Skinny-Fat Beginner: Part 3

Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)

Hello Friends,

After reading Skinny-Fat Beginner part 1 and 2 you should have decided on 2 crucial factors to start your transformation:

  1. The structure of your training routine
  2. The focus, whether that is gaining muscle or losing fat

Assuming you have those factors in order I want you to develop a simple routine. This routine consists of lifestyle changes that you perform on a regular basis. Also, I want to emphasize the importance of always warming up.

I assume that most of you are ALWAYS warming up before training. Warming up should be a part of your routine. It’s a thing you do every single time; just like brushing your teeth everyday. If you are always warming up with no exceptions, you can continue to tip #6.

However, if you do skip warming up once in a while, I want you to read tip #5.

5) ALWAYS Warm Up

The major reason why warming up is crucial to your success is INJURY PREVENTION. When you get injured, you will experience a setback in your training. The setback will depend on how serious your injury is, but afterall it will be a setback no matter what.

Warming up is a pain in the ass, but it’s just as important to warm up properly as it is to execute your training routine with 100% focus and dedication.

If you don’t have time to warm up, you don’t have time to train. NEVER train hard without warming up.

I’ve always warmed up before training without any exceptions. Even though I squatted and deadlifted with the worst technique ever at the beginning of my transformation, I only experienced minor joint pain that went away after 3-4 weeks of backing off. If I hadn’t warmed up properly my injuries might have been much more severe and thereby limited my training significantly.

During the last 2.5 years I haven’t had any serious injuries at all. I experienced minor joint pain in my left knee after landing on it during my first back tuck attempt and in my wrists and hands when I began partner stunting.

Unfortunately, every guy that trains hard and consistently will experience some kind of injury. However, if you warm-up every single time and back off when needed you reduce the risk of getting a serious injury.

Therefore, warming up should be part of your routine.

6) How to Develop a Simple Routine

The difficult part when it comes to transforming your body is sticking to your plan – especially as a beginner. When you’re new to the gym there are a lot of things that might sabotage your transformation, here are some that I have experienced:

  • Anxiety when going to the gym because you compare your physique to guys at the gym that are fitter than you
  • Cravings for sugar and junkfood
  • People in your network that discourage your new lifestyle

Those things were inevitable for me in the beginning and you might experience something similar. However, by developing a routine you minimize the chances of sabotaging your progress. The tough part is getting through the first month or so. After you do something regularly for a month you will automatically feel bad if you don’t keep doing it.

If you exercise for 30 min EVERY single day for 30 days, you will feel bad if you skip day 31. This feeling will push you to stick to your routine –even moreso if you have great results from it.

In contrast, if you plan to workout everyday within the next 30 days, but you regularly skip training sessions you will form bad habits that can be difficult to revert later on. Habits take time to form, so do yourself a favor and form some good habits from the beginning.

Now that you know why sticking to your routine is crucial in the beginning phases, I will explain how you can structure your routine.

In order to structure your routine you ideally want to

  • Make training convenient for you: train in a gym close to you. If you are VERY busy or if you dislike going to the gym, do bodyweight exercises in a park nearby or buy a pull up bar for your home and do bodyweight exercises at home. ALWAYS warm up before training.
  • Make eating convenient for you: if you are at school or work most days of the week for long periods of time I encourage you to prepare food the day before so it’s ready when you leave in the morning. Also, if you have decided to eat meats and vegetables several times a day then cook everything you need for 1 day and put it into tupperware.
  • Make tracking your progress convenient: If you don’t already have it, get a calendar for your computer. In this calendar  put in 2 things: 1) One day a week where you track your hips, waist and bodyweight measurements 2) One day a month where you get someone to take progress pictures of you.

As you can see, the keyword here is convenience. I want you to develop a routine that’s convenient so you can stick to it in the long term.

Forget about complicated diets where you weigh each meal, count your macronutrients and calculate how much bodyfat you want to lose. All of this is great if you’ve been training for a long time and you want to take it to the next level, but as a beginner you just need to implement a few lifestyle changes and stick to them.

By complicating things too much you will experience higher amounts of stress, and stress is NOT good if you want to gain muscle.

Instead, a simple routine should make it easier to stick to the advice I have given you in part 1 and 2. When you simplify all of those things, you can focus all of your energy on training hard.

You can get an aesthetically pleasing physique by training hard most days of the week and eating healthy +80 % of the time. A simple routine will enable you to stick to those lifestyle changes in the LONG-TERM.

Next time I will post the final part of the Skinny-Fat Beginner Series where I will share my experiences with supplements and cardio.

–       Oskar

Skinny-Fat Beginner: Part 1

Skinny-Fat Beginner: Part 2

Skinny-Fat Beginner: Part 4

Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)

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  1. When you say warm up, are you talking about warm up sets or stretching or anything else?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      It depends on what kind of training you are doing. If you train heavy on the compound movements I recommend you to start with dynamic stretching (NEVER do static stretching before a training session), then do warm up sets to build up to the weight you will be using. I gave an example of the warm up I would use for deadlifts in the guide I recently wrote.

      If you are doing bodyweight training you can get away with just doing dynamic stretching for 3-4 minutes and throw in an easy set of push ups.

  2. i just sent you an email with the pictures :)

  3. alright i have contacted you through that option and i sent you my email address :)
    oh and when you started your bulking phase how much surplus did you eat? what if when i start bulking i only gain fat and not muscle? or would it be easier since i would be lower body fat?



  4. alright thanks :D do you think this is possible then? right now i am 108-109lbs maybe 16 bodyfat and i figure i need to get to 104.7lbs to be 12% bodyfat do you think this will be possible in 5 weeks? my maintenance is about 2000 so i eat 1500-1600 right now oh and is there any way i can send you picture of my self so you can tell if i am right? thank you oskar

    here is my opinion on skinnyfat i think we are natural ectomorphs that dont gain fat easy but have bad metabolism from being sedentary and not active for years and undereating everyday but lots of junk and maybe we are insulin resistant just my 2 cents ahah :D

    anyways, if there is a way i could show you pictures of myself and you could give me more advice itd be great :D thanks! looking forward to more articles from you

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      It’s definitely possible!

      You can contact me through the website at “contact me” and I’ll give you my email address where you can send me your pictures.

      Your theory about skinny-fatness might be correct, although I have been active throughout my childhood and I was always the weakest and worst at sports, so I think it’s just shitty genetics I my case.

  5. Hey Oskar this might be long but please read it:)
    Finally! Someone that understands us skinny fats and has actually been through that phase and can help us unlike bodybuilding forums who told me to bulk up:(
    Hey Oskar! I am 17 and I only weigh 110lbs and my bodyfat is in the 16% range I am pretty lean around my shoulders and arms and I can see quite a bit of definition and cuts however I have a fat belly and chest. When I tell people that they think I am way too skinny at 110 lbs to have that they don’t understand!!! But anyways I am eating at maintenance calories or maybe slight deficit around 200 or so and weight lifting with no cardio I am getting leaner and my belly has gotten a bit smaller and I can see my Adonis belt now when I flex but I would like to speed up the process of cutting my fat off however I don’t want to have any muscle loss since I am pretty small already with 12″arms that’s why I am eating in a deficit but a very small deficit that is do you recommend eating less or just eat the same but add cardio and direct ab/core work? Because I would like to go in to a muscle building bulking phase soon when I get to about 12% bodyfat so I could do a long clean bulk

    Please help!! Great articles! Keep it up

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks for the kind words Raymond, I will definitely keep writing more articles.

      I recommend that you start measuring your waist and hips instead of relying on body fat measurements. It’s difficult to measure body fat correctly. E.g. I usually get a result of 9 % body fat, but that’s definitely not true.

      You can see your adonis belt right now when you flex. Going by that, I think you are lean enough to start focusing on gaining muscle, but I might be wrong. If you want to lose fat further, just continue with your current plan. Lose the fat slowly by being in a slight deficit and focusing on building strength. Cardio is unnecessary for fat loss unless you want to get to a very low body fat.

      You can add a few ab exercises at the end of your workout, it definitely won’t hurt.

      Your chest might be soft because you have gynecomastia?

      – Oskar

      • Hey Oskar! Thanks for the reply and yes I can’t wait to start bulking up but I am not ready at although I can see the Adonis belt while flexing it is only at night under the yellow light:) I mean in good lighting but a belly is still there :) what I want to know is how do I ensure minimal muscle loss while doing this? Would trying to maintain lifts or even try to get stronger be a good thing to do? And yes from tomorrow I am getting serious! You have motivated and inspired me I will take all measurements tomorrow and keep track of weight and measurements weekly and just observing in the mirror :) could you also tell me if my future plan is good? I wish to drop to 12% bodyfat is that low enough to clean bulk? And maybe stop at 15 then cut then repeat?

        Thanks! Great articles please keep posting for me and others like me who need the extra help! Best of luck to you


        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          Yes 12 % is low enough, your plan is good.

          To minimize muscle loss keep training hard and don’t reduce calories too much. You might even gain strength during your fat loss. What you’re doing now seems to work, so keep at it.

          • Alright thanks! From today begins my new life I will be eating super clean drinking lots of water and also do some direct ab work :) do you recommend maintaining when I reach 12% bodyfat for about a month instead of bumping calories straight which might harm my metabolism

            Also if you could touch up on how bulking works for us when we lean down? I mean like when to stop bulking or what weight to stop at and start cutting? Thanks! Once again keep it up!


        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I don’t know anything about the metabolism being harmed from doing that, so can’t comment on that. Can you expand on this?

          After leaning down you should try to bulk up slowly. Once you start becoming dissatisfied with your physique in the mirror, start cutting back to 12 %. This is where measurements become very useful. Next time you bulk up, you will know when your look changes from fit to fat. I personally look very much the same when my waist measurement is 32.5 inches to 34.5 inches. Once I go above 34.5 inches, my face starts looking fat and my abs aren’t visible, so I never go above 34.5.

          Finally, remember to enjoy yourself a bit. It’s not healthy for your body to be in a deficit everyday. If you’re in a caloric deficit everyday for weeks at a time, you will feel like crap mentally and your workouts will suffer. One or two days a week with a slight surplus or maintenance are good during your fat loss – listen to your body.

          • Yes haha thanks:) I will be adding refeed days and about the metabolism thing I heard people usually maintain for a few weeks after cutting but I could be wrong but anyways I just wanted to know, when you were losing fat did you lose arm size? I would hate my small 12 inch arms to get any smaller during this cut I will be doing I finally get a bicep vein showing when I flex but I will be taking measurement every week of arm what should I do if they get smaller? And also should I take fish oil while cutting? And I will be increasing my protein intake with limiting carbs up to 120g a day:) thanks for inspiring me! :)

            Also is my true waist size in the morning because in the morning I wake up my stomach is much more flatter and love handles are not very visible however during the day after I start eating and when I measure at night it’s an inch bigger so what is the real size?


        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          You’re welcome, I’m glad I can inspire you! :-)

          My arms don’t carry much fat – even at higher body fat levels, so I don’t lose any noticeable arm size. You might lose a very small amount of size because you eat less carbs, but this size will quickly be regained once you start eating more carbs.

          You shouldn’t bother with supplements right now (I’ll write about this in the final article of this series). Fish oil might be beneficial, but I wouldn’t bother with it now – just keep it simple and spend your money on quality food instead.

          Your waist should always be measured in the morning on an empty stomach (preferably after clearing your bowels). It’s normal for your waist to get bigger throughout the day since you’re eating. You can reduce the bloating by eliminating the foods that bloat you (I get bloating from dairy products and wheat).

  6. A few questions –

    1. When in the beginning phase, you lost 60 LBS, were you only losing weight and getting lean or doing Pullups/Diamond pushups/other things you mentioned?

    2. While losing weight and getting lean, did you work on your strength? or did you work on that after losing the weight?

    3. How do you work on your strength? Not very clear on it.

    Do let us know, thanks :)

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I have always done some kind of training, even during my fat loss phase.

      In the first year of training I built up to a 400 lbs deadlift, so I had a solid strength foundation. After my first year I lost a lot of fat, while doing strength training to maintain my gains. At the end of my fat loss phase I started to do bodyweight training in combination with partner stunts.

      Right now I’m focusing on increasing my frequency and volume instead of absolute strength.

  7. I love your simple approach to training, it seems to have worked for you!

    I usually do static stretching for my warmups, is that good?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      You should do static stretching post workout since stretching cold muscles can result in injury. Also, stretching them makes them temporarily weaker which is not good just before you workout.

      Instead, for warming up I recommend you to do dynamic stretching.

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