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

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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Illustration of a skinny bodybuilder eating a bulking diet.

The Conventional Bulking Diet: How to Eat for Muscle Growth

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Apr 29, 2021

This bulking diet guide will teach you the basics of eating for muscle growth. This is how bodybuilders have traditionally bulked up, how athletes go about gaining lean mass, and what modern science shows us is the most effective way to build muscle. We aren’t just regurgitating theory, either. I’ve…

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Illustration of several different bulking foods

The Best Macros for Bulking: How Much Protein, Carbs & Fat to Eat

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Dec 22, 2020

When figuring out our ideal bulking macros—how much protein, carbs, and fat we should eat—there are a few things we need to consider. First, we can look at the research to see which macros allow us to build muscle the fastest. Second, we can see which macros help us avoid…

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The best chest exercises for mass

The Best Chest Exercises for Building Muscle

By Shane Duquette | Dec 17, 2020

A few compound lifts have earned a reputation for being the best chest exercises: the barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, weighted dip, and push-up. And it’s true, all of these are great lifts. But there’s a bit more to it than that. These are big compound lifts, working several…

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Before and after illustration showing the results of a man building a bigger chest.

How to Build a Bigger Chest (Even If It’s Lagging Behind)

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Dec 15, 2020

The chest is one of the biggest and most powerful muscles in our bodies, but it’s also notoriously difficult to grow, and many people find that it lags behind. In fact, if you’re a naturally skinny guy with narrow shoulders or a shallow ribcage, building a bigger chest may seem…

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Illustration of a skinny guy flexing his forearm muscles.

Forearm Training: How to Build Bigger Forearms

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Dec 2, 2020

When you first start lifting weights, it’s a good idea to focus most of your energy on the big compound lifts. Your workouts start with lifts like the squat, bench press, deadlift, chin-up, and row. These are the biggest lifts that build the most overall muscle mass. After that, we…

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Illustration of a skinny guy doing a lean bulk, gaining no visible fat.

How to Do a Lean Bulk

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Nov 28, 2020

One of the most common issues that us skinny guys run into while bulking is gaining too much fat. For someone who’s already muscular, gaining some fat makes them look beefy. Not a big deal. But for someone who’s still fairly thin, it can make us look skinny-fat. It can…

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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.