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Skinny fat

Skinny fat


How to guide your training and diet ?

The reason this question is so difficult to answer is that :

A) Every time a person tries to add muscle to their body, an inevitable layer of fat comes along at the same time. This is a relatively normal process, inherent to all mass gain. However, since the false lean already has a certain percentage of fat naturally present, adding even more can become unsightly, problematic and a source of frustration.

B) Anyone trying to get rid of fat will unfortunately find it extremely difficult to build muscle during the muscle-wicking phase. For a false lean, starting with a dry run could leave him with no fat...but no muscle either...

Some would say that the only thing to do is a beautiful weight gain, some people think that this is the best approach for beginners, while others will advise you to do a dry run before building up your muscles again.

So it's all a bit confusing, and we're going to try and shed some light on the most logical choice and, above all, give you some personalized pointers to help you see things more clearly (because, as you may have guessed, there isn't ONE answer, but MANY)

Muscle gain or muscle loss ?

prise de masse ou sèche

The main problem with standard answers (and that's the definition of standard...) is that they suit everyone and no one... The "false skinny" doesn't fit into a well-defined morphotype, so it's often necessary to look at each individual case to get the right answer.

As most of us don't have a personal trainer, we need to give you the keys to the best choice for your body type and goals.

Physical characteristics

First of all, let's take a look at the physical characteristics of the fake skinny. They often carry a tummy that's not very prominent, yet quite flabby. No visible abdominal muscles, usually surrounded by "love handles". Musculature is also underdeveloped.

Skinny fat profiles

There are a number of different profiles for false skinnies, from the very skinny ectomorph with an evenly distributed layer of fat, to the ectomorph who's starting to show a real belly, with no real musculature.

The question of whether to start with a mass gainer or a leaner will ultimately be decided on a case-by-case basis. It's best to study your morphology and decide which direction to take. So there are no generalizations or rules to be followed systematically.

Sometimes it makes more sense to start with a muscle lean phase, and sometimes it's better to go straight to mass gain.

This depends on several objective factors:

- Bodyfat percentage (fat content)

- Muscle condition

- Size

- Strength when you start weight training

But there are also subjective factors, such as the individual's state of mind, and whether he or she feels complexed by a lack of muscle or fat.

To help you see things more clearly, it's important to keep things in perspective. Indeed, ifYou're a fake skinny and your goal is to be lean, muscular and protruding, during your initial training phase (whether you decide to gain mass or dry out). You won't be satisfied with your physique in any case, but this will be only temporary, as mass gain or dry weight training will only be one stage in the construction of your physique.

It's important to think long-term and not focus too much on a single step on the road to your ideal physique.

The majority of exercisers (except those blessed with enviable genetics, a gift from Mother Nature) go through phases of gaining mass and losing weight, so that at certain times of the year, you'll see them a little too fat, or a little too thin.

You're going to say OK I get it, but the problem remains, so where do I start ?

Let's make up our minds !

There are two important points to bear in mind when making your choice:

- The first thing to consider is setting a goal that motivates you the most. If losing weight is more important to you than building muscle, choose lean over bulking.

- the other point, and this is the most important, will be linked to the current state of your physique. if there's too much fat, you'll have to go for the dry approach, of course.

The most important thing is the percentage of fat your body has when you start building muscle

Building muscle takes a lot of effort, and if you add fat to a body that already has a fairly large bodyfat, chances are you won't like the result and you'll suffer a serious setback or drop in motivation that's likely to keep you away from the gym.

Here are a few examples of physiques where I often recommend starting with a dry one first...

Musculation faire une sèche

In this case, I recommend setting up a diet with a calorie balance deficit of around 500 calories per day. Combine this with light weight training and long sets, as well as cardio sessions.

The result should be a weight loss of around 700Gr to 1Kg per week.

As soon as you reach 12-15% bodyfat, you can return to cleaner weight gain.

Once again, to be very clear, technically, it's not a mistake to start by building mass with a very fat physique, but the most appropriate choice in this case is to first commit to losing this fat and then start building muscle again.

this choice also allows beginners to take the time to familiarize themselves with the various bodybuilding exercises without immediately worrying about strength performance, adding weight to the bars, etc...

on the other hand, let's take a lean morphotype, always an ectomorph, with a low fat content.

In this case, the best choice will be to commit to mass gain directly.

Here are a few examples of ectomorphs, fairly lean, with no excess fat, to whom I recommend starting directly with a mass gain.

Musculation prise de masse

If your physique falls more into this category, it's far more beneficial to start building your muscular "foundations" straight away. Develop your strength and stimulate hypertrophy.

It will then be time to return to fat loss in the context of a muscle lean. This should not be too strict, to avoid losing what you've already gained.

I suggest you control this weight gain and do it gradually and thoughtfully. The last thing a fake skinny person should do is carry out his or her weight gain without precautions and ingest calories from fast food or junk food, which would cause unwanted excess weight to cop on...

Introduce an excess of around 200 to 300 calories per day into your diet and maintain this pace until you gain 1 to 1.5 kg per MONTH.

Whatever your choice, remember that bodybuilding is a story of patience and determination. Each step is not definitive, but merely a stepping stone towards the ideal body you want to achieve.

If you'd like some advice, don't hesitate to contact us via the MegaGear store form, as our coaches try to respond to the majority of requests... as soon as we have free time to help you.

Happy training !

AuthorAlexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his bodybuilding experience with MegaGear blog readers