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.

20,262 newsletter subs and counting!

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.

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

Illustration showing a bodybuilder resting between sets.

How Long Should You Rest Between Sets to Build Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jun 18, 2022

Rest times are often brushed aside. You’ll hear that they matter, sure, but that they aren’t one of the more important factors—that they’ll only have a negligible impact on your muscle growth. That’s not necessarily true. If we look at the research, using proper rest times can double your muscle…

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Cartoon of a bodybuilder using the mind-muscle connection while doing dumbbell biceps curls.

Does the Mind-Muscle Connection Actually Increase Muscle Growth?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 26, 2022

Most bodybuilders absolutely swear by the mind-muscle connection. They slow their reps down, really focusing on squeezing the target muscle, feeling it do the work. The idea is that the better their connection with the muscle is, the better they’ll be able to engage their muscle fibers, and so the…

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Cartoon of a bodybuilder doing cheat biceps curls with bad technique.

Lifting With Momentum is Good, Actually

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 22, 2022

Lifting with momentum has a bad reputation, especially among bodybuilders. The concern is that if you lift explosively, or if you cheat, or heave, or swing, then you’ll make some parts of the lift too easy on the muscles you’re trying to train. I disagree with that idea, but there…

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Illustration showing a bodybuilder lifting weights explosively and then lowering them slowly and under control.

How Fast Should You Lift & Lower Weights?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 18, 2022

If you lift weights slowly, you can keep tension on your muscles for longer, but you won’t be able to lift as heavy. If you lift weights with a normal tempo, you can lift more weight, but you won’t be keeping tension on your muscles for as long. If you…

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Illustration showing a bodybuilder doing the bench press with a flat back and with an arch.

How Does Arching on the Bench Press Affect Muscle Growth?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 5, 2022

Most people arch when they do the bench press, especially if they come from a strength training or powerlifting background. It shortens the range of motion and gives our shoulders better leverage, allowing us to push more weight. But what if you aren’t a powerlifter? What if you aren’t just…

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Illustration showing a man getting a hernia from doing a one-arm dumbbell row with his knee up on a bench.

Athlean-X Says One-Arm Rows Cause Hernias. Do They Really?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Apr 18, 2022

In one of Athlean-X’s latest videos, Jeff Cavaliere makes the argument—again—that the one-arm dumbbell row is the worst back exercise. He argues that if you put an asymmetrical strain on your groin, it can give you a hernia. And so, because the one-arm dumbbell row uses an asymmetrical stance, it…

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Illustration of a skinny guy using a calorie tracking app to help him bulk up.

Should You Track Calories While Bulking?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Mar 29, 2022

If you ask a bulking guru if you should track calories while bulking, you’ll probably get one of two answers: If you’re serious about building muscle, you need to Police your calorie intake: You need to track every breath you take, every move you make, every vow you break, every…

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Illustration of a skinny guy eating a lower protein diet while trying to build muscle.

What Happens if You Don’t Eat Enough Protein While Bulking?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Mar 2, 2022

Your muscles aren’t made of just protein. They’re actually around 76% water (study). That isn’t to say protein isn’t important. It is. It’s just that since only a small portion of your muscles are made of protein, you actually don’t need to eat that much extra protein to maximize your…

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Illustration of a skinny guy using the 3/7 method to build muscle.

Is the 3/7 Method Good for Building Muscle?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Mar 1, 2022

A 2019 paper by Stragier and colleagues found that the 3/7 method stimulated more muscle growth than performing regular “straight” sets (study). They concluded that this new set/rep scheme was better than the conventional approach. But the paper has a major flaw.

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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.