How Do You Make Your Skinny Body Become Strong?

Body mass and strength is often difficult to find for those who were born a little smaller than average.

When I started high school, I was 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed a whopping total of 95 pounds. I was extremely skinny; although I did eat a lot, I had a very high metabolism that seemed to annihilate everything that contained caloric value. Throughout high school, I maintained this skinny frame despite marginal (at best) eating habits. For example, I routinely thought of the school french fries with ranch dressing as a yummy snack. I also ran cross country at the same time, and the combination of puberty and aerobic exercise actually managed to build my body up.

By the time I graduated high school, I was 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds. I maintained this weight through my first year of college and Basic Combat Training (BCT), but then promptly jumped up to 150 pounds at 5 feet, 8 inches within the first month of Advanced Individual Training (AIT). After the training, I rapidly made it back down to between 135 and 140 pounds with the resumption of cross country running. Near the end of college, I stopped cross country and made it as high as 157 pounds, where I decided to commit myself back to running and search for healthier eating habits. In a recent training environment, I pushed myself hard and developed quite a bit of strength while reducing my weight at the same time (to my current weight of 140 pounds).

The above storyline illustrates how it is easily possible to manipulate your weight and frame over time, even if you have an extremely high metabolism like I do. Patience is a virtue. There are numerous physiological changes that happen between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, and they can make all the difference when it comes to your efforts to improve your size and strength. First, you have to establish what sort of person you are. If you have small bones, you will always have a small frame, and there will be a greater limit to your size and strength than for a person with larger bones. Recognizing this truth helps to encourage you for those times when you see someone else achieving your fitness goals with greater ease. It is always challenging to bulk up a small frame, and this is especially true if you are still in your teenage years.

You need a combination of diet and exercise to gain the most healthy weight and strength the quickest. The more that you work out, eat, and exercise, the quicker you will become strong. Consider placing most of your emphasis on weight training and a smaller amount on aerobic activities (don't eliminate aerobic things altogether, however). Weight training is not a calorie sponge, and it induces your body to bulk up to compensate for the increased load.

Weight training, body weight exercises, and increased amounts of protein and vegetables is really all there is to it! Mix these factors in with time and patience, and you will see your fitness goals start to emerge. Keep in mind that time passes much faster in a team environment, so if you can pick a team that falls into line with your fitness goals, you will stand a greater chance of realizing what you want sooner. Good luck!

Endnote: Over time, I've used the above advice to achieve well above the maximum score on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). I started out as an average skinny boy, but my strength is now very good for my size. You may never be able to get huge, but there is more to fitness and strength than mere size.


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