As a skinny fat guy, you know what it feels like to be a zombie: Just like the undead, you’re in that dreaded in-between zone.
In other words, you’re skinny and fat at the same time — with the fat piled up around your middle, yet your arms and legs remain scrawny and thin.
It’s no wonder you want to get rid of your skinny fat body!
To get rid of your skinny fat body, you know that you’ve gotta hit the gym and pack on some muscle. But what do you do when you actually get there?
Do you focus on fat loss or muscle gain? And what exercises should you be doing to get REAL results?
In this article, we lay out a workout plan to take you through a 12 week transformation from skinny fat to lean muscle.
What is Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat guys don’t look overweight in clothing — but when the shirt comes off, the blubber gets exposed. The upper body is totally shapeless, with love handles, a belly paunch, and man-boobs.
But get to the shoulders and arms, and everything is rake thin, with no signs of anything remotely like muscle covering the bones. Same story with those scrawny chicken legs.
The route to skinny fat often begins with an obsession with weight loss. This leads people to diet obsessively and throw themselves into cardio training in their quest to bring down the number on the scale.
They may end up losing weight, but 90 percent of it is going to be muscle.
How Skinny Fat Guys Need to Train
The essential characteristic of a skinny fat body is that it is lacking in muscle mass and definition.
To transform your skinny fat body, then, you need to do things to pack lean muscle onto your frame. How do you do that?
With resistance training.
But not just any resistance training. To build muscle, you must follow three essential rules:
- Lift heavyweights
- Do compound exercises
- Limit cardio training
Weight training is, by far, the best way to reshape your body. It will allow you to add muscle mass while burning off body fat, all at the same time.
That’s because heavy compound weight training torches calories. On top of that, every ounce of muscle that you add to your body is going to ramp up your metabolism.
A common mistake that skinny-fat guys make is to spend too much time on abdominal exercises. The reality is that you don’t need to be doing exercises for your midsection to get rid of belly fat.
The human body is not capable of spot-reducing fat. So, rather than cranking out dozens of hanging leg raises and crunches, put all your focus on the basic heavy moves that will achieve max calorie burn as they get you stronger and bigger.
The 5 Essential Skinny Fat Exercises
There are hundreds of exercises that you could be doing to transform your skinny fat body — but there are only five that you should be doing.
These are the compound exercises that will allow you to get stronger faster. And as you get stronger, your body will have no choice but to add muscle.
Unless you get your choice of exercise right, you’re going to be wasting a lot of time in the gym for minimal reward.
Heavy compound movements are the key to building muscle mass. These are the multi-joint movements that work a variety of muscle groups all at once.
They also simulate real-life movements, like squatting down or lifting something off the floor.
Prime examples of compound movements are pull-ups, squats, and bench press. These exercises are not only the best way to build bulk, but they will get you stronger quicker than anything else.
And because they work muscle groups simultaneously, they are far more time-efficient than isolation movements.
Here are the big five compound moves that you need to be doing . . .
That’s it! No barbell curls, no pec-dec flyes, no lying leg curls. Put all your energy and focus on the compound exercises that are already working every muscle in your body.
Skinny Fat Workout Plan
Here’s the good news: With this 12-week skinny fat transformation, you’ll only be in the gym twice a week. Go with Monday and Thursday, to provide maximum rest between workouts.
The key to muscle growth is to get in the gym, work the muscle, then get out and feed that muscle while your body recovers.
Do not be tempted to do more then two workouts per week — it will be counterproductive. At the same time, just make sure that every single second of every workout is full-on.
Sets & Reps
You need to keep making the target muscle work harder. If it does the same amount of work as last time you were in the gym, it won’t have a reason to respond.
You can ensure that you’re making constant progress by pyramiding the sets you perform. With each succeeding set, decrease the number of reps.
For each exercise, you will do four sets. Here’s how they break down.
Set One: Warm-up – 15 reps
Set Two: 10 reps
Set Three: 8 reps
Set Four: 6 reps
Rest between sets should be exactly 60 seconds.
The 12-Week Skinny Fat Workout Routine
|Squats||4 x 15/10/8/6||4 x 15/10/8/6|
|Deadlift||4 x 15/10/8/6||4 x 15/10/8/6|
|Pull-Ups||4 x 15/10/8/6||4 x 15/10/8/6|
|Bench Press||4 x 15/10/8/6||4 x 15/10/8/6|
|Military Press||4 x 15/10/8/6||4 x 15/10/8/6|
6 Hacks to Owning Your Workout
- DO NOT take your phone onto the gym floor.
- THINK about engaging the muscle you are working.
- KNOW what your goal weight for Set 4 is on each exercise before you get to the gym.
- NEVER sacrifice technique just to lift heavier.
- ALWAYS have a spotter when going heavy.
- BOOST your testosterone naturally to grow muscle faster.
You now know how to get rid of your skinny fat body. Follow through on the 12-week skinny fat workout routine consistently, and you’ll add solid pounds of muscle while reshaping your body.
It’s during this foundational phase, where you stay focused on the basics, that you lay the groundwork for a truly impressive physique.
Ricky is the Founder of Exercise With Style with over 10 years of healthy lifestyle experience. He dedicated a website with the best information on health, fitness, weight-loss, muscle growth and product reviews. Rick is always looking for expert contributors to better serve his loyal readers.