For the Skinny Guys: 5 Simple Rules to Build Muscle

When it comes to getting fit and ripped, there are two starting lines where everyone starts out: one line consists of all the people that want to lose fat, and there’s the other with all the skinny guys and gals who want to build muscle. For those who are starting out at the skinny-guy line, this is for you.

For a majority of my life, I’ve been one of those skinny guys that started out just like you. I don’t consider myself as big or buff (although my family and friends insist so), but I definitely overcame the skinny bodytype that I’ve always had.

When I first started working out in the gym, my only focus was to lift weights. Particularly the bench press and bicep curl exercise. That how I started and that’s how a lot of young people start out lifting. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to build muscle just doing those two exercises.

There’s only a few things that you have to keep in mind and I broke them down into 5 rules. Live by these principles and I guarantee you that you’ll see some changes faster than you’ve ever seen in your life.

1. Eat Big

This right here is rule #1 for a reason.

All the big guys out there are big not because of the hours they spend at the gym every session or all the supplements they take, but because they eat a lot. None of them got to how they are now eating like little girls. You have to eat lots of food.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should eat everything that comes in your way. Eating a lot of chips, fries, or ramen noodles for example is not going to do you any good unless you want to be big AND fat. You need up your calories and also consume foods rich in protein like eggs, chicken, red meat, turkey, egg whites, tuna, etc. I could keep going with the foods you can eat, but you get the idea. If you want to get big, you need to eat big.

The general guideline is to eat 500-1000 calories over your maintenance. So first figure out your maintenance calories . Then add about 500 calories to that number. The number of calories you eat doesn’t have to be exact, but that’s how much calories you should be eating everyday if you want to gain weight.

2. Lift Big

It’s as simple as that. If you want to get bigger, you have to lift heavy. Enough of the sissy weights. You need to work your muscles to the point that they can only do 8,9, or 10 repetitions per working set.

For example, if you can bench a certain weight 20 times with no problem whatsoever, you need to man up and put some more weight so that you’d only be able to do 5-8. Your muscles fibers need to do work to get bigger. Just make sure that the weight is not too heavy that it impacts your form. Lifting too heavy can also cause an injury.

3. Focus On Compound Exercises

I see a lot of people at my gym who have fuckarounditis who do a lot of isolation exercises and rarely any compound exercises. This is a big no-no. Compound exercises are a must for skinny guys trying to build a bigger physique. Focus on these movements: squats, bench presses, deadlifts, chin-ups/pull-ups, rows, dips, etc. Want to get bigger biceps? Do weighted chin-ups instead of bicep curls. You’ll be working out your back and biceps at the same time and is actually more effective since you’re body isn’t that strong yet.

These compound movements hit the whole body hard and promote overall growth, so don’t ever underestimate them.

4. Drink Lots of Water

Just like eating, drinking water is just as important. Your body is made up of about 70% water, so you need to keep your body hydrated for it to function properly. Remember that your body can live for weeks without food, but only days without water. That’s how important it is to our body, and for your muscles. Without water, your body cannot break down all the nutrients that you consume. So all that protein that you’re eating will go to waste if you don’t drink any water.

5. Don’t Quit

Don’t ever quit. If  you think you’re skinny and want to build some muscle, you can’t ever quit. Just because you didn’t gain a single pound in a week doesn’t mean that you will never get bigger. It just means that you need to work harder or eat more.

There will be times when you feel like you just want to give up. All the people that have seen results whether it’s building muscle or losing fat got to where they want because they never quit. If you want an aesthetic physique of your own, you have to have the same attitude.

Quitters never win, and winners never quit.


  1. JP822 says

    I am a 134 pound, 17 year old male and 5’7. i already have built muscle, but i want to take it up a notch, what weight would you reccomend? thanks in advance ;)

    • JoTo1 says

      @JP822 Hi JP822, we are both the same height but I’ve added more muscle recently over the past few months and now at 148 lbs with 15% body fat though.At your level right now, to add more muscle, you need to be eating more than 134 g of protein and 200-300 calories more than your daily requirement.Also, for weights, to take it up a notch, try to target 1 or 2 major muscle groups per workout, and let it rest for at least  48 hours before working them out again.For traps, do shrugs, front, back, neutral, and side shrugs.For shoulders, try doing front lifts, shoulder presses, side lifts.and so on.For more skinny guy workout tips and mistake avoidance, try to also visit

  2. samR1997 says

    hey. I’m a 15 year old male, weigh 9 stone (or 126 pounds) and around 5ft 8. I have a high metabolism and I’m finding it really hard to gain weight. I’m skinny, not much muscle and its really bothering me. I would really like some advice on what to eat daily in order to gain weight because im really clueless on what to do… I literally have been looking everywhere to find out what i need to eat etc but it all says different stuff and its confusing me. Any help at all would be sufficient, even a reply on some form of guide line would help me a lot! Thanks – sam

  3. christianzambrano12 says

    Hi I’m a male 13 year old and weigh 101 pounds and I want to gain weight fast, I just hate being skinny.

  4. 8pack says

    hey im 20 years old and i was a skinny kid all my life. you could say i started training quite young (14yrs) when i was about 5’4” and 110 lbs and now im 5’10” and 160lbs. i know im not huge but just as a word to all you other skinny guys dont worry too much about weight and mass, honestly our bodies arent built for it. so you have to give it time and a lot of dedication. eat lots of carbs and proteins make sure your legs are worked and most importantly dont over train. i personally know i could gain another ten pounds easy but i dont because. i like being lean, and you should to! its a great gift. a lot of mass starts to make you look pudgy. im the smallest of my friends but when the shirts comes off i get all the looks because i was the only one who could build an 8 pack. theyre a lot bigger than me, but honestly couldnt lose the weight to have abs. besides ask your self this question “do I want mass or confidence? ” and if you think their the same thing then your probably skinny lol! when in reality your going to find many heavy guys envy your very irritating metabolism.  so keep training but dont let your weight get you down, and remember do it for yourself and not for the sake of others.

  5. Jean says

    Aight guys. Your gonna freak out a lil bit once I get done saying this. I’m a 16 yr old male..I weigh around 90-95 lbs. I am small af and look like a 12 yr old. I really want to gain weight and some-what body tone. I have 5 weeks till summer break and I’m so shy to take off my shirt in front of my gf. I’m 5’3-5’4. I really need some advice. I’m embarrassed to go to the gym but if that’s what it takes I will go.

    • says

      Eat, eat, eat! And do a lot of push-ups, practice pull-ups, and when you’re body is ready, start lifting weights at a gym.

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