How to Train if you are Skinny Fat

Javier Garza

There's often a lot of confusion surrounding how you should train if you are skinny-fat (high percentage of body fat and low amount of muscle mass) . Because you need to both build muscle AND lose body fat, it can be tricky to determine what to prioritize. Although many different approaches can be successful, but my preferred strategy is to focus on building muscle mass for the fastest possible results. Not only will building muscle mass improve the aesthetics of your physique, it will increase your metabolic rate, making it easier to burn body fat and stay lean.

In addition to the training program, a proper diet and lifestyle are equally as important in achieving a successful body transformation. Even the best training program will fail to bring results if you aren't recovering well by getting consistent, quality sleep, and eating a nutritious diet.

A common mistake among those who are skinny-fat, is to not eat nearly enough protein. It is critical to eat enough protein so that your body has the amino acids necessary to build muscle mass. A good starting point is to get at least 1g of protein per lb of body weight on a daily basis, although some of you may need to go higher or lower depending on your starting point. Those of you want to reduce you weight overall and have a high body fat percentage (30%+ body fat) may not need to get quite as much protein relative to body weight. On the other hand, if you are skinny-fat and you also want to increase your body weight, you may need to get closer to 1.5g-2g of protein per pound of body weight.

In the video below, I discuss the basics on how to prioritize your training strategy and maintain a lifestyle that will create the fastest changes in your physique. Hit me with any questions in the comments section!

Javier Garza

I'm a personal trainer by trade, working in the Midtown West area of NYC. I like to help people get big, lean, strong, and most importantly feeling good! Traveler. Gearhead. Human guinea pig.

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