How to Gain Muscle as a Skinny Guy – Complete Guide

how to gain muscle as a skinny guy

There’s nothing more frustrating than training hard and eating everything in sight, yet still not making the muscle gains you expect.

You may even think it’s just not in the cards for you to pack on size. Well, I’m here to tell you do not give up.

Because if you give up, you’ll always wonder what would’ve happened had you kept pushing!

In this post, I’m going to show you everything you need to gain weight and build muscle mass. Here’s what you’re going to learn:

  • The specific type of workouts you need to gain mass
  • What you need to eat to gain weight and quality muscle
  • The lifestyle that supports gains (we’re going to go a little deep on this!)
  • Supplements that can help you gain muscle faster, as well as what supplements are a waste

**This post is sponsored by TruFierce, which I proudly promote.

In fact, at the time of writing this, I’m getting some awesome results from their testosterone booster, TestoFIERCE.

Best Workout Routine for Mass

deadlifts low reps

Let’s dive right into the the types of workouts you need for gain size and get stronger. I’m going to give you a full routine here but first, I’m going to cover what you need to get huge.

  • You must lift heavy!
  • You must also incorporate reps
  • It’s counterproductive to train the same muscle every day (frustration will lead us to these extreme measures…don’t do it)
  • You must be consistent with your workouts

Training heavy is a given for gaining mass. But you might be thinking ‘Jason, I’m skinny and not that strong…how am I supposed to lift heavy?’

You have to understand that heavy is relative. Bench pressing 185 lbs. might seem heavy to you now while there’s a bro next to you warming up with that weight.

That’s okay. Don’t let that discourage you, because you will get there. Just follow what guidance in this post.

Now, it’s not only about training heavy. You also need to pump out reps during your workout, too. And this is where many get it wrong (and why they stay skinny).

Lifting heavy weights will make you stronger, and strength will indeed help you pack on more muscle. However, strength alone does not necessarily equate to muscle size. Your workout below will reflect this…

Your Training Split for Gains

  • Monday – back, chest, and triceps
  • Tuesday – legs
  • Wednesdayrest
  • Thursday – back, shoulders, and biceps
  • Friday – legs
  • Saturdayrest
  • Sundayrest

You’ll be working out four days a week with three rest days. You’ll also notice that you’re training back and legs twice a week, and everything else just once.

One of the ‘huge’ mistakes people make is not putting enough focus on their back and leg muscles. These are your largest muscles and will be the ‘bulk’ of where your true mass gains come from.

Whereas you don’t want to train each muscle too often, you’re going to find that hitting your back and legs twice a week is going to make a tremendous difference in how much muscle mass you put on.

**I have another post that talks more in-depth about training legs twice a week here: Training Legs Twice a Week: How to Build Bigger Legs

Workout 1: Back, Chest, and Triceps

ExerciseSets x Reps
Bent-over Rows4 x 5-6
Bench Press4 x 5-6
Dumbbell Rows4 x 8-10
Incline Bench Press4 x 8-10
Skull Crushers4 x 10-12

Workout 2: Legs

ExerciseSets x Reps
Squats4 x 5-6
Leg Press4 x 10
Stiff-leg Deadlifts4 x 8-10
Leg Extensions4 x 8-10
Seated Calve Raises4 x 10-12

Workout 3: Back, Shoulders, and Biceps

ExerciseSets x Reps
T-bar Rows4 x 5-6
Seated Overhead Press4 x 5-6
Let Pulldowns4 x 8-10
Seated Dumbbell Press4 x 8-10
EZ Bar Curls4 x 10-12

Workout 4: Legs

ExerciseSets x Reps
Deadlifts4 x 5-6
Hack Squats4 x 10
Lying Leg Curls4 x 8-10
Single-leg Extensions4 x 8-10
Standing Calve Raises4 x 10-12

The Importance of Squats and Deadlifts

The Hodge Twins (love these guys!) explain the impact that squats and deadlifts have on upper body strength in the video above, with a comical twist.

Squats and deadlifts are two crucial exercises that will really take your mass gains to the next level.

Both squats and deadlifts build overall mass and strength. This means they will actually help you bring up your upper body strength as well. So it’s a win-win.

Eating for Mass Gains

Mexican food for mass

You’ve got the workout routine to make gains. Now, we’re doing to ‘dig in’ to a greater challenge most skinny guys have. Food!

Here are the two truths to packing on muscle size:

  1. You must have enough calories to gain weight
  2. You must have enough quality calories to gain muscle

Some may tell you ‘Just eat, bro!’

And there’s a place for that philosophy. However, your goal is not to merely gain weight. Your goal is to gain muscle size. If you do it right, weight gain will be a result of that.

How Many Calories You Need to Gain Weight

Many bodybuilding and fitness experts will recommend increasing your daily calorie intake 300-500. But first, you need to understand where your calorie intake needs to be to maintain your current weight and add more calories to that number.

Dr. Layne Norton gives you the truths behind maintenance calories and how to use that data to gain mass.

Sample Meals for Weight and Muscle Gain

Here are two excellent meals for packing on size and strength. One is a simple post-workout shake, which is one of the easiest ways to get adequate calories. The other is a high-calorie whole food meal.

Post Workout Shake

  • 2 scoops of whey protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 1 serving of frozen blueberries
  • 10 oz of milk or almond milk
  • 1 serving of natural peanut butter

**You can always add more, like oatmeal, an extra scoop of whey protein, fruit, etc.

Whole Food Meal

  • 10 oz sirloin
  • 1-2 serving of Jasmine rice
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup of green vegetables (broccoli, spinach)
  • 1 serving of chickpeas
  • optional dessert

**Feel free to indulge in some ‘cheat meals’ and occasional desserts. Just make sure you’re getting enough protein because that’s going to be the key to you building quality muscle.

Another post you may enjoy is Flexible Meal Plan for Mass Gains

Ideal Lifestyle for Mass Gains

I’ll be the last person to tell you how to live your life. But if you’re serious about packing on size and muscle, then there are a few rules you’ll want to follow for your own benefit.

  • Sleep, sleep, and sleep
  • Have an eating schedule and follow it
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Train consistently
  • Don’t miss workouts
  • Don’t do useless damaging stuff to your body
  • Put yourself in a constant state of positivity
  • Eliminate (or at least limit) negative people, and other crap

Sleep is at the top because that’s when you grow.

Here’s the thing – if you’re doing everything else right, you’ll probably sleep well. You’ll feel good from training hard and making good decisions, and you won’t have the extra junk in life weighing you down mentally or physically.

Consistency is also imperative to gaining weight and packing on size. You won’t make great strides if you skip workouts or meals. If you’re serious about making gains, make those things a priority in your life.

As far as the other stuff, just be sensible and do what you know you need to do in order to achieve your goals. It’s okay to be selfish in that sense (because you can’t help others when your own life is a wreck).

And I can’t stress enough to rid yourself of negative people and any type of garbage that’s going to hold you back from gaining muscle.

Supplements You Need for Gaining Weight and Muscle

TestoFierce by TruFIERCE

If there’s one thing we have more than enough of, it’s bodybuilding supplements. So I’m going to make this short and extremely easy for you.

Here’s what you need:

  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Whey protein powder
  • Multi-vitamin
  • Optional: Testosterone booster like TestoFIERCE

That’s really all you need to start with. Don’t waste money on other stuff.

If you’re training hard, eating enough, and getting adequate rest that’s going to produce long-term size.

**You may also consider taking a pre-workout to give yourself the energy you need. Along with TestoFIERCE, TruFIERCE has an awesome pre-workout called PreFIERCE.

I only say that because I’m a pre-workout junkie!

Now you have everything you need to gain muscle size, weight, and strength. It’s an exciting journey.

But I also know from personal experience that it’s easy to get frustrated. You see, I was a skinny guy at one point and couldn’t gain weight to save my life back then!

However, there’s something to be said about perseverance and raw determination. And I also didn’t have the advice you have in this post (I learned these things through many years of trial and error – we didn’t have the internet back then!).

So you’re already much further than I was. Just keep pushing and never give up!

**If this post helped you please consider sharing the link.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason