How To Build Muscle Mass With A High Metabolism?

September 14, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug


gain muscle on skinny man

It’s been a ride so far here at and I have covered many topics, many of which have been suggested by readers like yourselves and those in other online communities. One of the biggest topics has been ‘how to build muscle mass with a high metabolism’. I have covered this topic through out various posts in the last few weeks, but the information is scattered across the site, so I intend to make this a bible post for all of you skinny men out there. I will help you get that muscle and I will make it my duty that you achieve from the information you pick up from!

You are what you eat

This we all know, but when you suffer, or should I say, when you are ‘blessed’ with a high metabolism, you just have to eat more. And these are the foods you will want to include in your diet.

  • Spinach – This is muscle fuel and will help repair muscles after working out (but you have to eat loads of it)
  • Pineapple and papaya – Will help speed up muscle recovery and will help breakdown and digest protein.
  • Salmon – Or any other type of fish will help you (Especially for cardio training).
  • Pasta and meat sauce – Is good for building and repairing muscle.
  • Pork tenderloin – Will help reduce fat around your waist.
  • Cold water – Will help with endurance.
  • Chocolate milk – Helps with hydration. Chocolate milk gives the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for a speedy muscle recovery.
  • Coffee – Good for pain relief after workouts.
  • Green tea – Good for muscle recovery.

Other great additions

  • Peanuts
  • Turkey
  • Porridge
  • Brown bread
  • Brown rice
  • Black beans
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs

If you are lost for what meals to include, have a read of killer foods for fitness (one and two).  That is still in it’s early stages and you will see more of killer foods for fitness, but in the mean time see my verdict on this book ‘Gourmet Nutrition’.

The high metabolism meal plan
Good male nutrition

In one of my very early posts I described how to eat in the early days of building muscle for mass, and this is how you should structure your daily meals.

  • Meal 1. A GOOD breakfast like porridge with bread mixed in.
  • Meal 2. Drink a gainer meal
  • Meal 3. Lunch with a lot of carbs 2/3 and 1/3 proteins
  • Meal 4. Drink a Gainer meal
  • Meal 5. Dinner with 1/3 protein and 2/3 carbs
  • Meal 6. Drink a gainer meal
  • Meal 7. Eat a dish with 2/3 proteins and 1/3 carbs

Realistically this can be hard to keep up, as I have tried doing this on a number of occasions to fit around my daily schedule. But if you keep it to at least 5 meals on the busy days and 7 meals on your free days, you will put on weight for sure. If you really do struggle, like most people do nowadays, then you can always take a supplement and add that to your diet. Whey protein is my personal favourite as of now, but take a look at my personal view on how to use these supplements.

Note: Also make sure you have a healthy bank account; all this food can be costly, depending on how and where you eat. Again give the Gourmet nutrition book a read for some tips.

Resistance Training

Resistance traing

How much and how often?

I have frequently talked about the importance of setting goals when training for results, and you will have to do this here too. But because we are talking about training to build muscle on a high metabolism/ ectomorph body type, the goal (no matter who you are) will be mostly the same.

1) Resistance training 3-4 times a week (1 hour a day)

2) One cardio training session a week. Depending on how skinny you are it could be a case of doing no cardio training at all in the early stages.

To see how to set your own personal goal, see my guest post on

Lift Weights at Moderate Speed

Now, there has always been this myth that,

Lifting weights slowly = Bigger muscles

You can agree to disagree with me here, but I no longer believe this to be the case. For years I use to perform slow movement weightlifting and I would usually always achieve slow results… compared with now. With 2 years of power lifting and ‘explosive movements’ I would see results every 3-6 weeks!

The reason why lifting slow is bad is because,

1) It puts stress on the muscle from taking to long.

2) Allows pressure to build up in the joints… from taking to long.

3) Oxygen and energy run out before the muscle is even worked.

In general, changes will occur in your muscles when the muscles contract ‘intensely’. And this is why your weight lifting should not focus on slow movement. Yes… it may possibly give you an increase in strength, but you may lose muscle mass and you will only then be a strong, but still… skinny man!

The Ultimate Solution

There will be arguments on which is better,

Lift fast, or lift slowly? Why and for which type of goals?

But the key thing to remember is that weight training whether fast or slow is better than no weight training at all. But for you high metabolism types, the best thing to do is,

1) Start with lightweights – This will allow you to understand how to lift the weights properly regardless of the exercise.

2) Do the exercise properly – Once you have mastered how to do it, focus on control and execution.

3) Lift at moderate speed – Explosive yes! But not fast and not slow.

4) Increase the weight – Do the above 3, but always aim to increase the weight.

Structuring your weight lifting techniques like this will allow for the blood in your body to flow properly when lifting, and will give you the ‘pump’ that your muscles need. Do this and your muscles will grow!

build muscle from skinny to gain muscle

You and the previous You!

See you in the comments.

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