Ask Adam: Nothing seems to make me look “thicker” is there something I am missing?

April 1, 2008          Comments (1)

Dear Adam,

I’ve been subscribed to your mailing list for a while now and have noticed my body is being shaped very nicely, and I appreciate all your tips. I just had one question, which may not have a simple answer. My problem is that I am 6’0 and I have a relatively small frame. My arms are a good size, my chest is a good size, my back is rather a decent size (for my frame) but I still look sort of skinny.

Is there an exercise that I can do that would make me look thicker around the rib area? I’ve tried increasing the size of my chest, my lats and my obliques (somewhat), and nothing seems to make me look “thicker.” Let me know if there is something I could have missed. Thanks a bunch.


Alex, thanks so much for your question and I’m glad you’re enjoying the newsletter and tips.

I always tell my clients it’s all about realizing your body’s full potential. Most girls I know want to have Gisele Bündchen’s body.

Sorry but unless you’re 5’11” there is zero chance your body can look like hers. Besides, it’s all about your confidence. The fact that you take care of yourself and treat your body with the respect it deserves should make you feel like a billion bucks.

Saying you “look sort of skinny” can only be fixed one way. And that’s by gaining weight. To gain weight on your frame you’re going to have to make a big commitment to eating frequently. You want to be eating at least 30 grams of protein per meal and you also want to be eating good complex carbs with each meal 5-6 times per day.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reducing or spot ‘adding’. For example, a lot of clients tell me they want to lose fat in their stomachs. Although crunches are great they are not going to help you to reduce fat in your stomach. The only way to truly lose fat is by burning more calories than you consume.

To lose a pound of weight, you have to shave 500 calories a day from your diet. To gain weight, you have to eat at LEAST 500 calories more than what you normally eat. This is actually the fun part. But remember, you want to be eating quality foods, not crap.

In terms of exercise, I’d focus more on your back and specifically your lats. Developing your lats will give you that great V-taper look where your back appears wide at the top and narrow by the waist.

Also, I’m not sure how many reps you’re doing but you don’t want to be doing more than 12 reps per set. You want to stick to the 8-12 rep range as you’re really trying to add size. And if you can do 12 reps fairly easy, you’re not doing enough weight.

I really believe if you focus on eating a lot of quality foods frequently (every 3-4 hours), developing your lats and really making sure you’re pushing yourself in the weight room you’ll be well on your way to looking thicker!

As always, go hard or go home. If you’re going to spend time in the gym, you might as well kick your own ass or don’t bother going.

Oh and just for the record, I’m not a doctor, but I’m known to work miracles.

If you have a question for me, I’d love to answer it.

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1 Comment »

  1. good stuff. I’d also recommend more compound lifts: deadlifts, pull ups, shoulder press, bent over rows, squats…I was always kind of muscular but I didn’t get thick until I started doing deadlifts- it was like that part of my body was the limiting reagent to further growth elsewhere.

    Johnnie Jackson is the deadlift guru, and he recommends deads for thickness as well

    Comment by Max Bottaro — October 23, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

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