Mistakes Skinny Guys Make: Flipflopitis

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Note:  This is the fourth installment of an on-going “series” (rants would be appropriate) designed to give skinny guys the a little dose of tough love, or what I like to call “the dealo.”   In case you missed the first few posts, you can click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

The great Dan John came up with a phrase not too long ago that really resonated with me, and it’s something I feel every person who’s remotely interested in this thing called “fitness” should make their mantra.

Tape it to your bathroom mirror.

Write it on a sticky note and slap it on your fridge.

Make it your ringtone for all I care.  But no matter what, remember this:

Your goal is to keep the goal, the goal.

And really, while I’m going to expound on this as it relates to skinny guys below, this “rule” pretty much applies to anyone whether your goal is to lose 15 lbs of fat by the end of the year, increase your squat by “x” amount, or, I don’t know, make it so that when you flex your pecs, they turn into diamonds (cool party trick by the way).  It doesn’t matter:  your goal is to keep the goal, the goal.

And that’s where people (especially skinny guys) miss the boat oftentimes, and end up falling prey to this thing called flipflopitis.

One week “skinny guy” decides, once and for all (again), that he’s going to make a concerted effort to put on some weight.  Except this time, it’s going to be different.  This time, he’s printed out his workout schedule (cool); he’s recruited a buddy of his to train with to hold him more accountable (great); and he even went to his local GNC and bought some MassGainerPro 3000, to you know, get his massgainernification on (okay, I’ll let that one slide.)

Week One:  Amazing.  He and his buddy hit every training session hard, pounded some protein shakes afterwards, and they even said hi to a girl.  Win-win-and-wiiiiiiiiiin.

Week Two:  Still getting after it.  It’s been a chore trying to get all those extra calories in, but he’s already noticed a 4 lb weight gain, and the workouts are still going really well.

Week Three:  And then it happens.  The conversation that invariably goes down at the same point each and every time:

Skinny Guy:  “Dude, I know I’m getting stronger and stuff, but I think I’m losing my abs.”

Skinny Guy’s Buddy:  “Dude, uou weigh 155 lbs, dude.  Shut up.”

Skinny Guy:  “Naw man, I’m serious.  I got out of the shower today and noticed I’m looking a little fatter.”

Skinny Guy’s Buddy:  “First off, those  ‘abs’ you proclaim you have?  Yeah, that’s actually your spleen.  Secondly, DUDE YOU WEIGH 155 LBS!!!!!!  Just shut up and lets go lift some heavy things.”

Skinny Guy:  “Can’t do it today, dude.  I decided I was going to train for a marathon last night.  Got run a fiver today.  See ya.”

Now tell me that that doesn’t sound vaguely familiar!?!?!  I see it all the time:  trainees flip flopping their goals every few weeks and then they wonder why they NEVER make any progress in the long-term.  Like, ever.

Personally speaking, I used to be that skinny guy.  I’d peruse the world wide web (which is what it was called back then) and search for workout routines to follow.  I’d pick one, follow it for a week or two, only to dismiss it altogether once I found a different program to follow the next week.

It wasn’t until I said “enough is enough,” and I legitimately picked a goal (in this case, put on some freaking weight.  I would have gone with become a fighter pilot, but I had to be realistic) laid out an extensive plan, and ACTUALLY FOLLOWED IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH that I started making the progress I had always hoped for.

Essentially, I cured my case of flipflopitis and good things started to happen.

I mean, it’s kind of hard to gauge progress – let alone make progress – when you’re consistently confusing the body as to what you actually want it to do!

If you want to put on weight – and subsequently, size – you need to make sure that your training reflects that goal.  It seems like an obvious point when someone else says it, but it’s amazing just how many people fail to grasp that simple concept.

SPOILER ALERT:  stop running.  No, really.  Stop.

So, with regards to skinny guys, while I could make this into a more thorough post, I’m sure the bulk of people reading are picking up what I’m putting down.  Stop it with the flip-flopping!

And, put down the shake-weight.  That’s not going to get you huge, either.


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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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