Is It Easier To Get Ripped If You Are Skinny Or Fat?

Is-It-Easier-To-Get-Ripped-If-You-Are-Skinny-Or-Fat

“Do fat guys get ripped easier than skinny guys?”

This is a question that I got from one of my fellow readers the other day. With my debater mentality and analytical mind I became extremely intrigued at finding out the answer to this question. Here’s what I found:

Is it easier to get ripped if you’re skinny or fat? Fat guys will usually achieve a ripped physique sooner than skinny guys. However, skinny guys will have an easier time getting ripped even though it might take a bit longer.

In this post I’ll answer more in depth why and how I came to this conclusion. Let’s go!

The Fat Guys Journey to Getting Ripped

chris-pratt-transformation

Before comparing the hardship of getting ripped for either the fat or skinny guy, let’s first define both of their journeys.

In my fat to fit transformation article I explained the most optimal process that someone starting out with the fat physique should take to get ripped. The process looks like this:

  1. Lose body fat until your waist reaches ~45% of your height.
  2. Once your waist reaches ~45% of your height, eat at maintenance calories for 2-3 weeks.
  3. Once the maintenance phase is over, move into a lean-bulking phase and start gaining the muscle mass needed to create great muscular proportions.
  4. Once you’ve bulked yourself up to 14-15% body fat (waist is ~48% of height) it’s time to cut back to the 9-11% range again (waist is ~45% of height).
  5. Repeat this process until you’ve built enough size to not look small when you cut down to 9-11% body fat.
  6. Enjoy life to the fullest in the meantime!

Beyond this, fat guys should also make sure that they are reaching the following strength standards in the gym:

The Strength Standards

  • Incline Bench Press
    5 reps – 1.25 x body weight
  • Weighted Pull-ups
    5 reps – 50% of your body weight attached
  • Standing Shoulder Press
    5 reps – 0.85 x body weight
  • Bicep Curls
    5 reps – 0.65 x body weight
  • Waist
    45-46% of height (8-10% body fat)

The Skinny Guys Journey to Getting Ripped

how-to-go-from-skinny-to-muscular-transformation1

In my skinny to muscular transformation article I explained the most optimal process that someone starting out with the skinny physique should take to get ripped. The process is fairly simple and it looks like this:

As a skinny guy you are only going to have one goal, the goal is to get stronger in the gym in order to increase your muscle mass and in doing so achieve a ripped physique.

Skinny guys usually don’t need to go through the same extended bulking and cutting cycles as naturally fat guys need to do, simply because they have a much harder time storing body fat.

So, all you must do to achieve a fairly ripped physique is to reach the following strength standards in the gym, while staying lean in the process:

The Strength Standards

  • Incline Bench Press
    5 reps – 1.25 x body weight
  • Weighted Pull-ups
    5 reps – 50% of your body weight attached
  • Standing Shoulder Press
    5 reps – 0.85 x body weight
  • Bicep Curls
    5 reps – 0.65 x body weight
  • Waist
    45-46% of height (8-10% body fat)

Okay, so now that we know roughly the journey that these two opposite physique types need to take to get ripped, let’s define which transformation journey that’s easier to achieve.

Note: The information that you will read below is what I’ve found to be true generally. Of course there can and will be big differences on an individual basis.

Why The Fat Guys Journey is Quicker But Harder

Someone starting out with the fat physique will generally get to a ripped physique quicker, but it will be more challenging than for a skinny guy.

What I mean with this is that fat guys have two major advantages going for them which makes the journey quicker, but also one major disadvantage which makes the journey challening. Let’s look at the advantages first:

Advantage #1: Fat guys likely have decent muscle development from the start

Most guys starting with the fat physique achieve a fairly muscular looking physique immediately once they become lean. This is because they often times start out with more muscle mass from the previous overfeeding.

Advantage #2: Fat guys can build muscle while losing body fat

For the first 3-6 months fat guys can build muscle and lose body fat rather effectively at the same time.

These two advantages will allow most fat guys to see huge changes to their physique in around 4-8 months depending on how much body fat they have to lose. I have seen a ton of fat to fit transformations where guys have gone from being fluffy to seriously ripped in 6 months. This is obviously going to be very motivating for the individual doing the transformation, which he will need if he wants to be successful long term:

Disadvantage #1: Fat guys has become adapted to being fat

This is the part that makes it very challenging for most fat guys to not only become ripped, but actually stay ripped long term.

Once someone has become fat, varioust adaptations had been made in the body that causes the individual to gravitate towards being fat, in some instances forever.

If someone has become excessively fat (close to the obesity level of beyond 30% body fat). Then chances are very high that the individual has multiplied their body fat cells, which makes it even harder to get and stay lean.

What all of these adaptations do is forcing you to consistently having to keep control over how much you eat. The struggle for most fat individuals is that they can’t really trust their hunger if they want to get lean and ripped. Instead they often need to constantly count calories or follow meal plans to effectively lose body fat and get/maintain a ripped body.

Why The Skinny Guys Journey is Easier But Slower

Okay, so let’s look at the other end of the spectrum, the skinny guy.

Someone starting out with the skinny physique will generally have an easier time getting ripped, but it will take a longer time than what it would for a fat guy, and hence that require more patience.

What I mean with this is that skinny guys also has two major advantages going for them which makes the journey easier, but that also at the same time makes the journey a bit slower.

Advantage #1: Skinny guys don’t need to cut

One advantage that skinny guys has in general is that they can simply start training hard and eating correctly. By doing these two things consistently over time, they will become ripped.

Very rarely do skinny guys need to spend time losing body fat, simply because they have such a hard time adding body fat to their frame. Sure, if they go on an all out dirty bulk then skinny guys can gain a lot of body fat. But if they follow the correct approach to bulking, they rarely need to go on a cut to look great. Occasionally skinny guys might need to take a 4-6 week cut, but this is often when they’re looking to get down to a very shredded physique. But, if they’re happy staying around 10-12% body fat, then most skinny guys rarely if ever need to cut.

Advantage #2: Skinny guys don’t need to control their diet to the same extent

Since skinny guys can just focus on getting stronger in the gym while eating enough to support recovery and growth, they really don’t need to control their diet to the same extent as fat guys.

Skinny guys can achieve a true sense of freedom by only having to focus on the fun of improving in the gym and eating a good balance of tasty and healthy food.

Now sure, some skinny guys can struggle getting in enough calories, i.e. the hardgainer symptom. For hardgainers it’s obviously going to be more of a hassle to ensure that they’re eating enough. This is the only time when skinny guys might need to control their diet by counting their calories.

But often times, muscle growth is about getting stronger in the gym while eating in a very slight calorie surplus for a prolonged period of time. Given enough time, even hardgainers will build a great looking ripped physique simply by focusing on getting stronger in the gym consistently overtime and trying their best to eat enough food. The time they will save later by not having to cut will often justify the additional time hardgainers need to build muscle.

Disadvantage #1: Slower transformation progress

Skinny guys often require more patience than what fat guys do. The reason for this is that fat beginners usually has a fair amount of muscle already built up simply from overfeeding, skinny guys don’t, they just start out skinny.

And here’s the thing; losing body fat will always be a quicker process than building muscle mass. For this reason skinny guys will often feel that they’re progressing very slowly and they will feel skinny for a long period of time. A fat guy might see great results after only 4-6 months of cutting. But for a skinny guy the chagne takes place gradually and while other people might see how much they’ve changed over a 10-12 month period, they might not do so themselves.

But, I want you to remind yourself of two things if you’re starting out with the skinny physique:

  1. Take pictures of your physique when you start out. One year from now take a look at that picture and compare it to how you look now. In one year of consistent progress your mind will certainly trick you into believing that you haven’t gained much muscle. But the picture will provide you with solid evidence that a lot has happened since you started out.
  2. Know that as a skinny guy you can build around 20 lbs (10 kg) of muscle in your first year. This is A LOT! Research and anecdotal evidence clearly shows that skinny guys who set up a good training program and diet plan can make staggering change within their first 1-2 years in the gym.

Conclusion

Okay, so there we go. In short, fat guys will in general be able to see results quicker than skinny guys, but they also will need to work harder to get ripped. Skinny guys on the other hand will in general have an easier and more straight path towards a ripped physique, but it will take them (or at least feel) like it’s taking a bit longer to get ripped.

What’s Next?

I hope this post can help some of you asking the question whether it’s easier to get ripped starting out as skinny or fat. Personally, I think it’s a very interesting subject to say the least.

But practically, this question doesn’t matter as much for you individually. I mean you are who you are and you need to do what with you got.

So with that said, if you want to learn the exact steps you need to take to go from your starting point to your goal physique, then I recommend that you check out my free guide called: “How to build an aesthetic physique”. Let me know where to send it by enter your name and email in the form below:


Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas Lampi and I work as a fitness writer, nutritional consultant and personal trainer. My favourite exercise is the bench press and my favourite food is pizza!

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