Skinny guy builds muscle

Want to Bulk Up? These Workouts Help Skinny Guys to Build Size and Muscle

8 min read


03 Nov 2020

Have you been called skinny, scrawny, and lanky all your life? Do you want to build size and muscle, but you’re not sure where to start? Learn how to go from skinny to muscle-clad with this comprehensive skinny guy workout guide.

Have you been hitting the gym, trying to go from skinny to muscle with no success? Are you stuffing your face throughout the day with burgers, protein shakes, and chicken, but you’re still not able to move the number on the scale? Skinny guys know only too well what it means to be a hard gainer.

Thanks to a high metabolic rate and genetics, hard gainers often find that packing on serious muscle can be insanely frustrating and feel damn near impossible. Does this sound like you? Don’t worry.

If you are a skinny guy who struggles to build muscle, this comprehensive guide will give you everything you need to know to get big. You’ll learn about the best skinny guy workouts and the most common mistakes you must avoid to get the desired results.

How to Gain Muscle Fast for Skinny Guys

make muscles not excuses

Skinny guys, listen up: Do you think you’re limited to what your genetics have laid out for you? Think again. Sure, you might be skinny, but with proper exercise, diet, and a good supplement program, you can break the barriers of your genes and achieve a muscular body. Let’s review in more detail the three key factors of how to gain muscle fast for skinny guys.

Understand How Muscles Work

Did you know that muscles don’t grow while you’re in the gym? Leveling up your shirt size happens when you rest. But before you get there, you need to make sure that you provide the proper amount of stress and resistance to trigger a recovery response from your muscles.

Studies show that muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth occurs in order to adapt to training volume. When you lift weights, you’re introducing a stressor that causes microtears in the tissue. It sounds brutal, but don’t worry as this is completely normal. Once your workout concludes, your body gets to work to repair the microtears, making the tissue bigger and stronger than before in order to handle the workload you’ve been placing on it.

What type of workout works best for skinny guys? One that uses heavy volume, limited cardio, and plenty of variety.

Skinny Guy Muscle Building Workouts

man does workout to build muscle

While not every skinny guy workout plan will look the same, each one follows these principles to maximize results:

Lift Heavier Weights

If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to learn the fundamental exercises with a lighter weight and more volume, but your eventual goal should be to push yourself to use heavier weights. Studies show that lifting heavier weights results in muscle mass, muscular strength, and better neuromuscular connections.

Consider a periodization program that cycles through endurance, hypertrophy, strength, and power. The fewer the repetitions, the heavier the weight you should use.

  • Endurance: 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions (per exercise)
  • Hypertrophy: 4 x 8 to 12
  • Strength: 5 x 5 to 8
  • Power: 6 x 1 to 5

Choose Compound Exercises

Compound exercises recruit the greatest number of muscle fibers in a single movement. Squats, deadlifts, and bench presses are great examples of compound exercises that can trigger a skinny to muscle transformation. You may also want to follow a full-body workout program made up of compound exercises.

Here’s a sample skinny guy workout to follow based on the acute variables from above. Every week, increase the sets and weight while decreasing reps. Once you complete each cycle, return to the endurance phase.

Check this article: Guide To The Jason Blaha ICF 5×5 Workout Routine >>

Limit Cardio Exercises

While you don’t want to cut out cardiovascular exercise completely, you do want to limit the number of cardio days you have. We recommend at least three days of resistance training and no more than two days of cardio. When choosing cardiovascular activities, we highly recommend high-intensity interval training workouts as this can support your muscle building.

Train Regularly

Consistency is key when it comes to learning how to gain muscle fast for skinny guys. If you want to build muscle, you must be in the gym, hammering the weights, each and every week. Missing a day isn’t going to kill your gains, but taking weeks off will. Set a schedule and stick to it for the best results.

>> Guide to Dorian Yates Back Workout Routine >>

Take Time to Recover

One very important part of your training schedule should be the time you set aside for rest and recovery. You must take your recovery as seriously as you do your training, otherwise, you risk over-training, under-recovery, and losing out on muscle mass. Here are some quick tips to maximize your recovery:

  • Sleep for no less than seven hours each night
  • Hit your caloric target each day (more on that below)
  • Keep stress levels down with meditation
  • Get the blood flowing on rest days, but not with a workout – try light activity such as walking

Diet and Muscle Building Foods

Training is only half the battle. If you want to start packing on pounds of muscle mass, you’ll need to start eating the best muscle building foods for skinny guys.

Eat More Calories

When your goal is to build muscle mass, that means you need to start eating more than you normally do. The thing is, most hard gainers don’t eat anywhere near what they should. Determine your daily caloric intake using an online calorie calculator and you might be surprised at just how many calories you need to be eating.

Once you have your number of daily calories, we recommend dividing that by the number of times per day you can eat. For example, if you need to eat 3,000 calories each day, and you eat six times, then each meal will need to contain 500 calories.

Importance of Protein

Dietary protein contains the literal building blocks of muscle tissue, making it the most important macronutrient to eat when trying to build mass. While no study has confirmed this number, most guys who want to build muscle mass will consume one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The bulk of this protein should come from whole food sources, but whey protein supplements are an excellent way to consume a healthy and bioavailable form of protein to reach your daily intake.

Healthy Fats

Don’t forget about healthy fats! Eating dietary fats will help you build muscle in two key ways:

First, your body will be able to better absorb nutrients, especially vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that is key for testosterone production.

Second, studies show that healthy fats contain cholesterol, another building block of testosterone, the male-dominant hormone that is essential for muscle growth and fat burning.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration means more than plain water. True hydration combines both water with essential electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Electrolytes are quickly used up during exercise and if they run too low, this can negatively impact your performance and results. When drinking water, we recommend a mineral-based water, or mixing plain tap water with an electrolyte-based supplement.

Supplements That Help You Gain Muscle Mass Faster

Let’s make something clear: The bulk of your nutrition should come from whole food and natural sources. But with the advancements in supplement technology, you would be crazy not to give yourself an extra edge. The following supplements are tried-and-true for muscle-building:

Whey Protein

As mentioned above, dietary proteins provide you with the building blocks of muscle tissue. Studies show that whey protein significantly increases protein synthesis and promotes muscle building. What’s more, it is one of the most bioavailable forms of protein, scoring a 105 out of 100 on the bioavailability scale.


A muscle building staple, creatine can help to support athletic performance and strength, but studies also show that it’s great for building muscle. As long as you are using creatine in combination with a comprehensive muscle building program, it can support your goals for size.

Testosterone Booster

Healthy levels of testosterone can make the difference between getting huge and struggling. Weightlifting and eating healthy fats are two great ways to support natural testosterone production, but supplementing with natural ingredients such as ginseng, nettle leaf extract, and vitamin D can support your T-levels.

Testo-Max contains a collection of proven testosterone boosters that are all natural and don’t require a post-cycle therapy supplement.

Bulking Supplements

If you want to bulk up, we recommend using a combination of supplements that addresses performance, recovery, and hormone optimization. You’ll find all of that and more in our Crazy Bulk bulking supplements. There’s no guesswork here; you’ll get exactly what you need to bulk up including suggested timetables and a comprehensive skinny guy workout program.

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Building Muscle

Have a Plan: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. It’s important to write a full skinny guy workout program that breaks down everything into daily, weekly, and monthly workouts. Keep in mind that the program will change as you become stronger and swole.

Jumping the Gun: No one understands the desire to start pushing bigger plates better than us. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Ditch your ego and be content with starting small in order to avoid injury. If you go for broke from the start and wind up getting hurt, you’ll have to start back at the beginning… in several months after your injuries heal.

Set Your Priorities: Is gaining muscle really important to you? Or is it just something that seems cool until you think about all of the hard work that comes with it? Make sure that this is a priority for you, otherwise, you’ll never get close to your goal. It’s going to require sacrifices in time and money, but the results will be worth it.

Want to Get Big? Don’t Quit

It’s not going to be an easy journey, but nothing worth having ever is. If you want to gain muscle mass, you’ll need to commit yourself to a rigorous exercise program and equally detailed nutrition and recovery program. You’ll only get out of this what you put in, so be sure to give it everything you have.

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