It’s hard enough for regular guys to build muscle…but for us? For skinny-fat guys? It seems impossible with the typical advice.
That’s why I don’t follow typical advice. Instead, I use my own three step system. Wanna learn more?
He wakes up to unknown food rations, weather patterns, and dangers. Yet he’s bold enough to handle his own life. His survival is his responsibility, and his responsibility alone.
He’s given food, shelter, and a safeguard from danger. He’s but a pawn, and not in charge of his own life.
They have the same hardware — they’re made up of the same anatomical “stuff” — but the software makes all the difference.
Your software is broken. Your fat cells complicate things. Your body needs built back up in a specific way not only from a muscular proportion standpoint, but also from a overall body composition sequence standpoint.
I’ve come to be known as a skinny-fat guru of sorts, and I’m proud of that because I share your scars. Wider hips. Stretch marks on my lower back. Oh yes, the string bean arms, small wrists, lower chest fat, narrow shoulders, and the entire skinny-fat package was one there. But I’ve since learned how to live out there in the wild, and I’d like to help you do the same.
That’s why, when I had the chance to write for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal website, I wrote about skinny-fat syndrome. Now, I’ve been published a lot of places. But Arnold’s personal website? And skinny-fat as my topic of choice? That should tell you everything you need to know about me. (And maybe that Goku turning Super Saiyan changed my life. There was also this thing where a chick told me I had girl boobs in my skinny-fat heyday, but . . .)
It’s a complicated cage. It’s not one most people deal with, and here’s why this matters to you.
We typically learn from those that came before us and have done what we want to do. The problem with this for us? Most people that have done what we want to do didn’t start skinny-fat.
Why is it important? Because true-skinny guys don’t often have a flinch to fat. True-skinny guys, when they start training, carve out one path to muscle. The flow follows that one path. That’s why they can chow down on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all day and gain muscle without turning into lard. But if you’re skinny-fat?
You already have a path to body fat that’s paved and frequently travelled. The goal isn’t necessarily “fat loss” because that does nothing to fix what’s familiar. When you stop going fat loss berserk, you still have the paved path. And you’ll probably just get fat again. Now, fat loss is a part of the overall goal, but it isn’t the real goal. The real goal is to rewire the flinch.
People are different. You are different. We can’t deny that some have better genetics for carrying and building muscle and being lean.
We don’t usually don’t fall in that bucket. Smaller and thinner bones make for smaller muscles generally. (I can wrap my fingers around my wrist and touch pinky to thumb.) The wunderkinds might have more muscle naturally or might build muscle with less effort or might build muscle using less effective exercises. Sadly, most people that “make it” don’t come from our background.
Our background, our “cage,” is a product of three things: nature (genetics), nurture (culture), and good old random chance.
It’s not that you can’t build muscle, it’s just that you can’t build muscle the same way the wunderkind does. Nurture is one third of the equation. You have control over this. Our body is aware of the world that it’s in, and so it “works” based upon this feedback. You created an environment in which your body said, “The best way for me to survive this is to be skinny-fat.” Sound depressing, right?
And that’s the purpose of SOLDIER. (Sorry, no Mako involved. And if you know what I’m talking about we can be friends.) We live in an age of endless programs, and people running around like chickens without heads. SOLDIER is a three step system created with one single intention: you’re skinny-fat, you’re in that cage, here’s how you changed every possible aspect of nurture (training, nutrition, life) to break free. And I’m not talking about just seeing change, I’m talking about really adjusting things inside — rewiring the flinch.
This is where you learn the powerful barbell and bodyweight exercises that will best contribute to not only current “X” physique intentions, but also lead into exercises in the future. Some other work for fat loss is recommended, usually walking, sprinting, or rope jumping in a way that doesn’t interfere with the basic strength work.
This is where you tell the body, “There is no option. The fat? It’s gotta’ go.” This is the stubborn fat phase, and is SOLDIER 2.0, which SOLDIER 3.0 laid a foundation for. We really jam home fat loss here, but only as much as necessary. We let 3.0 run its course because it’s best for muscle. When you go severe fat loss, muscle is usually on hold, so that’s why SOLDIER 2.0 is only a ten week thing for when it counts.
We ramp up fat loss specific work and make some changes to prevent the dreaded starvation mode and the body locking up its fat cells.
That’s why, after 2.0, I recommend making the muscles hyperactive while bringing nutrition to more of an autopilot feel. When you do this, you bring your body to a reset…