The reason skinny guys remain skinny is that they have the Skinny Benny Mindset.
As someone who is tall and lanky, I am very familiar with the struggles of being a skinny guy who wants to get bigger.
Just take a look at me in my senior year of high school…
As you can see, I was skinny as fuck — 6’2″ 165 lbs to be exact.
But it’s not like I didn’t workout or eat a lot of food. I was pretty fit.
The truth is I was eating a lot, but I wasn’t eating enough — I still had the Skinny Benny Mindset.
Since then, I’ve come a long way.
It took a long time and a lot of trial and error, but slowly and surely I got rid of the Skinny Benny Mindset — and I want to show you how!
But first, I’m going to give you some insight into the process that allowed me to change my mindset forever.
I already eat more than anyone I know…
In high school, I honestly did eat more than everyone I knew. I could out-eat my friends who had 60-80 lbs on me.
And I could hang with most of them in the gym too.
But I was still skinny.
At one point, this is what my daily nutrition looked like:
- Breakfast — I would have a granola bar or pop tarts. Basically, just something I could eat on the go because I was always running late to school.
- Mid-morning — I took weight lifting in high school, usually in the morning, and I would drink a protein shake after class.
- Lunch — I would go to the Subway line in our school cafeteria and have her load it up with as much meat, veggies, and cheese that could fit on the bread. Then I’d also get two cups of fruit, a bag of chips, and an oatmeal cream pie. I washed it all down with sweet tea.
- Dinner #1 — For my first dinner, I usually ate fast food like a double quarter-pounder combo meal from McDonald’s.
- Dinner #2 — My second dinner was a home-cooked meal.
- Snack — I always snacked on random stuff at night. Sometimes it would be healthy food, other times it was ice cream.
As you can see, I was eating a decent amount of food — but that doesn’t matter because it still wasn’t enough.
I finally realized this in college and started paying more attention to my caloric intake.
By then I had gained maybe 10-15 lbs.
It felt like major progress, but I hadn’t come very far. I struggled to consistently eat the amount of calories I needed to gain weight.
I started to accept the fact that I was just going to be skinny forever and I started to embrace it.
My structure is too narrow to lift heavy weights…
Guys with the Skinny Benny Mindset are afraid of heavy weights.
They’re not literally scared of them, but they don’t believe they can lift them.
I know because that was me.
I genuinely couldn’t picture myself lifting heavy weights.
Then I finally decided to focus on strength for once and I ran a basic 5×5 program.
After doing that combined with GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) I made the biggest weight gain of my life and jumped up to 208.
After cutting all of that extra fat off, I was maybe 10 lbs ahead of where I started — I was a lot stronger, though.
At that point, I finally made one of the most important mindset shifts — I accepted the fact that fitness takes time and I was only just starting to actually take things seriously and do them right.
Slowly but surely, my body grew as I made better progress in the gym.
Consistency is the biggest factor. Once you become consistent with diet and training, the results steadily come.
But there’s one thing I left out of the story.
The classic “hardgainer” mistake — bulking too dirty.
As a hardgainer, I should eat as much as possible without tracking my macros…
After forcing yourself to eat more calories for a little while, your body adjusts and it becomes easier. Much easier!
Once I saw how easy it was to grow by eating a lot of calories, I started a dirty bulk with no holds barred. I ate everything — my favorite snack was chocolate covered cashews.
I got a lot stronger in the gym and my weight jumped up on the scale.
But the end result wasn’t so pretty…
If you can take your eyes off that god-awful beard for a second, take a look at my gut.
Those were the only pants that still fit me and they were stretched to the seams.
It’s ok to get a little fat when bulking, but it’s more effective for most people to minimize the fat gain as much as possible.
Nowadays, I don’t mind gaining extra fat, but I don’t let myself get to a point where I’m gaining more fat than muscle.
Yes, skinny guys, you need to track your macros!
Tracking your macros is just as important while bulking as it is when cutting.
How to Destroy the Skinny Benny Mindset
There are three main things you can do to change your mindset from the Skinny Benny Mindset to the Forever Fit Mindset.
- Track your food intake
- Increase your appetite
- Lift heavy ass weights
Let’s talk about the first one.
You might think you’re eating a shit ton of food, but you’re most likely not even hitting 3,000 calories a day. Maybe you are — either way, you can’t know for sure until you track it.
I recommend using MyFitnessPal to track your macros.
Do that for a week and you’ll know exactly how much you’re eating. If you aren’t gaining weight, you need to keep tracking your food, but eat more.
It’s that simple.
Now I get it — maybe you have to eat a ridiculous (so it seems now) amount of food to gain weight and you don’t have the appetite to eat it all.
Fortunately, I have some solutions for that as well.
One thing you can do is eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of fewer, larger meals.
Your body won’t need as much time to digest each meal and you will feel hungry again sooner.
This is the same principle that causes most people to get fat. They snack throughout the day and don’t realize they are only adding fuel to the fire by making themselves hungrier and hungrier.
The other thing that’s helped me increase my appetite is cardio.
Cardio makes me hungrier than lifting weights for whatever reason.
I find that long sessions of low-intensity cardio or around 10-20 minutes of HITT work the best for building a huge appetite.
Finally, the last thing is probably going to be the most difficult for most skinny guys…
You have to believe you can lift heavier weight.
With the Skinny Benny Mindset, you’re used to being weak. It’s part of your identity. You genuinely believe you are too weak to lift the big weights.
The fact of the matter is that you have to believe you can, otherwise you won’t push through when the weight is tough — you’ll think you don’t have a chance when you really do.
To overcome this mental barrier, I suggest using a program focused on building strength for 12 weeks.
You’ll be amazed at how fast your strength goes up when you are only focused on getting stronger. You quickly learn that you are stronger than you thought and that lifting heavier weights is only a matter of practice.
The other thing is that as you gain weight, getting stronger is easier. You also start to visualize yourself as someone who can lift bigger weight because you are bigger.
Being skinny is a mindset, just like being fit or being fat are both mindsets.
Ditch the Skinny Benny Mindset and you’ll never have to worry about gaining weight again.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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