When I was in my early twenties, before I began weight training, I weighed 107 lbs. Although we were all skinny (my friends and I) in our teens, I seemed to be the only one who never gained that “adult weight” everyone seems to put on after high-school.
Fun fact: Until I began weight training, I had never weighed more than any of my girlfriends.
Like you, I felt I was doomed to an unfulfilling life in Skinnyville.
That was until, after many months of studying and research, I was finally able to pack weight on my frame and completely transform my physique, and my life.
It was then that I decided to take on the life mission of helping over 1million skinny guys (and girls) to do the same.
Taking on that goal has allowed me to meet hundreds (if not thousands) of naturally skinny guys just like me, who want nothing more than to put on some weight, build some muscle, and gain the confidence they need to excel in their lives.
During this journey I realized that most skinny guys have that same mindset that I did in my early twenties.
The mindset of:
“I am at a disadvantage.”
“I can’t build muscle as fast as other guys.”
“This is unfair.”
(Enter pathetic excuse here)
First off…bitching and complaining about something you’re unwilling or unable to change, is useless.
Second, finding the negative in things as opposed to the positive is not only going to keep you skinny and frail, but lonely and miserable too.
With that said, let me help you find the positive in being a hardgainer.
You may be surprised that this “curse” is actually quite the blessing.
So let’s go over 7 overlooked benefits of being a skinny hardgainer.
1. No Recomposition Needed
The beginner stages of your training are by far the most important. If you miss that gain train, you can expect to walk your ass to the next station where they travel slower and the time between trains is longer.
While most guys are battling belly-fat or fear of too much fat gain, you have one focus, and one focus alone…building muscle mass.
Instead of spending your beginner days in a caloric deficit trying to shed belly fat, you have to ability to maximize muscle gain by eating a surplus of calories without increasing your waistline.
2. Extended Bulks
The longer you can stay in a slight caloric surplus, the more time you’re building muscle, period.
Fortunately for you, you’ve started out lean and have the metabolism of a hummingbird (approximately 100x faster than that of an elephant).
While most guys can expect to bulk for a maximum of 4-6 months, the hardgainer, if done correctly, could easily stretch that bulking phase to double that (8-12 months).
Which brings me to my next point…
3. We’re More Primed for Muscle Gains…Kind Of
Partitioning Ratio: “Essentially, it represents the amount of protein that is either gained (or lost) during over (or under) feeding. So a low P-ratio when dieting would mean you used very little protein and a lot of fat. A high P-ratio would mean that you used a lot of protein and very little fat. “–Lyle McDonald
As I mentioned in this article here, the main determining factors when it comes to p-ratio are genetics, metabolism, hormones, and insulin sensitivity.
What do these things all have in common?
You guessed it! They’re things we have very little, if any, control over.
However, there is one more factor that plays a significant role in p-ratio.
What this means is quite simple. The fatter you are, the less lean mass you will gain; the leaner you are, the more lean mass you will gain.
As naturally skinny guys, we tend to stay relatively lean. This makes us more likely to be primed for faster lean muscle gains. When we are leaner, our body becomes more efficient at adding lean mass and less efficient at storing fat, plain and simple.
4. We Get to Eat More Food
This is a gift and a curse…but more so a gift.
We hardgainers seem to be a bit resilient to gaining weight despite consuming a high number of calories.
This is due to a high NEAT.
N.E.A.T. (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) – Calories burned through conscious or unconscious movement.
This essentially just means that we tend to burn more calories from things like brushing our teeth or tossing around in bed.
More energy expended = more energy needed to be in a positive energy balance.
Where do we get the energy needed to put us in a caloric surplus?
Do your energy needs exceed your appetite? Read This: 5 Ways to Increase Appetite for Skinny Guys
5. Less Cardio to Get Shredded
At some point or another, once you’ve exceeded a certain bodyfat percentage, you’ll want to start a cutting phase in order to burn the unwanted fat you’ve accumulated over the months.
This will require you to eat in a caloric deficit.
Fortunately for you, you’re a hardgainer and can cut on as many carbs as most people bulk on.
So what does this have to do with cardio?
At some point or another, your fat-loss will stall. At this point you’ll be hit with, what is a daunting decision to most, deciding whether to cut carbs or add cardio.
Most guys end up with relatively low carbs to “play with” as they get leaner, so they end up having to do a bit more cardio if they don’t want to starve themselves.
You don’t have that problem.
Because your maintenance calories are so high, you end up with much more carbs to sacrifice.
This gives you the luxury of cutting calories as opposed to adding cardio, and you don’t have to starve yourself in the process.
High carbs, low cardio, no hunger pangs, and shredded abs. Doesn’t sound too bad, eh?
6. Solid Foundation for Sharp Aesthetics
Part of what makes us hardgainers is our small bones.
But it’s also what makes us a bit more likely to develop a more aesthetic physique.
If through smart training and solid nutrition you’re able to add a decent amount of muscle mass, it will tend to look better, more defined, and create the illusion that you’re bigger than you really are.
It’s why most people guesstimate my weight to be around 20lbs heavier than it really is.
7. Chicks Dig Skinny Guys
If the last 6 benefits weren’t enough to have you psyched up to be a hardgainer, this certainly will.
In a recent study, Vinet Coetzee of the University of Pretoria in South Africa found that women may prefer thin men over macho.
Now although different women have different “types”, despite science, I think it’s safe to say that more women would find Adam Levine more attractive than Jay Cutler. And you could argue that one is better looking than the other, but if they looked at physique alone, I don’t think the numbers would change.
Embrace Your Skinny Genetics
This is not to say that being a naturally skinny guy with low bone density trumps other body types or genetics. I’m sure I could make a similarly appealing argument for either camp.
But maybe being a hardgainer isn’t as bad as you may have thought.
Sure, gaining weight and building muscle may seem like a challenge, but so is burning fat and staying slim.
At the end of the day, you’ve got to make the best out of what you’ve got.
And frankly, if you’re a hardgainer, you’ve got it pretty damn good!
Are you a naturally skinny guy who wants to gain weight and build muscle, naturally, without spinning your wheels?
Check out the 3 strategies that allowed me to gain 27 lbs and go from skinny weakling to jacked powerhouse.