Muscle-Building for Skinny Guys

Animation of a skinny guy bulking up, building muscle, and becoming muscular.

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

  • How to train for muscle growth
  • How to gain weight as a skinny guy
  • 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 and methods.

26,852 newsletter subs and counting!

Illustration of a skinny ectomorph building muscle

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

For the past 12 years, we've specialized in helping skinny guys build muscle, get strong, and gain weight. People say it's a small niche, but if this bulk goes according to plan, we'll soon be the biggest community 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 thin strength coach who'd already gained 60 pounds. We also helped our other business partner, Jared Polowick, gain 50 pounds.

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

We're the founders of Bony to Beastly (for skinny men), Bony to Bombshell (for skinny women), and Outlift. We've helped over 10,000 skinny people build muscle, with clients ranging from college students to senior citizens, MDs to PhDs, and office workers all way the way up to college, professional, and Olympic athletes.

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 smoothie, too. We consistently get the best bulking transformations on the internet. Check out these muscle-building transformations from guys doing the Bony to Beastly Program.

Bigger, Stronger, & Fitter

Bony guys are defined by their scaffolding. We're here to help you fill out that frame with muscle, reaping all the long-term health and fitness benefits as you bulk up.

  • Maybe you're a "hardgainer," where no matter how much you eat, you can't gain weight. You aren't crazy. There's genetic variation in stomach size, appetite, and metabolism. Many of us are genetically predisposed to thinness. We need to find a diet that suits us.
  • Maybe you're an "ectomorph," with thinner wrists and narrower shoulders, worried your frame can't support muscle growth. We had that same fear. It isn't true. Thin guys tend to be able to build muscle faster than other body types.
  • Maybe you're skinny-fat, getting bigger and smaller without ever getting leaner or stronger. That's frustrating. You're one of the rare few who eats the right amount of food, yet it's being stored as fat instead of muscle. We need to reverse that, and we can.

We're the Costco of muscle. You can find anything you want, but everything is in bulk. We write about how to eat a healthy weight-gain diet, how to train for muscle size, and how to live a lifestyle that supports muscle, strength, and overall fitness.

If you want us to walk you through the entire process of bulking up, check out our Bony to Beastly Program. We'll teach you everything you need to know, including diet, training, and lifestyle. We'll answer all your questions, give you feedback along the way, and support you through every step of the process. Your results are fully guaranteed.

We've also written hundreds of free articles about how to build muscle, eat a good diet, and live a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to drop a comment. I answer all of them.

Thin Genetics

Thin guys often have different genetics, giving us different struggles and goals and influencing how we eat, lift, and live.

The Art of Bulking

The only way to get bigger is to gain weight. The best way to gain weight is to prioritize muscle growth—to bulk. Nobody knows bulking better than we do.

How to Train Your Muscles

One of the best ways to improve your results is to improve your training. The more muscle growth you can stimulate, the more calories your muscles will gobble up, leaving fewer to store as body fat. We'll show you how to stimulate more growth.

Plus, you may want to develop a certain muscle. Perhaps you're tired of having a thin neck, lanky arms, or a small chest. The best way to develop a specific muscle is to train it. We'll show you how.

How to Eat a Good Diet

It isn't hard to learn about how to eat a nutritious diet. However, most of that advice is for overweight people struggling to lose weight. We have the opposite problem. We need an abundant diet that's rich in calories and nutrients, supporting our health and muscle growth.

How to Build Muscle at Home

Gyms are great, but you can build just as much muscle at home. I've bulked with adjustable dumbbells in my small apartment. Now I lift weights in my barbell home gym. In a pinch, you can even bulk with bodyweight workouts. You can use whatever you have, but be smart about it.

How to Improve Your Appearance

I know, I know. We're supposed to work out to develop our inner beauty and fortitude. But it doesn't hurt to look great while we do it. Most of the advice on the internet is either politically correct or distorted by the manosphere. That's why we've consulted with the top attractiveness researchers and conducted our own surveys.

How to Get Leaner, Fitter & Healthier

All of our articles consider health and fitness. We're not in the bodybuilding or powerlifting scene. We're part of the fitness industry. We're natural lifters who want to be strong, fit, and healthy. Still, there are two things naturally thin guys need to know:

Muscle-Building Supplements

Supplements are overrated but helpful. We don't sell supplements or use any affiliate links, keeping our supplement recommendations as unbiased as possible.

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 Articles

Illustration of a bodybuilder holding a heavy barbell and a light dumbbell.

Should You Lift More Weight or Do More Reps to Build Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 21, 2024

The top search result for this question is wrong, and it’s bugging me. There’s this old myth that heavier weights are better for building muscle while lighter weights are better for gaining endurance. That’s not quite right. Both low-rep and high-rep sets can be equally good for building muscle. Anywhere…

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

How Much Fat Will You Gain While Bulking?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 20, 2024

One of the most common bulking mistakes is to be so scared of gaining fat that you fail to gain 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 is…

Read More
Illustration of a skinny man with no abs doing ab workouts to build a bigger six-pack.

The Skinny Guy’s Guide to Building Bigger Abs

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 17, 2024

It’s common for skinny guys to be lean and still not have abs. That’s because there are two parts to having good muscle definition: body-fat percentage and muscle size. Our body fat percentage is fine, but our abs aren’t big enough. If you try to search for information about how…

Read More
Illustration showing a skinny guy bulking up and gaining muscle.

Do You Need to Bulk to Build Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 7, 2024

Bulking is when you eat in a calorie surplus to give your body the nutrients it needs to grow. Not everyone needs to start by bulking. If you’re a skinny-fat or overweight beginner, you can get the energy you need from your extra body fat. The problem with bulking is…

Read More
Illustration of a bodybuilder bulking up during his "off-season" or "bulking season."

What is Bulking Season?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 7, 2024

Bulking season is the time of year when you intentionally gain weight to support muscle growth. It’s part of a long tradition of setting aside certain parts of the year for performance and other parts of the year for improvement. There’s a surprising amount of wisdom in that tradition. It’s…

Read More
Illustration of a skinny beginner bodybuilder eating a bowl of carbs to build muscle.

Are Carbs Good for Building Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Cassandra Duquette | Feb 7, 2024

Most people associate muscle growth with protein, but classic bodybuilding diets are up to 60% carbohydrates. They get far more of their calories from starchy carbs like oats, rice, beans, potatoes, and pasta. Is that the correct approach? Are carbs actually good for building muscle? Interestingly, that’s the same proportion…

Read More
Illustration of a skinny "ectomorph" doing cardio while bulking up.

Should You Do Cardio While Bulking? Yes, Sort Of

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Feb 6, 2024

Cardio causes a different type of adaptation from hypertrophy training. Cardio causes us to build more blood vessels, gain additional mitochondria in our cells, carry more oxygen in our blood, and strengthen our hearts. Hypertrophy training stimulates muscle growth, makes us stronger, and makes our bones and tendons tougher. Here’s…

Read More
Illustration of a mass gainer supplement for skinny guys.

Should Skinny Guys Use Mass Gainers?

By Shane Duquette and Cassandra Duquette | Feb 5, 2024

Mass gainers, also known as weight gainers, are popular with skinny guys trying to bulk up. They’re especially popular with “hardgainers” whose metabolisms make it difficult to gain weight. I’m a naturally skinny guy myself, and I’ve always found it nearly impossible to get into a sustainable calorie surplus. I’ve…

Read More
Illustration of a skinny guy holding a tub of protein powder while bulking.

The Best Protein Powder for Bulking (2024)

By Shane Duquette and Cassandra Duquette | Feb 5, 2024

I’ll tell you the best protein powder for bulking, but you might be asking the wrong question. Protein is an important part of a balanced bulking diet, and protein powder is an easy way to get that protein, but you might be thinking of a weight gainer. Weight gainers are…

Read More

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.