Building High-Performance Muscle™

The Cure for Skinny
A Roundtable, featuring Joe DeFranco, Vince DelMonte, and Craig Weller


Are you afraid of blowing away in a strong gust of wind? Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing vermicelli arms and Tinker Toy legs? Does your little sister ask to borrow your clothes... and threaten to beat you up if you refuse? Do you ever look at the 45-pound plates in the gym and wonder when you'll be able to use them? Sick of answering questions that remind you of the one subject you try to avoid?

You aren't alone: Lots of guys share your hypertrophy-averse physiology. Many of them manage to work their way into more mirror-friendly proportions. I'm one of them, and I report to two former skinny bastards who grew up to be Testosterone Muscle editors.

A select few end up as coaches who help guys like us get bigger, stronger, and more athletic. I talked to three of them: Joe DeFranco, a strength coach based in New Jersey who works with elite high school, college, and pro athletes; Vince DelMonte, author of No-Nonsense Muscle Building; and Craig Weller, a trainer based in San Diego and popular Testosterone contributor who's a former member of the Navy's elite special-ops forces.

I locked the three of them in a room and wouldn't let them leave until they filled my tape recorder with nutrition tips, training strategies, and lifestyle adjustments that they've used to help themselves and their clients work up to larger shirt sizes.

Testosterone Muscle: Let's go back to high school. How would I have picked you out of a crowd? What about now?

Craig Weller:

Robby Robinson Speaks

Craig beating the hell out of a tire.

Robby Robinson Speaks

Vince's jersey looks a little big

Robby Robinson Speaks

No jersey, no problem.

Robby Robinson Speaks

DeFranco, behind the green barbell.

Robby Robinson Speaks

DeFranco client Mike Guadango at 178 pounds.

Robby Robinson Speaks

Same guy at 202, plus a tattoo.

TM: Philosophers have been debating this question since the advent of written language, so I'll put it to you: What's more important for the naturally skinny kid — training or nutrition?

JD:

TM: But McDonald's?

JD:

TM: Interesting stuff. What do you think, Craig?

TM: What about the idea that skinny guys can get away with eating more junk food, at least for a while?

TM: So are carbs and protein the only thing we're concerned about?

CW:

VD:

TM: That's an excellent point and one most guys wouldn't even consider. Let's talk training for the skinny guys. Kick us off, Vince.

VD:

JD:

VD:

TM: Good point. Joe, you've written three different versions of "Westside for Skinny Bastards." Do you still train athletes with that basic template?

JD:

CW:

TM: Wouldn't conditioning be the last thing on a skinny guy's mind? Wouldn't that burn too many calories? 

TM: Joe, I know you've got some interesting thoughts on lower-body training. Care to share? 

JD:

TM: Vince, anything to add here?

VD:

TM: All right, last question. Give my your biggest, baddest tip for skinny guys looking to shed their medium-size T-shirts for good.

TM: Damn, Craig, that's messed up. What about you Vince?

VD:

TM: Wrap us up, Joe.

JD:

TM:  Awesome tips. Thanks for participating, guys.

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