GOMAD. Gallon Of Milk A Day. It provides the calories and protein you need to gain weight FAST.

You still eat your regular meals but drink a gallon of milk every day as well, throughout the day. Get ready to get used to constantly being bloated and stuffed.

I combined this diet with pull-ups, etc. In one month I went from being able to do 17 pulls (I was already athletic and physically strong) at about 150lbs, to doing 24 while weighing 190lbs like it was nothing. I was BIG. This was the only thing that EVER worked for me.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
I think this argument about what is more "functional" does not have a lot of evidence behind it. Deadlifts, for example, are very functional;  the function is picking heavy stuff off the ground. Is there a function being stronger does not help with?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 08:42:56 PM by vhalros »

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
I think this argument about what is more "functional" does not have a lot of evidence behind it. Deadlifts, for example, are very functional;  the function is picking heavy stuff off the ground.

Well I think you can define functional as how broadly it applies to other things.  A machine bench press is very functional within the range of other machine bench presses.  But it won't transfer well to other real-world tasks or workouts.  Vs something like a planche which works a crapload of different muscles.  It won't transfer to a bench press as well as the person doing just bench presses, but it will probably allow you to do more things well overall.

Disclaimer: not heavily into this stuff, but slowly learning as I go

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
I think this argument about what is more "functional" does not have a lot of evidence behind it. Deadlifts, for example, are very functional;  the function is picking heavy stuff off the ground. Is there a function being stronger does not help with?

I think the "functional" argument is basically used to justify not lifting hard and heavy and also to sell expensive classes to teach needlessly complicated exercises. There is some limit to the transferability of gains from any particular strength exercise, as some gains are due to learning better technique specific to that movement (adding 50 lbs to your deadlift will not increase your ability to increase a large boulder by a full 50 lbs, for instance). That said, if there's some motion someone considers functional and wants to improve in, well, they might as well just do that movement more with increasing weight. Absent that, I don't see what's wrong with just regular compound lifts that hit every relevant muscle group.

heybro

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
i would like to jump on top of the skinny guy and show how much i like ya
i am a skinny guy too

the only thing that worked was weight lifting
sorry

Shamantha

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
You can look into "Convict Conditioning", which is strength training without equipment, only using your own bodymass. Drawback is that it is purely down to your own discipline to do it and build up correctly, advantage is you can do it everywhere. I am a big fan, and I was amazed at how quickly my strength increased and I progressed through the exercises (although I am still very much at the beginning).

Building muscle takes time, by the way, if you are looking for magic tricks for muscle gain similar to crash diets, that will not give you permanent benefits.

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6084
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
The benefits of heavy lifting are incredible.

In January of 2008 I was 295lbs @ 50% bodyfat.

I joined a gym where a powerlifting team training, they taught me how to squat, deadlift, bench, and do some basic accessory work. I cut out soda, juice, fast food. I did no cardio but training heavy 3-4 days a week. In the first 12 months I lost ~70lbs......That following spring I went out and purchased a mountain biking, I threw mountain biking into the mix 2 days a week on local trails we have here. The second year I dropped another 53lbs going on to compete in my first drug tested bodybuilding competition. I had a great time and have been absolutely hooked since.

Weightlifting increases bone density, increases testosterone and growth hormone release, is amazing for your connective tissue as long as you learn properly and do let your ego take over in the gym. It has completely changed my life for the better. I have gone on to begin coaching athletes and average Joe's looking to transform not only their physiques but also their lives. A $20/month gym membership is well worth the benefits. It can be hard to get started, the gym is an intimidating place for a beginner. My advice is, put on some good tunes, have someone teach you to properly lift or use the multitude of free online resources out there, but most importantly get started now.

Best,

2B1S

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16609
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The motions in compound movements are very functional, and tie in well with many sports.  Performing the clean and jerk develops tremendous explosive strength in your lower body.  Low rep, heavy back squats improves your speed while sprinting.  Regular practice of the front squat and deadlift will develop a very powerful core (as well as lower body).

Arguing that weight training is not 'functional' is really just an indication that the person making hasn't learned the correct exercises to do.  Weight training for sport doesn't typically contain isolation work.  Squats, deadlifts, the clean and jerk, the snatch, the overhead press, the bent over row, barbell lunges, weighted dips, weighted pullups . . . these are all exercises that strengthen a wide range of muscle groups all over your body, and force your body to work as a whole.

One of the biggest differences I noticed after substituting weight training for the body weight stuff that most martial arts drill you in was related to injuries.  I get injured much less often now that I am stronger.  Joint injuries and pulling muscles happens less often.

expectopatronum

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Location: Texas
The benefits of heavy lifting are incredible.

In January of 2008 I was 295lbs @ 50% bodyfat.

I joined a gym where a powerlifting team training, they taught me how to squat, deadlift, bench, and do some basic accessory work. I cut out soda, juice, fast food. I did no cardio but training heavy 3-4 days a week. In the first 12 months I lost ~70lbs......That following spring I went out and purchased a mountain biking, I threw mountain biking into the mix 2 days a week on local trails we have here. The second year I dropped another 53lbs going on to compete in my first drug tested bodybuilding competition. I had a great time and have been absolutely hooked since.

Weightlifting increases bone density, increases testosterone and growth hormone release, is amazing for your connective tissue as long as you learn properly and do let your ego take over in the gym. It has completely changed my life for the better. I have gone on to begin coaching athletes and average Joe's looking to transform not only their physiques but also their lives. A $20/month gym membership is well worth the benefits. It can be hard to get started, the gym is an intimidating place for a beginner. My advice is, put on some good tunes, have someone teach you to properly lift or use the multitude of free online resources out there, but most importantly get started now.

Best,

2B1S

That's awesome. Congratulations. Sounds like good old common sense mixed with busting your ass.

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2652
As a 44 year old woman of 5'4" who struggles to keep my weight higher than 102lbs and can't digest lactose, the ONLY thing that works is weights. Heavy, with few reps, to exhaustion. I think it's worth it to buy them. Body weight work only gets me an extra pound or two...to get over 105 I need weights, and I need to be careful with intense interval-style cardio, which tends to strip me down within 2 weeks. I do long-light cardio sessions instead, most of the time (very brisk walking). In about a month, work will put me in a two week session of multiple daily bouts of intense interval cardio, and I just KNOW I'm going to drop back to 100 lbs, no matter how much I try to eat. I'm trying to build right now so I have something to drop.

Not sure if a male body would have the same issues, though.

fb132

  • Guest
I had the same problem as you, along with weightlifting, food is equally important. I am in the same basket as you, I eat 5 times a day with the following:

-Protein (20-50g per meal, example: Cottage cheese, yogurt, chicken, egg whites, protein powder)
-Good carbs every meal (ex: Sweet Potatoes, whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans)
-1-2 servings of veggies per meal (You can have as many as you want really, I don't think you can overdose on veggies)
-Healthy Fats (ex: Nuts, eggs, Peanut Butter, Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil)
-Fruits (only 3 servings per day, breakfast, lunch and supper...no more, because of sugar)

I have been doing this plan for 2 years and I have gained almost 20 lbs 

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6145
You could probably get something going for under 3 or 4 hundred easily. Find a good deal on an olympic bar and weights on craigslist. Adjustable rack, and adjustable bench. People practically GIVE that stuff away after it becomes a coat hanger.  I once bought a pair of 45s and a pair of 25s for $30

I bought a practically new set for..$280, I think. Ended up buying two 45lb bumper plates (the rubber ones) off Amazon for ~$140 (split with roommate) because we ended up using all the weights that came with the bench, but it's still quite a reasonable price when split between two people (and saving a combined $60/mo on gym memberships). Plus, it's incredibly convenient having it at home. Much easier to avoid feeling lazy and skipping the gym...because it's right there. Waiting.

Louisville

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 511
I just want to chime in here to celebrate the fact that not one poster has recommended any kind of "supplement". Creatine or whatever short term gain unsustainable nonsense. I love this community and the smart people in it.
Also, +1 to the weights on Craigslist. Exercise equipment gets dumped all the time.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6145
I just want to chime in here to celebrate the fact that not one poster has recommended any kind of "supplement". Creatine or whatever short term gain unsustainable nonsense. I love this community and the smart people in it.
Also, +1 to the weights on Craigslist. Exercise equipment gets dumped all the time.

There's nothing wrong with creatine, but it'll add water weight which will just drop off once he stops taking it. I was using creatine recently and sailed past my previous PR for squats-- but for what he wants, he needs calories + heavy stuff. IMO. :)

Tyson

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2512
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Denver, Colorado
You can look into "Convict Conditioning", which is strength training without equipment, only using your own bodymass. Drawback is that it is purely down to your own discipline to do it and build up correctly, advantage is you can do it everywhere. I am a big fan, and I was amazed at how quickly my strength increased and I progressed through the exercises (although I am still very much at the beginning).

Building muscle takes time, by the way, if you are looking for magic tricks for muscle gain similar to crash diets, that will not give you permanent benefits.

Agree completely - I was a gym rat for years and I got pretty darn strong on a lot of lifts, but none of that really gave me functional strength like the CC program has (so far).  It's slower going in the beginning but don't skip any steps and be persistent and things will get very challenging before you know it. 

For me, the big difference was that if I got stronger at bench or deadlift or squats in the gym, it didn't carry over that much into the real world.  Sure, I would get stronger at that exercise for the next time I was in the gym, but I didn't notice much difference in my day to day life.  CC is different in that I started to notice that even very prosaic stuff like standing up from a sitting position, or opening a jar of something - these all became a lot easier. 

It's not flashy and it's not very social, because you do it at home and you basically use your own body.  But it is free and it's effective.  I think the CC philosophy of "using what you have" is very MMM :)

fb132

  • Guest
I just want to chime in here to celebrate the fact that not one poster has recommended any kind of "supplement". Creatine or whatever short term gain unsustainable nonsense. I love this community and the smart people in it.
Also, +1 to the weights on Craigslist. Exercise equipment gets dumped all the time.
It's a waste of money unless your bodybuilding for a competition. The only thing I don't mind having is whey protein because it is convenient and it cost cheaper than some foods especially in Canada. I usually go for organic whey unflavored which has only 2 ingredients unlike many supplements that have ingredients that can be harmfull (full of arsenic, lead and metal).
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 10:57:21 AM by fb132 »

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
Also, OP if you're at all like me you're skinny because you're just not constantly hungry and/or don't have a constant desire to eat regardless of hunger.  For me to gain weight I need to aim for 3000cal/day, which is very difficult.  I'm just not hungry enough to eat that much, even with high-calorie foods (they just fill me up quicker).  It's hard to eat 3000 healthy calories a day, and I'm not going to sacrifice my health by eating shit foods to get the calories.  This is the hardest part about gaining.  Working out I can do, what mass I have has always been fit, it's the getting more mass that I constantly struggle with.  What works for me:

I'm never hungry first thing in the mornings, it takes a while for my stomach to wake up and be ready to eat.  So I trick it by downing a high calorie shake before work.  This starts me off with 1000 calories out of the way right off the bat.  My shake recipe is at the bottom of this post.

Food routines.  I do best when I eat the same things that I know are X calories and that I know I can eat a lot of.  I usually do the same shake in the mornings and have a couple different lunches I'll rotate, then vary up dinner depending on my remaining calorie needs for the day.  Weekends are the hardest for me when I'm busy running errands and not eating on a schedule.

I don't do GOMAD but I do keep milk around and if I haven't hit 3000cal by the end of the day I'll make up the deficit with that.  Usually this ends up being just 1 or 2 cups.

MyFitnessPal app.  I don't use it much anymore now that I know how many calories the common things I eat have, but early on I used the hell out of this app to keep track of calories, and add up different meal options to see what would give me more.  If you don't know exactly how many calories you're getting each meal, then it's just a guessing game and I found out I was greatly overestimating how many calories some things had.

My morning shake:
1 banana (100 cal)
1 cup frozen strawberries (100 cal)
1 cup frozen something elses, usually pineapple and mango (100 cal)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (200 cal)
2 Tbsp olive oil (200 cal)
1/2 cup oats (150 cal)
1 cup whole milk (150 cal)
big handful of spinach (no calories, but I never get enough leafy greens)

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
I think the "functional" argument is basically used to justify not lifting hard and heavy and also to sell expensive classes to teach needlessly complicated exercises.

Or maybe ignoring the functional argument is used to justify not having to learn complicated exercises that don't look or feel hardcore and cool while doing them... can be seen both ways.

I do feel pretty lame sometimes trying to do a front lever when I can't even get up to 45 degrees in a tucked position, or get my knees off my elbows trying to go from a frog stand to a tucked planche.  They're not exercises I would be comfortable doing in a gym w/ beefcakes all around, that's for sure, so I understand the lack of appeal.  I know I could get bigger faster by using weights, but I feel like I'm getting more than just size out of bodyweight exercises.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
You can look into "Convict Conditioning", which is strength training without equipment, only using your own bodymass. Drawback is that it is purely down to your own discipline to do it and build up correctly, advantage is you can do it everywhere. I am a big fan, and I was amazed at how quickly my strength increased and I progressed through the exercises (although I am still very much at the beginning).

Building muscle takes time, by the way, if you are looking for magic tricks for muscle gain similar to crash diets, that will not give you permanent benefits.
Just popped over to recommend Convict Conditioning. So, +1.

RichMoose

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
  • Location: Alberta
  • RiskManagement
    • The Rich Moose | A Better Canadian Finance Blog
I had the same problem as you, along with weightlifting, food is equally important. I am in the same basket as you, I eat 5 times a day with the following:

-Protein (20-50g per meal, example: Cottage cheese, yogurt, chicken, egg whites, protein powder)
-Good carbs every meal (ex: Sweet Potatoes, whole wheat bread, brown rice, beans)
-1-2 servings of veggies per meal (You can have as many as you want really, I don't think you can overdose on veggies)
-Healthy Fats (ex: Nuts, eggs, Peanut Butter, Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil)
-Fruits (only 3 servings per day, breakfast, lunch and supper...no more, because of sugar)

I have been doing this plan for 2 years and I have gained almost 20 lbs

+1 for this. It is often said that 80% of body shape/conditioning is diet. You have to eat consistently, following a routine and making sure you get all your essentials. Aim for about 3000 calories per day and you will put on weight.

There is also great advice here for body strength training. I do exercises similar to Convict Conditioning in a high intensity circuit and have seen great results for lean muscle building.

You can definitely run and gain muscle, you just have to run different. To build muscle you need to max out the use of your ATP-CP system by doing running bursts of 10 seconds or so followed by rest each time. If you are near a local high school track an easy exercise is as follows: slow jog to the track to warm up your muscles. Stretch your legs out. Then do six to ten 100m sprints. Rest between each sprint by walking back to the starting line and you should be ready to go again.

Sprint training will also help your diet as it helps increase metabolic activity making you feel hungry more often.


hodedofome

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1390
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Texas
Get married. I weighed 125 on my wedding day at age 25. Could not gain weight and sustain it to save my life. I worked out hard in college, took a bunch of supplements, ate until I felt like throwing up, and the best I could do was 140-145. Once I stopped working out I lost it all within 2-3 months. I said that's too much work.

Gained 15lbs on a 7 day honeymoon, and have been steadily increasing ever since. Yes, you got that right, I gained 15 lbs in 7 days. About 2-3am every night, I'd wake up for whatever reason and go down and get a slice of pizza, a hamburger and fries (this was on a cruise ship). Eventually got up to 175 where I stopped eating out and drinking soft drinks and eating ice cream every night. Now I'm down to a steady 165 and I'm probably normal for 5'10".

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16609
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
While it's entirely possible to gain 15 lbs in a week, it's not possible for that weight gain to be muscle.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2320
  • Location: EastCoast
Not free, but nearly: buy a 50 lb bag of sand at home depot: ~$4.
Put in trashbag then in a backpack or old duffel bag. Put on your back and do pushups. Decent chest/arm workout with extra weight. Add more weights as appropriate.
Can also be used for squats, curls, overhead lifts etc.

immocardo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Not free, but nearly: buy a 50 lb bag of sand at home depot: ~$4.
Put in trashbag then in a backpack or old duffel bag. Put on your back and do pushups. Decent chest/arm workout with extra weight. Add more weights as appropriate.
Can also be used for squats, curls, overhead lifts etc.

While this is good advice, it can also be very dangerous.  Adding weight to a backpack will often put a large amount of the weight above your lower back.  Any sagging at all will do more damage than it will help.

That being said, there are tons of good tips above, I would recommend checking out

reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness

-Great community and the FAQ will answer a lot of questions and provide you with a starting routine and progressions to make exercises more difficult

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2652
Also, OP if you're at all like me you're skinny because you're just not constantly hungry and/or don't have a constant desire to eat regardless of hunger.  For me to gain weight I need to aim for 3000cal/day, which is very difficult.  I'm just not hungry enough to eat that much, even with high-calorie foods (they just fill me up quicker).  It's hard to eat 3000 healthy calories a day, and I'm not going to sacrifice my health by eating shit foods to get the calories.  This is the hardest part about gaining. 

I have this exact problem. I really need to get more consistent about liquid calorie intake, because I'm too small and have too slow digestion to eat enough healthy food (bulkwise) to get adequate calories. If I swapped out the milk in your shake with rice milk or almond milk, it looks great. I should just do this every damn day and stop worrying so much about what I'm going to eat in terms of solid food.

RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1184
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
If I swapped out the milk in your shake with rice milk or almond milk, it looks great.

Look into hemp milk.  140cal/cup vs 40 in rice/almond/soy.  I keep hemp milk on hand for when I feel like I'm intaking too much milk or just run out.  I wouldn't drink it straight but it works fine in the shakes.

Edit:
That being said, there are tons of good tips above, I would recommend checking out

reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness

-Great community and the FAQ will answer a lot of questions and provide you with a starting routine and progressions to make exercises more difficult

Thanks for that link, holy crap lots of info, feel like I'm falling down a wikipedia rabbit hole.  Good stuff.

use2betrix

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2100
You aren't eating enough. Period. The cardio only means you have to eat more. Nothing can take the place of food and you can't build muscle without eating enough of it.

I went from 168 lbs and around 12-14% BF to 220lbs and around 9% over the course of about 3-4 years.

big_owl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 894
"everybody wants to look like a bodybuilder but ain't nobody want to lift no heavy ass weight"

Sorry, no way around lifting heavy weights.  I went from 6ft, 135lbs to same at 218lbs, 5% BF in 3yrs.... hard, heavy weightlifting is what it takes, and eating more than you thought was possible.  1-2gr protein per lb and similar with carbs.  Oh yeah, and there's nothing wrong with protein shakes or creatine.