T Nation

Skinny Bastards & Misconceptions


Just a quick one since I'm pressed for time.

What most skinny guys who look at themselves are obsessing about is fat percentage. What they should be thinking of instead is muscle percentage. Not lean mass, since your brain, intestines and liver isn't a changable parameter (for non GH using individuals). Muscle mass... That's what you need to be concerned with. If you are 200lbs and 20% fat, you DO NOT have 160lbs of muscle.

I can't begin to fathom the difference between someone who is 5'10" 136lbs and 13-16% fat or someone who is 5'10" 236lbs and 13-16% fat. The body doesnt operate well without a certain amount of fat, and besides, to look all cut up, you need to have some muscle for anything to be seen. If the muscle mass is missing, you won't look muscular, simple as that.

Worth noting... when the skinny bastards start to gain muscle by eating enough it is possible for them to gain little to no body fat (or even decrease the percentage if body fat in lbs stays the same and they gain weight).

This is however no excuse for them to stuff their face with fast foods. They should eat a lot, but healthier choices.

Who's with me in trying to point this out to the poor fellows? Prof X?


maybe you shoulda posted this in physique and performance as thats were they all post their shoe pics.


It might be a stretch, but some scientist once observed that in a gym, men will work more on upper body and women will work more on lower body, when to build a ballanced physique, they should actualt be doing the opposite, due to their natural weight/strength distribution.

It has something to do with a tendancy to do what you are good at.

Skinny guys are good at being skinny. So they stay skinny and work harder at getting skinnier, even when they don't know that this is what they are doing.

It ain't right, and they should knock it off.
Knock it off, Right Now!


I feel you wasted your time with this post. The reason I feel that way is because people believe what they want to believe. The loudest people on this forum AGAINST anyone bulking up (which is nothing more than the concentration on size and strength alone to build a solid base) are also the ones who have never shown a picture of themselves or their own physical progress. From their stats, they are also all under 200lbs. Results should speak for themselves. This would be painfully obvious to those truly trying their best to make significant progress from year to year.

It does come down to personal preference, however, I know I would rather take the 3-5 years to reach a level that these guys afraid of any and all fat gain won't ever reach in a life time. I've been on this board for a long time, long enough to see the progress people actually make over years. The ones who go ahead and make strength and size their main focus for a good deal of time are the ones who now look VERY different from just 3 years ago. The ones afraid of every ounce of body fat are not making anywhere near that kind of progress...if they are making much progress at all.

To someone out to achieve something important to them, that should be all the proof needed. The rest are people I would probably avoid if I saw them in the gym for fear of their lack of interest and motivation rubbing off on me.


Those percentages are fucking everybody up. For one thing they're not very accurate. Another is genetics, some people will look more ripped than others even at a higher bodyfat percentage. The biggest factor I see is overall muscle mass, when you don't have the mass your fat percentage is going to go way up in comparison to muscle mass. In theory... you could drop bodyfat percentage by not losing anyfat at all and gaining 20 lbs of solid muscle.

The original poster and Sky had really good posts...

...I think the perspective and the angle of looking at bodyfat percentage is fucking everyone up.

If you think looking like a cadaver at 6% bodyfat with about 50lbs of lean muscle is the way to go then be my guest. A competitive bodybuilder at 6% bodyfat has a ton of muscle which makes his fat% go down and still has alot more fat then the guy that looks like a cadaver.

Prof X was called out the other day, but I believe the Professor will have the last and final words when this is all over with. You can't build muscle with nothing from nothing and drop your bodyfat & hoping to gain lean mass. You have to pack on the calories in hopes of coming out on top in the gain catagory... hopefully it will be mostly muscle, just lift a little more often and those fat percentages will drop without actually losing any fat.


"Drop your bodyfat percentage by gaining lean muscle mass"... there's an idea that won't get much consideration around here Prof X. Why? It actaully requires work and effort. Why do that when someone could just starve themselves to get that specific #, no matter how close to anorexia they get.


I don't mean to sound like an asshole, because you and everyone else saying what you're saying in this thread have helped me immensely just through reading your posts, but why the fuck do you guys think you are the only ones who work hard? Because you have the results? Do you honestly think nobody else wants a sick physique as much as you?

I bring the intensity to the gym, I plan out my eating pretty meticulously, I read every piece of information about different routines and am still trying to find what's best for me. Sure there are a good amount of misguided little shits who want to post pictures of their 135 pound body holding a shoe because they already think they look awesome even though we clearly can tell they're just unhealthy and disgusting, but I guarantee there are many more people in the same boat as me- who are working their asses off and just not seeing the same results as you, so stop associating that with not willing to put in the time and effort.


And what boat is it that you are in?

What are you current stats and why aren't you seeing results?

It can only be because of one of three different factors...or a combination of them.

Heavy weight
Enough food to gain muscle mass
and Recovery.

Which are you not doing and why?


Not everybody wants to be 230lbs... I do see your point, but unless someone is looking to compete, there is probably no reason to be above a ripped 200lbs, probably not even above a very ripped 180lbs. I am not a bber, so it doesn't really matter to me what my weight is (only sport performance), but I know many people who work out just to look good, not to get huge.


Are you saying that getting big or bigger doesn't look good? Frankly I don't want to look like a toothpick like Brad Pitt... I don't care how many TRL chics he turns on. I think that look is horrible for a MAN. I don't want to look like Ronnie or Jay either, that's just too much and I'm not competing for Mr. O. I like a big build that looks like a man and not a scrawny wuss that can wear his wife's clothes C'MON! I like a look somewhere between 200 & 250 lbs.

I'm currently at 225 and I could use some more size or a little less depending on my goals or my interest. But I don't think a build like Russell Crowe's in Gladiator is TOO BIG and he's over 200lbs there. I think that's a decent size for a man. I don't want to be shredded either, I was shredded and frankly it made my look like a fuckin tool. I like to be cut and show some definition but I don't need to look like I starve myself.

Now I'm not sure why you think a guy that wants to bulk up over 200lbs is too big. To me, anybody that wants to stay under 200 lbs at average height is just a little light in the shoes if you ask me. Unless you're in a sport that calls for lightweight or you are just built small, I don't see what the big deal is with men wanting to look like men.

Too many nancy boys infiltrating this site. I'm just doing my part and making my voice known that their are still men and women out there that like men to actually look like one. Don't worry, I'm outnumbered by the pansy boys about a 1000 to 1. Why are you complaining?

As far as you not seeing results(metallicaman)... if you're eating well and doing everything right, than you might want to question your intensity level and commitment.

Get the basics down, once you have it... then its all consistency and intensity.


You are making very little sense. In that case, why would anyone neeed to be a ripped 180lbs?

This is a bodybuilding site. It seems many people got lost and showed up here by accident.


Considering your ripped 180 statement, I think it SUCKS! I was a ripped 180. In fact i was pretty ripped at about 170-190 and it did not impress me or as many ladies as I thought it would. I impressed myself and more women by actually being built a little bigger and not so goddam starving looking.

I know you guys think that the Brad Pitt "smoke cigs all day and have toothpicks for legs and no ass" is the look to be. I doubt it. If he wasn't handsome, his look would not turn on as many little TRL girls as you think. And as far as women go, a Real woman wants the look of a man. I know from having these differnt builds that a manly look with something for my woman to grab onto was more more satifying for myself and for the ladies. What do I know though... since when did experience count for anything anymore?


Well if you want tips metallicaman, I'll give you 4 and if you use them you will not fail. Come back to me and tell me I was wrong and proove me wrong(won't happen if you consistanly use those tips).


1 - From Prof X, eat enough and don't be afraid to eat a little extra. (most important tip)
2 - From me, use routines that force your intensity to go thru the roof just based on the routine.
3 - From Chad Waterbury, Use a higher training frequency for increased strength and hypertrophy. Also don't overuse failure sets.
4 - From CT, Use specialization techniques such as HSS 100 for lagging muscles and learn to use Vince Gironda's principles such as more work in less time. Examples would be dropsets, supersets, strippersets, CT's 5-2-1 method.

Thats all you'll ever need. Those are the basics. Use the basic exercises and heavy weight most of the time. Nothing to it but to do it.


lol okay look at some pictures of Dwain Chambers, who was under 200lbs, Linford Christie (also under 200lbs), Ben Johnson, and some other sprinters (or any athlete for that matter) and tell me that those builds aren't impressive. I have yet to meet many females who are impressed with 230lb builds. There are some, but many fewer than a skinnier look. Also, 180lbs ripped is far from skinny. Brad Pitt in fight club was probably 150lbs or less.


Under 190lbs not flexing

under 200lbs and not flexing

6'3" and still under 200lbs

Maybe our definitions of ripped are different. Seeing some abs flexing isn't really what I would define as ripped...

Maybe you guys can post pics of being 225lbs ripped and needing more mass... If you are very ripped and over 200lbs you are probably pretty freaky looking.. CT posted a bber before that was under 180lbs and looked better than probably 99% of the people here.


True... people believe what they want to believe. They need their own personal realisation.

Let me start by saying that I am nowhere near massive and have loads of room for improvement. But I am improving. One of my realisations have been that it is the journey, not the destination.

Currently I'm sitting at around 225lbs and am fatter then I want to, but I can afford losing some before starting to build up muscle again.

Before, I was one of the skinny 160lb-ers that hoped to be a ripped 180lbs through the efforts of a calorie restricted diet... obviously, that did not work.

When I stopped focusing on having a six-pack and shifted the focus to strength training things started to happen, although I did not realize it at the time.

Calorie counting stopped, fat gram counting stopped but instead I started caring more for protein content and tried to eat a lot of meat.

Endless isolation exercises were cut out for compound movements to build strength.

Then my big realisation came.

Muscle is built with heavy weight and excess calories.

The minutiae get in the way to often.

Now, my goal is to stay within distance of the 198lb class in powerlifting and to keep building muscle until I move up to the 225lb class, and hopefully looking reasonably good naked while doing it. Focusing on strength leads to the nice side effect of muscle growth.

Perhaps that is what more people need. A shift in focus. To let go of what they know and venture into the fields of the unknown, because they'll never lose from letting go and trying new things, only emerge wiser.

Sorry for the rant... I just had to vent somewhere...


Then you need to get out more. Beyond that, if the only thing keeping you in the gym is trying to impress people, you won't stick with this for long.


"Unless you're in a sport that calls for lightweight or you are just built small, I don't see what the big deal is with men wanting to look like men." -GHF

Christ I have to quote myself.

If your looking for an excuse to be some scrawny girly man, by all means... be that little anorexic bitch. You don't need my fucking permission. I was at one time that little bitch, I grew up and put myself to mansize proportions. My wife cannot wear any of my clothes. And I weighed 130lbs as a graduating senior. So, don't come to me with the "I wanna look like a little bitch" syndrome and I want to have ripped abs because some track runner somewhere only weighed 175lbs and he was ripped and fucked Halle Berry. Who gives a fuck about all that? Brad Pitt get some hot women and my wife can probaly kick his ass, I don't think i want that kind of build. Been there, done that, I'll stick with my manly 225lbs. You can have the Orlando Bloom I wanna look like a woman look. I'm not trying to impress dykes and women that like little boys. My wife likes a man and that exactly how I try to look. I like Russel Crowes build in Gladiator, although I'm more built than him, I tend to try to keep a look like that.

If you want to be ripped at 172lbs, by all means do it! I was already there, I grew up and settled for mansize proportions. I'm not competing for any sport right now, so I don't need to be at a lighter weight.

Do the excuses ever stop?



I went through that stage like I said before. I was lighter and more ripped, but I wasn't happy with my look, so I added some more size. By doing this for myself, I actually thought it wouldn't attract more females but it did. You would be surprised, women actually like men that look like The Rock... no shit! Its not a crime.

By the way... those pictures of those track guys or whatever, is exactly the look I tried to lose. You look like a tool if you're not actually "Competing" in a sport. I had that ripped lighter look and decided it was weak, so I added some more man to my frame. Works out nice, my wife likes it, and so do I.

You can put up 1000 pictures of guys that weigh under 200lbs that look muscular, I know... I was there. I'm not impressed by any of them. I'm more impressed by guys with bigger builds that look powerful, not like toolbags. And those other guys just look like athletes. I'm not impressed. I'm more impressed with Arnolds build in the Conan movies and The Rocks' build.


I wrote an entire article on that. I never had a destination in particular either. I just enjoyed the ride and along the way I saw things I liked and didn't like. If I concentrated on the destination, I would have never gained an ounce.