12 Lessons for the Skinny-Fat Sufferer

Download my bodyweight program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF, free edition)

I got this email today:

“I’m skinny fat and have a lot of this excess skin any help to start on my transformation. I did read all of your articles just don’t know where to get a head start.”

From 27 May 2013 to 31 December 2013 I have written 31 articles and 1 eBook on how to gain muscle and lose fat with the skinny-fat person in mind.

That can be a huge amount of information for someone new to the site.

Therefore, I have summed up 2013 in 12 lessons to make sure that you start 2014 with the important stuff in mind:

1) Get Lean Before Bulking

skinny-fat vs lean

“Won’t I get skinny if I do fat loss now, my arms are already small?”

You will gain strength and muscle during fat loss, as long as you train hard. Skinny-Fat Transformation reader, Jeremy, is a perfect example of that (not the guy in the picture).

He trained 6-7 times a week and went from 0 to 15 chin ups in 4 months, while losing 4 lbs.

Also, by getting lean:

  • You eliminate the psychological burden of carrying excess fat.
  • Your hormonal balance will improve. This sets a foundation to gain muscle mass while staying lean.
  • You won’t wake up and see manboobs, a double chin and spare tires in the mirror.

And, your face get’s much more defined. The left picture is me one year before training, while the right one is from summer 2013:

face before after

Read more: The Secret Benefit of Getting Lean Before Bulking

2) Losing Fat and Staying Lean is Simple

breakfast and dinner

Here are the 6 essential lifestyle changes that I’ve made in the past 3 years to lose fat and stay lean:

  • A meal must consist of a protein/fat source (e.g. eggs, meat, fish, peanutbutter) and a carb source (e.g. rice, potatoes, rye bread).
  • Start each meal with the protein/fat source. Eat that until you don’t crave protein/fat more, then fill up on carbs.
  • Eat maximum 3 meals a day (NO snacking allowed during fat loss).
  • Stop drinking calories.
  • Sleep as much as possible (sufficient sleep reduces appetite).
  • Chew gum between meals.

Read more: 10 Simple Tips to Lose Fat Without Starving Yourself

3) Minimalistic Bodyweight Training

pull up

Bodyweight training works great for skinny-fat guys because it forces you to stay lean, while adding muscle. You can’t do 15 chin ups if you aren’t lean, but you can deadlift 400 lbs at  the gym and be fat.

As a beginner there are 3 bodyweight exercises you should get strong at, while losing the excess fat: 1) Chin Up, 2) Push Up and 3) Squat.

This training is minimalistic in the sense that you focus on very few exercises, but you do them often.

Perform those exercises minimum 4 times a week, and note down your sets and reps each workout in a note book or on a phone. Next time you train, try to do more reps on your sets.

Here are the benefits of doing the same bodyweight exercises often:

  • You signal to your skinny-fat body that it has to build muscle and get rid of the chub.
  • If you do an exercise no more than once or twice a week, you only have 1-2 chances to progress in that time (better not have an off-day). In contrast, frequent training gives you more chances to progress.
  • Overtraining is nothing to be concerned with as a beginner to training. In my experience, the more I train, the better results I get.

Read more: Bodyweight Training for the Skinny-Fat Beginner (full beginner routine) 

4) The Importance of Weekly Measurements

weekly measurements

How do you know if you’re losing fat if you’re not tracking your progress? You don’t.

As a skinny-fat guy, you need to get a tape measure out once a week and:

  • Measure waist around navel
  • Measure hips around the widest point
  • Weigh yourself

Do this ONCE a week as soon as you wake up, on an empty stomach.

Note down the measurements somewhere visible so you can see them often. That will motivate you to stick to your fat loss and hold you accountable.

Read more: Skinny-Fat Beginner – Part 2

5) Already Lean? Time to Gain Muscle Without Getting Fat

diminishing returns

To stay lean on a bulk do the following:

  • Step 1: Set a target waist and hip measurement that you will not exceed under any circumstances during your bulk (about 2 inches above your lean measurements).
  • Step 2: Bulk for 2-3 weeks by training hard everyday and fuel your training by eating a lot of calories.
  • Step 3: After your bulk, cut back to your lean base measurement while letting your body recover with 3-4 easier training sessions a week.
  • Repeat steps until satisfied

Read more: How to Bulk From a Lean Base Without Ever Getting Fat

6) Protein Intake and Supplements are Overrated

From 2012-2013 I have been eating around 100-120 g of protein per day at 177-200 lbs of bodyweight and taking no other supplements than multivitamin, vitamin D and calcium.

Despite a “low” protein intake, and no bodybuilding supplements, I still gained muscle, strength and lost a huge amount of fat.

Focus on getting solid, nutritious meals that make you feel good and train hard with an emphasis on progression. That’s all it takes to get a lean and muscular physique.

Read more: Optimal Protein Intake: You’re Probably Eating More Than You Need

7) Age is Not An Excuse

Skinny-Fat Transformation reader, Ron, 62 years old, performing 16 chin-ups with full range of motion:

Read my interview with Ron: 17 Chin-Ups at Age 62 – What’s Your Excuse?

8) You Can Make Great Progress in 3 Months

Joshua 3 Month Skinny-Fat Transformation - Side

Rody Before and After

Read more: 3 Month Skinny-Fat Transformations

9) Carbs and Fat Don’t Make You Fat

Some people think that carbs make you fat. Other people think that fat makes you fat.

That’s partially true, eating a huge amount of fat AND carbs, will make you fat. But that doesn’t mean you should do a low carb or low fat diet.

Fat is crucial to keep testosterone high (the male hormone of vitality) and satisfy your appetite. A meal that has a good amount of fat makes you full for a long time, and increases your overall well-being.

Carbs are crucial to train hard, and to have a “full” muscular look. When you go low carb, your muscles will look flat, and your training will suffer.

The key is to have a bit of each in every meal, and be patient with your fat loss. The real enemies are sugar and junkfood – limit those to once or twice a week.

Read more: Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

10) Getting Ripped Has Many Benefits

One Armed LibYou’re training hard, eating right and getting good sleep. But what are the benefits of all this?

  • You develop persistence and pride which are crucial traits to succeed in other areas of life.
  • The opposite sex becomes more attracted to you.
  • You get respect. Other people will ask you for training advice and give you a better service.
  • You will be able to perform well in sports instead of being the chubby guy that get’s picked last.
  • Succes in fitness leads to motivation to succeed in other areas of life.
  • Increased happiness: how can you be sad if you wake up to see a good body in the mirror?

Read more: 10 Lessons I Learned as a Male Cheerleader (my experience as a male cheerleader, where I had the chance to be coached by the world champion in partner stunts)

11) You Can Drink Alcohol

Alcohol is a poison, and has to be metabolized by the body BEFORE it can metabolize excess calories consumed during the time a person is drinking.

That’s not good for your fitness goals, but that doesn’t mean that you should completely eliminate it.

If you want to go out 3-4 times a month and get wasted, then feel free to do that, as long as you follow the tips below:

  • Avoid dietary fat on the day of drinking since fat takes a longer time to metabolize fat, than protein and carbs
  • Drink dry wines and non-mixed spirits to reduce calories consumed through drinking

Those 2 tips will enable you to go out occasionally and drink without affecting your progress too much.

Full, step-by-step guide on how to drink alcohol responsibly: How to Drink Alcohol Without Gaining Fat in 6 Easy Steps

12) Build a Wide Back to Create the Illusion of Wide Shoulders

Illusion of Wide ShouldersI have said this many times, but I can’t leave it out of this 2013 summary: to create the illusion of wide shoulders, you need to build big lats. They will make a TREMENDOUS difference in the appearance of your upper body.

Once you build a powerful back with wide lats, your waist and hips will appear narrower and you will get that V-shaped upper body that everyone wants to build.

Training your shoulders is great, but no amount of shoulder training will create the illusion of wide shoulders, if you are naturally narrow in that area and have wide hips/waist.

To build your back, the best bodyweight exercise is the chin up, and the best weight training exercise is the deadlift. Both are explained in detail my free eBook.

Get How to Create the Illusion of Wide Shoulders for FREE, click here.

Those were the 12 important lessons that I wanted to share with you.

In 2014 I will go more in depth with training, eating, exercises and lifestyle, but the basic foundation has been laid. This info is all you need to go from skinny-fat to fit.

Sign up here for the free email updates, and you will get an email as soon as new content has been published.

Finally… What do YOU want me to write about in 2014? Let me know in the comments below.

– Oskar

Download my bodyweight program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF, free edition)

Related Posts

BECOME THE NEXT SUCCESS STORY: JOIN HUNDREDS OF SKINNY-FAT GUYS WHO USED THE SKINNY-FAT TRANSFORMATION BODYWEIGHT PROGRAM TO GET INTO THE BEST SHAPE OF THEIR LIFE:

Logan Rando, NY: “After 6 months of doing the beginner body weight routine I found myself 30 pounds lighter, with visible abs and a lean build. Friends who hadn’t seen me in months were astonished and inspired by my transformation. Simply put, the return on investment that Oskar’s plan yielded far exceeded that of any workout I had previously used.”

Steve Chavez, Peru: “It is the best workout I’ve had, I’ve never did a single pull up, managing to do pull up reps was a breakthrough for me. It was the best decision I made for my personal health. Without your coaching I wouldn’t been able to improve my physique.”

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Comments

  1. HAVE TO SAY THT IT WAS HELPFULL. THKZ FOR UR RESEARCH ND SHARING IT…

  2. This is the best guide i have read on how to get rid of Skinny fat look
    Thank you..i will follow this..want to increase my confidence

  3. For about 3 weeks so far ive been following this routine every day:
    -3 sets 25 pushups

    -3 sets 25 squats

    -3 sets 3 pullups

    -35 minutes 7mph elliptical cardio

    I am seeing slow results. I just want to know if I can keep this routine up if it will benefit me or if there are any adjustments that can be made to give me better progress

  4. Hey Oskar, and friends! My name is Dennis Arndt. I am from Parma,OH. I am 6ft. tall 220lb. male. at 29 yrs. old. Just 2 months ago I was 187lbs., but skinny fat. But i was still going out! Now I am just a hermit ashamed of what I have done to myself, I have never had a six pack in my whole life, and would love to achieve that elite physique. I am extremely weak!!! I dont bench press b/c i am embarrassed of myself. Please help, i am also newbie to vegetarian lifestyle. I have only had one girlfriend my whole life and that was about 1 1/2 yrs. ago. I had my first kiss also. Lastly i hate the way I look. I go to therapy for anxiety and depression. The only thing is I would love to afford online help, but I only make 8 something an hr. How embarrassing at almost 30yrs. old making not even 9 dollars an hr. Please help. I am going to do the body weight training program the push ups i can do, pull ups i suck at i cant even do 1, and squats i am okay… at. Everyone take care and looking forward to hearing from someone. Have a wonderful Veterans Day to all the Vets that are on here! You have no idea how much I appreciate you folks. I always tell Vets and active service members thanks for serving. Last , I just want to have a fun and exciting life. Thanks again!

  5. Cheers bro this really motivated me back into the gym, thanks for the great advice brother!!! :D

  6. Hey there. Just wanted to know if there are any alternatives for the chin ups… cuz I dont really have any equipment here at home that I can do that with….

  7. Nice article Oskar

  8. Hey Oscar!! Nice blog thank you!! I am a new visitor and i need your advice in some points

    1) I am 6ft tall, which is the ideal waist size to start bulking?
    2) Have you ever used carb-cycling? Many people find it useful since you eat less carbs on rest days
    3) You wrote that intense cardio is not the best choice for fat loss. What do you think about cardio during muscle gain period?
    4) In your opinion which is more optimal for muscle gains? BW or weight training? I am able to do 15 pull-ups easily

    And something last, please upload a complete upper chest workout(or an ebook) as you did with back, because sf have bad chest genetics

    Willian

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      1) No ideal waist size. Whenever your waist is flat and lean you can start bulking. (300 caloric surplus or something like that).
      2) No need to cycle carbs when you train almost everyday. Carbs are the number 1 energy source. Cycling calories is all you need to do (instinctive eating).
      3) My weight workouts are all the cardio I need. I keep rest time to 30 seconds-1 minute between sets and train with 10-15 reps per set, so I’m drenched in sweat after.
      4) For you, weight training is more practical but both would work as long as you train your ass off, keep the reps high and rest low.

      I have discussed chest training before. There’s a video on my youtube channel about it (2 exercises to build upper chest size).

      • 1) I agree but it is difficult to estimate your bf correctly. In your opinion, for a guy who is 6ft tall, which is the perfect waist number(around the navel) to start clean bulking?
        3) Your training routine is similar with serge nubret style. Many reps low rest times and no cardio. However many people recommend hiit training for hardgainers(like us) than steady cardio in order to increase their metabolism. Their argument is the body of a sprinter and the body of a marathon runner

        I just found your youtube video about chest training.It is awesome!! If you have time please create an ebook for chest growth also, like the illusion of wide shoulders.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          1) Willian, there’s not one number. It really depends on your bone structure and where you store your fat. Some people store a lot of fat under the navel, so hitting that “magic” number wouldn’t be enough. Just go by the mirror and feel. When you have a flat waist with a visible 4 pack when flexing in good lighting you’re all set to bulk.

          3) You mean HIT? HIIT is high intensity interval training (cardio). HIT is high intensity training. I think HIT can be good and I use high intensity techniques in my workouts, but a few sets is not enough for me to grow. In my experience, volume is the best way to grow. There’s a reason why most bodybuilders train with a lot of sets and reps. It works.

          Thank you, I currently have exams and I don’t plan on writing any eBooks anytime soon. Illusion of wide shoulders took me 2 weeks to write, I don’t have that time right now.

          • 1) Maybe you are right. A sf has a bad bone structure in comparison with a mesomorph. In my mind a guy who is 185 the biggest waist number to start bulk is 85cm

            3) Yes i mean HIIT cardio during bulk or fat loss. Long steady cardio increases cortisol and it is boring

      • sonia sadana says:

        Do you do weight training as well? Isn’t bodyweight exercises enough to maintain a lean and toned body?

  9. Can women follow this?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Are you thinking of specific things? Generally the advice is for men, but many of the principles can be used for women as well. You would need to be more specific here

  10. Hi Oscar!
    Good job :)
    Can you recommend any trainer who’s focuses on skinny-fat women?
    Btw do you have any training/work/whatever relation to Anthony Mychal? Seems like you guys have a lot of the same things going around :)
    Best!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thank you! Unfortunately I don’t know a trainer for women. I know of his website but I’ve never worked together with him.

      • All right, I can only say thumbs up to both you and Anthony for doing an excellent job with your own bodies and your overall quest for curing the skinnyfat – and well, I’ll then have to mix the bascis of what the two of you are suggesting skinny-fat guys do with female-specific articles on building feminine and muscular curves. Let’s cooperate in the future if I turn out to be a success, haha!
        Happy New Year :)

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          Sounds awesome, I did actually have a thought of making a female section at some point in the future since skinny-fatness is very common in females but for now I’ll stick to what I know. Happy new year to you too!

  11. Do you think it’s time to start bulking or should I continue my leaning process ?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/08nxinhicwmxqhi/1415636162513.jpg?dl=0

  12. Hi I’m a female and I’ve been through a bit of a similar journey. I used to weigh 130lbs and I got down to 115lbs while on a bit of a fat loss diet in about a month. I didn’t have much belly fat at 115. However life happened and at this point after a study abroad experience I went from 118 to 112 pounds. However I think I lost a lot of muscle. I’m skinny fat because my percentage is about 22% I’m also 5feet 7 inches tall. So I look very thin but I have a pudgy stomach. A bit of definition on the stomach because I’m thin but I I took a skin fold measurement on my stomach and it it reads as 15mm. It’s like a pooch. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to gain weight because I tried that while training and I got a bit chubby(not much muscle) . I eat about 6 egg whites in the am and at around 7 I have 6 egg whites and some broccoli ad Greek yogurt for a snack. I’m just frustrated because I’m sitting at this weight and body fat and nothing is changing. Do you suggest I follow your food plan maybe add some good fats like the yolk and some meat? I’d estimate current intake o be about 1200 calories. Would keeping intake the same and adding some fats help me? Thanks for the good info too! How long would t take me to get to about 15-16% & get rid of the belly pooch? I need to learn some patience right?

    Thanks so much!!

    • And just to clarify. Right now I weigh 112 pounds and I am 5’7. Around 22-23% body fat on the female body fat scale …(which is different than male. I don’t know the male equivalent, but I would assume 15-16%? )
      Thanks again(also I do lift weights I just or to the skinny fat point I’m a t now by too much cardio (I did 2 hours of elliptical) and I used to only eat one meal a day of chicken salad so I lost muscle. But currently I eat 2 meals (egg whites for breakfast, Greek yogurt, broccoli and egg whites again for dinner)

      Agh sorry for rambling, thanks again!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Jules,

      Your total food intake in a day is 13 egg whites, some brocolli and greek yoghurt. That’s a VERY low calorie diet, and will hurt you in the long term. You may be overestimating the amount of fat you carry – a lot of women do that. Perhaps 22% body fat is your “natural body-fat” where your body functions the best, thereby making it very hard to get lower? If you aren’t dropping bodyfat by eating as little as you do, then it’s a sign from your body that you shouldn’t go any lower…

      I would up the food intake, and start training more. You may feel soft now, because you’re undermuscled.

      You’re welcome.

  13. Hey

    I am 17 years old. 67 kg. my height is 178 cm

    U saw my pictures , and I really wanna ask u what to do with the food

    I eating at the morning 2 pieaces of bread with Cheese Spread 5%

    At the afternoon I eating white rice ( 3 plastic glasses) with 5 meatballs ( large size) or chicken

    And in the evening I eating Omelet with cheese spread on it(5%) and 2 breads pieces with cheese spread too of 5% and salad with 5% cheese ( both in the evening 2 pieces of cheese spread 5% < 125 gram)

    All this as I counting from some website be like 1,040 klories and my bmr is 2111

    What should I do? Should I eating more ? I wanna nice body and ism what the problem with my food

    • And for how many time if I need eating more i should do it ( How often raise the calories in a week? 100?200? Idk)

      And I remind u as u saw in my pictures my body really look not good Although that i have normal weight

      So I don’t wanna be more fat so I need ur option what to do with my food

      And what u think about my food

      I read all ur articles ! And they are great

      Thanks

  14. Hi Oskar,

    I found this site like 2 days ago and been reading all of your posts non-stop. I really like your advises,
    they are simple, right to the point and goes in line with the things I already know about exercise and
    nutrition. Kudos.

    Hope you have the time to help me out. I’m currently 5ft 10 in, 147 lbs. I was slightly fat (160 lbs) by
    December last year, when I decided to start a new workout routine to get lean. I found on Internet a workout regime called freeletics and decided to started it right away. Freeletics is formed of a group of different workouts. Each workout involves a lot (A LOT) of repetitions of the same group of bodyweight exercises (burpees, sqats, push-ups). Each workout should be completed in the less amount of time possible.

    After 12 weeks, I dropped like 13-14 pounds, but the thing is that I don’t look ripped now. I mean, after
    dropping all that weight you can see some muscle definition and my abs started to show a bit, but I look too thin and soft. I was in caloric restriction during the 12 weeks so it seems I lost a lot of muscle.

    I’m gonna start all over again next week, and thanks for your advise, I decided to get lean first and then
    bulk. The thing is that I read (from multiple sources), that during cut the exercises should consist in heavy weight, low rep (strength-hypertrophy rep range), 2-3 times a week, involving all muscle groups (this to avoid muscle loss). But in your posts I read that you recommend bodyweight exercises to other skinny-fat guys. I don’t see the point of doing countless repetitions of the same group of bodyweight exercises (this based on my experience with freeletics). What should I do?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Jose,

      It’s normal to lose a small amount of muscle mass during cutting. The goal should be to lose as little muscle mass as possible. Read here for more on that: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/fat-loss-mistakes/

      Furthermore, when you reduce calories, you usually reduce carbs too. Carbs make your muscles look fuller, since the majority of your muscles consist of water.

      Now onto the advice: The key to avoid muscle loss during cutting is to lose the weight slowly, and keep the carbs high enough to train hard. Also, if you can do a lot of reps on the bodyweight exercises, then make them harder. Read this article for info on how to do that: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/get-muscular-calisthenics/

      • sonia sadana says:

        Can’t you do a basic guideline for women ? We need your help! I am so devastated . Tired of gyms, weights. All seems so tough. Started with bodyweight but I need some guidance.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I will possibly do that in the future however right now I’m busy with other projects. I offer coaching for women though: oskarfaarkrog.com/contact

  15. Oskar,

    I love this site, and I truly respect your advice. I train very frequently, often 5-6 days per week. I’m seeing good gains in my deadlift, but my backsquat is not progressing. I do a 3 sets of 5 routine 3 days per week for backsquats. I have been unable to add weight to the bar for almost 3 weeks and now I’m actually going backwards. Everyone says the backsquat is the king of exercises to building mass, so I feel like I should be doing them as I’m trying to get bigger (currently 5’10” 145 lbs.). I was able to get to 210 lbs backsquat about 3 weeks ago, now I’m struggling with 185 while maintaining good form. Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions?? Thanks again! Joel

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey Joel,

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the squat. You’re most likely not progressing on it because you’re doing it too much. You mentioned that you train 5-6 times a week, where 3 of the sessions have heavy squats. Try reducing it to 1-2 times a week, and do more reps and less sets.

      • Thanks for the advice, Oskar. Maybe I’m just looking for excuses not to squat so much because of the discomfort on my back, but I’m glad to hear the suggestion of trying less frequent heavy squats. I really like singl-leg / rear foot elevated squats with dumbbells, as they seem to work my quads very hard and they are much easier on the back!

        Thanks again . . Like your new article today as well!

        Joel

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          No problem. If you get discomfort in your back (I do too), then consider doing the single leg squats. No reason to risk an injury just so you can say that you do heavy barbell squats. Legs can grow just fine with lower weights and higher reps.

  16. Hello Oskar,

    I’ve read a lot of articles and all the articles plus the eBook from your site, but I’m still confused. I weight 127.4 pounds and i am 5feet7inch and I have 20.4%…real case of skinny fat. I eat very well ie no junkies, no fast food, no bad oil etc etc. And i’m following your exercise routine for beginners, but dunno if i have to eat more calories than I should, or keep losing fat and muscle. Also I’m tracking my carbs, protein fat ratio and its about 55%,25%,20%, would you suggest me a better ratio? Ty for your response in advance

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Eddy,

      If you’re at 20% bodyfat, then you should definitely focus on fat loss. I think your ratio looks fine, but it’s all about experimentation here.

  17. sent it again.ı hope you will get it this time :D

  18. well,you mentioned back training really well but what should we do after chins?bench press,dips..?
    by the way ı sent you a photo.ı hope you wıll reply it

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I didn’t get any email from you, can you send it again?

      Just do a basic split such as chest + shoulders one day after your back training and arms + legs another day. The exercise selection doesn’t matter much. You want to keep the work to a minimum to save energy for your back training.

  19. ı will be able to email pics to you at weekeend.
    by the way ı am going try your lean bulking method but i will train at gym at least for 3 months.do you have a back focused routine you use for gym training?

  20. hi oskar
    ı followed your training method for a month then ı used a fullbody day-hiit day-rest day system for a month.ı really feel ı lost weight especially wearing my jeans but ı also lost some muscle ı guess.questions is ı am not sure ı am lean enough to bulk.is it worth it to deal with stubborn fat?
    besides,ı will send you my before/after pictures in a week,ı hope you will answer it :D

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Michael,

      Looking forward to see the progress.

      I never dealt with my stubborn fat (glutes/love handles/hips), but it’s all about preference. If it bothers you a lot, then you should get rid of it, but I would wait until you have built the muscle you want.

  21. What do you think of the advice on this article http://voices.yahoo.com/how-rid-man-boobs-complete-guide-11771288.html that says to do cardio to get rid of moobs which is what I got along with being skinny-fat.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I don’t have time to read through it, but there’s 2 options:

      1) You have manboobs because you carry a lot of fat. (Solution: lose fat, and fat loss happens through diet – eat less).
      2) You have gynecomastia because of messed up hormones (there’s a gland under the nipple rather than fat). If you have had this for over 3 years, then the only solution is surgery.

      In any case, you should lose fat first, and then evaluate your situation.

  22. I read somewhere on your site that you recommend skipping cardio but I found this article on skinny-fat saying that I shouldn’t http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/08/17/are-you-a-skinny-fat-person-10-steps-to-cure-the-skinny-fat-syndrome/ do you think that doing the HIIT program would be good for a skinny-fat person. I’m a 25 year old male and I’m 5’8 and the last time i checked my weight I was about 190lbs. For how long should I do my exercises during the day? Should I exercise between meals?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I generally do not recommend cardio, because it’s unnecessary. You can get to 10% bodyfat with diet alone.

      I think a HIIT program may be good, but only if you’re already quite lean.

      For how long should I do my exercises during the day?

      That depends on what program you’re doing and how long time you rest between sets. As a beginner, you should do the workout here: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/bodyweight-training-skinny-fat/

      That will take about 30-60 minutes to complete.

      Furthermore, to lose fat, take a look at this post: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/lose-fat-without-starving/

      • In the link you gave me you say that I should do stretching and light cardio. For the stretching what should I stretch? What do you mean by light cardio? Should I exercise between meals or before I eat?

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          Dynamic stretching: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/dynamic.htm (do those before your workout)

          Light cardio: do some jogging, jumps or rowing to get your body warm, but don’t push it so hard that you can’t talk or barely breathe. The idea is to do just enough to get you warm, but not so much that you get exhausted.

          You can exercise at any time that fits your schedule. Everybody is different, so you should experiment with different times, and see when you perform best.

  23. hey again.ı wrote on your simplify fitness thread a couple weeks ago and ı feel like ı must share my experiments.ıve just started to take pictures and ı will share them to be one of your success stories :D
    ı have been doing chinups and push ups 4.5 times a week to get lean and ı lost 1 kg in two weeks.training frequently also helps you to eat less before training because you dont want to workout with a full stomach.ı have also some questions oskar and i would be happy ıf you answer them.
    1)do you think my fat loss is not fast enough?ı did only one low carb day per week.others are one low carb before training and one high carb post workout.
    2)ı really feel like ı need a binge day that ı eat at least 4-5k in a 4-5 hours perıod.have you ever tried a binge cheat.by the way ı cheated sometimes but ı definitely not binged for 15 months so ıt is not a habit for me :D
    3)ı have blurry 4 pack flexed but ı have a pregnant look when ı dont flex my abs.do you think it is a result of lower abs fat or can ı do something to fix it?

    by the way ı have just read your article on boldanddetermined and it was awesome.you must share it here too :D

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Michael,

      1) Your fat loss is good. I would rather have that you lose the weight a bit slower than faster, since doing huge caloric deficit makes it difficult to progress in your training and makes you feel like shit. Also, if you’re new to bodyweight training your weight may change very little since you gain muscle while losing fat.

      2) 4000-5000 calories in 4-5 hours is a lot. I usually binge about 4 times a month. My binge consists of a whole pizza and soda for myself. I don’t know about the calories in that, but I doubt it’s anything near 4000-5000.

      3) It’s most likely because of bloating from certain foods and because you don’t keep a good posture. Your abs should always be slightly flexed and your chest should be up. It get’s time getting used to good posture, but after a while it becomes natural and you won’t even think twice about it.

      Also, glad you like my article and I look forward to seeing your success. I won’t share the article on my wesite though since that would be disrespectful to Victor, but I have shared the link on my social profiles and email newsletter.

  24. I love the misconception of carbs making you fat. I will intentionally save most of my carbs for right before sleeping. I love going to sleep happy and full.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I will intentionally save most of my carbs for right before sleeping. I love going to sleep happy and full.

      I do that often aswell. I can’t fall asleep unless I’m full.

  25. I love how you stay calm against all these haters Oskar. You are killing them with kindness, haha.

    Also I would like to ask how many reps should I look to complete per exercise in the minimalistic routine?

    100 reps for pushups, squats, and chinups?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Sam,

      Stop your set as soon as you can feel that you won’t make the next rep. Occasionally, go to failure on the last set. Aim to complete 4 sets each time on each exercise.

      – Oskar

  26. Indeed, it is easy to STAY lean once you are. The hard part is shredding the excess fat. Once that is done it’s a mostly a cruise. Keep being consistent and so forth.

    I was never very fat to begin with, but I had a ton of excess body fat before I got ripped. Intermittent fasting and cutting most carbs got rid of it in 2-3 months.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Indeed, it is easy to STAY lean once you are. The hard part is shredding the excess fat. Once that is done it’s a mostly a cruise. Keep being consistent and so forth.

      Yeah, once I’m lean my body responds in a different way to food. I can eat more carbs, and gain good weight as long as I’m training 6-7 days a week.

      I was never very fat to begin with, but I had a ton of excess body fat before I got ripped. Intermittent fasting and cutting most carbs got rid of it in 2-3 months.

      I was wondering if you still do IF to stay lean? I personally have a looser IF approach now; eat breakfast when I wake up (usually 9-11 AM), then dinner around 7-8 PM, so my fasting window is not as long.

  27. Oskar, you did it again :) Great post!

    Training every day is what cured my carbophobia once and for all. And I’ve got you to thank to some degree for reinforcing my belief that the concept of overtraining is a pile of bullshit :)

    And it’s great to hear that you got haters (the dude from the comments). It means that you’re doing something right ;)

    To your success,

    Dejan

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Dejan.

      I like that you mention carbophobia. In the past I’ve never been able to get lean without cutting out carbs. That’s not the case when I train everyday. Today I measured/weighed myself, and I was leaner than November last year where I did keto, but I was also 7 lbs heavier and had +3 cm on arms and +6 cm on shoulders.

  28. You need to write a book and sell it.

    If you can organize your content into a convenient ebook people will pay money for it (even if all the info is free on the blog).

    I suggested the same to Victor Pride at Bold and Determined. He took the advice and made Body of a Spartan which sold well.

    Please make a book. I will buy it.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks for showing interest Sim!

      I can’t promise you a book anytime soon, but I can promise you that I will write the best articles I possibly can this year.

      I didn’t know that you were the one that convinced Victor to write BOS. That’s one of the best books I have ever read.

      • Oskar,

        Another very good article. I too would be interested in hearing more about your opinion of barbell training in the future. I’ve been barbell training now for about 6 months. I’m no spring chicken anymore and am feeling pretty beat up without a ton of results so far (even though I know it’s only been 6 months – when you start out at 135 pounds you should be able to add some mass pretty quickly in my opinion!!). Anyway, I love the idea of bodyweight training for a long-term program, but I’m affraid my results will still be lacking….Anyway, keep up the good work!

        Joel

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          Hey Joel,

          Thanks for the comment.

          Anyway, I love the idea of bodyweight training for a long-term program, but I’m affraid my results will still be lacking

          If you want any type of training to work well, you really need to change your mindset. If you fully believe that something will work, there’s a much greater chance that it will.

          – Oskar

          • I agree with you. I guess my concern does not lie within the realm of upper body strength and mass, as I belive with pushups, dips, and pullups you can always progress – even if you have to start adding a weighted belt, etc. My main conern is with the lower body – how to eventually load it enough to continue to build muscle….

            • Oskar Faarkrog says:

              Pistol squats are quite difficult for most people. Once you can do 20 pistol squats ass to grass, you most likely won’t be worried about building muscle in your legs.

      • I didn’t really convince him… I am sure he had it on his mind. But I suggested it and he seemed to be open to the idea.

        Loving the site. Keep up the good work.

  29. This is a joke. Im happy Youve lost weight and got in shape and good for You but some of the advice your giving out here is scary. For example telling people its okay to get wasted 3-4 times a month? Basically every week then.
    And a 2-3 week bulk? Im not even gonna get into that.
    0-15 chin ups in 4 months? He should have achieved that in 4 weeks of good training.
    6-7 days a week training? WHERES THE REST? THE BODY NEEDS REST TO GROW!!!
    Maxium 3 meals a day? I hope their big. You said supplements arent important? How will Your readers get enough protein in their diet with 3 meals and no supplements?

    Some of Your stuff is fact. But its also fact that some stuff in here is total BULLSHIT.
    By putting this here Your taking on the responsibility as a role model so please make sure Your information is better than this in future.
    P.S Chewing gum between meals will trick the body into thinking its hungry when its not. So how are your readers supposed to lose weight eating when not actually hungry?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Chris,

      I’ve presented my progress and what worked for me.

      Maxium 3 meals a day? I hope their big.

      I showed pictures of typical meals I eat under lesson 2. They’re big enough for me, and I usually eat just 2 meals.

      You said supplements arent important? How will Your readers get enough protein in their diet with 3 meals and no supplements?

      In 2013 I’ve been eating 100-120 g of protein per day (bodyweight: 185-190 lbs), and gained muscle (see pic under lesson 5). Apparently I’m not the only one that doesn’t need a high protein diet: http://skinnyfattransformation.com/optimal-protein-intake/#comments

      6-7 days a week training? WHERES THE REST? THE BODY NEEDS REST TO GROW!!!

      Get some good sleep, that’s plenty of rest.

      0-15 chin ups in 4 months? He should have achieved that in 4 weeks of good training.

      Most people would be more than happy with going from 0 to 15 chins in 4 months.

      For example telling people its okay to get wasted 3-4 times a month? Basically every week then.

      You really think that drinking spirits/dry wines once a week, while keeping your overall calories low on that day will affect your fitness?

      Chewing gum between meals will trick the body into thinking its hungry when its not.

      That’s perhaps true. The reason to why I use chewing gum is that keeping my mouth occupied keeps me from snacking.

      – Oskar

    • You sound awfully brainwashed by the “bro-science”. You act as if people do not have free will or even the sense to figure out what works best for them. Every person is different and has to find what exactly works best for them. I eat two to three meals a day and am in the best shape of my life, and can honestly say that I have never felt better. You obviously have had some ideas pounded into head and have taken them as truth no matter what. The saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat” comes to mind and I feel bad for you that you are so close minded. Also, the way you downplay peoples accomplishments makes you look pretty sad, if you don’t like advice that is being given then don’t take the advice.

      • Oskar Faarkrog says:

        Every person is different and has to find what exactly works best for them.

        Good point Joshua. I have mentioned several times that my advice is just what worked for me, and that people should try it out, track progress and evaluate how it works.

        Worst case scenario is that you try it for 2-3 weeks and see no progress at all, but so far I’ve only heard and seen positive results.

    • Chris’ appalling grammar, terrible punctuation and poor reasoning skills clearly indicate a lack of education and and as a result it is difficult to take his comments seriously.
      Good luck Oskar, you have a great site, keep it up!

  30. While I’m personally an advocate of barbell training in the gym, this is a great guide to get in great shape. I know many people who don’t like going to the gym, and though I’d like to suggest they get over the fear, this is something that can work for those who really just don’t want to get a membership.

    I like how you’ve compiled all this valuable info all in one post.

    Thanks for sharing,
    -Gabe

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I like barbell training too (the overhead press is one of my favorite exercises), however I got better results from bodyweight training.

      I will write more about gym training this year.

  31. Hands down the best fitness website on the entire internet. Thank you for this brilliant website :)

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