Skinny but weak

5 posts | Original | Recent
2 Posts
Jan 9, 2015 9:13pm
via Android

I'm new to the gym, I've been a competitive swimmer and lifeguard but never worked out in a gym.
I'm looking for tips on building strength. I'm already under weight so I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm just so weak.
Any other skinny weak people have tips for me?

97 Posts
Jan 9, 2015 10:50pm

Building muscle is a simple process. You have to tear muscle tissue and provide the necessary nutrients to help it repair itself. So if you're going to a gym, lift heavy. Start small to work on your form, but then incrementally add weight so that you get to the point where you are actually building muscle.

Make sure you rest at least one day after strength training. And go for high weight with low (3-5 reps). Be sure to rest, drink plenty of water, and increase the amount of protein in your diet (to help rebuild your torn muscle tissue).

Good luck, you're going to be GREAT!

10 Jan
Excuse me, Jason... Just one question: is there a chance we can become stronger without it being visible? I mean, I'm working on strength but I don't seem to "bulk", is that OK? Yeah, proteins, I know... But my muscle can get stronger even without becoming bigger, can't they??
12 Jan
Hi Mihaela, the low rep (3-6) high weight increases strength but may not be visible. An example program I've done last year is alternating between high weight/low rep ranges then switching to lighter weight/higher rep ranges. It's a good way to keep increasing your personal bests and getting bigger more defined muscle. Power lifters tend to do 1 rep, max weight.
12 Jan
Thank you very much Scotty! I see I should switch different kind of training anyway to make my muscles work in new ways. Indeed my goal isn't to get bigger, it would be enough to become stronger and healthier (lol, it would be great!). Thank you for answering :)))))
12 Jan
Following up on Scotty's answer Mihaela, yes you can become stronger without it being "visible." The visible definition of muscle is really about body fat percentage. You can be super strong but have a high enough BF% that it essentially covers up your muscles. If your goal is to increase visible muscle definition then you need to reduce your over all BF%.
12 Jan
Thank you, Jason! Yeah, that's understandable but I'm underweight so BF% isn't a big problem right now XD Thank you, I guess you hadn't seen this earlier because last time we kind of posted at the same time :)
274 Posts
Jan 10, 2015 12:09am
via Android

Your new workout journey can be broken down into 3 tiers: Stabilization, strength, and power.

New people to the gym often neglect the first tier, jumping into heavy weights before their body is conditioned for such tasks. During the stabilization phase, you condition your body, using light weights, proper range of motion and tempo. This phase should last about a month. If workouts seem easy, do not add more weight. Challenge your body in new and different ways, such as using one arm dumbell exercises, or placing the body in unstable conditions which forces the body to recruit more of the core, thus stabilizing. Rep range should be anywhere from 12 to 20. The strength tier focuses on heavier weights, less reps, and hypotrophy. The power tier is not necessary for most people, usually competitive athletes. This tier focuses on heavy weights, and moving a specified weight from one area to another as fast as possible. This is a progressive model, and it fits everyone. Straight up science based methods out of the NASM textbooks.

9 Posts
Jan 12, 2015 1:57pm
via Android

Girls won't bulk as much as guys ever! You will notice your muscles being more toned and you will quickly be able to lift heavier weights than before you started training. Also your stamina will improve. Girls don't have as much testosterone as guys, so unless you supplement this artificially you will not bulk up the way guys do.

5 Posts
Jan 19, 2015 5:45pm

I'm on the same boat (ex-swimmer :D )!

The comments above are really good. As a skinny guy, I'm focusing on stabilizing muscles in order to follow through to strength and build muscle. Actually, I've lost just a small amount of weight, probably to fluctuating protein intake, which is next on the agenda to keep track of.

Thanks for the motivation everyone!