Muscle-Building for Skinny Guys

by Skinny Guys

Animation showing a skinny guy building muscle.

If you're a skinny dude who wants to build muscle, bulk up, and gain weight, I think you'd love our newsletter. It kicks off with a 5-part series that covers:

  • How to lift for muscle growth
  • How to eat for lean weight gain
  • How to thrive with skinny genetics
  • How to get stronger, healthier, and better looking

After that, we'll send you 1–2 newsletters per month to keep you updated on the latest muscle-building research, methods, and workouts—all of it 100% focused on building muscle as a naturally thin guy.

Illustration of a skinny ectomorph building muscle

We Help Hardgainers, Skinny & Skinny-Fat Guys Bulk Up

For the past ten years, we've specialized in helping so-called hardgainers, ectomorphs, skinny-fat, and regular skinny guys build muscle, get strong, and gain weight. People say it's a small niche. And they're right, it is. But give us a little more time. If this bulk goes according to plan, we'll soon be the biggest, most muscular niche on the internet.

I'm Shane Duquette, and I gained 55 pounds in a little over two years. I was lucky. I had the help of my business partner, Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS, PN, a naturally skinny strength coach who had already gained 63 pounds. We also helped our other business partner, Jared Polowick, gain 50 pounds. Not all of the weight we gained was muscle, but the vast majority of it was, and all of us finished looking leaner than when we started.

Before and after photos showing Shane Duquette's ectomorph muscle-building transformation
Before and after photos showing Marco Walker-Ng building muscle as a skinny ectomorph.
Before and after photo of a skinny guy bulking up and gaining muscle

And then we founded Bony to Beastly (for skinny men), Bony to Bombshell (for skinny women), and Outlift (for post-skinny lifters), where we've spent the past ten years helping over 10,000 skinny people build muscle, with clients ranging from MDs to RDs to PhDs, from college students to senior citizens, and from office workers to our Canadian Olympic rugby team.

Before and after photos showing a skinny fat transformation.
Before and after photos showing the results from doing the Bony to Beastly Program
Before and after photo of a skinny guy leanly building muscle and bulking up in one year
Before and after photo of a skinny guy bulking up his shoulders and becoming muscular

The proof is in the protein shake, too. Check out these absolutely gnarly muscle-building transformations from guys doing the Bony to Beastly Program.

How to Build Muscle, The Skinny Way

Illustration of a skinny fat ectomorph surfing

If you've been surfing the world wide web, searching for how to build muscle as a naturally skinny dude, hoping to find community, muscle, and everlasting abs—welcome! That's what we're all about.

  • If you're a so-called hardgainer, where no matter how much you eat, you find it nigh impossible to gain weight, we hear ya. We've got an article on why it's so hard for us to gain weight.
  • If you've got an "ectomorph" body type, with thinner wrists and narrower shoulders, and you worry that you won't ever be able to become visibly strong, we had that same fear. Fortunately, we actually tend to build muscle pretty well, especially while making our newbie gains.
  • If you're skinny-fat, getting bigger and smaller without ever getting leaner or stronger, we've been there, and we can help you escape the skinny-fat trap.
  • Or if you're just a regular dude who wishes he wasn't quite so thin, we can help you bulk up. That's what we do best, and we do it better than anyone else.

People call us the Costco of muscle. You can find anything you want, but everything is in bulk. We write about things like how to eat more calories, how to eat a good bulking diet, how to lift for maximal muscle growth, and how to make homemade weight gainers. You know, topics that skinny guys are interested in.

On being a skinny dude:

On training for muscle size, strength, and aesthetics:

On eating for lean muscle growth:

On training at home:

On fitness and health:

Kick back, relax, and enjoy some moderately heavy reading. We'll teach you everything you need to know to go from lean to mean, from stick to thick, from Bony to Beastly.

Our Recent Bulking Articles

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Good for Building Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 26, 2021

We’ve been seeing some heated discussions about ingredients and dosages founds in pre-workout supplements. Does this particular brand have at least six grams of citrulline malate? Is it the correct ratio of citrulline to malate? Is there theanine alongside the caffeine to blunt the jitters? Are they using proprietary blends…

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Illustration of a skinny guy failing to build muscle even though he's working out, getting him classified as a non-responder.

Are You a Non-Responder to Weight Training?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 22, 2021

There’s no doubt that genetics play a role in building muscle. In fact, especially when looking at outliers, genetics can have an enormous impact. If two people do the same workout routine and eat the same bulking diet, one of those people might gain twice as much muscle. What’s more…

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Illustration showing a skinny guy bulking up and gaining muscle.

Is Bulking the Best Way to Build Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 13, 2021

Depending on who you ask, “bulking” has different connotations attached to it. For some, bulking is the way to gain muscle size and strength. For others, bulking is a foolish way to build muscle that results in needless fat gain. Which is it? To figure out if bulking is the…

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Illustration of a bodybuilder using a barbell and dumbbells to build muscle.

Should You Build A Dumbbell or Barbell Home Gym?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 13, 2021

Let’s say you want to build muscle at home. You’ve got a few different options. You could use your body weight, but bodyweight workouts are painful and difficult. So maybe you decide to get some resistance bands, but they aren’t very good for building muscle. Exercise machines are good for…

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Illustration of a bodybuilder doing a 4-day training split to build muscle.

The Best Training Splits for Building Muscle

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 13, 2021

In this article, we’ll cover how often to train your muscles, how to spread those training sessions out, and which training splits are best for building muscle. There’s no one right answer. There are plenty of good training splits. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each so you…

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Illustration showing a skinny guy who gained too much fat while bulking.

How Much Fat Should You Gain While Bulking?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jul 8, 2021

One of the best ways to ruin a bulk is to be so scared of gaining fat that you avoid gaining weight. If you’re 130 pounds, the only way to get up to 180 pounds is to gain weight. There’s no other path there. You have to bulk. But bulking…

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Illustration of three popular types of adjustable dumbbells you can buy for your home gym.

How to Build a Dumbbell Home Gym

By Shane Duquette | Jun 19, 2021

This article covers how to build a dumbbell home gym, which is ideal for people living in smaller apartments or on a tight budget. With two adjustable dumbbells, you can build just as much muscle as you can with a full barbell home gym. Your workouts may not be quite…

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What equipment should you buy if you're trying to build a barbell home gym to train for size, strength and aesthetics

How to Build a Barbell Home Gym

By Shane Duquette | Jun 19, 2021

Let’s say your goal is to build muscle, and you want to do it at home. If you don’t have a spare room or garage available, you can build a dumbbell home gym, and that’s great. But if you have room for it, a barbell home gym is the ideal…

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Illustration of a bodybuilder building bigger arms.

How to Build Bigger Arms (For Skinny Guys)

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jun 1, 2021

I’ve successfully gained 5.5 inches around my upper arms, bringing my biceps circumference from 10 inches up to 15.5 inches. But I got off to a rough start. During my first two years of successful lifting, I gained 40 pounds at 11% body fat, bringing my bench from 65 to…

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If none of these articles tickle your fancy, we've got dozens more.

Or if you're ready to start building muscle, check out our bulking program.