Article last updated: May 2019 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
A common line of thought in skinny-fat guys is that doing more exercises and more overall work leads to better results.
This is especially the case with guys who have energy left in the tank at the end of each training session and feel that each training session must leave them feeling annihilated.
The problem with this line of thinking is that doing more doesn’t always lead to better results.
First and foremost, you can’t only consider the amount of work you can recover from today or in the first 2 weeks of training.
Many training programs are accumulative which means that the overload happens over many weeks.
As a result, you can find the program easy to recover from the first 2 weeks and feel like you have energy left in the tank at the end of each training session, however after 2 weeks you find the training increasingly difficult to recover from each week.
If you start adding in exercises in the first 2 weeks, you will stall much faster on the program and thereby you don’t milk the program for all it’s worth.
Second, when you work close to your limit in the beginning your risk of injury dramatically increases.
If you get an injury in the beginning of your training you can be severely limited in your training for months.
For example, if you get a shoulder, back or elbow injury you may not be able to perform most upper body exercises.
Does this mean you shouldn’t train at your maximum recoverable volume?
This depends on your current condition and program goals.
If you’re a skinny-fat guy with novice strength levels it’s in most cases better to do the minimum amount of work that still produces results.
The main reason is that as a skinny-fat guy you don’t need to train your muscles to annihilation to get results.
Instead, you only need to consistently stimulate your muscles just enough.
By going for consistent stimulation you can have more consistent strength gains on your key exercises each month and gain more overall muscle mass in the long term – while having a lower risk of injury.
Once you get rid of the skinny-fat look and get stronger and more conditioned you will find it more difficult to make muscle gains.
This is when you want to use more exercises and train closer to your maximum recoverable volume.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer