There are many different workout routines that skinny guys will often try as they bulk up, ranging from strength training to bodyweight workouts to bodybuilding. Now, as a general rule, we recommend that you do dedicated hypertrophy training if your goal is to bulk up, but for the purposes of this article, let’s talk about how to get more muscle growth out of any workout program.

My only question is: how is your workout routine working for you? If you aren’t getting the results you want, or living the lifestyle you want to live, then it’s time to re-evaluate your approach to training. 

People can spend years working their butts to the bone—literally. They work so hard that their gluteal muscles erode from their pelvis leaving only bone on their behinds. Believe it or not, this actually happened to me, and let me tell you, it was not pretty!

You see, my friend, working hard is essential. However, working hard on the wrong program will not get you the body you’re working so hard to get.

For example, if your training isn’t designed to help you accomplish your specific goals, then you may get an entirely different set of adaptations out of it. No matter how long you spend improving your cardio, it’s not going to cause any extra muscle growth.

For another example, if your training isn’t efficient, then working harder may not yield extra muscle growth. Nowadays, I feel that this idea tends to get distorted; I know for me it was. Consider this: would you rather work for 3 hours at $100/h and earn a total of $300, or would you rather work 8 hours for $15/hour and earn $120? No brainer, right?

So why do people think that hour after hour of inefficiently training in the gym is the solution?

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Haha watch out bodybuilders—us skinny creative dudes can diesel-up too! The handsome yet thin man on the left is Jeff before starting the Bony to Beastly Bulking Program. He started the program at 136 pounds with internally rotated shoulders, a head that jut forward, and hips that made his belly stick out—issues that he was eager to fix.

The Beastlier man on the right is Jeff 5 weeks later weighing in at 145.5 pounds and with most of his postural problems greatly improved. He also succeeded in balancing out most of his muscle asymmetries while increasing muscle size everywhere.

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Photo of Shane Duquette and Jared Polowick's bodies before Bony to Beastly.

May 2010—the month that two skinny ectomorphs decided they were fed up with being skinny ectomorphs. Did we know what an “ectomorph” was? No. And worse, we knew almost nothing about building muscle. We just knew we were underweight, completely fed up with it, and determined to become muscular at all costs. That was how “Muscle May” began. In fact, that’s how this entire business began.

That first day of May, the two of us made a bulking pact: we would do thirty days of whatever it took to build muscle naturally. Skinny genes be damned, we were growing out of our skinny jeans.

At the end of those thirty days, we had gained over thirty pounds between us, which was, ah, maybe a bit much. But it was working, we were finally gaining weight. So we doubled down on our efforts, extending our bulking pact for another three months. And by the end of those four months, we weren’t skinny anymore, and we haven’t been skinny ever again.

Here’s the story of how we went from skinny to muscular.

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Hey guys this may be a little overdue, depending on what you’ve been eating 😉

I went on a date last week shortly after training, and before heading off to the bar I crammed down as much food as I could: a 2 scoop whey shake, 2 bananas, 4 eggs, a shot of olive oil, and then I grabbed a litre of milk and started walking off to the bar. This is after finishing my 1200 calorie workout sugar/whey shake. I arrived just as I finished my litre of milk and greeted my date. I then quickly had to sit down to make sure none of that hard-swallowed nutrition came back up. She thought it was pretty funny, and 45 minutes of wheezing later I was back to normal.

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Your parents weren’t totally off by telling you to stand up straight.  In fact, it could have been some of the best advice they ever gave you. When people start a training program, the first things that usually come to mind are: what cool exercises will I be doing? How many post workout shakes do I take? Which supplements do I need to get? Very few ever think about their posture. However, it could be the piece of the puzzle that’s holding them back and limiting their muscle gains, strength and performance.

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