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 guy who is skinny and strong.

Can You Be Skinny and Strong? Yes, Kind Of

By Shane Duquette | Jul 12, 2024

Some skinny guys with good strength genetics are stronger than they look. However, they would be even stronger if they built more muscle. I’m a naturally skinny guy who was underweight into his twenties and then gradually gained 70 pounds. I’ve struggled to bench press an empty barbell. I’ve also…

Read More
Illustration showing someone bulking fast versus someone bulking slowly. The fast bulker is like a hare. The slow bulker is like a tortoise.

How Fast Should You Gain Weight While Bulking?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | Jun 29, 2024

Bulking faster almost always causes faster muscle growth, but if you bulk too fast, you’ll gain more fat. Bulking slower gives you a better chance of making lean gains, but you’ll build muscle more slowly, and you might go through periods of not building any muscle at all. Most people…

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Illustration of a skinny person building muscle fast.

How Fast Can Skinny People Build Muscle?

By Shane Duquette | Jun 20, 2024

I want to talk about how quickly skinny people can expect to build muscle. It’s a contentious topic. I’ve gained 70 pounds and spent the past decade helping over ten thousand skinny people bulk up, and I’ve noticed that most experts either get this wrong or forget to even mention…

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Before and after illustration showing a man bulking up his jawline by chewing tough mastic gum.

Can Chewing Gum Help Your Jawline?

By Shane Duquette | Jun 5, 2024

I don’t have a jawline. My jaw just blends straight into my neck. I’ll show you in a second. But I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. George Lucas created wonderful things without a chin, so I didn’t see why I needed a jaw. Still, whenever I saw an ad about…

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Illustration of a skinny guy bulking up and building muscle. Illustrated by Shane Duquette.

What Does Bulking Do?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 27, 2024

Bulking is when you gain weight to support muscle growth. Not everyone needs to gain weight to build muscle, but some people do. That’s because you need to do two things to build muscle: Any good muscle-building program combines those two things. What sets bulking apart is that the diet…

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Illustration showing two skinny guys with different bone structures and muscle-building genetics.

Do Skinny People Have Bad Muscle-Building Genetics?

By Shane Duquette and Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS | May 25, 2024

I think it’s important to talk honestly about muscle-building genetics. I don’t mean that in a pessimistic “blackpill” way. Every skinny person can build muscle. I’m naturally skinny. So is Marco. We’ve each gained around 70 pounds. And over the past decade, we’ve worked with over ten thousand skinny clients,…

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Illustration of a skinny bodybuilder eating a bulking diet.

Bulking Diet Plan: How to Eat for Muscle Growth

By Shane Duquette, Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS and Cassandra Duquette | Apr 12, 2024

This bulking diet guide covers everything you need to know about eating for muscle growth. This is how bodybuilders have traditionally bulked up, how athletes gain lean mass, and what modern science shows is the most effective way to fuel muscle growth. Cassandra used this diet to gain over twenty…

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Illustration of a skinny bodybuilding building more muscle by training his muscles more often.

How Often Should You Train Each Muscle Group?

By Shane Duquette | Apr 4, 2024

Training each muscle group 2–4 times per week can maximize muscle growth while keeping your risk of overuse injuries low. But that isn’t the only way to train. Some workout programs train each muscle group once per week. Some recent research suggests those routines can be just as effective. Or…

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Illustration of a skinny guy trying to build muscle but failing to gain weight, even though he's eating in a calorie surplus.

Why Aren’t You Gaining Weight in a Calorie Surplus?

By Shane Duquette and Cassandra Duquette | Mar 29, 2024

You used a bulking calorie calculator, which told you how many calories you needed to gain weight. Then, you meticulously tracked your calories for several weeks, logging every single food that went into your mouth. And yet, somehow, you haven’t gained any weight. Or perhaps you gained weight during the…

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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.