Can skinny guys easily bulk up?

Discussion in 'The Clubhouse' started by Tux, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Tux


    I've been tall and skinny all 20 years of my life, and have always had the belief that I am skinny due to genetics, and that therefore it would be difficult for me to bulk up, even with exercise. It seems to me that all the physically "fit" people were probably born with relatively fit bodies, and they just fine-tuned it through exercise. Or, I think they perhaps used to be fat and worked out to gain muscle. But I've never really heard of a skinny guy working out and gaining a fit, muscular body. I'm not sure how easy this is to determine, but is it as easy/hard as an overweight person losing fat and gaining muscle, or is it easier or harder? And lastly, any tips? Thanks.
  2. It is just as hard. Best tip would be to do a high number of reps with weight close to 60-75% of your 1RM (RM= repetition maximum, google this for more info). Eat plenty of carbohydrates and stay off the treadmill. That's a start. Good luck.

    - Aaron

    i recommend you look at buying one of Jeff's programs. Either the Advanced Mass Building or the Optimum Anobolics.

    These are for hard gainers looking to gain mass. I have used the Optimum Anobolics and Love the program. It really works if you stick to it. I gained alot of muscle my only problem is not following the diet close enough and thus havent shed the body fat I want but I honestly can recommend jeffs programs.

    He actually just finished a new program for hardgainers...

    I am in no way affiliated with him i just like his programs and I feel you need to have a plan when you go to the gym...unless you are going to hire a trainer.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  4. Just get going on a good weight and fitness program. You will end up where you end up. You will gain fitness, muscle mass and agility. You are blessed being "skinny" and use it to your advantage. Weights really will make a big difference in your overall power. I would encourage you to also do cardio because the most important muscle you have in your body is your heart and if you neglect that, all is for naught.

    Take Care,
  5. professorchaos

    professorchaos Moderator Emeritus

    Former skinny guy here...compound exercises, lift heavy, eat plenty of protien and slow carbs. Change your routine every six weeks and get plenty of rest. If you are really interested, shoot me a PM with your email address and I will send you a few routines which have worked well for me.
  6. skinny or not, working out will build muscle mass; that's just how it works. As for how big you'll get I can't say.

    I'm a pretty skinny guy and I worked out for tone rather than size. I always thought something similar to Bruce Lee's body would be good.
  7. Easily? Not gonna be, most likely. Lots of good advice so far. Stick wih the compound exercises, don't waste time doing tricep kick backs and curls. If all you did were these exercises here, you'd be good to go: bench press, shoulder press, squat, deadlift, pull-ups/pulldowns, and a rowing exercise. They all work more than one muscle and there are ebough variations of them to cover all the bases.
    Diet is an important part of the equation, like 70-80%. If you don't eat you don't grow. If you ask me, it's harder to bulk up from being skinny than it is to simply lose weight. You can lose weight with diet alone, but you aren't going to get big without busting your hump in the gym.
  8. My best friend majored in Kinestheology and was very knowledgable about training. I used to go working out with him a bit and he was always had great tips for me.

    One of the most useful tips he gave me was: If you plan on working out frequently (4-7 days a week), alternate the muscle groups you work out from day to day. Instead of working out your whole body in one shot, try planning it out, like doing your upper body one day and your lower the next. Doing it this way allows you to work out one muscle group while the others are healing, which allows you to keep a nice steady routine. If you over do it one day and end up with sore muscles all over your body you'll be out of action for a couple of days at least (I went way overboard with inclined sit-ups once and couldn't stand up straight for a week my gut was so sore), so keep it steady and don't be too eager.
  9. I was a skinny small kid who was always getting picked on in junior high. I joined the gymnastic team and by high school, all the "tough guys" were either avoiding me or being very nice for fear of revenge. I competed through college and when it was time to stop gymnastics I took up Kung Fu. I have been doing that ever since. I am 51 and still have a muscular build.

    Yes, a skinny guy can put on muscle! It is not genetics, it is hard work. Aerobics will not give you bulk, but it will make you much more healthy. The quickest way to build bulk is to weight lift. In weightlifting, the rest days are just as important as the buildup days. I recommend starting with a 3-times a week routine. After you get used to it, if you want to them move to a 5 or 6 day a week workout, alternate upper and lower body and abs.

    There are lots of good books on the subject including the one written by the current Governor of California (hint: first name Arnold). If you have the money, by all means, join a health club and get a personal trainer. If you don't, you can get amazing results with a set of weighs and a half-hour, three days a week. In between these extremes are YMCA programs and county recreation centers. The comradely is good to help you stick with it. It may be a little intimidating walking into a weight room filled with muscle-bound people, but you will find that they are still just regular people who will me more them willing to help you.

  10. Get married.
  11. That's some good advice there. Eat more calories than you burn, lift heavy, and get plenty of sleep. Without a proper diet you are going to have a very difficult time gaining weight. I eat 4500 calories a day and I fight for every pound I gain. I've always said I wish I was fat because I can guarantee losing weight is much easier than putting it on.
  12. +1 Higher weights fewer reps.

    +1 it's not going to be easy. If you've remained both thin and lean with little effort you likely have a very fast metabolism. You are going to have to eat more and lift heavy, heavy, heavy. In the beginning I'd limit aerobic activity.

    Best answer ever! :lol::lol::lol::lol:
  13. In a prior thread some of the guys recommended the Stronglifts 5x5 program and Mark Rippetoe's "Starting Strength," which I think is a 3x5 workout. Have any of you guys used these workouts?

    Edit: I ask because they seem like the kind of workout that would be good for getting bigger. I was a bit leery of them because I need to lose some weight, but they may be good for the OPs needs.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  14. Good, sound advice right there. Focus your efforts on eating a healthy sustainable diet and avoid overtraining. I weight train and avoid supplements. I prefer to base my nutrition on foods that I can easilly obtain at a grocery store at a price point that I can maintain and my family can also enjoy. Also, view your weight training as a life long committment. You have your whole life ahead of you so no need to rush it and cause damage to joints and tendons. Being skinny is great because you will likely be more defined when you start putting on weight.
  15. Anything even near Bruce lee's body would be outstanding. You'd also have to work out to his schedule which was pretty much, from what I've read, 5 hours a day 6 days a week from the age of 12.
  16. I can, from experience, say that it isn't easy. Your body type will have an upper limit as to what is possible...most certainly you can get bigger than you are now but you'll never look like a young Arnold no matter what you do (not that that's a bad thing). All my friends were heavy into weights in high school and college and we tried it all: all the bulk-up programs, all the supplements, and for many of us, the more illegal and unhealthy options as well.

    I was always the skinniest and wanted nothing more than to be 'big' but now that I'm 35 and still slim (6', 168lbs) it seems that all my friends who were huge and ripped 15 years ago are jealous of me. And those who kept on with the steroids are now fat, balding, moon-faced, or have nice floppy man-boobs...not recommended.

    I would suggest setting realistic and healthy goals (ie. 5-10 pounds of lean muscle in a year), lift as heavy as you can and eat well. Chugging 2 litres daily of protein/mass powder isn't really the best thing for your body as well...processing that much excess protein puts strain on certain organs/systems in the body. Eat lots of healthy food and start out with a very simple but intense lifting routine. I also wouldn't train more than 4 times a week. There are tons of resources on the net concerning workout routines and diets. Good luck!

    *(and don't worry, there are plenty of chicks that prefer skinny guys! :thumbup1:)
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  17. I'm not saying I want Bruce Lee's body; I could never achieve that. I meant something that looks fairly similar to it; wirey rather than bulky. I'm a wirey guy and I'm quite satisfied with that, and I think if the OP tried to that route he would be satisfied too.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  18. Yup, former skinny man here as well. No, it's not easy. It takes years of discipline, watching your food intake and tailoring workouts to help increase mass. Hard workouts regularly and eating properly.

    Bottom line is that you're never going to gain weight if you don't eat. Honestly, that was the hardest thing for me--more so than working out. I had to force myself to eat way more calories than I was used to, and it sucked. I still struggle with it, actually. Your body needs all the nourishment it can get when you're working out hard and then some.

    Also, keep in mind that your frame will only support so much mass. Find out the amount of weight you are comfortable lifting, and start slow. Listen to your body and don't go overboard or you might risk hurting yourself. Pretty much anyone, no matter how skinny, can add muscle mass. But it takes dedication, discipline, and a willingness to push yourself over a long period of time. But the pay off is huge. It feels great to make a goal for yourself and reach it after lots of hard work, and it definitely helps to promote a healthy lifestyle.

    Best of luck!
  19. My small bit of advice is to keep your exercises basic and heavy. Just a few basic exercises will help you to add muscle mass - don't worry about the little refined exercises.

    I recommend alternating a pulling routine with a pushing routine. The pulling routine is just two exercises, bent over rowing followed by dead lifts. You cannot do them in the reverse order, because dead lifts will wear you out. The pushing routine is just three exercises, military presses, then bench presses, finally squats. If you stick to these two simple routines for six months, I think you will see a difference.

    As to diet, I recommend plenty of protein. Beef, pork, fish, chicken, and eggs. Eat some organ meats if you can stand them. Complement with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

  20. Bruce Lee was an awesome martial artist. However, he was only 135 at 5'07". That's what I was in ninth grade. Actually 141. Getting ripped like that will not require 5 hours a day of exercise, especially if you are already on the skinnier side. Any Crossfit routine could get you there in 8-9 months, with good diet.
    Lots of good advice here. As has been mentioned, DO NOT overtrain. Rest is just as, if not more important than the work. You don't grow in the gym, you do it in your bed while you sleep.
    What are your height and weight, anyway, Tux? I am wondering what you are starting with. How defined you are when you hit your target weight is dependent on how fast you gain it and what you eat. The faster you gain, the more fat you acquire on the way, usually. Limited, higher-intensity cardio can help inhibit this. Too much cardio will eat into your gains, so it requires a good balance. Tracking calories really helps.

Share This Page