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Mass effort: Effective workouts for slim body type

Mass effort: Effective workouts for slim body type

Exercise for slim people should facilitate healthy weight gain. Diet and rest also play a role in muscle building
Exercises for slim body type should consist of a strength-training workout with less focus on intense and long cardio sessions.
The workout routine for those with a slim body type should revolve around strength training. (Photo: Anantha Subramanyam K / Happiest Health)

A workout plan should be based on many factors — including a person’s goals, health parameters and body type. In fact, the needs or goals vary with body type.

Take the case of those with a slim body or frame. The primary goal of their workout routine would be to gain mass and maintain a healthy weight with a muscular figure.

It is, however, not easy since people with a slim body type face unique challenges in their fitness journey. An effective workout plan should address these challenges, helping them push their fitness envelope and reach their goals.


Fitness for the overweight: The slow and steady race

It has been often said that gaining muscle for those with a slim body type is an uphill task. This has to do with their physiology — they are, typically, efficient burners of calories. Add to that, if they end up doing the wrong exercise, they will never gain muscle mass. Let us say a slim person does cardio for 40-45 minutes per day. This would result in the production of cortisol, which is catabolic in nature and could trigger atrophy (loss of muscle).

So, physiological factors must also be considered while choosing a proper exercise routine.

Role of rest in workouts

“For gaining muscle mass, diet and rest play an important role alongside exercise,” says Shree Harsha, trainer at the Fitness Point Gym in Bengaluru. “In terms of rest, a minimum of eight hours rest post-workout is essential. So, if someone works out before sleep then there are no issues. Also, if someone is working out before going to office, then it’s not an issue for those with desk job. But it gets difficult for those doing field work as the body won’t get the required rest.”

For slim people, a high-protein diet is needed with an adequate amount of carbohydrates. Junk food should be avoided.

The workout routine should focus on strength training at least four to five days a week. Heavy cardio needs to be avoided. One day a week at least should be earmarked for rest.

Protein diet and slim body workouts

Based on whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, food from natural sources which are high in protein should be included in the diet when you embark on a slim body workout routine.

For vegetarians, leafy vegetables, legumes, lentils, soya, beans, nuts (like almonds, walnuts, cashews and pistachios) and seeds (pumpkin and flax) are good options.

Non-vegetarians can have eggs, fish and meat.

Dairy products such as milk, butter, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese also good sources of protein.

Check for health issues

Before getting into a slim body workout plan, it is also essential to check for underlying health issues. If weight gain has always been a problem, then it is important to screen for irritable bowel syndrome or hypothyroidism, both of which are known to hamper healthy weight gain. Tests can be done to rule out the presence of any genetic or hereditary predisposition for having low muscle mass.


  • A high-protein diet is essential for people with a slim body type to gain muscle mass.
  • They should focus on strength-training exercises. Heavy and intense cardio workouts should be avoided.
  • A rest of eight hours after workouts is essential, along with a full day’s break from exercise once a week.

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