February 3, 2023

F1000 Scientist

Health to Life

How Can a Skinny Guy Gain Muscle? 3 Muscle Building Rules For Skinny Hardgainers

Figuring out how can a skinny guy gain muscle is not always easy, particularly if you’ve ever glanced at much of what passes for advice in the fitness press. In fact, you might even be forgiven for thinking that the only way that a skinny guy can gain muscle is by using the latest hi-tech protein and supplement shake on the market.

Well, this is nonsense. There are simple ways that a skinny guy can gain muscle without having to rely on pills and potions. In fact, these are tips that the pro natural bodybuilders are using to get ripped muscular bodies…and many of them started as skinny guys themselves.

Here are 3 of the best:

More Calories = More Muscle Bulk

I would say that the biggest reason why skinny guys fail to gain weight and build muscle mass is that they are following a diet plan that doesn’t place sufficient emphasis on increasing their calorie intake…or even worse, they are not following a diet plan at all!

This is a huge mistake, since an increase in calorie intake is really the only way to add muscle bulk. Weight training on its own will not get you the results you desire. As the saying goes “your muscles are built in the kitchen”, and not necessarily in the gym.

To work out a rough guide to your daily calorie requirements, simply multiply your current bodyweight in pounds by 24. So, if you weigh 150 pounds you will need around 3,600 calories per day (150 x 24) to gain muscle mass.

Make sure these calories are coming from healthy sources like lean meats, fish, fruit, green vegetables, eggs, nuts and beans. Split your meals into 6 instead of the usual 3 to make it easier to reach your daily calorie goals and also to avoid spikes and crashes in your energy levels and metabolic rate.

Full-Body Workouts

Another rule of how can a skinny guy can gain muscle is in focusing on intense full-body workouts down at the gym, instead of the usual split workouts that you see most folks doing – i.e. one body part per day.

Split workouts are not as effective as full-body workouts for the skinny hardgainer, since they typically only work each body part once per week, instead of 3 times in the full-body workouts.

Full-body workouts that focus on a core of compound multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc. allow the skinny guy to gain muscle faster by permitting heavier weights to be lifted each exercise, and reducing the chance of early fatigue on the smaller muscle groups.

As a rule of thumb, the more muscle fibre you stimulate per exercise, the faster you will gain muscle.

Lift Heavy

Time and again, many skinny guys fail to gain muscle simply by not lifting heavy enough weights, and utilizing the principle of Progressive Overload.

If the weights you are lifting are too easy you’re not doing yourself any favours, even if you’re doing loads of reps. Since your goal is knowing how can a skinny guy gain muscle, you need to work your muscle harder and force it to adapt to an ever increasing load.

By focusing on lifting heavier each time you set foot in the gym, and reducing the number of reps to between 6 and 10 per set, you will significantly increase your potential for muscle growth.