This is the De Facto skinny-fat workout and diet guide to lose weight and look great. Skinny-fat is the term used to describe someone who appears to be a healthy weight but they have a high body fat percentage compared to their lean mass.
Also called “Normal Weight Obesity”, the skinny-fat body type is extremely common and it has some serious health consequences.
You need to understand what you’re up against if you want to fix skinny-fat and get healthy.
This Skinny-Fat Workout and Diet Plan shows you how to go from ‘Skinny-Fat’ to fit as quickly as possible. This plan has worked for me, it has worked for others, and it will work for you.
Just ask my friend Jaden here:
Jaden went from skinny-fat to ‘steal your girl’ with the help of this plan.
He’s one of many, many former skinny-fat guys now living their best life.
Skinny-Fat Solution Success Stories
Check out Dany and David’s amazing body transformations below.
Both are former skinny-fat guys who transformed their body from skinny-fat to fit with the help of this guide.
I could add more transformation photos but I think you get the point. As you can see, we’ve got fixing skinny-fat down to a science here at Iron and Grit. So let’s get down to business.
This article gives you the knowledge you need to build muscle, burn fat and get fit. It contains the KEY you need to go from skinny-fat to fit.
Here you will find a diet plan designed especially for skinny-fat guys. You will also find a workout plan that detonates belly fat and packs on muscle to turbo boost your metabolism.
But wait there’s more – You’ll get tons of tips, tricks, and hacks to get strong, lean, and fit that you won’t find anywhere else.
Seriously this is a value bomb that will take a while to digest. Feel free to bite it off piece by piece by jumping to the section that suits you best below.
Or read the whole thing top to bottom, through and through, to learn about how I beat skinny-fat and how you can do it too.
Enjoy my friend. And be sure to reach out if you need a helping hand.
What is ‘Skinny-Fat’ Exactly?
Skinny-fat is a body type in which someone is both skinny and fat at the same time (go figure.) Skinny-fat folks have very little muscle mass while having a high level of body fat for their weight.
This above average level of body fat typically clings to their butt, thighs, belly and waist. It can even hang on to the neck, chin, jowls, and face.
A simple way to see if someone is skinny-fat is if they look skinny in a T-Shirt but fat or chubby with their shirt off.
If we had to put a number on it, skinny-fat guys are usually somewhere around 18-28% body fat, and definitely always have very little muscle mass.
Typical features of the skinny-fat body type are:
- Narrow shoulders
- Skinny arms
- Small calves
- A ‘boney’, soft, or weak looking upper body
- Wide, feminine-looking hips
- Fat thighs and chunky butt
- Love handles
- Flat chest and back with ribs showing sometimes
- Belly fat
- Spare tire and muffin top (excess body fat around the midsection.)
- Little or no muscle definition
- Man Boobs (Gynecomastia)
If you have any or all of these skinny-fat symptoms, you’re not alone. Skinny-fat guys are everywhere. It’s a very common affliction.
Walk down the street of your town and 4 out of 10 guys will be skinny-fat.
Skinny-fat is so common now they had to create new terms for it. The skinny fat condition is now referred to as the following:
- Normal Weight Obesity
- Metabolic obesity
- Metabolically unhealthy non-obese
- Metabolically obese normal weight
- Thin Fat
Call it what you want but it all means the same thing: An unhealthy body composition with a high body fat percentage and critically low skeletal muscle mass.
To make matters worst, the traditional body mass index shows these guys in the healthy range in terms of body composition. So they appear to be health even though they clearly are not.
If you’re part of the skinny-fat demographic, don’t worry, there’s hope for you yet.
Even if you’ve “tried everything” without results, don’t lose faith. You’re a lot closer than you think.
Being skinny fat can lead to a bunch of health problems including heart disease, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
My Skinny-Fat Transformation Story
I used to be a skinny-fat guy.
I had all the traits of a skinny-fat physique: Love handles, belly fat, man boobs, boney arms, and chicken legs.
But that was a long time ago. Now I’m lean and muscular.
If you saw me today you would never guess that I used to be skinny-fat.
I’m proud to say that I transformed my doughy dad-bod into an athletic physique:
I exchanged my beer belly for six-pack abs, and transformed my man boobs into a masculine chest.
Even my face got lean. It went from round and chubby to defined and handsome. My pudgy cheeks that looked like chewed bubble gum transformed into a chiseled jawline.
I admit that transforming my physique wasn’t an easy feat. I had to overcome the same challenges that all skinny-fat men face.
But I’m living proof that with the right formula you have a fighting chance to go from skinny-fat to fit. And you can do it in record time if you stick to the script laid out for you in this text.
Without the knowledge below you don’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. (I’m serious. The odds are stacked against you.)
So read it all from top to bottom and let it sink in. This is likely the most comprehensive and actionable article about how to beat skinny-fat on the planet.
This article is big one, so grab a protein shake and get comfortable. When you’re ready to begin, all you have to do is start…
My Skinny-Fat Transformation (before and after)
Yes, it’s true – I was full blown skinny-fat at one point.
When I started lifting weights things got a little better.
Weight lifting made me bigger and stronger, but I still wasn’t even close to being ripped.
After weight training for what seemed like forever, I went from skinny-fat to just kind of… fat:
I didn’t get it. I worked out all the time but my body looked like poo.
Months of training turned into years of training, yet I still wasn’t getting the chiseled physique I wanted. I began to get discouraged. Maybe even a little depressed.
Since I didn’t know what else to do, I just kept going, even though it took every ounce of my willpower to drag myself to the gym.
I was determined to get jacked. I knew a breakthrough must come eventually if I kept pursuing my goal.
Finally, after years of trying every exercise I could find, I finally found the key to unlock my physical potential.
Shorty after making this discovery, I looked like this:
I had the breakthrough I was looking for.
Once I understood the main reasons I was skinny-fat in the first place, I knew exactly how to fix it.
I realized that skinny-fat guys have unique challenges to overcome.
They can’t train like a regular guy and expect to get jacked. They need a special plan that is tailored to their body type.
I completely revamped my training routine by incorporating this new knowledge and the results were drastic.
That special plan is the answer to the problems skinny-fat guys face.
This skinny-fat solution will make perfect sense once you know why you’re skinny fat in the first place.
You will believe in the solution, trust the process, and succeed at getting ripped. Meaning you can fix skinny-fat forever!
Buckle up – Here we go.
Motivation for Skinny-Fat Guys
Gut Check: How Bad Do You Want It?
Desire is everything, fella.
With desire you can achieve anything. Without desire you will fail miserably.
I’m not going to sugar coat it – It’s not an easy road ahead. There will be ups and downs.
You have to want it bad enough to keep going when things get tough.
That being said, you can beat skinny-fat. It’s hard, but if you want it bad enough YOU WILL make it happen.
How long does it take to go from skinny fat to fit?
Your body transformation won’t happen overnight. It will take time. It’s best to plan for the long haul.
Being straight with you here – My skinny-fat transformation took a long time. BUT, it took me much longer than it should have because I had no idea how to build muscle and lose fat.
It takes a lot more than a workout routine and calorie counting if you want to make a serious change. There’s a lot more than meets the eye. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to your face. Hence why I wrote this guide. To set the record straight and show you how it’s really done.
I learned how to build muscle and burn fat the hard way through trial and error. (Lots and lots of trial and error…)
I hit the gym faithfully day after day after day after day for years. I tried new exercises, new workout routines, training equipment, bodybuilding diets and all kinds of supplements. I was looking for the secret formula or magic pill that would give me what I wanted. Sadly, there is no magic pill (but there is a secret formula which I will reveal to you in this article).
My journey was full of ups and downs, with plenty of set-backs and frustration. At times I felt completely de-moralized. I wanted to quit.
There were weeks at a time where I trained faithfully without any change in my physical appearance.
It was a constant challenge. But looking back the struggle was worth it. My relentless pursuit allowed me to discover what works and what doesn’t. And I EARNED something money can’t buy – A strong, athletic physique complete with all the confidence and wellbeing that comes with it.
Sure, my skinny-fat transformation took longer than it should have, but fortunately for you, my pain is your benefit. You can get a great physique in less than half the time it took me by following my blueprint.
From Skinny-Fat to Fit: Is It Worth It?
You might be wondering:
Is it worth the time, effort, sweat, tears, pain, planning and hard work?
100% without a doubt, building a strong, healthy, good looking physique is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing.
The benefits of building a great body are incredible and need to be experienced in order to be fully understood. You’ll see what I mean when you transform your physique. You will look better, and you will feel better. You’ll get compliments from strangers and people will stare at you so your confidence skyrockets.
Yes, it takes a lot of time, energy and sweat. It’s painful at times. But commit to the process and make a promise to yourself that you will never give up.
Then all you have to do is keep making progress day in and day out.
Anything worth building takes time.
Although it was a grueling journey at times, the rewards are well worth it.
Once you start seeing results it becomes fun. You begin to crave the process and look for new ways to improve. That’s when you know you’re on to something.
You will notice a difference and others will notice, too.
Everything you want is on the other side of hard work. So when you feel like you need a boost remember why you started and everything you get to look forward to.
The Benefits of Going from Skinny-Fat to Fit
Once you go from skinny-fat to fit, you will enjoy:
- Better health
- More energy
- Improved mood
- Supreme confidence
- Better sex
- More sex
- Personal pride
- Increased productivity
- Higher self-esteem
- Sense of accomplishment
- Feelings of wellbeing
- Increased Testosterone
- Chiseled features
- Better posture
…and that’s just to name a few.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, then you’ve come to the right place.
It’s much easier to build the body you want if you know what you are doing.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have a clue what to do, and they end up spinning their wheels. This article will cue you in and set you on the right track so you don’t waste valuable time.
It took me a long time to perfect my training routine and diet, but once I did, my muscle mass exploded and my belly fat vanished for good.
This article shows you exactly how to stop being skinny-fat and get ripped as fast as possible.
But first we need to understand the enemy before with can defeat it.
What Causes Skinny-Fat?
The three reasons guys are skinny fat are:
- Poor Diet
- Lack of Exercise
- Low Testosterone
Nutrition, exercise, and testosterone are like a three legged stool:
All three legs of the stool work together to hold up a healthy, athletic physique.
Remove any one leg and the stool falls to the floor – BOOM! You can sit your skinny-fat butt on the ground now.
Let’s dive into each of the skinny-fat causes.
Bad Diet: Foods that Cause Skinny-Fat
Skinny-fat guys suffer from self-induced metabolic damage. The foods they eat are abominations full of fake ingredients that destroy health and are void of nutrients.
Processed foods, refined carbohydrates, seed oils and artificial ingredients are nuking your metabolism and making you sick, weak, and skinny fat as a result.
These ingredients are in everything making it hard to avoid or even detect. Some people will even tell you these things are good for you. Disgusting.
Your diet will make you or break you.
The right food gives you energy, strength, focus, and vitality.
The wrong food results in misery, malaise, and a skinny-fat body.
My skinny-fat diet strategy is simple:
Get enough of the right foods and avoid the wrong foods.
It’s impossible to have an athletic physique if you are malnourished. The modern diet is trash and it is killing you slowly and makes you feel terrible in the process.
The best way to kick a poor diet is to learn about nutrition. (If you only knew what you are eating you would never eat it again.)
Everything You Eat Either Helps You or Hurts You
Once you understand that everything you eat either helps you or hurts you, you’ll start eating the right stuff.
The average skinny-fat guy’s diet is awful, and can be summed up thusly:
TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES AND NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN.
Carbohydrates are filler calories that make you fat. Protein builds muscle and keeps you lean.
Unless you’re an athlete, you don’t need carbs. Human beings are meant to eat meat.
Proteins are the Building Blocks of Life
Animal protein is best, because it bring animal fat with it. Animal fat is essential for proper digestion, vitamins and minerals, and healthy cells.
Best Protein Sources for skinny fat guys
Steak, chicken, turkey, ribs, fish, eggs, and my personal favorite – thick cut cherrywood bacon, are excellent sources of protein.
Grass-fed, free-range, fresh caught, and organic varieties of meat are the best option.
However, any type of these protein foods is better for you than any type of carbohydrate.
The only good carb is one that comes from a green vegetable.
Carbohydrates are Public Enemy #1
Refined carbohydrates are especially bad for your health. Processed carbs with filler ingredients are the worst thing you can eat.
Sadly, skinny-fat guys fill up on refined carbohydrates, like sugar, corn syrup, and processed grains, wheat and rice.
These ‘foods’ stick to your gut like glue.
They contain empty calories that do nothing good for you.
Empty calories never make you feel full. They don’t provide enough nutrition to make your body signal it’s had enough.
That’s why you can just eat and eat and eat snack foods nonstop. All these extra calories become stored as fat.
Avoid Empty Calories at All Cost
Empty calorie foods wreck your body.
They are full of sugar, fat, and fake ingredients.
These things make you skinny-fat, and if you eat too much you’re bound to get fat-fat, sick, and suffer from chronic fatigue and illness.
When you’re fat, sick, and tired all the time you will find it harder and harder to workout.
This creates a dangerous downward spiral where your muscles waste away while your belly gets bigger.
Avoid fake foods and artificial ingredients because they DESTROY your metabolism and motivation.
Natural Foods Fix Skinny-Fat
On the other hand, natural foods provide the nutrients your body craves.
Fresh meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds are excellent sources of wholesome nutrition.
You need protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals for health, energy, and wellbeing.
You’ll need even more nutrition to maximize muscle growth and inhibit belly fat. Getting vital nutrients is key to fixing skinny-fat.
Eat Well to Be Well
Remember this point about nutrition:
You can build a strong body with whole, natural foods, but you will destroy your body with sugar, unnatural fat and fake ingredients.
Food is fuel. Don’t fill up your tank with premium fuel then park in the garage. Put it to work and take it for a ride.
Put Your Food to Work
It matters what you demand from the food you eat. For example, if you eat a sirloin steak and watch Netflix all day then the steak will be stored as fat.
But it you eat a steak and crush weights in the gym, then the steak will turn into muscle. All because of demand.
Your body doesn’t care if it has muscles or not. It’s up to you. It will only grow if you demand it to.
Eat Twinkies instead of steak and you’re screwed either way.
Get your eating in order, then learn how to train for muscle gains…
Lack of Exercise causes skinny-fat
Unless you do things that are physically hard you will become physically soft.
The right training routine is essential to transform your physique.
Weight lifting is the best way to reshape your body. There’s no better way to build muscle, and you need muscle mass to fix a skinny-fat physique.
You want to go from a pear-shape skinny-fat body to a ‘V-shape’ athletic body, and that means putting muscle in the right spots.
The only way to build quality muscle is with a quality training routine.
Weight Training for Skinny-Fat Guys
I’ve noticed that most skinny-fat guys do not workout. The few that do workout do not know how to workout correctly.
I see these poor guys spinning their wheels in the gym going nowhere fast.
Many get discouraged and quit.
“What’s the use?” they say.
Common training mistakes I see skinny-fat guys make are poor exercise choice, bad technique, inconsistent effort and lack of intensity.
If they only knew:
The ‘secret’ to transforming your skinny-fat physique is to BUILD YOUR BODY WITH THE BASICS.
The Best Exercises For Skinny-Fat Guys
The basics lifts – Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Chin ups, Pushups, Dips and Rows – are the best exercises for skinny fat guys to build muscle.
All athletes, actors, action heroes, fitness models and military personnel reached the apex of physical fitness with these basic exercises.
If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.
Training Intensity Matters
Once you get comfortable with the basic exercises, crank up the intensity. Lift until it feels like your arms are going to fall off.
The magic happens in the last few reps.
Those critical last few reps that feel like your muscle is going to explode is what makes them grow.
You don’t have to go out there and kill yourself the first day in the gym, but you must push yourself.
Each workout should be progressively more challenging than your last.
And if you’re not sweating, panting, and grunting then you aren’t working hard enough.
Cardio is Secondary to Weight Lifting
Don’t waste your time running.
If you’re a runner, 20-30 minutes a day, after your weight training workout, is plenty.
Running will not help a skinny-fat guy get in shape.
Jog on the treadmill all you want. It won’t transform your physique in a notable way.
You might lose a few pounds, but you won’t keep it off. You will inevitably end up skinny-fat again when you stop running.
You might even end up skinny-fatter because you didn’t see real results anyway, so why try?
Run just enough to break a sweat and keep your heart healthy. Just enough to improve your endurance to elevate your training capabilities overall.
Build ‘Critical Mass’
Muscle turns your body into a fat burning machine.
Muscle burns calories 24/7. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.
Once you build a base layer of muscle mass it’s easy to maintain. Seriously, once you are ripped it is very easy to stay that way.
You need to pack on that quality muscle mass with weight training and clean eating.
Pay your dues, build equity in yourself, and it will pay dividends for a lifetime.
But before we get into all that, we need to talk about the power of sex hormones. Specifically testosterone, and how to raise your testosterone levels naturally.
Low Testosterone leads to Skinny-Fat
Testosterone is what separates the men from the boys. Literally.
Testosterone is the male hormone and is responsible for masculine traits such as muscle development, a deep voice, and a chiseled jawline.
Low testosterone will limit your ability to build muscle mass and increase fat retention.
However, raising your testosterone levels will increase muscle mass and burn body fat.
Several factors influence testosterone levels, such as genetics, diet, and your environment.
You can increase testosterone naturally with weight training, proper diet, and avoiding xeno-estrogens that kill testosterone.
There is a direct correlation between how low testosterone and being skinny fat. When I was skinny fat my testosterone level was around 600. Now it’s close to 900.
Weight Lifting Increases Testosterone Naturally
Weight training is the best thing a man can do for physical and mental health.
The body yearns to be used. When you use your body it gets stronger. When you don’t use your body it rots.
Lifting weights triggers your body to produce testosterone. This is an adaptation response so we can meet the demands of our environment.
It’s a survival mechanism. Your body must rise to meet the demand placed upon it or die.
We are biologically wired to survive and, by Grand Design, were born to thrive.
If you place demand on your body to get stronger, it will.
In order to get stronger, it will produce testosterone to support the muscle mass necessary to meet the demands of your environment.
Getting ‘fired up’ also boosts testosterone. You need to get fired up in the weight room to lift heavy weight. Focus is a trait of high testosterone.
Muscle and strength is a natural adaptation response that has kept our species alive for hundreds of thousands of years.
Your body produces testosterone naturally when your lifestyle demands it.
Elevated testosterone levels are your body’s response to the environmental stress. Stress (lifting weights) force you to grow in order to handle that heavy weight next time.
Combine weight training with a good diet and you have the recipe to boost your testosterone levels naturally. (I know because I’ve done it.)
Increase Testosterone with Diet
To increase testosterone you need to eat the right foods.
Coincidentally, natural testosterone production requires natural foods.
I raised my testosterone by over 200 points without drugs or supplements. My body looks drastically better now.
Humanely raised animals provide the protein, healthy fats and cholesterol needed to produce testosterone naturally.
Whole eggs are another great food that builds testosterone.
Fat and cholesterol are building blocks of hormones that keep you healthy. Any advice demonizing cholesterol is meant to turn you into a girly man.
Make sure your body has the ingredients necessary to build the testosterone it desperately needs.
You won’t find those ingredients in a box lunch or frozen dinner. But, you will find them in a juicy steak and scrambled eggs.
(Related: The #1 diet to boost testosterone naturally is the Steak and Eggs diet. Try it for two weeks to bring you testosterone production back on track.)
How to Go from Skinny-Fat to Fit
Now we’ve reached the turning point. This will outline what skinny fat people need to do to completely transform.
Now we will introduce strength training to build more muscle mass and gain weight in a healthy manner. The more skeletal muscle mass you have the healthier you will be typically. Building muscle will increase your lean body mass which is important to change your body composition and increasing your metabolism.
What’s the right amount of muscle? You need enough muscle mass to at least deadlift and squat your body weight. The more muscle mass you have compared to body fat means you will become less skinny fat. Your overall health will improve. And the higher body fat percentage means a higher likelihood to become skinny fat.
Weight loss can occur, as long as the weight loss causes you to lose fat mass and not lose muscle. This will happen if you don’t consume enough calories.
The Best Workout for Skinny-Fat Guys to Build Muscle Mass
The best workouts for skinny-fat guys achieve the following goals:
- Build total body muscle
- Burn calories
- Create a V-Taper
First and foremost, you need to build a solid foundation of muscle. This requires a balanced training routine that targets every muscle group.
You MUST build muscle to banish skinny-fat forever.
Without muscle any fat you lose can come back easily. So, building muscle is key.
When building a muscular foundation emphasis is placed on the legs and back. Your legs and back are the largest muscle groups. Therefore training them builds the most muscle and burns the most calories.
Extra attention is given to the upper back and shoulder to create a wide upper body.
Skinny-fat guys have narrow shoulders, a small back and chest and big waist and hips. Secondly, you need to build muscle in the right spots.
We need to reverse all of that.
You want broad shoulders, a wide back, a strong chest and a tight waist.
The Golden Ratio is the Key to an Aesthetic Body
What makes somebody’s body look great?
The answer is aesthetics.
And in order to have an aesthetic physique you need to train with that goal in mind.
There’s something called ‘The Golden Ratio’ that makes things look pleasing to the human eye.
The Golden Ratio is found in nature and people with the Golden Ratio have beautiful physiques.
The Golden Ratio is 1 to 1.61. In this case it means that your upper body, shoulder to shoulder, is 60% wider than your waist. (Measure to the widest part from shoulder to shoulder. Then compare to the distance from each side of the waist at belly button level.)
This is the optimal waist-to-shoulder ratio that you should strive for.
For the reasons above I’ve selected the exercises I think are best for skinny-fat guys to perform.
Best Exercises to Fix Skinny Fat
The best exercises for transforming a skinny-fat person are compound exercises.
Compound exercises require 2+ joints to perform the movement. (Ex: A push up required movement at the shoulder and elbow joints, therefore it is a compound exercise.)
Compound exercises can be bodyweight exercises or use weights for resistance.
Compound lifts can be performed with either the barbells or dumbbells.
Compound exercises are the best for skinny-fat guys because they engage the most muscle fibers, thus stimulating the most muscle growth.
Top 10 Exercises Skinny-Fat Guys Should Do
These exercises are needed to reshape your body by melting fat and putting muscle in the right spots. Don’t overlook these if you want to fix skinny fat!
Deadlifts add thickness and width to your back.
Not only that, deadlifts strengthen every muscle in your body from the ground up. That’s right, your legs, glutes, abs, arms and shoulders all get stronger from deadlifts.
Deadlifts are required to build muscle mass quickly throughout your entire body.
Deadlifts also improve your posture, breathing, coordination, and overall strength, making you more athletic.
Pull ups and Chin ups
Pull ups and chin ups (also called ‘chins’ by old school bodybuilders) are great for building wide lats (the ‘V’ shape muscle of your back), shoulders and arms.
Wide lats are especially important for skinny-fat guys because they make your waist appear slim by making your upper body wider.
Pull ups and chin ups are the perfect tool to achieve the ‘Golden Ratio’ mentioned earlier.
Pull ups are performed with a supplanted grip (palms facing you) and chin ups are performed with your palms facing away.
Both exercises work your back, shoulders and arm muscle differently. But together, they work all those muscles completely. So do them both!
Be sure to perform chin ups with a wide grip and take each rep through the entire range of motion.
Pull ups should be done with a medium grip.
Full range of motion means a full hang at the bottom of each rep and pulling your chest to the bar. Lean back slightly and look up at the ceiling as this engages the back muscles more fully.
Full stretch to full contraction = fully effective workout.
Do your pull ups and chin ups religiously and you’ll have a V-shaped torso in no time.
If you aren’t strong enough to do bodyweight pull ups, you have two options:
You can use the assisted pull up machine, or use the lat pull down machine. Both are encouraged to build upper body strength.
Barbell rows primarily add thickness to your back and shoulders, especially your rear delts.
Rows also pull the lats forward so they can be seen from the front. To get the most out of barbell rows, let the weight stretch your lats at the bottom of the movement to fully engage the lat muscle.
The trick is to feel your lower lats working. If you can’t feel your lower lats working, you need to make some adjustments. You should also feel your muscles around your shoulder blades working.
Lats are a large muscles spanning across the back. Rowing with full extension creates wider lats and lowers the appearance of the muscle insertion point. Making the ‘V-Taper’ start at a lower point of your torso. This is a good thing.
Barbell rows also work your shoulders, arms, and core as a nice bonus.
Squats are the supreme ruler of exercises.
They strengthen your legs, abs, lower back, upper back, glutes and abs.
You need strong legs and back to hold a few hundred pounds across your shoulders.
Squats are a total body exercise in disguise. My shoulders are usually sore after a I squat because I brace my entire body to push the weight.
Plus, squats target your largest muscle group – your thighs.
Big legs burn calories. NEVER SKIP LEG DAY.
Squats, being the heaviest, most taxing exercise, cause your body to release a flood of natural growth hormone that will help every muscle build anabolicly.
When squatting, you want to squat as low as you possibly can. No half-reps or 3/4 rep crap (unless you’re doing burn-sets).
Go ‘ass to the grass’, every rep. If you have trouble doing this begin stretching immediately to increase flexibility.
Practice keeping the weight on your heels. Your glutes and hamstrings should move most of the load.
Squatting low engages your muscles in a special way that makes you stronger and transforms your physique.
Military press, or shoulder press, is simply pressing a barbell from your collar bone up over your head until arms are straight.
Overhead presses like the military press build your shoulders which make your upper body wider.
Military press also strengthens your chest, back and arms because they are used to brace/push the weight.
Perform military press while standing to strengthen your body as a unit.
Incline Bench Press
The incline bench press is the ultimate exercise to build your upper chest and banish man-boobs forever.
Incline press gives you the appearance of a wide chest.
It trains the entire muscular plane from your shoulders across your upper chest.
Last but not least, the faithful push up rounds out our list of best exercises.
These exercise should be part of every skinny fat man’s workout repertoire.
With back-loaded barbell for core activation.
Sit ups and leg lifts galore
Science proved you can spot reduce. But it take a LOT of reps over a long time to make a difference. Might as well get started now.
Now we come to the main event. Let’s put all this training knowledge together shall we?
A Basic Bodyweight Workout Routine for Skinny- Fat Beginners
Do not start lifting weights until you can do 10 pushups in a row, 20 sit ups in a row, and 20 bodyweight squats in a row.
You should be able to perform basic bodyweight exercises before touching a weight.
This is your rite of passage. These bodyweight exercises get you ready for the weights.
This step is important – you need a baseline of muscle and body control to lift correctly. Performing the 10+ repetitions in a row of bodyweight exercises ensures you have the minimum requirements.
Now back to business…
The Skinny-Fat Guy Workout Routine (Full Plan)
Like I said, looking good is all about having the right body proportions.
You don’t have to be the biggest guy to be the best looking. Looking good is about balance, symmetry and proper proportions.
This workout brings it all together.
This workout routine is perfect for any skinny-fat guy looking to get a ripped physique.
This skinny-fat workout routine has three phases. Each phase is designed to maximize muscle gain and blast fat for fast results.
You’ll see that I recommend weight lifting in this program.
However, if you can’t get into a gym, I also offer a bodyweight training workout you can do at home or anywhere else you see fit.
About the Skinny-Fat Workout Routine
Phase One is a simple and straight forward strength training / powerlifting workout routine.
You need to get stronger with the basics first. It’s the best way to conquer skinny-fatness, so that’s where we concentrate.
The goal of phase one is to introduce you to the main exercises and build up your strength.
After you’re familiar with the basics, Phase Two introduces new exercises to challenge your muscles.
Phase Two increases total workout volume to build more muscle and burn more fat.
Phase Three we turn up the intensity with supersets.
Supersets are your secret weapon to get a chiseled physique. For supersets to be effective however, you need to know what you’re doing.
Warm-up exercises for all Phases:
Do two sets of 20-25 reps as a warm up before each exercise. This will ‘wake up’ your muscles and help you build mind-muscle connection to enhance the workout.
If you feel compelled, you can do cardio three times a week for up to 30 minutes to burn extra fat and keep your heart and lungs strong.
The Skinny-Fat Workout Plan: Phase One – Strength Building
The goal of this phase is to build strength and confidence in the gym. It will feel awkward at first. That’s normal! Just stick with it and it will become natural.
In Phase One you’ll get used to the simple barbell movements.
You build muscle with heavy, compound barbell exercises using strict form and controlled reps.
Don’t be intimidated by the term ‘heavy’ weight. Heavy is relative. What’s heavy to me may not be heavy to you.
The point is you need to push yourself to the limit, train as heavy as you can handle for each set.
If the set calls for 10 reps, pick a weight you could only do for 10-11 reps.
You will workout 4 times a week with this routine: Monday (Workout A), Tuesday (Workout B), Thursday (Workout A), and Friday (Workout B).
Skinny Fat Workout A
- Back or Front Squats 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Pull Ups or Pull downs. 3 sets of 10 reps (if you can’t do a pull up, don’t worry. Just to the body weight section to below to learn how to improve pull up strength)
- Military Press 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Leg Lifts 3 sets of 10+ reps (Do as many reps as possible for each set)
Skinny Fat Workout B
- Deadlift 5 sets of 5 reps
- Bent-Over Barbell Rows 5 sets of 10, 8, 8, 6, 6
- Incline Bench Press 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Leg Lifts 3 sets of 10+ reps (Do as many reps as possible for each set)
Pick a weight that you can barely do the prescribed number of reps for each set.
The last 2-3 reps should be very hard to finish. This is the muscle building threshold.
Do this workout for 4 weeks straight. Increase the weight used each workout to continuously challenge your muscles to grow.
Take a few days off to recover before starting Phase Two.
Skinny-Fat Workout: Phase Two
Each workout in this phase targets either the upper body or lower body.
The workout days are the same as previous phase: Monday (Workout A), Tuesday (Workout B), Thursday (Workout A), and Friday (Workout B).
This phase introduces a new exercise each workout. Walking Lunges for legs and Lateral Raises for round shoulders.
Workout A (Lower Body Split)
- Squat 5 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Walking Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps
- Straight Leg Deadlift 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8 reps
- Leg Press 4 sets of 15, 15, 10, 10 reps
- Leg Lifts 3 sets of 10+ reps (Do as many reps as possible for each set)
Workout B (Upper Body)
- Bench Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
- Pull ups 20 in as few sets as possible
- Barbell Row 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
- Military Press 4 sets of 10, 8, 6, 4
- Lateral raises 3 sets of 12 reps
- Leg Lifts 3 sets of 10+ reps (Do as many reps as possible for each set)
Do this routine for four weeks in a row.
Skinny-Fat Workout: Phase Three
Phase Three cranks up the intensity by introducing supersets and/or more volume each workout.
Supersets are an advanced technique where you do two or more exercises, back-to-back, without rest between them.
They allow you to tax the muscle to it’s maximum and burn fat while improving your cardiovascular health.
Supersets burn fat extremely well. They keep you moving. You will increase your heart rate, breathe heavy and sweat hard when doing supersets correctly.
Train four days a week alternating workouts. Monday (Workout A), Tuesday (Workout B), Thursday (Workout C), and Friday (Workout D).
- Incline Bench Press / Pull Up 4 supersets 12, 10, 8, 6 reps *For example, you complete a set of incline bench press, then immediately do a set of pull ups – then rest. That’s a superset.
- Military Press / Bent Over Row 4 supersets of 10, 8, 6, 4 reps
- Lateral raises 4 sets of 12 reps
- Bodyweight Dips 4 sets AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible)
- Back Squat 4 sets of 10, 8 ,6, 4 superset with Leg Curl – 4 sets of 10
- Romanian Deadlift 4 sets of 10, 8 ,6, 4 superset with Leg Extension – 4 sets of 10
- Leg Press/ Calf Raises 4 sets of 20, 20, 15, 10 reps for both exercises
- Leg Lifts – 3 sets of as many reps as possible
- Flat Bench Press 5 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Row (Underhand Grip) 5 sets of 10 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes (Flat Bench) 4 sets of 12 reps
- Lateral Raises 4 sets of 12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets of 8 reps
- Back Squat 5 sets of 5 reps make sure you go FULL depth every rep
- Deadlift 4 sets of 3 reps
- Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps (10 strides per set. Holding dumbbells)
- Leg Press / Calf Raises 5 sets of 20 reps for both exercises in superset fashion
- Leg Lifts 4 sets of as many reps as possible – keep back completely flat on ground or bench. Crunch abs hard.
Continue this workout for four consecutive weeks.
After Phase Three you should see a significant improvement in your body and overall wellbeing.
Skinny-Fat Bodyweight Workout You Can Do at Home
If you don’t have a gym member you need to get one eventually.
In the meantime though you can get started with your skinny-fat transformation at home with these four exercise.
Push ups – Build your chest, shoulders, back, arms and abs with pushups.
Start with 10 pushups and add more each and every day until you do 50 total.
Bodyweight squats – You need strong legs to have a strong body, and strong bodies are not skinny fat.
Do 50-100 bodyweight squats every single day to strengthen your legs and core, and to burn fat.
Pull Ups – Pull ups build your back and shoulders to create a V-Shape torso: The Hallmark of a muscular physique.
Do as many pull ups as you can each day and work your way up to 50 pull ups a day.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do many pull-ups. Pull ups are a challenging lift that takes time to master.
(See ‘How to Do Your First Pull-Up‘ for step-by-step instructions to unlock the pull-up.)
If you’ve never done pull ups before it might be slow at first but you will get there if you work at it!
If you can’t do a pull up, you can do pull-downs on the machine to build strength.
Another way to pull yourself up to the top position (chin over the bar) and hold yourself there. Use a chair to step up is needed.
Hold yourself up there as long as you can. This will build your ‘pull up strength’.
When you start to get tired and can’t hold yourself up anymore, fight gravity as long as you can and drop down as slow as possible.
These are called negative reps and will build muscle and definition.
You don’t need a gym to do pull ups you can buy a portable pull up bar for less than $30 or install a more stable wall-mounted pull up rig in your garage or basement.
Or build your own home gym.
Lying Leg Lifts – My personal favorite bodyweight exercise for trimming the abs and core.
To perform the lying leg lift, lay down on the ground with your back flat on the floor.
While keeping your butt, back and head in full contact with the floor, slowly raise your legs into the air by contracting (flexing) you abs.
Keep your legs straight and lift your feet toward the ceiling. Hold for a second or two in the top position.
Really feel your abs working. Then very slowly lower your legs back down.
The four exercises I mentioned above are perfect to build muscle in the right places, strengthen your entire body, and burn off the extra fat.
Get aquatinted with them.
Skinny-Fat Workout Tips
I want to share a few tips that I think might help you on your skinny-fat transformation journey.
Do Pushups Every Day – If you want to supercharge you progress do pushups every day.
Start by doing 10 push ups today, then 15 pushups tomorrow, and then 20 the next day.
Work your way up to 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100+ pushups a day.
Do push ups every day for a month and watch your body transform.
You can do push ups in as many sets as it takes but try to push yourself to get them done as fast as possible. (This keeps up the intensity!)
Train Your Legs! – This may seems counter-intuitive, but training legs is a must.
Many beginners and ‘advanced’ trainers neglect their legs.
This is a huge mistake.
Your legs are the biggest muscles in your body.
Training legs burns a ton of calories and releases a flood of growth hormone when trained.
Leg training has the added benefit of strengthening your core and improving posture as well due to the nature of the workouts.
How to Strengthen Your Legs
Start out doing bodyweight squats everyday. 50-100 each day should do it.
When that gets easy, start doing each rep slowly and holding yourself in the down position. This will further strengthen your legs and build more muscle by increasing the tension on the muscle.
Keep a Training Journal to Track your progress – Keeping a detailed training journal will ensure you keep making progress. Without it, it’s too easy to loaf and lose track.
Keep good records of your workouts.
You need to know EXACTLY what you did last workout so you can build upon it next workout.
Keep a Food Journal – Same goes for your food as it does you training. Track everything you eat.
You don’t have to measure your food, or count macros, but you do need to know exactly what you’re eating on a daily basis.
Don’t trust your memory. Keep notes ensures you stay accountable.
When the Going Gets Tough (and it will)…
When it feels like you have grinded to a halt, remember why you started.
Your vision is your salvation.
Hold you’re vision in mind.
Do you want to look good naked?
Do you want to be healthy?
Or, maybe you want to look good in your vacation pics on instagram.
Perhaps you want that cute blonde you’ve had your eye on to drool at the sight of you with your shirt off.
That’s cool. There are no wrong answers.
Whatever your reason is, it has to mean something to you. It must fuel you.
The Skinny-Fat Diet to Reduce Body Fat Percentage and Visceral Fat
Diet is number one when it comes to burning fat and building muscle. These are the principles for an aesthetic diet plan.
Building muscle will reshape your body, but reducing fat makes you looked ripped. You get ripped with the right diet.
When you’re skinny fat the environment in your body makes it hard to gain muscle, maintain muscle, and reduce body fat. That’s because the metabolic damage and hormonal imbalances up regulate body fat storage. Overall it becomes harder to lose weight and get rid of fat mass, especially the visceral fat around your midsection.
While at the same time making fat gain easier. Which is why those who are ‘metabolically obese normal weight’ have low muscle mass and too much body fat. This trend continues and causes muscle loss while making building muscle more challenging.
This is why eating healthy is critical. Eating a healthy diet is hard because what’s we’re told is healthy isn’t always healthy. And it’s best to course correct quickly because being skinny fat leads to a lot of health problems including heart disease, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
Progress can be made to build muscle and lose fat with a balanced diet. Eat a little of something from each of the four major food groups to cover all your bases and get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need. But avoid the fake foods otherwise it won’t much matter.
The absolute best diet for skinny-fat men is a low carb, high protein diet.
The Low-Carb Fat Loss Diet for Skinny-Fat Guys
This is the simplest diet in the world. Cut out carbs. Keep them under 75-50 grams a day.
Fill up on all natural meat, eggs, and vegetables. Beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds are acceptable.
No wheat, flour or sugar is allowed.
No need to count calories. The nature of this diet ensures you get all the right stuff you need and avoid the wrong stuff.
Eat only steak, chicken, turkey, whole eggs, fatty fish, white fish, and green vegetables. Eat as much as you want, as often as you want.
But eat nothing that’s not one of the foods above.
Drink only water and black coffee.
If you need something sweet, make a peanut butter protein shake before bed as a reward for a productive day.
Eat like this and follow the workout plan and it will be impossible to not fix skinny-fat.
Sustainable Dieting for Skinny-Fat Guys
Realistically, the diet above is hard to follow for any extended period of time.
After you’ve done the low carb diet mentioned above for 4-8 weeks, then you can begin to reintroduce carbs into your diet.
At this point, you need to learn how to calculate your macronutrients (macros).
Macros contain a calorie value. Calories are a measure of potential heat energy within the food you eat. Calories store as fat if aren’t burned.
For reference, one pound of body fat contains 3500 calories. That means you must burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of fat.
If you want to burn fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Being in a calorie deficit means you burn more calories than you consume.
How do you know how many calories you burn each day?
The easiest way is the get a ‘smart’ scale that tells you your resting metabolic rate.
It will also tell you other metrics related to your body composition like body fat percentage, muscle mass and water weight.
Anyway, your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn just to live and maintain your current body. A good workout will burn 500+ calories, so add that into your daily calorie intake.
So if your resting/basal metabolic rate is 1500 calories, and you workout everyday, then you’ll need 2000 calories a day to maintain your current weight. If you’re putting a good effort in the gym then you can make progress by losing fat and building muscle at the same time.
Now, we need to determine your macros.
If you remember, macros, or macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Each macronutrient contains a certain number of calories – a gram of protein has 4 calories, a carb has 4, and fat has 9.
Take your daily calorie allowance( basal metabolic rate + calories burned during a workout), and calculate grams of each macronutrient you’re allowed if 30% calories are fat 40% are protein and 30% are carbs.
Let’s your diet calls for 2,200 calories.
At 40% protein, 30% carb and 30% fat, your grams look like this:
880 calories from protein, 660 calories from carbs and 660 calories from fat.
A CALORIE IS NOT JUST A CALORIE
What’s in a calorie matters. So, make sure your macros are on point and coming from wholesome sources. It makes all the difference.
After a week, weigh yourself. If you aren’t losing weight fast enough, reduce your calorie intake further.
Add more calories if you are tired or too sore – recalculate your TDEE based on your new activity level and try again.
If you don’t want to calculate macros – follow the super simple skinny-fat diet plan I listed above.
Skinny-Fat Guy Diet Tips
Eliminate Sugar and Go Low Carb
Eliminate refined sugar and reduce carb intake – Cut out soda-pop and snack foods like Twinkies and chips.
If you eat carbs, the best sources are sweet potatoes, quinoa, and oatmeal.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Don’t just start slamming protein shakes.
Make sure you’re getting 80% of your protein from natural food sources.
Fatty beef and whole eggs at the best protein sources.
Get a quality protein powder if you need a little something extra. Make sure you get a gram of protein per body weight.
Also, I wrote about the best supplements for skinny-fat guys you can check out here.
Try Intermittent Fasting to Bio-Hack Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting boosts growth hormone, burns fat, and serves as a natural detox.
I.F. resets your body by clearing out all the toxic buildup that accumulated over the years.
You will run on stored energy (fat) while fasting 16 hours a day.
Intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose body fat quickly.
Drink One Gallon of Water each Day
I typically drink over two gallons of fresh filtered/distilled water daily.
Don’t drink anything other than water and black coffee. Drinking calories is the worst thing you can do if you want to be in shape.
Don’t drink calories other than protein shakes.
Learn How to Cook
If you’re constantly eating boxed meals, you’re in trouble. You’re even worse off if you eat restaurant food.
The food you buy from a restaurant or grocery store is 99% garbage. It’s completely baron of nutrients.
Anything you make in a microwave is no bueno. All the nutrition is stripped from processed food and replaced with toxic waste.
If you want to be healthy and lean, learn how to cook. If you want your family to be healthy and fit, learn how to cook.
Cooking fresh, natural foods seals in all nature’s goodness.
There’s no way around cooking meals if you are serious about getting ripped.
Eating fresh food puts you on the right track. The rule of thumb for eating right is this – If you cook it yourself it’s probably good for you.
PRO TIP: Try meal prep. It’s crucial to stay on track. That way you always have healthy meals ready to eat.
Meal Prep every Week
Try meal prep to get good meals in without spending a fortune.
Always have meals ready to eat. If you’r scrabbling to figure out what’s for dinner, you already lost. You’ll give into cravings and make poor decisions.
Get ahead of it. I always have beef and vegetables cooked to perfection waiting for me in my refrigerator.
Learn to Read Food Labels
Make it a habit to read food labels. A little knowledge goes a long way in the kitchen.
First, look for the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat.
Protein, carbs and fats contain calories (energy).
Protein builds muscle, carbs are quick burning energy, and fats are slow burning energy. Fat is burned after carbs are used up.
Make sure your foods have high protein-to-carb ratio or a high protein-to-fat ratio.
Eat too many carbs and/or fat and you will get fat. Don’t eat enough protein and you won’t build muscle.
If there are too many fat and/or carbs, discard the item and find something else to eat.
Next, look at the ingredients printed on the package. Ingredients are written in order of prominence.
If there’s any ingredient that isn’t an animal or plant, do not eat it.
Avoid Frankenfoods (Processed Foods)
Remember Frankenstein’s monster?
The re-animated abomination made of patched together body parts?
He was a being made of dead human parts way past their expiration date, and kept ‘alive’ artificially.
This made him a lurching monster hellbent on destruction.
Foods with artificial ingredients are a lot like Frankenstein – They use fake ingredients to give foods unnaturally long shelf-life.
Eat these fake ingredients and they stay an unnaturally long time in your system.
Guess what they do while they’re in there?
It’s so bad that I wouldn’t feed my dog artificial ingredients. That would be inhumane.
Most of our food is loaded with artificial ingredients, preservatives, synthetic hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Our Food has Been Bastardized
Big Food Company created Frankenfoods to profit at your expense.
It works like this:
Big Food Company’s goal is to produce the highest volume of food possible, as cheaply as possible.
Cheap production leads to diluted product.
Natural nutrition is striped away and replaced with chemical fillers.
On top of all that, these foods are engineered to be addicting. Making you crave them again and again and again.
Resulting in your hard earned cash being shelled out in order to get your fix.
You buy their food, you get fatter, and they get richer.
What a concept.
How does it feel to be their bitch?
How does it feel knowing you’re eating filth and thanking them for it?
“But it’s expensive to eat healthy!”
Fine. Eat cheap.
Use the money you saved for insulin needles and blood pressure medication. Hopefully you socked away some dough while paying inflated insurance premiums. (Do you see how this is all connected?)
Humans where not designed to eat fake foods.
This stuff clogs your pipes, plugs you organs, clings fat on your belly and wears you down fast.
What are YOU Going to Do About It?
Wake up before it’s too late and take responsibility for your health.
Don’t buy the bad stuff. Keeps your eyes on the label.
The only reason this shit is on the grocery store shelf is because people keep buying it. Stop buying it and it goes away. It’s a simple as that.
Food that comes in a can, box, or wrapper is usually loaded with salt and sugar.
All the scientific studies link excess salt and sugar to health issues.
Avoid processed foods with refined carbohydrates, artificial flavors, and other additives.
If you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the package, or wouldn’t use the word in normal conversation, don’t eat the contents.
The first thing you notice when you start eating better is an increase in energy and mental alertness. Then the fat starts to drop and you look good and feel great.
You’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner. It’s amazing how good you feel. Your new normal will completely change your world.
Try eating all natural for 30 days and you will notice a HUGE improvement in your body and mind!!
The Skinny-Fat Genetics Myth
Genetics does not cause a skinny-fat physique. Skinny-fat is not a body type.
Look at a picture of a crowd of people taken before the 1950.
How many skinny-fat people do you see?
That’s right. You are a decedent of people from this era. You carry their genes.
How can you say you’re skinny fat because of genetics? It would take many, many generations to see a noticeable genetic change.
Our ancestors ate natural foods, did manual labor and walked everywhere.
As a result, none of them were skinny fat. In fact they were lean, healthy and strong.
Genetics is an excuse. Blame genetics and you give away all your power.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, friend.
Skinny-fat is NOT a permanent condition.
It’s a result of doing the wrong thing for too long.
It’s time to set it right.
Get after it.
The Skinny-Fat Solution: Workout and Diet Tips (Video)
If you prefer video content, this video provides a good overview of skinny-fat and how to fix it. It answers the questions:
- What causes skinny-fat?
- How to fix skinny-fat?
- What are the best diet tips for skinny fat guys?
- Skinny fat exercises tips
And then it provides a basic workout and nutrition guidelines you should know in order to fix skinny-fat.
The Skinny-Fat Solution is here!
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Over 60 pages of fitness knowledge that shows you how to fix skinny-fat forever.
Learn exactly how to train and eat to burn fat, build muscle and boost testosterone! It take out all the guess work and make it super simple to follow and get results.
In the book I’ve include a FULL 12-week workout plan and complete nutrition guide. It also includes 5 of my favorite recipes to get you started.
It give you every detail and all the tools and tips you need to go from skinny-fat to fit as fast as possible.
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