6 Best Muscle Mass Building Tips and Exercises for the Skinny Guys

best workout exercises for skinny guys

In every gym, you will find one popular dude who everyone knows, and every one wishes to be. He is the dude with the biggest muscles and is super strong that he is able to lift the heaviest weight in the rack. Are you this guy? Of course, not. You wouldn’t be in this page if you were!

But aside from him, every gym also has that one skinny guy. Now, this is you who I am talking about—that one skinny guy who doesn’t seem to know what he should be doing. He is always nervous, awkward, forever, looking down, always seem unsure of himself. More than that, his frame is very skinny, and it seems as if he can’t carry a dumbbell even if it means saving his life.

I know that skinny guy in the gym pretty well because he is, or rather was, my husband. He goes to the gym thrice a week, followed all the tips and advice that the instructors would tell him but no matter how hard he tried, he can’t seem to bulk up. No matter how many times he goes to the gym, he still feels like a scrawny little kid who will never be able to grow his big guns. Well, that all changed when he followed a few muscle building tips that we have discovered.

As a writer who is well-versed with health and fitness, I helped my husband do further research about bodybuilding and we came across a few tips that worked well for him. I now have a hunky and muscular (well almost) husband – one statement I would never thought that I will be able to say in this lifetime!

Sure, being able to eat a lot without having to worry about your weight seems like a blessing. But looking like Olive Oyl instead of her beloved Popeye for all your life can sometimes feel like a curse. Well, I am here to help you turn things around.

The Tips Every Skinny Guy Needs to Know

Of course, my husband has abs but abs on a skinny guy is like big tits on fat girls—they don’t count!

If you want to finally have the legit abs that you have been dreaming of, you need to put these tips into action.

1. Go for compound lifts

If you have been going to the gym for quite a while, you already know by now that not all types of lift are created equal. Some lifts do a better job at building muscles. We are talking about compound lifts.

These types of workout allow you to build more than one muscle group at a time. When you constantly and consistently perform these kinds of workout, you are able to maximize your bodybuilding routine because you will be working many muscles all at once.

Some of the compound exercises that experts recommend include back squats, deadlifts, rows, bench press, pull-ups, thrusters and many more.

But to be clear, I am not stopping you from doing isolated exercises, but it is best that you save those types of exercises later on after you have increases your overall muscle mass. Just simply focus on doing compound exercises then switch to performing isolated exercises as needed.

2. Eat bigger (and better)

When we say eat bigger, we are not referring to just eating more. We are also talking about the quality of your diet. Here are some of the bodybuilding nutrition tips to follow:

Rule 1: Choose your carbohydrates well

Skinny guys need to eat more to bulk up (well, you wish it is that easy). My husband was aware of that but his mistake was he ate lots of carbohydrate-rich food, thinking that it is the best way to go. Well, if you want to get fat and obese, that is truly the way to go, but if you want to be a lean machine, you need to choose your carbohydrates properly.

The type of carbohydrates that experts recommend is those that are slow to digest. In short, complex carbohydrates. This type of carbohydrates has the least tendency to turn into fats and can help keep you feeling full for longer.

Some of the best carbohydrate-rich foods for bulking up are whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oats. On the other hand, you should avoid fast-digesting carbohydrate-rich foods like chips, white bread, white rice, cakes, and other pastries.

Rule 2: Stick with the healthy fats

Just like carbohydrates, types of fats are also not created equal. If you wish to become lean yet big, you would want to eat only the healthy fats. We are referring to the types of fats found in nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, salmon, sunflower seeds, and many others.

It is also a must that you shy away from unhealthy fats from junk foods, fried foods, French fries, chips, and many more. Aside from the fact that the consumption of these fats may lead to obesity, it may also increase your risk of heart diseases.

Rule 3: Boost your protein intake

If you are a skinny guy like me, you should know that proteins are your best friend when it comes to bodybuilding. Protein is a key nutrient in not just losing fat but also in gaining muscle strength and mass.

Since this is the case, it is important to ensure that you are consuming the right amount of proteins that your body needs. According to studies, the rule of thumb is to consume at least 1.4 grams of protein per kg of your body weight every day.

Some of the protein-rich foods that you should incorporate into your diet are lean beef cuts, fishes, eggs, beans, chicken, soy, and milk.

Bonus Rule: Snack on ice cream once a day

This may contradict the nutrition tip provided above, but there is an exception to every rule. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that ice cream can trigger the surge in insulin levels better than other snacks. The sudden increase in insulin levels can help put a stop to the protein breakdown that your body experienced after every workout.

With this in mind, it is recommended that you consume a bowl of ice cream (of any flavor) 2 hours after the workout.

3. Try HGH

I know that this is currently one of the most controversial bodybuilding tips in the industry, but a lot of people claim that using HGH for men is extremely beneficial.

HGH means Human Growth Hormone and one of its functions is to stimulate muscle growth due to its ability to stimulate the ability of the liver to produce the insulin growth factor 1.

But while it is considered to be beneficial for bodybuilding, it is still a must that you consult the advice of a hormone specialist before you take advantage of this treatment.

4. Lift only every other day

My husband used to think that the more he lifts, the bigger he will become. Well, he learned things the hard way. Before, he lifts almost 5 days a week. Well, he only ended up tired, not bigger.

I have been trying to advise him against doing that but I think husbands are programmed not to listen to their wives. Luckily, he shared his lifting routine with his friends and they were shocked. It was only then that he was able to understand the fact that muscle growth takes place during recovery and not during my lifting sessions.

If he continued with his 5-day lifting routine, his body won’t get the nutrients and rest that it needs to develop muscles. That is why my friends (one of which is a gym instructor) advised him to take a break from the gym every other day. When he did that, he was able to see little but consistent improvements in his physique.

5. Take longer rests in between sets

Aside from resting every other day, it is also recommended that you take longer rests after every set. In fact, experts recommend that you should rest for about 3 to 5 minutes in between sets. This time allows your nervous system to recover from your first set, giving you enough energy to take on another set.

In addition to that, lower repetitions coupled with longer rest leads to a dump of testosterone in your bloodstream. This sudden change in your body’s chemistry will facilitate your body to grow and develop muscles.

6. Be patient

As I have mentioned above, my husband was the ultimate skinny guy before. He tried to build muscle for almost 3 years, but nothing happened. He was about to give up but lucky for him, we were able to discover the tips mentioned above.

My husband put these into action, and despite doing the right things, it still took time for his body to transform. But with consistent practice and lots of time, he was able to transform from being Bruce Banner to the Hulk (well, not that big but you know what I mean!).

The bottom line here is to be patient. Bodybuilding takes time, especially for skinny guys like you and my husband (but not anymore!), but take heart. Be patient and consistently do these things and you can be able to achieve the body that you want eventually.

Bodybuilding is not an easy feat. There are many things that you can do wrong which can hamper your muscle development, but with the right guidance, lots of patience, proper research, good nutrition and right workout, it is not impossible.

About the author Emily Brathen

Emily is founder of BodyShape101, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips, and making the most out of it. She is also a mother of one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.