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 give us a little more time. If this bulk goes according to plan, we'll soon be the biggest 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 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 (for post-skinny people). We've spent the past 12 years helping over 10,000 skinny people build muscle, with clients ranging from college students to senior citizens, from MDs to PhDs, and from office workers to professional 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 protein shake, too. Check out these muscle-building transformations from guys doing the Bony to Beastly Program. We consistently get our clients the same results we did. Sometimes better.

Bigger, Stronger, Fitter & Healthier

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 "hardgainer," where no matter how much you eat, you can't gain weight, we get it. We're the same.
  • If you're an "ectomorph," with thinner wrists and narrower shoulders, worried you won't ever become visibly strong. We had that same fear.
  • If you're skinny-fat, getting bigger and smaller without ever getting leaner or stronger. We've been there.
  • Or if you're a regular dude who wants to build muscle, we can help you bulk up. That's what we do best.

We're the Costco of muscle. You can find anything you want, but everything is in bulk. We write about how to eat more calories, how to eat a good weight gain diet, and how we should lift to gain muscle size.

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 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:

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 skinny guy building muscle by dirty bulking.

What Is Dirty Bulking? Beginner Guide

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 28, 2023

There are countless weapons lifters wield against the skeletal armies of atrophy. One such weapon is the “dirty bulk.” It disregards standard nutritional recommendations, using whatever means necessary to get into a calorie surplus. Usually, that means eating plenty of junk food. We’ve dirty bulked in the past. We’ve had…

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Illustration of a skinny guy flexing his arms to build muscle.

Does Flexing Build Muscle? Yes, But It’s Not What You Think

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 25, 2023

I came across this fascinating story about Charles Atlas years ago when I was writing an article about training for muscle size. If you don’t know, we’re a muscle-building site for skinny guys, and Charles Atlas was the first person to mass-market a workout program specifically designed to help skinny…

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Illustration of a skinny lifter using collagen to build muscle.

Does Collagen Help Build Muscle? A Quick Research Overview

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 24, 2023

Collagen is a popular “anti-aging” supplement for maintaining skin elasticity, keeping our joints strong, and helping our connective tissues recover. So far, the research has shown that collagen does indeed offer all of those benefits, in a small way—probably (study, study). Lifters often run into nagging aches and pains in…

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Illustration of a bodybuilder doing cardio after lifting weights.

Does Cardio Kill Muscle Gains?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 23, 2023

Cardio can kill muscle gains. We’ve known this for many decades. It’s common knowledge among lifters and has been proven in peer-reviewed studies. Most recently, a study found that cardio cut muscle growth in half. We’ll go over the nuance of that study in a moment. However, if you’re clever,…

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Illustration of a skinny guy who gained weight by eating more calories.

How Many Calories Do You Need to Gain Weight? (With Calculator)

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 17, 2023

You’ll often hear that the number of calories you need to gain weight depends on your age, sex, height, weight, activity level, and metabolic health. That works well if you’re overweight like everyone else. It works less well if you’re starting off thin and trying to become muscular, neither of…

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Illustration of a barbarian bodybuilder lifting weights to maintain his muscle size and strength.

Maintenance Training Volume: How Many Sets to Maintain Muscle?

By Shane Duquette | May 15, 2023

The other day, I wrote an article about Reverse Bulking, my favourite method for maintaining gains after bulking. The idea is to keep lifting weights, keep eating a good diet, and keep living a healthy lifestyle, but to start listening to your appetite again. Most naturally thin guys tend to…

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Illustration of a guy reverse bulking to lose fat while keeping his muscle gains.

Reverse Bulking: How to Maintain Your Gains After Bulking

By Shane Duquette | May 11, 2023

Reverse bulking is for people who are sick of eating so much food but want to maintain the gains they made while bulking. I haven’t seen this discussed anywhere else, which is strange, given how well it works. I’ve been using this method on myself and clients for over a…

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Illustration of a skinny guy bulking up.

What is Bulking?

By Shane Duquette | May 4, 2023

Bulking is often derided as a foolish way of building muscle. That’s true on average. Most people are already overweight. The last thing they need is more weight. On the other hand, if you’re underweight, weak, or skinny, bulking is the best way to bulk up. Even if you aren’t…

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Men with different body shapes, levels of muscularity, and degrees of leanness. Illustrated by Shane Duquette.

How to Build an Attractive Physique

By Shane Duquette | Apr 1, 2023

Most men want to have an attractive physique. Few know exactly what that means. When they guess the degree of muscularity women prefer, they’re off by thirty pounds (study). Many have a deeper misunderstanding, failing to connect their appearance to their fitness and strength. Some shun attractiveness, mistakenly thinking it’s superficial.…

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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.