How to Build Muscle Fast in Asia

Jacked guy.

What’s up readers?

Today we’re going to discuss how to gain muscle, and get swole, while living in Southeast Asia. Now, if any of you were like me, then you are probably of average height and weight. This is fine. You can still bang girls on Tinder and date Vietnamese girls.

However, every male with a normal amount of testosterone wants to have muscles. I know I sure did when I was skinny (ok, I’m still kind of skinny lol)

Well, this guide to gaining muscle is for you.

Step 1: Go to The Gym

The first step of getting big is to go to the gym. Scroll down to step four to find out how to find a good gym in Vietnam.

If you’re one of those guys that curls pink five pound dumbbells, runs on the treadmill, and spend 30 minutes looking in the mirror, then you’re going to have a bad time.

Soyboy Vietnam

Or if you make this stupid face.

You need a gameplan. Something that will add pounds and pounds of lean muscle onto your frame. The kind of muscle that makes men fear you and women blush.

Muscular Guy in Vietnam

Yeah, that’s the kind of muscle we’re trying to build.

Can’t do that with pink 5 pound dumbbells and no gameplan. Our gameplan is…

Step 2: Starting Strength

We’re going to use the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe. You can find the eBook on Amazon, but I’ll just explain the basic premise of the program. You have two specific workouts that you do on non-consecutive days of the week. You do three sets of five reps (3×5) of all the exercises except deadlifts. Deadlifts are 1×5 because they’re physically taxing.

You start with an empty bar for all the workouts except deadlifts. Start your deadlifts at 90 pounds. Add five pounds to the bar each workout for all your exercises.

Workout A: 3×5 squats, 3×5 bench press, 1×5 deadlifts

Workout B: 3×5 squats, 3×5 overhead press, 3×5 Pendallay rows or power cleans.

Here is a basic week for you:

Monday: Workout A

Wednesday: Workout B

Friday: Workout A

That’s it. All you need is a barbell, some weights, a squat rack, and a bench. Every gym not named Planet Fitness will have everything you need. Best part of this plan is it takes like 3 hours a week. No need to spend like 20 hours a week in the gym…

Aint nobody got time

Now, Rippetoe goes into much more detail about eating, what to do when you stall, proper form, and warmup reps. Seriously, buy the book. There’s more to Starting Strength than just the workout schedule.

Step 3: Eat Food

A big problem with skinny guys is that they don’t eat enough. I was (ok, I still am) a skinny guy and used to think I was eating a boatload of food and had a super-fast metabolism… but when I counted my calories it was only like 600 or 700 calories a day.

So yeah, just eat a lot of food. Like, if you think you’re full, then eat some more food.

This is easy in Vietnam because food is so cheap, abundant, healthy, and you don’t even have to cook it. For example, after I finish my workout I walk outside and buy some grilled pork from a lady standing on the street outside the gym. This article explains how to find good, cheap, and safe street food.

She sells a decent amount of pork on a stick for like 10k (50 cents). Just eat four pork sticks and you have your protein for the day. Combine that with some pho, a banh mi, and eggs and you’ll gain weight.

Drinking a Gallon of Milk a Day (GOMAD)

Glass of Milk

Rippetoe recommends skinny guys get on the GOMAD program when they begin Starting Strength. You’ll gain weight for sure. Trust me.

In Vietnam, I don’t really think this is necessary. Drinking a gallon of dairy everyday can have some negative effects too. Just eat plenty of meat and stuff and you should be fine.

Eggs are Super Food

Carton of Eggs

On the subject of food. Eggs are probably the best food you can eat while working out. I pay ten cents per egg (2k Dong) and eat two or three per day. They have a ton of protein and other good stuff.

I like to cook them sunny side up and then put them on top of my pork and rice. Put some cucumbers and lettuce on the side and douse the rice in fish sauce… and mmmhmm. So good. Ok, this isn’t Neo’s Cooking Blog. I’ll shutup now.

Eggs are perfectly healthy too. Don’t believe all the negative stuff you read about eggs.

Step 4: Finding a Good Gym in Vietnam

Gym weights Saigon

We all know everything is super cheap in Vietnam, right?

Gyms are kind of expensive here compared to The West. Probably because most Vietnamese work blue-collar jobs, so they don’t find the need to go to the gym. Plus, Asians seem to like skinny twink bois instead of jacked dudes. This leads to my next point…

Most of the Vietnamese men working out in gyms are flaming homosexuals.

Yeah, the only people that go to the gym here are The Gays. Basically, the gym is a place for The Gays to workout, checkout each other, and have buttsex with other Gays in the showers.

So, if you see some jacked Vietnamese dude checking you out when you squat… well that’s why. He’s not admiring your perfect A2G form.

Ok, now that we’ve got that cleared up. Here are the different types of gyms you have in Vietnam:

Local Gyms

First are the local Vietnamese gyms. You’ll find these all over the place and they all look the same. A faded blue sign that reads “GYM” has some Vietnamese words with a faded picture of a white guy lifting weights. Don’t expect A/C. The machinery will be older too.

The price for this is about $20 per month, but less expensive the further away from rich areas you go. You can also pay per day, which will cost $1 or $2 per day. Some of these gyms might cost as little as $8 per month if you are not in District 1 or District 2.

I’m a cheap bastard so I use these gyms. Plus, no A/C makes me feel like a badass.

Price: $20/month. No contract.

Quality: No A/C. Old equipment.

Western Style Gyms

Saigon has a few western chain gyms. I know they have a California Fitness and maybe an LA Fitness here. Anyway, these gyms are nice and have everything you would expect at a normal gym. A/C, smoothies, a track, and a bunch of other random stuff.

Expect to pay around $100/month with a contract. The quality is what you would expect.

As a bonus, you will see some super cute Aryan princesses and Vietnamese girls at these gyms:

Aryan Princess

Apartment Gyms

Unfortunately, most high rise apartments in Saigon do not have gyms or pools like the ones in Bangkok. Some of the nicer ones in Saigon that cater to expats (Masteri, Vinhomes, etc.) will have gyms. In my experience, these gyms suck for Starting Strength because they don’t have a barbell or heavy weights.

Check them out though. Masteri apparently has a nice gym 😉

Step 5: It’s About Mindset

Getting jacked, just like being a digital nomad, requires the right mindset. It’s a long road ahead and will take you years of hard work to get the results you want. There isn’t any instant gratification in the gym. Just a shitload of hardwork.

For me, I just started two months ago, but I’ve already gotten bigger and gained weight. Yeah, most of the weight is fat, but I’m tired of being a skinny twink boi. Not to mention that I’m stronger and more energetic.

This always helps when boinking random girls that I meet.

Final Thoughts

That about covers it for gaining muscle in the gym. Hope you found some use from this article and get big. Don’t forget to check out Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength book for the full details on how to gain muscle.

Remember, it takes a long time to see results. Keep pounding through the beginning stage and you’ll get there… eventually.

Leave a comment with your thoughts on working out in Asia. I know everyone has different routines, gyms, and so on. I love reading about them.


  1. Avoid eating tofu(white stuff) high in protein but also high in estrogen… causing fat on unwanted parts.. as a vegetarian I need to find some other protein sources or whey protein on next visit.

    1. Yeah being a vegetarian in Vietnam is difficult. Anything made from soy (like tofu) is going to have high estrogen and should be avoided. Hard because they love soy here lol.

      1. Soy myth false……The estrogen found in soy is plant estrogen, the estrogen you are referring to is human or should I say animal estrogen. The body does not process it in the same way. If you don’t believe me, you are welcome to do your own research, but that soy myth is some bs…..

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