So, you’re looking to stack some muscle on them bones eh? We don’t blame you! If we didn’t know all these insider secrets, we’d want to learn too. Luckily for you, your search is over! Brace yourself, because this will be the most comprehensive guide on how to gain muscle for skinny guys at home you’ll ever read.
Bulking for Skinny Guys: The Unhealthy Way
It seems a bit counterproductive to start with the incorrect way to go about it, but we think it’s really important to know where you might be going wrong. Or, if you haven’t started your muscle-building journey yet, exactly what not to do.
Right, let’s get into it.
You probably know a guy that preaches “just eat more” or “just weight train constantly” and then proceeds to chug an entire cheesecake and live at the gym for 4 hours a day. Yeah, we know those guys too.
While these lads may swear by their methods and believe that they are laying down some quality knowledge, this isn’t actually the case (sorry). Their way is entirely unhealthy and although you could see some results, your body will be literally screaming out for rest, nutrition and just all-round health.
In short, do not do this! If you have been following this so called “advice” (for want of a better word to describe misinformation!), don’t worry, it is easily fixed.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to bulk for skinny guys the healthy way.
Oh, just a little side note: ignore those fad diets and workout plans claiming you will “get big in 60 days“. They’re a load of rubbish too (and again, SUPER unhealthy). The time it takes to bulk up varies a lot from person to person.
Okay, we’re getting started now!
How to Gain Muscle for Skinny Guys at Home: The Healthy Way
As they say “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym” the same can be said for putting on muscle weight too. While both exercise and food are important, you need to concentrate on your diet first, and the rest will follow suit.
Food Glorious Food
Since diet should be your number one priority as a skinny guy looking to bulk, we figured we’d start there.
Firstly, if you’re working out five days a week and drinking protein shake like a mad man and still not seeing results, then you aren’t eating enough my friend. Eating a sufficient amount of calories is pretty much the only way you’re going to be able to build the muscle you want.
Your body burns more calories than you think by just being alive, so just imagine how many it burns when you add in exercises such as running and other day-to-day activities!
Although, don’t just cram in the biscuits (as tempting as this sounds). Instead, you need to consume a lot of the right things. Don’t fret, it’s not hard; we’re going to tell you exactly what you should eat, when to eat it and how much to eat.
The Number One Food Group = Protein
When you’re bulking, it’s essential to prioritize protein over the other food groups. It helps your body to rebuild your muscles after you break them down through exercise.
Your protein doesn’t have to come from shakes. It’s probably best if it doesn’t since eating “real” food is much better for you. Why? Well, it provides you with other nutrients alongside the muscle-loving protein.
To ensure you take in enough, eat things like:
- Red meat (bison, pork)
- White meat (chicken, duck)
- Cheese and milk
- Fish (salmon, tuna)
- Shellfish (prawns, shrimp)
- Legumes (chickpeas)
- Veggie protein sources (tofu)
Okay, now you know what to eat to get your protein, but how much do you really need? Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer here. It depends on your body and the protein source.
Having said this, we’re going to give you a ball-park figure anyway because we’re helpful like that:
- For those who are active but want to bulk up their muscle, eat 2.2g of protein for every kilogram of body weight.
- For those who are experienced with lifting who are on a bulk, aim for 3.3g of protein for every kilogram of body weight.
It’s more likely that you guys fall into the first category so, weigh yourself and then work out how much you should be eating based on this.
Our top tip here is to make sure you check the packaging of all your protein sources so you can calculate properly! Usually, 113g of chicken has about 30g of protein but, to be on the safe side, check the label.
The Second Food Group Priority = Carbs
Remember we said you need to eat enough calories? Well, the majority of these should come from carbohydrates.
Since you guys are trying to gain weight and muscle, you should take your carbs from the foods listed here:
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain bread
Again, exactly how much you should eat depends on your activity level, weight and other factors. But, a “serving” is said to be one cup of cooked rice or pasta (or one handful uncooked).
The Third Food Group Priority = Fat
We know, consuming fat sounds scary for those who believe the term “diet” is all-consuming and completely restrictive however, for men looking to bulk, the right quantity can help you reach your goals.
Healthy (or unsaturated) fat comes from foods like:
- Olive oil
- Peanut butter
- Macadamia nuts
Interestingly, saturated fat can help you achieve that dream body too (in moderation, of course). If you do want to feel a bit indulgent at times, go for foods like:
- Whole milk
- Coconut oil
- Fatty meats
Although the portion sizes of both unsaturated and saturated fat are pretty small, it’s an easy way to ramp up your calories for your bulk.
The Fourth Food Group Priority = Vegetables
The last food group you’ll need to think about when embarking on this muscle gaining mission.
Typical veggies that should be on your plate are:
- Brussels sprouts
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list but we won’t insult your intelligence by telling you all the vegetables that are in existence!
The serving size for these bad boys is roughly the size of your fist.
Putting It All Together
We know we just chucked a load of info at you SO, let’s summarize:
- Eat 2.2-3.3g per kilogram of body weight in protein each day
- Get the rest of your calories from carbs and fats
- Eat vegetables so your body can function healthily
- If you see no weight change, add more carbs or fats
Just one other thing before we move on to the workout side of things: you need to calculate your daily expenditure so you know how many calories you should be consuming. This can be stressful but there are plenty of calculators on the net that’ll help you do this (like this one, or this one, or even this one). Once you’ve done that, pop 500 on top since you’re bulking and you’re done!
Right, on to the workouts.
Now that you’re eating right, there is one final piece to this puzzle. And this last part comes in the shape of… exercise! Without this you will just go from skinny to skinny-fat, rather than skinny to absolute unit.
The best advice we can give you is to focus on strength rather than what you see in the mirror. It may seem obvious that the stronger you get, the bigger your muscles grow but it’s incredible how many people seem to forget this.
A way to do this is to partake in “progressive overload”. What’s this, we hear you ask? Well, it’s where you continuously increase the weights, sets or reps so you consistently get stronger. Of course, we’re assuming you have weights at home. We realize this might not be the case but if it is, follow this schedule:
- Monday: Shoulders
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Chest
- Thursday: Back
- Friday: Abs and Arms
Don’t stress, if you don’t have a set of dumbells at home, body-weight exercises are just as good for bulking up if you’re a skinny guy.
The challenge here is making the exercises harder since you can’t just whack an extra weight on a bar. So, you need to make the actual movement trickier. We have a few tricks that might help you do this.
Tricks for Harder Body Weight Exercises
- Squats: try one-legged (or pistol) squats
- Push-ups: do decline push-ups (feet on a bench) or ramp up the reps
- Pull-ups: attempt wide-grip pull-ups
- Burpees: …just do the burpee man, they’re hard enough (increase your reps if it gets too easy or add a tuck jump)
Okay, we think we’ve thrown enough words at you for now! All this might feel a little overwhelming to you, but we promise if you stick by this guide, you WILL start seeing a big difference. You have everything you need in your arsenal to start bulking up as a skinny guy, so get excited! Before you know it, you’ll have the body you always dreamed of.