Learn these 10 skinny guy tips and say hello to a muscular physique

11 Skinny Guy Tips To Build More Muscle (Updated)

In Diet and Training by ChoLeave a Comment

If you want to know how to build quality weight in the form of muscle mass, then these 10 skinny guy tips are all you need.

“Do you even lift, bruh?”

“Do you even eat?”

“You need to take your vitamins, bro.”

“You should sleep early.”

“Don’t forget to drink your milk at night.”

“You sure you’re playing basketball?”


Ever got some of these? If so, I got some skinny guy tips for you.

These are just some of the few comments and questions that I battled with when I was a teenager. Remember me, 5’10”, 135lbs? I looked like I was abandoned by my parents. And like you, it was one of the humiliating periods of my life that I had to endure and learn from.

Photo of me when I was still scrawny. This is me before I discovered these skinny guy tips that I will be telling you

Been lifting for more than a year at this point. Just making a lot of mistakes

Up until now, even though it’s not an issue for me anymore, I am still dealing with the same problem because I am helping tons of people like you who are struggling to gain weight. And since I had the first-hand experience, I am confident that what I’m going to say here will benefit you, provided that you will follow the tips diligently. So listen up!

We, skinny guys, or “hardgainers” as they call it, need a slightly different approach to training and nutrition. Despite many people envying us because we can eat a ton of food without gaining weight, they don’t understand the effort we have to go through just to get the weighing scale moving up. They don’t understand that eating when you’re already full is difficult, and eating a lot is too damn expensive.

Yes, I know, being skinny sucks, but the good news is, this article will show you the strategies and lessons that I’ve learned along the way that will help you in your quest to gaining your first 10, 15, and even 20 lbs in no time.

Are you ready?

10 Skinny Guy Tips To Build More Muscle

1. Remove The Shame And Just Take Action

Although being skinny may not be trendy, it is not a disease either. You don’t have to be ashamed of being skinny because no one was born with a great physique; everyone who has it worked hard for it.
So stop the shame game and get your butt off the gym and do something about it; stop complaining that you’re skinny and just take action!

Remember, a skinny guy who goes to the gym is better than a skinny guy who stays at home and hides behind his baggy shirt and computer screen.

2. Determine your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)

Once you’ve decided to take action, it’s now time to educate yourself on how your body works, and you do that by starting with the most important acronym when it comes to weight manipulation — TDEE.

So, what’s this TDEE?

In layman’s term, we can call it our individual metabolism.

But what about BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)? Isn’t that the same?

To put it simply:

BMR = metabolism at rest

TDEE = metabolism at rest (BMR) + daily lifestyle

With that said, we can just set aside our BMR numbers and focus on TDEE.

Got it?

It’s important to determine this number for us to know how much we should be eating to gain weight. That is, to leave all the guesswork behind.

How to determine your TDEE:

Just go to this link and fill those boxes. It will do the job for you.


I calculated 2400 for my TDEE.

Few points:

  • Your TDEE is also your maintenance level of calories (TDEE = Maintenance Calories).
  • This means that if I eat 2400 calories (my TDEE) for the whole week, I won’t gain or lose any weight. Why? Because that’s my maintenance number.
  • These calculations are not 100% accurate, but most likely to be our best guess, and that’s good enough.

3. Eat, Eat, Eat!

If you’re not getting bigger, if you’re not gaining weight, that means you’re not eating enough — that you’re not eating above your TDEE. It’s as simple as that. This follows the universal law of dieting — calories.

If you’re not gaining weight, that means you’re burning more energy than you’re consuming. Yes, your metabolism is fast, that’s why you need to eat MORE.

“But, I am already eating more! I usually eat this and that and I eat like a pig!”

Are you sure you’re eating more? How did you know that? If you’re not tracking your calories, then there’s really no basis aside from that “feeling” that you’re really eating a lot, and we can’t use that.

If you’re not tracking your calories, then there’s really no basis aside from that “feeling” that you’re really eating a lot, and we can’t use that.

So, what do we do? How do we determine how much more should we be eating? This is where our TDEE comes into play.

TDEE = Maintenance

Remember that, right?

So for you to gain weight, you have to eat above your TDEE.  You have to eat more than your maintenance because those extra calories are the ones responsible for your gains, and nothing more.

A surplus of 200-500 is enough to gain weight provided that you’re consistent in hitting that number.

In my case, my TDEE is 2400, so if I want to bulk up and gain weight, I have to eat around 2600 – 2900 calories each day.

Got it?


Lastly, how do you know how much calories you’re getting from the foods that you eat? Simple. You use calorie counting apps like MyFitnessPal. You can download it on your mobile phone for FREE.

To learn more about calories, refer to this link.

Counting calories is the most important thing that you should learn whether you want to gain or lose weight. You have to always keep that in mind.

4. Get Your Macronutrients Handled

Apart from calories, the next thing to look at is the ratio of your macronutrientswhere do your calories from?

The three macronutrients are: carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

You should be getting the most calories from carbs, next is protein, then last from fats.

For you to have optimal muscle growth and recovery, you should aim to eat at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. So if you’re weighing 150lbs, you should eat close to 150g of protein per day.

Unlike protein, carbs and fats can be adjusted more flexibly, and it’s up to you to experiment how to balance these two macronutrients. Go low on carbs and you will be running low on energy to support your workouts. Go low on fats and your hormones will suffer — your testosterone will decrease and your libido as well.

Now if you can’t consume many calories or if you can’t eat that high amounts of protein per day, then consider buying protein supplements or weight gainers. These supplements are not bad for you; they are just food turned into powder.

Don’t believe those people who tell you that supplements are evil and dangerous to your health. Supplements are not steroids, and that’s the one you should avoid.

5. Lift Heavy

Now that our diet and nutrition are handled, we will now go to the next, equally important part — training.

This is one of the most common errors that most skinny, average, and even fat guys do in the gym — they lift pussy light weights! They go squeezing reps after reps chasing the “pump” when it does so little to building rock-hard, dense muscles.

If you want to grow, you need to lift heavy. You should pick a weight heavy enough to complete 6-10 reps and no more. If you can go past 10 reps, that means you have to add weight. If you are not struggling in every set that you do, then that’s a sign you’ve picked the wrong weight.

This is what your set should look like:


The only time you should focus on higher rep ranges is for abs and calves. These muscle groups require higher reps and more frequency than those bigger ones.

6. Do Compound Exercises

This is also another big mistake that skinny guys do — they focus so much on cable crossovers, concentration curls, triceps extension, lateral raises, etc. These movements are no doubt great in isolating each muscle groups, but they don’t stimulate as much muscle mass as compound movements. So for those new to training and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain to you the two types of exercises:

Isolation exercises – are single-joint movements that target specific muscle parts. The exercises above are great examples. They are easier to do and they provide the intense “burn” that you feel because they produce the most lactic acid in the muscles.

Compound exercises – are multi-joint exercises that target a specific body part, but involves a lot of other muscles during the movement.

Examples of compound exercises are:
Bench press for the chest, but also targets the triceps and front shoulders

Deadlift which involves all the back muscle — from your neck down to your toes (impressive huh?)

Squats for the whole legs, but also involves the lower back and most of the core muscles

Pull-ups for the back, but also targets the biceps and the rear shoulders.

These are just a few of the many.

When aiming to get the most bang-for-your-buck workout with minimal time, you should use compound exercises all throughout. This will build the most muscle mass and burn fat in the shortest time possible.

7. Stick To The Basics

As with any workout, nothing beats basic exercises like Bench Press, Military Press, Pull-ups, Squats, and so on. I call them “key lifts.”

These exercises have already stood the test of time and have been proven over and over to be the best and all-around muscle builders. Doing them and progressing on them will put a substantial and proportional size on anyone’s frame — whether you’re skinny, fat, or average. No wonder I included them all in my workout program.

If you want to build overall strength and size, your workout program should revolve around the basics.

8. Strive To Increase Your Strength Every Workout

If you’re not getting stronger, you won’t get bigger. How many times have I said that phrase huh?

So if you’re having trouble building muscle or gaining weight, ask yourself; am I increasing my strength each workout?

That’s because the principle of progressive overload is the most important factor in any workout program. You should focus on getting stronger each and every workout — not every month, not every 2 weeks, but every workout. If you did 6 reps today, do 8 reps next time. No workouts should be the same.

Muscle size is the byproduct of strength. You should track every detail about your workout and strive to beat the numbers each time you visit the gym.

9. Prioritize Rest and Recovery

Photo of me when I was training 6 days a week but still skinny

2 years ago, training 6 days a week. LOL.

Contrary to what you may think, hardgainers need to rest more than they train. Just because you’re labeled as a “hardgainer” doesn’t mean you have to work twice as much as the average person.

Generally speaking, skinny guys have less-than-average recovery abilities. They need to pay more attention to the importance of resting and recovering, or else they won’t progress and grow. There are thousands of skinny guys that I’ve witnessed who are still in the same position today as they were last year. They don’t look like they’ve been going to the gym 5 days a week.

You see, that’s the mistake. These hardgainers double their work and effort in an attempt to cover up their poor genetics. They train hard and train more, thinking that all they need is harder work and persistence. Wrong! We hardgainers should always be cautious with adding sets, exercises, and days in the gym. For more information on how to determine if your workout routine is effective, go to this link.

When you go to the gym, you should just focus on the main exercises that you will do, then after doing them, you should leave immediately. Any sets, exercises, and activities that you do beyond the amount required will just take a toll on your recovery abilities which will not stimulate further growth, but just lengthen the recovery and adaptation process.

Again, if you’re not using steroids, training every day and training with a lot of volume will fuck you up.

In addition, sleep and stress levels also play a huge role in the recovery process. Always aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

10. Stop Doing Too Much Cardio

Scrawny photo of me inside the bathroom when I thought cardio was needed to build muscle

Cardio days. Lol

Another mistake that skinny guys make is they’re doing a lot of unnecessary cardio activities. Like we’ve said, hardgainers have lesser amounts of recovery abilities, plus cardio burns calories which will give you a harder time gaining weight.

You should preserve as much energy as you can to support recovery and growth instead of doing something that will affect this process.

If you’re not gaining muscle/weight, check your daily activities and take the necessary actions to cover your energy needs.

If you’re an athlete and can’t avoid these type of activities, you need to manage your daily stress levels, improve your sleep quality, eat quality foods in high amounts, stick to the biggest movements in the gym, and avoid unnecessary sets and exercises.

11. Don’t Quit

In every journey, you will get to the point where it looks like things are not working out as planned and you will feel like quitting. It sure will happen not only in your quest to gain weight, but in every area of your life as well.

Photo of me at the beach with a muscular and ripped body

After becoming a minimalist and doing my workout program.

But the good news is, this signal to quit usually comes when a major breakthrough is about to happen. So just take a step back, reevaluate what you’re doing, and change your approach until you figure out what will take you closer to your goals. Quitting should never be an option.

In conclusion, no matter how skinny you think you are, if you follow the above nutrition and training strategies, you will gain muscle and strength in no time. Now, if you want a step by step workout and nutrition program that will teach you how to bulk up properly and gain quality mass in the form of muscle, check Minimalist Fitness by clicking here.

Check these bulking results:

Jivrael gaining phase Jivrael progress pics John's progress photos

Awesome, right?

For other success stories, check this link.

For the FULL Minimalist Fitness program, click here.

Alternatively, you can sign up below to get my FREE workout program plus weekly fitness tips delivered to your email. How’s that sound?

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