Skinny Guys Gain Muscle

Generally in the world of fitness there are two training camps, two different starting lines, and I’m sure many of you will fall into one or the other. The first camp is the people who are looking to lose fat and the other consists of people who are starting off skinny and want to add on some extra muscle. If you find yourself in the skinny guy or girl camp then this article from is definitely for you!


For most of my life I was in the skinny guy camp, I started out all skin and bones with very little muscle mass at all, of course I thought because I had abs that I must be ripped? Boy was I wrong, to quote the immortal Zyzz, abs on a skinny guy is like boobs on a fat girl, it just doesn’t count! This caused me to evaluate my lifestyle and overcome the skinny body which I had always had.


When I got my first gym membership I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted to lift weights, wake up one morning and suddenly be huge. My two main lifts were the bicep curl and bench press, and I would do these for a whole session and several times a week! Sadly I still see this in a lot of gyms and with a lot of clients and I know it’s only a matter of time before they realise that you will not build the body of a fitness model with just those two exercises!


There are a few things that everyone should keep in mind, and I managed to simplify them into 5 rules. If you apply these rules to your life I guarantee you will see results a lot faster than you have ever seen before.


1. Eat Big 


This is the number one rule, and it’s at the top spot for a reason!


They biggest guys in the gym are most often not just there because they spend hours at the gym or because they have all the supplements, they are there because they eatand some of the biggest guys I know eat a LOT. You won’t get muscle when you eat like a little girl; you really need to get the food in you.


Of course this doesn’t mean you should eat everything in sight, if you fill your diet full of fried foods and junk foods then you are not going to do yourself any good, of course you will get big, but it will mostly be fat. When you are increasing your calories you should aim to increase your intake of whole foods rich in protein; examples include eggs, chicken, lean red meat, turkey, egg whites, tuna etc. The list goes on but I’m sure you get the general idea. Protein should come from lean meat sources and carbohydrates should come from wholegrain sources, you are basically trying to get as much micro nutrients for your money as possible!


The general rule is to aim for 500-700 calories above your maintenance, so head over and check out our other article to learn how to do that. This number doesn’t have to be exact; I don’t want anyone sitting up to 3am weighing their food so the calories are exactly right!


2. Lift Big 


It’s as simple as it gets, if you wanna get big you have to lift big, no more little girl weights! You are looking to push your muscles and this will trigger a stress, and in order to adapt to this stress your muscles will grow! I like to aim for around 8-10 reps per set, and once I can do 10 reps with perfect form for each set, I up the weight! Of course for the heavy compound lifts I sometimes stick with 5×5 rep schemes.


Think of it this way, if you bench a certain weight for 20 reps, with no problems at all, and you keep doing this each week, your body wont grow, it doesn’t see the NEED to grow. However when you up the weight and you can suddenly only do 8 reps, your body sends a message that your muscles need to work harder and grow bigger! Just make sure you don’t sacrifice form, as once you sacrifice your form, you stop focusing on the target muscle and other groups help take the load, which can often lead to injury.


3. Stick to Compounds 


When I head to the gym I often see a lot of people who are performing routines consisting only of isolation exercises and they never seem to perform any compounds! This is a big mistake, compound exercises are essential if you are trying to build a bigger physique and increase your muscle mass if you focus on the squat, bench press, dead lift, chin-up/pull up, rows and dips etc.


Are you looking for bigger arms? Then try some weighted chin-ups instead of curls, you will be working your back at the same time as your biceps and using a lot more weight. Compound movements hit your body hard, which actually assists in the promotion of overall muscle growth, so you should never forget them!


4. Drink a lot of water 


Just like you need to make sure you are eating a lot of calories, you need to make sure you keep hydrated! Your body consists of around 70 water so you need to keep hydrated in order for everything to function properly. There’s a reason your body can survive for weeks without food, but you will only live a few days without water! Without water your body is not able to efficiently process the nutrients you put into it.


5. Never give up! 


Don’t ever give up, if you are skinny and want to put on some extra muscle mass the last thing you should do is quit, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t gain a single pound during the week, this doesn’t mean you are destined to be skinny forever, it just means you need to work harder or lift more. Be patient, you will get there.


I know from experience that there are times when you feel like you want to give up, but everyone that has got great results, has got to where they are because they never quit. So if you want to unlock an aesthetic physique, you need to adopt the same attitude, never give up and never quite!