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How to Build Muscle for Skinny Guys? (A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners 2023)

how to build muscle for skinny guys


For many skinny guys, gaining muscle can be a challenge. While some people seem to be able to pack on muscle effortlessly, others struggle to make any noticeable gains despite hours of effort at the gym. The good news is that building muscle as a skinny guy is not impossible – it just requires a different approach!

  In this comprehensive guide on how to build muscle for skinny guys, we’ll explore the challenges that skinny guys face when building muscle, the benefits of muscle building, and provide dietary and workout guidelines to help you achieve your muscle-building goals.

  We’ll also cover recovery tips and strategies for staying motivated along the way. All this in one place, plus an additional bonus of The Bony to Beastly Bulking Program – designed especially for skinny guys! With this program, you can transform your body from skinny to muscular faster than ever before!

Skinny Body Type

Individuals with a skinny body type (also known as ectomorphs) are often characterized by their lean and thin appearance. Ectomorphs tend to have a unique body with a smaller bone structure, narrow waist, and shoulders. They usually have a lower body fat percentage, making their muscles more visible than other body types. 

Due to their long limbs, ectomorphs can appear taller than the average person. While having a fast metabolism may seem like an advantage, it can cause challenges when it comes to gaining weight or building muscle mass, even with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine. However, with the right training and nutrition plan designed for their body type, ectomorphs can transform their physique from skinny to strong and improve their overall health and well-being.


Benefits of Building Muscles for Skinny Guys

For skinny guys, transforming their bodies from skinny to muscular one can be a life-changing experience. Here are some benefits of this transformation:

1. Increased Endurance and Strength

Regularly exercising to build muscle can result in improved endurance, strength, and physical performance. You can enjoy better physical fitness, making it easier to do day-to-day activities such as carrying groceries or playing sports.

2. Improved Physical Appearance

Building muscle can help you appear more toned and muscular, which boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem.

3. Reduced Risk of Injury

Having more muscle mass helps you maintain good balance while performing physical activities. With extra support and stability from muscle, your joints, tendons, and ligaments are less likely to experience strain or injury due to exercise.

4. Improved Bone Health

Strength training exercises not only build stronger muscles but also denser bones. This reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis or other bone problems that come with age.

Challenges Skinny Guys Face When Building Muscle

Do you struggle to transform your body from thin to muscular even when you’re putting in the work? As a skinny guy, you may be facing some common challenges that are hindering your progress. Keep reading to learn about the challenges skinny guys face when building muscle and how to overcome them.

1. Bloating and Indigestion

Sometimes, when attempting to gain weight and achieve a skinny to muscular transformation, skinny guys tend to eat more than necessary, leading to bloating and indigestion.

Here are some tips to prevent indigestion and bloating:

  • Gradually increase your fiber intake as an increase in fiber too quickly can lead to bloating. 
  • Avoid eating too quickly as it may lead to overeating and indigestion, it is important not to rush while eating and enjoy every bite. 
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than consuming large meals.
  • Incorporate digestive aids such as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and peppermint oil to improve digestion and alleviate symptoms of bloating.

2. Low Appetite

Skinny Guys Low Appetite

Ectomorphs usually face a low appetite which can make it difficult for them to consume enough calories to support muscle growth. To increase appetite and still get enough calories at the same time:

  • Try consuming liquid calories such as smoothies or protein shakes.
  • Eat calorie-dense snacks or foods like nuts or fatty fish.
  • Make your food tastier with herbs and sauces.
  • Increase portion sizes gradually.
  • Maintain a consistent meal schedule throughout the day.

3. Small Stomach

Having a small stomach makes it hard for ectomorphs to consume the amount of food necessary for muscle growth. To work around this issue:

  • Start by gradually increasing the size of your meals to help expand your stomach.
  • focus on eating less filling but calorie-dense foods such as oatmeals, banana smoothies, and fatty fish that provide a lot of nutrients without taking up too much space in your stomach.

4. Fast Metabolism

Ectomorphs with faster metabolism need more calories since their bodies burn through energy more quickly than normal individuals do to create a caloric surplus which is essential for muscle growth. I will discuss how to overcome this challenge later in this article. So, continue reading!

5. High Risk of Injury

Due to your lean body type, you have an increased risk of joint and connective tissue injuries. So, you need to ensure proper form when lifting weights or doing any kind of exercise that requires strain on your muscles or joints in order not only to maximize results but also to protect yourself from potential harm caused by overtraining or pushing yourself too hard too quickly into new exercises that might be beyond your current fitness level.

Dietary Guidelines for Skinny Guys 

healthy diet for skinny guys

From protein to carbohydrates and fat, it can be difficult for skinny guys to know exactly how to plan their diet for muscle building. This section outlines the dietary guidelines for skinny guys, including target daily calories, tips on how to reach one’s target daily calories and protein, as well as information about post- and pre-workout meals.

Eating a balanced diet that consists of a variety of whole foods that are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, prebiotics, and probiotics is an essential part of a successful bulk up diet plan for skinny guys. This should include healthy carbohydrates, quality protein, and fat. To create a bulk up diet plan for skinny guys, follow these dietary guidelines:


For skinny guys following a bulking program, it’s important to focus on consuming enough protein to support muscle growth. Proteins are broken down into essential amino acids which are used for building up and repairing muscles as well as providing energy to the body, regulating hormone production, and supporting the immune system. Each gram of protein packs 4 calories. 

Skinny guys should be consuming at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight every day (1). Beans, chicken, meats, cheese and dairy products, fish, eggs, and legumes are high-quality sources of protein.


Carbohydrates are the body’s quickest source of energy since they break down into simple sugars. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen (which provides energy for your muscle) when consumed. 

They offer 4 calories per gram. The best carbohydrates are from foods rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants such as starchy vegetables (such as squash), fruits (berries), legumes (beans), dairy products ( yogurt), raw honey, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. 

For skinny guys who want to go from skinny to muscular, a bulk up diet plan that includes higher-carb intake can be beneficial.  Research studies have shown that higher-carb diets will improve workout performance along with improving protein efficiency in order to gain more muscle mass than fat (2, 3). To optimize this bulking process skinny guys should aim for 3- 5 g/kg/day for building muscle (4).


Fats are broken down into fatty acids which are necessary for nutrient absorption, cell function, hormone production, and brain health. It has 9 calories per gram. Also, high-quality fats can be found in food sources such as avocado, fish oils, nuts & seeds, eggs & cheese, olive oil & coconut oil, or cocoa powder. 

Additionally, fat is important when it comes to building muscle mass because they help produce hormones such as testosterone that support muscle growth. Fat also helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins necessary for overall health and muscle gains during workouts. Consuming 0.5 – 1.5 g/kg/day of fat is recommended to achieve a skinny to muscular transformation (5).

Target Daily Calories

  If you’re following a bulking program for skinny guys, it’s crucial to calculate your target daily calories to ensure that you’re consuming enough to support your muscle-building goals. 

     To figure out our target daily calories, we can use a simple formula. We take our maintenance calories (also known as Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE) and add 15% to it. Our maintenance calories are the amount of energy our body needs to consume to maintain our current weight.

You can use this calculator to calculate maintenance calories, target daily calories, target protein, and target carbs. 

Calorie Calculator

Calorie Calculator for Skinny Guys





The target carbs are calculated assuming a 5g /kg bodyweight.

The target protein represents the minimum amount you should eat to build muscle i.e. you can eat more than that.

The remaining calories should come from healthy fats.

Remember to track your progress and adjust your calorie intake as needed, depending on how your body responds to your bulking program. If you’re not seeing results after a few weeks, you may need to increase your calorie intake further. And if you’re gaining weight too quickly, you may need to reduce your calorie intake slightly.

Minimize Processed and Junk Food

Processed Food for Skinny Guys

When following a bulk up diet plan for skinny guys, It’s important to pay attention to the food you consume. Avoid processed and junk food as much as possible. These types of food do not provide your body with the necessary nutrients and vitamins it needs to thrive.

In addition, they are high in saturated fats and food additives, which can lead to digestive issues and reduced muscle growth (6). Examples of processed food include simple carbs, pizza, french fries, burgers, potato chips, candy, and ice cream.

Tips to Achieve Your Target Daily Calories

Struggling to reach your daily calorie goals on your bulk up diet plan for skinny guys?  As a skinny guy looking to bulk up, it can be frustrating to constantly fall short. But don’t worry, there are several tips and tricks to help you get there. From making your food less filling to choosing calorie-dense foods and gradually increasing portion sizes, read on to learn how to achieve your target daily calories.

1. Make Your Food Less Filling

Certain components of your meals can make them more filling in the stomach: 

A. Fiber Content

  High-fiber foods like vegetables, some fruits, and whole grains absorb liquid in the stomach and expand, resulting in feelings of fullness. 

To reduce how filling fiber-rich foods are:

  • Replace high-fiber items like vegetables and brown rice with low-fiber alternatives such as fruits and white rice.
  • Cook or steam fibrous foods like veggies to make them easier to digest and less filling.
  • Blend high-fiber ingredients together.

B. Water Content 

Water is another factor that can contribute to feelings of fullness; boiled potatoes and most fruits contain higher amounts of water than other food types.

To reduce their filling effects:

  • Consume dried fruit instead of regular fruit into meals.
  • Reach for baked potatoes instead of boiled ones.

C. Protein Content

protein shake for skinny guys

Protein is known to be an especially satisfying nutrient. It takes longer to digest and helps keep you feeling full for extended periods of time. To reduce its effects: 

  • Select protein sources in the liquid form e.g., whey protein shakes or milk as an alternative to solids forms like meats or cheeses. 
  • Eat ground meat (easy to digest) instead of a steak.

2. Choose Calorie-Dense Foods 

Including certain ingredients in your diet can help you reach your daily calorie goal quicker than others. Nuts, dried fruit, nut butter, avocado, cheese, and fatty fish are some of the best muscle building foods for skinny guys.

3. Increase Portion Sizes Gradually 

If you’re finding it hard to meet your target daily calories then gradually increase the size of your meals to increase your calorie surplus. Over time the stomach will expand and become more accepting of higher amounts of food.

4. Expand Eating Window Hours      

    If fasting is part of your routine then extending your eating window hours is a good strategy. This would allow for a variety of food choices and ultimately more calories eaten throughout the day.

Tips to Reach Your Target Daily Protein Intake

muscle building foods for skinny guys

Eating protein is essential for maintaining and building muscle mass. To ensure you’re getting the recommended amount of protein each day, here are some helpful tips.

  1. Include Protein in Every Meal

 To hit your daily protein target, make sure to include a source of lean, high-quality protein in each meal and snack. 

2. Increase Your Serving Size

 If you need to increase your daily protein intake even more, try adding a larger portion size of protein foods.

3. Supplement with Protein Powder

  For those who have difficulty meeting their daily protein needs through diet alone, supplementing with protein powder can help bridge the gap. Whey protein is the best type of protein powder for skinny guys since it is easily digested and contains high levels of protein.

4. Snack on High-Protein Foods

 Eating small snacks throughout the day that are rich in lean proteins can help you reach your daily target as well. Some of the best sources of protein for skinny guys include hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt mixed with nuts and seeds. 

By following these tips regularly, you should find it much easier to reach your target daily protein intake and support muscle growth while on a bulking program for skinny guys!

How Many Meals, How Much Protein in Each Meal, and When Should Skinny Guys Eat to Build Muscle?

Eating regularly during the day is essential for skinny guys who want to build muscle. While it doesn’t matter when, what, or how much you eat as long as you meet your daily calorie and protein goals, consuming four to five meals (one meal every 3 – 4 hours) with 20-40 grams of protein is the most effective way to attain skinny to muscular transformation and gain muscle quickly and leanly.  (7, 8, 9, 10, 11). 

Post-Workout Meal

Scrambled eggs with whole grain toast

While skinny guys don’t need to have a post-workout meal to build muscle as long as they reach their target protein and calories, it is recommended to get the following benefits:

  • Increased protein muscle growth
  • Decreased protein muscle breakdown
  • Replenishing glycogen stores
  • Reducing fatigue and muscle soreness.
  • Enhancing recovery. 

A post-workout meal should include fast-digesting proteins like whey protein, lean meats, eggs, Greek yogurt, or salmon, and easily digested carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice cakes, fruits, or whole-grain bread. 

Consuming 20-40 grams of protein and 0.5-0.75 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight within 45 minutes after exercising is recommended since delaying carb consumption by just 2 hours after a workout could result in a reduction of up to 50% in glycogen synthesis rates. (12). 

Examples of post-workout meals include

  •  Smoothies made with banana and almond milk.
  • Oatmeal with berries and nut butter.
  •  Scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast.
  • Grilled chicken with quinoa and vegetables.

Pre-Workout Meal

pre workout meal

Although not essential for building muscle, having a pre-workout meal can bring several advantages such as

  •  Reducing muscle glycogen loss.
  •  Increasing muscle protein growth.
  •  Decreasing muscle breakdown.
  •  Improving recovery. 

The pre-workout meal should consist of 20–40 g of protein along with 0.5–0.75 g of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. If you’re following a bulk up diet plan for skinny guys, try to eat a balanced meal before working out to ensure you have the energy and nutrients you need to perform.

It’s best to eat the meal 1-3 hours before exercise, but if it consists of liquid calories or easily digested carbs and protein, it can be consumed 30 minutes to an hour before the workout. 

Examples of meals are the same as post-workout meals.

Macrofactor App

Macro Factor App

     The MacroFactor app makes it easy to follow a diet for skinny guys to build muscle. The app utilizes a dynamic algorithm that adjusts to your metabolism and creates a customized macro plan for you. 

     You’re free to set your own fitness goals and receive weekly adjustments to your plan based on your progress. Additionally, you can customize the macro plan for various dietary preferences or calorie/macro targets for training and non-training days.

     The MacroFactor app helps you keep track of macronutrients, micronutrients, water intake, and more. This way, it’s like having a science-based diet coach right in your pocket! 

Muscle Building Supplements for Skinny Guys


Are you a skinny guy struggling to build muscle despite eating enough calories and protein? Have you considered adding muscle-building supplements to your diet? In this section, we’ll explore the benefits of popular supplements like creatine, protein powder, and BCAAs, and help you determine the most effective forms and dosages for your goals.

1. Creatine

Creatine is an organic acid produced naturally in the body and plays an important role in energy production and muscular strength.


 Supplementing with creatine can 

  • Reduce post-workout soreness
  • Build muscle faster
  • Speed up recovery time
  • Improve exercise performance. 

Which Form of Creatine is Most Effective?

The most effective form of creatine for skinny guys is creatine monohydrate. (13)

When Should I Take Creatine?

Consistency is more important than timing when taking creatine. It can be taken at any convenient time of day to ensure that muscles are fully saturated.

How Much Creatine Should I Take?

 Take 3–5 grams (about a teaspoon) per day consistently for optimal results.

2. Protein Powder

Protein powder is a convenient and effective way to supplement a bulking diet plan for skinny guys. It’s made from processed protein sources such as whey, casein, soy, pea, or egg proteins.


It’s quickly digested by the body which helps you reach your daily recommended target protein levels and can be easily included in your meals. 

When to take protein powder?

As long as you meet your daily target protein intake, it doesn’t matter when you take the protein powder.

Which type of protein powder is best?

Whey protein is considered the best form of protein powder for skinny guys because it contains all essential amino acids and has a high biological value which makes it easier for the body to use when building muscles or repairing them after strain or injury.

3. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs can be a helpful addition to a workout routine for skinny guys looking to undergo a skinny to muscular transformation. They consist of Isoleucine, Leucine, & Valine.


  They help prevent muscle breakdown during fasted workouts. Specifically, Leucine performs this task well on its own.

When to take BCAAs?

You should take them before your workout.

How much should you take?

5–10 grams of BCAAs should be taken or alternatively, 3–5 grams of Leucine alone should give similar results.

Keep in mind that these supplements aren’t necessary for skinny guys to go from skinny to muscular as long as they consume enough calories and protein throughout the day.

Fundamentals of Muscle-Building Workouts for Skinny Guys

muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys

    Skinny guys often want to go from skinny to muscular, but getting started is sometimes overwhelming. This section will provide you with an overview of the fundamentals of a muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys, covering topics from warm-up and cool-down to reps, sets, rest, and duration. 

     We’ll also cover progressive overload, cardio, and various types of exercises to help you build muscle quickly. Finally, we’ll provide an example bulking workout plan.

What Is Muscle Building Workout and How Does It Contribute to Muscle Growth?

    It’s a specific exercise routine that focuses on increasing muscle size, strength, and endurance through resistance training. This involves a combination of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, as well as isolation exercises that target specific muscle groups like bicep curls and tricep extensions.

     It contributes to muscle growth through a process called muscle hypertrophy. During exercises like weightlifting, the muscle fibers in the targeted muscle group experience small amounts of damage or trauma. This damage triggers a series of complex cellular processes that ultimately lead to muscle growth and increased strength, helping you go from skinny to buff.

If you want to calculate your Maximum Muscular Potential, check out this link

Proper Form in Weight Training

  If you’re a beginner, it’s important to focus on learning proper form during the first few weeks of your weight training workout routine. Correct exercise technique is essential at this stage as performing exercises incorrectly can lead to muscle injury and delay progress towards a skinny to muscular transformation. 

Weightlifting is an essential part of going from skinny to bulk, but it’s important to do it with proper form to avoid injuries and achieve optimal results. There are five important aspects to proper weightlifting form:

  1. Breathing is important during weightlifting to avoid holding your breath, which can raise blood pressure or cause dizziness. Inhale while lowering the weight and exhale while lifting. But, if you prefer breathing naturally, make sure to avoid sudden changes in your breathing rhythm or hyperventilation.
  2. Controlled movement is key to lifting weights with proper form. Jerking or bouncing the weight may feel like you can lift heavier, but it is not as effective and can increase the risk of injury. Keep your movements controlled and steady for the best results.
  3. Posture is also essential in weightlifting. Keep your core stable, your eyes straight ahead, and your feet in a solid position when lifting weights. This helps to maintain balance and prevent injuries.
  4. Full range of motion: Make sure to use the full range of motion so that all parts of the muscles are trained and activated properly.
  5. Practicing regularly is the best way to develop good form and technique to help you go from skinny to ripped.

How can you learn the proper form?

  1. Work with a personal trainer for guidance on proper form and technique, as well as feedback and corrections as you perform exercises. 
  2. You can also watch instructional videos from reputable sources and certified trainers that demonstrate proper form and technique for various exercises. 
  3. Starting with light weights is another great way to focus on perfecting your form before increasing weight to develop good habits and reduce the risk of injury. 
  4. Using mirrors to check your form and technique as you perform exercises allows you to make adjustments and correct any issues you may be having.

Warm Up

warm up for skinny guys

Are you skipping warm-up exercises before hitting the weights? If so, you may be risking injury and sacrificing your performance gains. Learn about the benefits of warming up, the common mistakes to avoid, and examples of warm-up sequences to incorporate into your workout routine to maximize your results. 

What is it?

Warm-up is a preparatory phase that involves performing light to moderate-intensity exercises before starting a more challenging workout or activity. It is considered a crucial part of a muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys.

Benefits of Warm-up

  • Warming up your body prior to physical exercise can help you avoid injury and maximize your exercise performance. 
  • Warm-up exercises gradually increase heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature which helps prepare the body for more intense physical activity.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When warming up

it is important to know what mistakes to avoid in order to reap the full benefits from your warm-up routine. The following are some common mistakes made when warming up:

  1. Too Much Cardio

 It is important not to overdo cardio during warm-up as this can lead to fatigue before the main workout begins. You should limit warm-up cardio activities to no longer than five minutes.

  1. Static Stretching Before Workout

 Statically stretching muscles prior to a workout does not improve flexibility or have a preventative effect against injuries, it should be done after your workout to prevent injuries.

  1. No Progression in Warm Up

Performing multiple warm-up sets with progressively heavier weights and decreasing reps is important to adequately prepare your nervous system for heavy lifting. Just one or two sets with only the bar are not sufficient.

Example of Warm-Up Sequence using a barbell 

An effective warm-up sequence typically involves several sets performed in a particular order. For example: 

  • Warm-up set: 8 Reps with just the bar
  • Rest for 60 seconds
  • Warm-up set: 5 reps with 50% of your first working set
  • Rest for 60 seconds
  • Warm-up set: 3 reps with 70% of your first working set
  • Rest for 3 mins
  • Warm-up set: 1 rep with 90% of your first working set

Duration of Warm Up

 Generally speaking, a good warm-up sequence should last between five and fifteen minutes.

Cool Down

cool down for skinny guys

Cool down exercises are an essential part of any muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys. After completing your intense weightlifting routine, taking a few minutes to cool down properly can help you maximize your results and reduce the risk of injury.

 Benefits of Cool Down

  • Preventing blood pooling, which can lead to dizziness or fainting.
  • Reducing muscle soreness and stiffness.
  • Improving flexibility and range of motion.
  • Reduce the risk of injury following intense workouts.
  • Allow your body to safely return to its resting state. 

How To Perform Cool Down Exercises?

A typical cool down usually consists of low-impact aerobic activities combined with static stretches targeting muscles used in the workout.

An example cool-down sequence could be slow jogging or walking for five minutes followed by hamstring stretch, quad stretch, shoulder stretch, standing calf stretch, and deep breathing exercises which should all be performed slowly and gently while controlling movement throughout each exercise until completion.

Duration of Cool Down

Usually, cool downs last between five and fifteen minutes depending on the intensity of workout sessions.


A rep is the complete movement of an exercise from starting position to the end position and back to starting position again. It’s basically one complete cycle of the exercise. Performing reps helps to challenge and stress the muscles to promote muscle growth and improve muscular strength and endurance.

How many reps should you perform for maximum muscle growth?

If you want to have a skinny to muscular transformation as fast as possible, I recommend performing 8-12 reps (13) per set for most exercises, with a weight that is challenging but still allows you to maintain proper form 


A set is a group of repetitions in an exercise. For example, when doing push-ups, you would do three sets of ten repetitions each – that means you do ten push-ups, rest, and then do another ten push-ups, and so on until you have completed three sets.

If you’re a beginner following a muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys, you should aim for 2-3 sets per exercise to build muscle faster. As your fitness levels increase, you can increase the number of sets.


rest for skinny guys

Rest is crucial for your workout routine. It refers to the time between sets, exercises, or workouts, during which the body is given time to recover and prepare for the next physical activity. It’s essential to rest properly to prevent fatigue, reduce the risk of injury, and maximize the benefits of physical activity.

How long should you rest between sets to build muscle?

  I recommend that you rest for 1-2 minutes for isolation exercises such as the biceps, triceps, and shoulders, and 2-3 minutes for compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts to fully recover between sets and maintain proper form.

How Often Should You Work Out for Building Muscle?

If you are a beginner looking to go from skinny to buff, I recommend you to work out 2-3 times per week. This allows for proper muscle growth and recovery. As you progress and your body adapts to the workouts, you can gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts.

Duration of Workout Sessions for Beginners

For beginners, I recommend starting with shorter workout sessions of 30-60 minutes and gradually increasing the duration as they become more experienced and their fitness level improves. This helps prevent overtraining, which can lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury.

Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is a fundamental part of a skinny guys muscle gain workout plan that involves gradually increasing the demands on your muscles during exercise. It’s used to increase muscle growth and improve your motivation as you see progress in the amount of weight you lift week after week.

Types of Progressive Overload

There are several types of progressive overload, including:

  1. Increasing weight: It means increasing the weight you are lifting for each exercise gradually i.e. adding 5 -10% additional weight each week. For example, if you are lifting 20 lbs of dumbells this week, then you may add 1-2 lbs of dumbells next week.
  2. Increasing the number of reps 
  3. Increasing the number of sets 
  4. Increasing the frequency of workouts: It means increasing the number of workout sessions per week. 
  5. Decreasing rest time between sets
  6. Performing harder variations of bodyweight exercises

For beginners, increasing weight is a simple and effective way to challenge muscles and stimulate growth. As you get stronger, progress may slow down, but you can still use other methods of progressive overload to continue making gains.


cardio for skinny guys

Cardio is any type of exercise that elevates the heart rate and increases blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body. It includes running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and jumping rope.

Should Skinny Guys Avoid Cardio While Building Muscle?

Low-intensity cardio is okay for skinny guys looking to build muscle. In fact, low-intensity cardio has several benefits, such as

  • Reducing the risk of hypotension
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Improving mood, memory, and focus
  • Increasing muscle endurance
  • Increasing lung capacity, and improving sleep. 

Some examples of low-intensity cardio exercises include 

  • Brisk walking
  • Using an elliptical machine or stair climber at a slow speed
  • Swimming at a moderate pace
  • Cycling at a slow pace. 

However, too much cardio can make it difficult to go from skinny to bulk muscle because it burns more calories, and building muscle requires calories.

When Should Beginner Skinny Guys Perform Cardio?

Beginner skinny guys have two options when it comes to cardio. 

  1. You can either do low-intensity cardio before weight lifting as a part of your warm-up for no more than 5 minutes. 
  2. Alternatively, you can perform low-intensity cardio for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week on a separate day. 

So, include cardio in your workout routine wisely to achieve a skinny to muscular transformation!

Top Exercises for Beginner Skinny Guys to Build Muscle Quickly

Are you tired of being the skinny guy at the gym? Check out these top compound and isolation exercises that can transform your body from thin to muscular quickly.

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are movements that use multiple muscle groups at once, making them an ideal choice for those looking to gain muscle fast. Here are some of the best compound exercises:

compound exercises for skinny guys
  1. Squats

Squats are a great way to build strength in your legs, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. They also work your core and lower back muscles. To get the maximum benefit from this exercise, try using a barbell or resistance band for assistance. 

If regular squats are too difficult for you, goblet squats are a great place to start – with this variation you hold a weight close to your chest which helps with form and builds strength.

  1. Deadlifts

Deadlifts target the entire posterior chain – your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and traps – as well as building grip strength. When performing deadlifts, always start with lighter weights until you become comfortable with the movement pattern. using a trap bar can be gentler on your lower back if that’s available. 

If regular deadlifts feel too difficult at first try Romanian or single-leg variations instead as these will help improve your form while still allowing you to increase strength gradually.

  1. Bench Presses

Bench presses are a classic exercise for building chest muscles as well as shoulder and tricep muscles. They also engage your core and stabilization muscles. You can use either dumbbells or barbells. If you find it tough using the barbell, go for dumbbells instead – they provide a greater range of motion which may help with stability issues when starting out with this exercise. 

Push-ups or floor presses can also be used to help build strength in your chest and triceps if need be before progressing onto bench presses properly.

  1. Pull Ups

Pull ups target the upper back area including the lats and biceps. Plus they improve grip strength. All you need is a pull-up bar – although if you’re unable to do full pull-ups yet then assisted pull-ups (using either resistance bands or assisted machines) or negative pull-ups (starting at the top of each rep) are good alternatives until you reach full pull up level. 

  1. Overhead Presses

Overhead presses will work shoulders, upper back, and triceps while also engaging core stabilization muscles too. Again dumbbells or barbells can both be used however if the overhead press is difficult at first then select lighter weights initially or even seated dumbbell presses/Arnold presses rather than risking injury due to bad form just yet.

Isolation Exercises

bicep curls for skinny guys

Isolation exercises focus on individual muscle groups. Combining them with compound exercises is often beneficial when trying to go from skinny to big fast. 

The best isolation exercises include:

  1. Bicep Curls

These focus on just the bicep muscles. Use either dumbbells, barbells, or resistance bands.

2. Tricep Extensions

Targeting tricep muscles, use dumbells, cable machines, or resistance bands here.

3. Lateral Raises

These ones will really hit those shoulder muscles. You can use either dumbells or resistance bands. 

4. Leg Extensions

Perfectly isolating quadricep muscles, leg extension machines can be used to perform this exercise.

5. Hamstring Curls

Target the hamstring muscles and can be performed using a hamstring curl machine or resistance bands.

 Muscle Building Workout Plan for Beginner Skinny Guys

muscle building workout plan for skinny guys

If you’re a beginner skinny guy and looking to obtain a skinny to muscular transformation, you need to follow a muscle gain workout plan. 

     This workout plan follows a full-body “split” routine, which means that you’ll use all the major muscle groups in your body during each workout session. This is important for overall muscle growth.

Here’s a sample of a 3-day full-body “split” workout plan from the Bony to Beastly bulking program for skinny guys that you can follow to build muscle:

Circuit 1

Start with 3 sets of 10 reps of Romanian deadlifts. Then, do 3 sets of push-ups as many reps as possible. Once you can do 20 reps on your third set, switch to a more challenging variation.

Circuit 2

Next up, do 3 sets of 10 reps of dumbbell bench press. Then, do as many reps as possible for a 1-arm dumbbell row, using the same pair of dumbbells used for the bench press.

Circuit 3

Move on to 3 sets of 10 reps of lat pulldown, followed by 3 sets of 10 reps of goblet squats.

Circuit 4

Finally, finish up with 2 sets of 10 reps of neck curls and 2 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls. This circuit is optional and can be replaced with other exercises such as triceps extensions, hamstring curls, leg extensions, and chest flies.

Structured Supersets

This workout is structured into circuits or supersets, where you alternate between two exercises, resting approximately 60 seconds between each set. By alternating between exercises that work different muscles, each muscle group gets about three minutes to recover before being worked on again, which stimulates muscle growth in less time.

Circuit 1

Romanian deadlifts, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Push-ups, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Romanian deadlifts, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Push-ups, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Romanian deadlifts, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Push-ups, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Circuit 2

Dumbbell Bench Press, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

1-Arm Dumbbell Row, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Dumbbell Bench Press, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

1-Arm Dumbbell Row, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Dumbbell Bench Press, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

1-Arm Dumbbell Row, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Circuit 3

Lat pulldown, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Goblet Squat, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Lat pulldown, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Goblet Squat, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Lat pulldown, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Goblet Squat, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Circuit 4 

Biceps Curls, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Neck curls, first set

Rest for 60 seconds

Biceps Curls, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Neck curls, second set

Rest for 60 seconds

Biceps Curls, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Neck curls, third set

Rest for 60 seconds

Workout Schedule

Monday: Workout

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Workout

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Workout

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Periodized Program

To achieve a real transformation from thin to muscular, it’s important to switch to a periodized program after a few weeks. This type of program allows for adaptation and more intense training, ultimately leading to more muscle growth.

If you want the complete Bony to Bestly bulking program for skinny guys, check out this link.


sleep for skinny guys

Are you struggling to see muscle gains even though you’ve been consistently lifting weights? Discover the three important factors that impact muscle recovery and growth to help you achieve your skinny to muscular transformation goals faster.

There are three factors that impact your recovery process:

  1. Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for muscle growth and recovery. Good sleep can increase your energy levels and help you transform your body from skinny to buff 30% faster (14) while reducing fat gain. 

Follow these sleep hygiene guidelines for optimal sleep:

  • Use a blue light filter to limit your exposure to the blue light emitted by screens  as it can interfere with your natural sleep cycle and keep you awake.
  • Take a hot shower before bed to get your body ready for sleep.
  • Block out noise: use earplugs, and listen to white noise or binaural beats.
  • Don’t eat big meals before bed: It can lead to indigestion and interfere with the body’s natural sleep process.
  • Keep your bedroom cool: a cooler temperature helps to facilitate the natural drop in body temperature that occurs during sleep, which is important for restful and restorative sleep. 
  1. Rest Days

 Rest days are just as important as lifting days. Taking a day or two off between workouts allows your muscles to repair and recover.

  1. Nutrition

It is important for skinny guys to follow a proper bulking diet plan to enhance muscle growth and recovery. This means consuming enough protein to support muscle repair and eating carbohydrates and healthy fats to provide energy for your workouts.

Tips to Stay Motivated So You Continue to Workout

motivated person

Are you tired of feeling self-conscious about your skinny body? Learn how to stay motivated and transform your body from skinny to muscular with these tips for a successful workout routine.

  1. Set SMART Fitness Goals

Setting SMART fitness goals is key to staying motivated and achieving results. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timed. For example,

  • Increase your bench press by 10 pounds in the next 2 months 
  • Do 10 pull-ups in a row in the next 2 months.
  • Gaining 10 pounds of lean muscle in the next 3 months by eating a high-protein diet and lifting weights 4 times a week.
  1. Create an Action Plan

Breaking down your big goals into smaller, individual goals can be very helpful. You can write these down on a calendar leading up to your big goal, and specify what you need to do to accomplish them.

  1. Track Your Progress

Once you’ve set your fitness goals, it’s important to track them regularly to see your progress. This can be motivating and help you stay committed to a muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys. Make sure to check if you’re completing the smaller individual goals too.

  1. Share Your Goals With Your Family and Friends

Sharing your goals with your friends and family can make them more real, and it can help you stay accountable.

  1. Join a Fitness Community or Find a Workout Partner

If you want to stay motivated, try joining a fitness group or working out with a friend. Not only can you encourage each other, but also hold each other accountable. Plus, it’s always more fun to work out with someone else!

  1. Use Before and After Pictures

Taking a picture before you start a bulking program for skinny guys, and then taking a new picture regularly can be helpful. Comparing your progress to your initial photo can help you see the difference in your body and motivate you to continue.

With these helpful tips, you can set yourself up for success and stay on track toward a skinny to muscular transformation.

The Bony to Beastly Bulking Program for Skinny Guys

Bony to Beastly Bulking Program for Skinny Guys

The Bony to Beastly Bulking Program is designed to help you transform your body from thin to muscular quickly and healthily through a comprehensive diet, lifestyle changes, and muscle gain workout plan for skinny guys, Here is what you get from the program. 

Transform Your Body from skinny to big in 20 Weeks

With this program, you can transform your body from skinny to strong in just 20 weeks and gain up to 20 pounds of lean muscle mass, regardless of your body’s unique challenges, such as hard gainer genetics, skinny fatness, small stomach capacity, meager appetite, fast metabolism, lanky arms, and long spine.

5-month periodized training program 

Created by Marco, a certified fitness expert with experience helping professional athletes bulk up, this training program has been optimized for regular guys like you. Marco uses evidence-based principles he used with his elite clients to bring you the most effective results.

Exercise Video Series (some videos may contain music)

You’ll receive access to a series of instructional exercise videos where Marco will teach you the proper form for each lift, from basic moves to advanced ones. This is an invaluable tool not only in terms of getting the best results but also reducing the risk of injury.

230-Page Bony to Beastly eBook Guide

This comprehensive guide covers all three essential pillars of muscle growth as well as helpful tips on how to build muscle as a skinny guy while also boosting your appetite along the way.

Gain-Easy Recipe eBook

This ebook contains 15 delicious recipes that are both healthy and effective at helping you reach a skinny to muscular transformation. Some recipes are designed with smaller appetites in mind while others are easy and quick to cook in bulk.

Skinny-Guy Supplements

This program takes into account special supplements that are proven to help you go from skinny to strong and big.

Yearlong Membership in the Online Coaching Community

Your purchase includes a yearlong membership in an online coaching community where members can post before/after photos, and get personal coaching advice, nutrition guidance, and accountability from an experienced coach or trainer. It also includes dozens of free bonus materials such as neck bulking guides, workout spreadsheets, etc.

Solutions to Your Unique Health Issues

The Bony to Beastly Bulking Program for Skinny Guys offers solutions for common issues you might suffer from such as posture problems, poor digestion, or any ongoing physical aches they may be experiencing.

90-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Finally, your purchase is backed by a 90-day money-back guarantee in case you decide that this program does not meet your expectations – no risks involved!

Note: The program requires you to have access to weights like barbells or adjustable dumbbells. These can be found at the gym, purchased, or built at home if needed.  

Get Access to the Bony to Beastly Program
Bony To Beastly Trustpilot Reviews
Bony to Beastly Testimonials

You can find more testimonials here


     Building muscle as a skinny guy can be challenging. But with the right diet, supplements, and workout plan, it is possible to transform your body from skinny to buff in no time! Lastly, don’t forget to take rest days for recovery and stay motivated throughout the process so that you continue working out consistently. 

  With The Bony to Beastly Bulking program, you’ll get all the structure, guidance, and resources you need to reach a skinny to muscular transformation quickly and effectively. So if you want to gain the body of your dreams fast, the Bony to Beastly Program is your best option!


Should Skinny Guys Do Cardio?

Yes, Low-intensity cardio can help reduce the risk of disease and improve mood, endurance, and sleep. However, skinny guys should avoid excessive cardio and stick to exercises like brisk walking, slow-paced cycling, swimming, or stair climbing. They can do low-intensity cardio as part of their warm-up for no more than 5 minutes or separately for 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

How to Gain Muscle for Skinny Guys Without Weights?

If you’re a skinny guy looking to go from skinny to bulk without weights, bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, dips, and planks can be effective for building muscle. To get the most out of your workouts:

1. Aim to do compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups.
2. Gradually increase the difficulty of exercises by performing harder variations to create a progressive overload.
3. Eating high-protein meals and enough calories is key for successful muscle growth.
4. Allow yourself enough rest and recovery between workouts to prevent injuries and overtraining.

Why is it harder for skinny guys to gain muscle?

One reason why it is difficult for skinny guys to go from skinny to big is their fast
metabolism. Skinny guys typically have a higher metabolic rate, meaning that
they burn more calories at rest compared to other body types. While this may be
beneficial for maintaining a lean body, it can also make it challenging to consume enough calories to support muscle growth.

How Long Does It Take for Skinny Guys to Build Muscle?

If you follow the recommendations we’ve covered in this article, such as eating enough
calories and protein and following the Bony to Beastly bulking program for skinny guys, then
you can expect to go from skinny to ripped and gain 20-30 pounds over 5 months. 

Can a Skinny Guy Get Buff?

Yes, a skinny guy can definitely transform his body from skinny to buff with a proper diet, exercise, and consistency. Building muscle requires a combination of resistance training, adequate protein intake, and sufficient rest and recovery time.