The Workout & Diet Routine for Skinny Guys
We'll teach you how to gain 20 pounds in the next 20 weeks, even if you have the metabolism (and stomach size) of a hummingbird.
Our workout routine and tutorial videos were made by Marco Walker-Ng, BHSc, PTS, PN, a certified strength coach with a health sciences degree who's helped college, professional, and Olympic athletes bulk up. He's also coached doctors, college students, grandfathers, and over 10,000 naturally skinny hardgainers. He's naturally skinny himself and has personally gained 70 pounds at 10% body fat. He also helped me, Shane, gain 55 pounds at 11% body fat in a little over 2 years. All of it natural.
Even so, your results may vary. Our reviews and testimonials don't guarantee that you'll achieve the exact same results. Everyone is different and these are just examples. However, we do have an "excellent" rating on third-party review sites, such as TrustPilot, and we stand behind our program with a full money-back guarantee.
Build Muscle Quickly & Leanly
Gain muscle leanly and aesthetically, building a thick chest, a wide back, broad shoulders, and burly arms.
Become Truly Big & Strong
Radically improve your fully-body strength, overhaul your posture, and develop an athletic physique
Thrive in your Body
Conquer your skinniness once and for all, becoming a true Beast of a man both in and out of the gym.
Jason S. gained 20 pounds in 11 weeks
If you are a skinny dude and it’s your dream to put on weight, this is absolutely the program you need.
If you put in the work to eat and lift according to the program, you will succeed. That’s all there is to it.
Here's what you need to do the program
All of the amazing transformations you see around the site are from this Bony to Beastly Program. It's a workout and diet plan that covers absolutely everything you need to build muscle as fast, safely, and aesthetically as possible, and we’re here to help you through the entire process.
But to get the results we promise, you need to be willing to:
- Get access to weights: A gym membership is perfect, so is a barbell home gym, and so are a simple pair of heavy adjustable dumbbells. It's okay if you start with your bodyweight, but soon you'll need something to lift, and free weights have proven themselves to be best for building muscle (largely due to their great resistance curves).
- Lift those weights 3x per week: If you want to gain a full 20 pounds in 20 weeks, we recommend doing three full-body workouts per week, each lasting about an hour. We’ll give you the exact workout routine to follow, we'll teach you how to do all of the lifts, and if you record yourself, Marco can even critique your technique. The program includes online coaching, and we're here to help. But you still need to show up and lift. And when you show up to lift, you need to challenge yourself. Every workout, you need to strive to add more weight or eke out more reps.
- Eat enough calories to gain weight: We're hardgainers, ectomorphs, skinny guys. For guys like us, eating enough food to gain weight can be hard, and you probably know that already. We'll teach what to eat, how to hack your appetite, and we'll even give you a recipe book full of the very best bulking recipes. And our approach is flexible. You can do this as a vegetarian, while eating in a cafeteria, while eating meals with your family, or on a strict budget. But it's still up to you to get your calories in each day. It takes around 500 extra calories per day to gain a pound on the scale every week. Without those calories, you will not gain weight.
If you can commit to these three things, we can fully guarantee your results. Building muscle takes work, and so we want you to know that if you do the work, you will succeed. We promise. And we stand behind that promise with our full 90-day refund policy. If you're unhappy with the program for any reason, we'll issue a full refund. No hassle, no conditions, no fine print.
We're the ectomorph experts, with millions of hardgainer readers, tens of thousands of naturally thin newsletter subscribers, and over 10,000 formerly-skinny clients. This is what we do best.
The Complete Bony to Beastly Program
Second Edition, Refined After 10 Years of Testing
This our complete workout and diet routine. No fads or angles, tricks or pills. Just a sound foundation of strenuous lifting, good nutrition, and quality sleep. This is a program you can (and should) proudly tell your doctor about.
How to Gain Muscle Mass—For Skinny Guys
This 250-page eBook covers the fundamentals of building a strong, functional physique with weights and nutrition.
And it's a bulking program for ectomorphs, so it's designed to help you leap over ecto-hurdles like:
- A small stomach capacity
- A meagre appetite
- A fast metabolism
- Lanky arms
- A long spine
- Crumbling posture
We know you don’t have the bottomless, eager stomach that all the other programs take for granted. We know that "just eat more" won't fly. We’ll teach you all about appetite, energy density, digestion, and how to eat a proper bulking diet.
Take advantage of your body type. We’ll teach you how to leverage your genetic advantages. For example, ectomorphs tend to have better insulin sensitivity and faster metabolisms, allowing us to build muscle faster than other body types, and with less fat gain. Plus, we aren't struggling with obesity-related conditions, meaning that our approach to building a healthy exercise routine, diet, and lifestyle is rather different from the average person.
Overcome setbacks. Many skinny guys have poor posture, nagging aches, and digestion issues. We’ll help you work around any problems you have, one on one, in the member community. And in the process, you'll strengthen your digestive system and increase your muscle mass, strength, bone density, tendon strength, joint health, posture, and general health.
Ectomorph supplements. If you want to use supplements, you'll learn about the few supplements that are proven to help ectomorphs bulk up. You'll even learn how to make homemade mass-gainer shakes and protein bars. But supplements are totally optional. They aren't required to get the results we promise.
Most of all, we'll help you build muscle, gain weight, and crush the scale every week.
The Muscle-Building Workout Routine & Guide
We suspect that you want to build muscle fast. This isn’t one of those programs where you slowly build muscle over several years. No, we go after muscle gain aggressively, mercilessly. This is the program where your extended family will be asking you if you’re on steroids at your next cousin's wedding. You won't be. We're all-natural. But we still want people to wonder.
Conventional bulking, done right. We won't lure you in with the latest revolutionary muscle-building techniques. Those never work. This is a workout routine built out of the fundamentals of conventional bodybuilding and strength training. These methods have stood the test of time, they've been proven in the trenches, refined by meta-analyses, and used by us over the past decade to help over 10,000 other skinny guys bulk up.
- Which exercises are best for building muscle?
- What rep range is best for gaining muscle mass?
- How many sets maximize muscle growth?
- How long should we rest?
- How often should we train?
We aren't reinventing the wheel, we're just focusing on what matters most, and we're doing it properly. That's how Marco gained 70 pounds, how Shane gained 65 pounds, and how Jared gained over 50 pounds. We didn't look for the magic secret, we just made sure that we were doing everything correctly, getting our priorities straight, and lifting for muscle growth.
Ideal aesthetics. One of the reasons actors are able to make such impressive transformations isn't because they gain a lot of overall muscle mass, it's because they gain a lot of weight in the right places. Now, we're not talking about targeting in your inner chest or anything like that. But we are talking about focusing on more than just the squat, bench press, and deadlift. By including more overhead work for our shoulders, pulls for our upper backs, curls for our biceps, and extensions for our triceps, we can build bigger and stronger bodies that look much better. We can even train our necks.
What's interesting is that modern attractiveness research (study) shows that it's mainly the muscles in our upper bodies that determine how good we look. Earlier research found that muscle size and strength are near-perfectly correlated. Putting those two facts together, the best way to improve our appearance is to build a stronger upper body.
Does that mean that we should avoid our legs? Of course not. But it does mean that becoming strong at chin-ups, overhead presses, and biceps curls is a key part of building an attractive (and capable) physique.
No more lanky arms. Being naturally skinny often means that we have slightly different proportions from the average man. For one, we tend to have proportionally longer arms and thinner bones. That we need to pack more muscle onto our arms before they look strong. Following a basic strength training approach centred around compound lifts is all well and good, but without plenty of direct arm work—biceps curls, triceps extensions, shoulder raises, even wrist curls—our arms will lag behind.
No more lagging chest. If you have a naturally narrow shoulder structure or a naturally thinner rib cage, it can be hard to build a big chest, and it can be hard to build a strong bench press. We'll teach you how to bench press better, we'll teach you how to bench press more weight, and we'll give you a variety of lifts that will bulk up even the most stubborn of chests.
Our workouts take into account all of the bulking research published up until 2020. Marco graduated with a degree in health sciences ten years ago, and since then he's been honing his craft by going to conferences, interning with strength legends, studying under physiotherapists, getting new certifications, and training clients ranging from regular skinny guys to professional and Olympic athletes.
Marco uses this education and experience combined with the best available research to meticulously min-max our exercise selection, rep ranges, weekly lifting volume, tempo—everything. The way we see it, because we're helping so many people, even tiny improvements can result in large overall gains in our hardgainer community. Plus, we love min-maxing all of the details. We really want this program to be the very best that it can be.
All of this is clearly organized exercise by exercise, workout by workout, phase by phase. No guesswork involved. Just follow the workout routine, record how much you're lifting, outlift yourself every workout, and collect your muscle gains every week.
The "Gain-Easy Recipes" eBook
Eating for muscle growth doesn't need to be complicated. You need to eat enough calories to gain weight, and you need to eat enough protein to build muscle. Simple, right? Kind of. There's quite a bit we can do to make it even simpler. We'll show you how to cook a week's worth of dinner in one pot by making hardgainer stews and chilis. We'll show you how to make two weeks worth of homemade protein bars that you can bring on the go with you. And how to blend up a perfect smoothie for breakfast in two minutes flat. We've even got muscle-building desserts.
Diving deeper into the details, there's quite a bit of research showing that eating the right proportion of carbs and fat—getting your macros right—can result in faster, leaner muscle growth. That can get a bit more complicated, but we've done that work for you. We'll give you recipes that already have the right ratios of protein, carbs, and fat, with their calorie and macro contents calculated for you.
And remember, we're naturally skinny ourselves. When we first started trying to bulk up, we had a ton of trouble. Even once we figured out what to eat, we had trouble fitting it into our too-small stomachs. Later, we realized that a lot of the health-conscious meals we were eating were weight-loss meals masquerading as muscle-building meals. So we made a Gain-Easy Recipe book. All of these meals are designed to be easy on your appetite and easy to digest.
We should also point out that we're, you know, regular people. We have wives and kids and social lives. These are delicious recipes that are healthy, easy to prepare, and easy to share. And our approach to nutrition is flexible. These recipes are here to help, but you're free to eat anything else that you want.
Oh, and did we mention that you can do this entire program from a cafeteria? Some of our best transformations have been from guys in the military or in college. We can make do with almost anything. But if you want to cook your own food, we can make that way easier.
Exercise Tutorial Video Course
There's a lot of fuss over doing lifts correctly. To be completely honest, that's not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we lift weights, get stronger, and continue to challenge ourselves. That's the key to good health, strength, and muscularity. The injury rates when following a good weight lifting routine are fairly low, and the most common injury is dropping weight plates on toes. Despite what you might see in the latest "STOP Doing This Exercise NOW! DANGER!" YouTube video, you'll be okay. That's just clickbait, and that bullshit drives us crazy.
When Shane first started lifting weights, he did it at home in his basement using rickety equipment. And this was ten years ago, back before YouTube videos were widely available to explain the lifts. He had no idea what he was doing. And he was fine.
Some people lift weights recklessly and, yeah, that's foolish. But it's just as bad to approach exercise with the mindset that we're fragile. We aren't. Our bodies are highly adaptive and strong. When we stress ourselves in the gym, it doesn't just build muscle, it's also strengthens our bones, tendons, and connective tissues. Even if you're skinny and sedentary, your body is capable of incredible adaptations.
Even so, there are a dozen ways to do each lift with a variety of different outcomes: general fitness, injury rehab, sports performance, maximal strength without any regard for size (as is popular with powerlifters), or gaining size without any concern for strength (as is popular with bodybuilders). And most guys in the gym asked a friend or YouTubed someone doing the exercise, having no idea what that person's goals were, or even if that person had any idea what they were doing to begin with.
We like to train for hypertrophy—for muscle size. And we like to do it in a way that's healthy, that's safe, that makes us stronger, and that makes us look good. There's an art to that. Rows aren't done from the floor, because that turns them into a hip lift—an accessory to the deadlift. We row to build our upper back muscles. And when we deadlift, we don't drop the weight back down after each rep. That's for developing maximal strength. We deadlift to bulk up our hips, spinal erectors, and traps. To do that, we lower the weight down under control, which means that we don't need to reset, and so we don't need to rest between reps. We can build more muscle with less fatigue that way.
And like we mentioned above, we take pride in doing things correctly. We want you to be good at what you do. And the better you get at lifting weights, the easier it will be to become bigger, stronger, tougher, and better looking. So we have tutorial videos teaching every single exercise in the program, in detail, so that you can do them properly and build muscle faster.
A Year of Coaching in the Community
This is the members-only coaching community where all the before/after photos you’ve seen on this site come from. We're all ectomorphs and we're all here to build muscle, but that doesn't mean we're all identical. We all have different situations and we all have different goals.
Plus, nothing ruins a bulk like running into a problem and not having a clear solution. Why didn't you gain weight this weight this week? Why is your stomach bloated? Why does your lower back feel sore? Why isn't your bench press strength going up? What if you're becoming skinny fat?! We're here to coach you through all of it.
We'll teach you how to track your progress so that we can see exactly what is and isn't growing. This lets us give feedback to keep you on track, and it’s also motivating for everyone else in the community when someone finishes a 5-week phase and posts a new round of progress photos (typically having gained 3–10 pounds).
The forum is also a great place to discuss the latest muscle-building trends, techniques, ideas, and supplements. Curious about keto? Intermittent fasting? Calorie cycling? Curcumin? The benefit of a certain lift over another one? Ask away! Does any of this stuff replace the fundamentals? Nope. But we still love learning about it and talking about it, and sometimes there's a real (although typically small) advantage to it.
Most of all, we take your success with this program seriously. We leave no bony behind. We're all in this together. We couldn't have done this without help, and we want to make sure you get the help you need, too.
This is how we can guarantee results.
We've got the best bulking transformations around. This is what we do.
I have always been tall and skinny my whole life. There came a point where I decided that I wanted to change that so I started researching and asking a friend who lifted on where to start in the gym. He took me through a 5 day bodybuilder style split and I was wrecked and wasn't feeling like this style of training was gonna help after a couple weeks so I started researching more and stumbled upon B2B.
The eating guides helped immensely as well and without the articles, tips, and recipes I wouldn't be where I'm at now. With the one-two punch of the workouts and food the scale started to rise and I've felt better.
My experience with B2B has been amazing and I would highly recommend any one on the fence to just go for it!
– J. Sinay, 22 years old, Audio Engineer
I must say that Bony To Beastly is the best 'accident' I've had that's really impacted my life. Like many other classic ectomorphs, I struggled with being that skinny guy that couldn't put on any weight or muscle even if we "ate a lot".
I had gone through multiple attempts, many different weight gain workouts over my highschool and college years, with occasional periods of success.
I barely weighed more than my then-girlfriend (who is now my wife :). She didn't tell me at the time, but sometimes when she saw how thin I was, it also negatively affected her own self confidence. She didn't want to be the 'bigger' person in the relationship. Now that I've packed on about 30 lbs more of muscle, my wife without even hiding it will be checking me out.
I would definitely recommend this program to any fellow skinny guy. With all of the information, guidance, support - and all in one central resource / program, I would easily have paid double the membership price.
– Dr. Albert C., Physician
I began this program excited to finally make a change I was sick of being skinny and it was time to do something about it.
I am working part-time and am a full-time student. I have been having some personal problems both financial/family throughout this past year but I kept doing my best to keep up with the program.
I had never done any sort of training before this so it was all new to me. This program really helped me out and I feel great. There is still much more to come, I may have gained weight but I’m aiming for higher.
– Ariel, 22 years old, Student
Our 100% Money-Back Guarantee
We have a full 100% money-back guarantee. No fine print, no hassle. Come into the program as skeptical as you like. Try it out, see if you like it. If you don't, shoot us an email within 90 days and we'll refund every penny.
The Bony to Beastly Program