Article last updated: December 2017 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
(1) Your nutrient partitioning is best when you’re at a healthy body-fat percentage (8-15%). This means that your body is better at using food for muscle gains when you’re skinny compared to when you’re skinny-fat, therefore diet down before you focus on gaining muscle mass.
(2) You can lose about 3 percentage points body-fat each month when you’re skinny-fat or fat. Therefore it will take about 5-8 months to get lean for the skinny-fat guy who is at 25-30% body-fat. Once you want to go below 10-12% body-fat and get shredded, fat loss slows down considerably and the amount of time and effort needed to reduce body-fat percentage increases exponentially. (Law of diminishing returns kicks in).
(3) When you diet down from a skinny-fat frame, you will look skinny, but skinny is better than being a soft, skinny-fat weakling who carries 20-30 pounds of excess body-fat and struggles doing push ups, pull ups and basic cardio drills. Trust me, you will feel like a new person once the fat is gone. It’s nice to be able to sit down and not have your love handles expand over the sides of your jeans and to put on a fitted t shirt without worrying about the look of your manboobs.
(4) For most naturally skinny-fat and fat men, being shredded/ripped is a bad thing because testosterone levels decrease when you diet down past a certain body-fat percentage (usually below 8-12% for men depending on your genetics). Does that mean you can’t get shredded for the beach? No, you can do so for short periods of time, but you will look quite small unless you have a lot of muscle mass and you will have a hard time maintaining that look year around.
(5) If you can’t do 15-20 pull ups with good form, you can benefit greatly from bodyweight exercises. The ability of doing 15-20 pull ups means that you have a decent strength-to-bodyweight ratio (something most skinny-fat men lack).
(6) Most skinny-fat men have underlying issues such as chronic depression, social anxiety, low testosterone levels, bad digestion, food intolerances and poor “performance” in bed. How do I know? Because I used to have most of them and many of my clients have at least one of these issues. The solution to these issues is to work on your BODY and MIND at the same time. While hitting the gym hard and cooking your meals don’t forget to also work on other issues that affect your life negatively. Don’t use the gym and diet as a cover-up for things that may be just as important to fix. No matter how good your body is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have anyone to share your life with and spend all your time alone in your room depressed.
Be proud but stay hungry,
– Oskar Faarkrog
- Part 1: Training
- Part 2: Muscle Gains
- Part 3: Diet
- Part 4: Weight Loss
- Part 5: Aesthetics
- Part 6: Expectations and Body Image