I mean come on, aren’t you already tired of hearing some general tips like eating protein, trying weight training, and so on? We all know eating more and principled training at the gym leads to gaining weight. But what makes it different are the details!
I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to find out how should I pack on muscle, and after years of searching, trial, and error, I finally cracked the code. In this all-inclusive article, I share whatever I’ve learned and actually worked for many skinny guys on their body-building journey. These are the exact tactics that most people with a great pack of muscle used to be in this place today. Some strategies helped them get out of the underweight zone and achieve their fitness goals. The following free guide is gonna get you started quickly on the right foot!
How Can Skinny guys Gain Weight and Muscle?
To answer this question, in the first place we should know why you can’t gain weight.
Skinny boys often think whatever they eat, they won’t gain weight. Because of their fast metabolism, they usually eat junk food all day without getting fat. Some people think skinny guys can’t gain weight as they don’t digest the food they eat, are stressed out, or “have worms”. Well, the truth is none of them are real reasons.
You can eat anything you want without gaining weight because you don’t eat as much as your body needs to accomplish your goal. You may say, hey but I eat A LOT! Although you think the food you eat is A LOT, honestly speaking, that’s not enough for gaining weight – otherwise, you wouldn’t be skinny.
You just need to track your daily caloric intake for proof. So, spend the next week logging everything you eat in a calorie-counting app, and you’ll see you’re not eating A LOT. This is the basic reason why you’re not gaining weight. Studies show that skinny guys usually overestimate how much they eat.
Another important thing, in the beginning, is to check if you have a high metabolism. Some skinny men have a harder time gaining weight as they have a more active lifestyle (hard gainers tend to fidget more). Others are just naturally skinny as they have smaller frames and physically aren’t born to be big and strong (ectomorphs).
But no matter if you are a hard gainer, ectomorph, or you have a high metabolism, bad genetics, and stuff. The only difference is that you’ll need to eat more food smarter than the average person to put on weight and get bigger. So, stop believing you can’t change your body and you’ll always be skinny because of your genetics. Science shows this is mostly a matter of nutrition! Eating more than you burn and constantly training will beat genetics!
How Can a Skinny Guy Gain Weight Fast?
There are three ingredients to go from skinny to muscular faster: nutrition, training, and consistency. In fact, if you take care of these three ingredients you can see results quickly. If you consistently eat 10-15% more calories a day, you’ll start to see results in the first few weeks. For most skinny guys that means eating an extra 250-400 calories a day.
You can simply get that by eating an extra 15-20 dried prunes every single day as a snack. Keep in mind that the key is to consistently eat more calories than you burn daily. Here are the most significant tips to gain weight quickly for skinny guys who are hard gainers or ectomorphs. Try to make them your habits and lifestyle to see quick changes in your body.
Important Tips To Gain Weight Fast!
- Eat More Calories Than Usual. It means your calorie intake should be more than your body burns. The amount of your intake calory depends on your body metabolism and activity levels.
- Increase the Number of Meals. This is a simple way to eat more calories. Small meals can be easier to eat than a BIG meal and they don’t make you feel stuffed. Wake up a little bit earlier, eat breakfast, and then eat 3-4 more meals a day.
- Eat Caloric Dense Foods. Caloric dense foods are high in carbs and fats that contain more calories per serving. Foods with high calories take less eating to create a caloric surplus. So, bulk on pasta, potatoes, cheese, meats, dried fruits, nuts, etc.
- Eat More Protein. Your body muscles highly rely on protein to recover from your workouts and grow bigger. So, just eat as much protein as you can. It means at least a whole source of protein with each meal – meat, chicken, fish, eggs, etc.
- Take Advantage of Liquids. Blended foods and liquids digest easier than solid foods. Today many social media help you make delicious weight gainer shakes. Use them or easily make one by mixing oats, milk, banana, peanut butter, and whey protein in your blender.
- Track Intake Calories. As I mentioned, skinny boys tend to overestimate how much they eat. Track your calorie intake to ensure you’re eating enough to accomplish your goal – weight gain.
- Lift Heavy Weight. If you’re skinny, you don’t need curls and flies. What you need is to do is free weight, compounds like Squats and Deadlifts instead. These exercises trigger more strength and muscle gains to gain weight.
- Be Consistent. Seriously, consistency is the key to obtaining every goal, including weight gain. Eat more on a caloric basis and be consistent to increase your body weight.
What Should Skinny Guys Eat To Gain Muscle? – Nutrition
Most of us have heard this sentence: “Muscle isn’t made in the gym but in the kitchen.” Well, that’s completely true! Stop wasting your time at the gym. Because a 30 min exercise, three times a week along with eating right is much better than 90 min exercise five days a week and not eating enough. If you don’t eat enough calories forget about getting bigger. So, as much important, as it is we are going through some details of what you should eat to gain weight and muscles.
Pay Attention To Calories Intake
You need to eat more foods and calories than your body burns for rapid weight gain. Let’s find out how many calories your body needs to get bigger.
Good calorie calculators usually suggest about 16kcal/lb of a person’s body weight to maintain their weight. As such, for the 135lb/60kg skinny man that’s about 2112kcal/day. This amount doesn’t need to be 100% accurate when you’re just looking for a starting point. Later you can adapt your food and calorie intake based on your progress.
Now start eating more – 10-15% extra calories a day which means adding 500 calories intake to gain weight. For the 60kg/135lb skinny man 2112 maintenance calories plus that 500 extra becomes about 2600kcal per day – always round this down to keep things simple. If you want to gain weight quickly and don’t care about getting some extra belly fat, you can add 1000kcal a day. However, it’s easier to start with an extra 500kcal/day so your body has time to adapt to eating more food.
Don’t forget it’s your daily average calorie intake at the end of the week and month that shows if you’ll gain weight. If you eat 3100kcal today but then just 1500kcal the next three days, you’re unlikely to go from skinny to muscular. You should consistently eat more food and hit your numbers every day.
It’s very normal to struggle to eat your calories daily for the first few weeks and you may have to push yourself to eat. But, your stomach will stretch and your body gets used to it as you eat more food. Within two weeks you’ll get more hungry and have an easier time eating your calories.
Don’t Underestimate Eating More Protein!
Oh, man! After challenging my diet with a good amount of protein every time, I understand its valuable effect on my body changes. Protein is necessary for muscle building and recovery. Only eat 0.82g of protein per pound of body weight per day to see rapid weight gain. That’s about 100g of protein a day for the 132lb/60kg skinny man. You should eat a whole source of protein with every meal to easily hit these numbers. Below are some of the best proteins sources for rapid weight gain:
- Round Steaks, lean beef, and red meat
- Chicken breast, chicken thighs, and white-meat poultry
- Seafood like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines
- Milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Whole eggs
- Beans, nuts, and seeds
- Tofu and tempeh
- Pork tenderloin
- Cereal bar, or energy bar
The macronutrient ratio of fats and carbs matters less than protein for gaining weight. Then, eating more calories than your body burns is what matters the most for a rapid weight gain. Hit your 0.82g of protein per lb of body weight a day to go from skinny to muscular. After that fill the rest up with carbs and fats to hit your calories.
Remember not to avoid carbs and/or fats because you’re afraid of gaining fat. This is a big mistake as carbs and fats have more calories than proteins. If you avoid these two important nutrients, you’re making the process harder and more expensive to gain weight. Most skinny guys can’t gain muscle and weight without gaining some fat anyway.
Increase The Number of Meals!
Let’s say you need 3500kcal/day to gain muscle and weight quickly. It’s much easier to have 5 meals of 700kcal than three meals of 1150kcal. Of course, your stomach at the beginning is small from eating like a bird for years.
A BIG meal force you to push yourself to finish your meal. Most of the time it makes you feel like throwing up. Who sticks to a plan that feels like this every day?! No one! So, increase the number of meals and easily eat small meals instead of big ones.
You can accomplish this goal and open your eating window by waking up early and having breakfast. Skinny guys often eat nothing or a little for breakfast, a bagel at noon, then a pizza for dinner. If this is you too, know that your eating window is open for less than 10 hours long. That’s exactly why you can’t gain weight – there are only two meals with near to zero calories before noon.
You need eight hours of sleep and that leaves you 16 hours to eat. It’s easier to spread your meals over 16 hours, so your stomach has a break in between and you don’t feel stuffed all the time. Just wake up early, eat breakfast, and have three to four more meals every day.
It’s difficult to eat for example 3500kcal/day if you only eat between noon and sleep time. You’ll need to eat five small meals every two hours. Therefore, Intermittent Fasting is a terrible idea for a skinny man who wants to gain weight. It shortens your eating window to eight hours a day and is a great strategy for shedding off some pounds. So, increase the number of meals to increase your body weight. Here’s a great example meal plan for rapid weight gain.
Best Meal Plan To Gain Weight
- Breakfast at 7-8 am – oats, raisins, yogurt, milk
- Snack at 10-11 am – mixed nuts, fruits like banana
- Lunch at 1-2 pm – chicken, pasta, parmesan
- Snack at 4-5 pm – dried fruits with yogurt
- Dinner at 7-8 pm – round steak or meat with potatoes
Use The Caloric Dense Foods Magic
If you want to gain weight quickly, you can easily rely on Caloric dense foods! Let them do the magic for you. Isn’t it great to eat less and reach your daily caloric surplus? Caloric dense foods precisely do this. It’s much faster and easier to gain weight if you eat foods that have more calories per serving.
Although vegetables are healthy, they don’t have many calories. 100g salad contains only 25kcal while 100g pasta contains 380kcal – 15x more. The best options for gaining weight are foods with high carbs and/or fats. Since vegetables are low in both, they’re great for losing weight not for getting bigger.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid eating veggies, but most of your diet should consist of caloric-dense foods. Here are some of the best caloric-dense foods to gain weight fast.
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, mixed nuts, trail mix, pecans, peanut butter, …
- Dried Fruits: raisins, dates, figs, peaches, prunes, apricots, …
- Full Fat Dairy: whole milk, full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, …
- Whole Grains: pasta, rice, oats, bread, sandwiches, …
- Carbs: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, …
- Fats: olive oil, coconut, avocado, …
- Meat: chicken, pork, beef, steak, fatty fish, salmons, or any other oily fish, …
How About Junk Food? Does Junk Food Lead To Weight Gain?
Since junk food is a kind of caloric-dense food, it’s tempting for gaining weight. As such McDonald’s, is cheap and high in sugars and fats. Same with kebabs, chips, cakes, cookies, cream, biscuits, fries, ice cream, chocolate, sugary drinks, cola, etc. However, eating too much junk food leads to bad eating habits that will get you fat in the long term, especially belly fat.
Yes, the food quantity definitely matters a lot for gaining weight, but food quality matters as well. You’re going to train your muscles with heavy lifting and convert all that food into extra muscle mass. Therefore, eating quality food is very important as it supplies your muscles with vitamins and minerals for muscle recovery. Quality food also maximizes strength and muscle gains.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn into a health freak who never eats junk food. I can not imagine my life without my favorite foods. Everybody can eat a cheat meal once in a while. However, it shouldn’t make up the bulk of your diet. I have a strategy to control that – 90% quality food, 10% junk. That beer, cake, or ice cream should be a treat, not your everyday snack.
Take Advantage of Mass Gainer Shakes
Liquids and blended foods digest faster than solid food, so you don’t feel full as long and you can potentially eat more foods. The blending acts as pre-digestion by breaking down the ingredients for you. Drinking shakes make your gain weight journey much easier and more fun as you get some of your calories in liquid form.
Just step in by making your own mass gainer shakes. They are easy and fast to make (only take five minutes maybe) which is a much easier way to hit your calorie surplus day by day. Here’s a simple 1000-calorie mass gainer shake recipe for those who want to go from skinny to muscular.
- 100g Oats
- 1x Banana
- 1tbsp Peanut butter
- 300ml Whole Milk
- 2 scoops of Whey protein
Mix them all in your blender and get 1048 calories from 80g protein, 120g carbs, and 28g fats. You can drink a mass gainer shake for breakfast and you’re a third of the way to your everyday calorie surplus. So it’s that much easy to gain weight by eating two solid meals and some of these snacks during the day.
Forget about weight gainer supplements. They’re often filled with cheap sugars which will make you fat and fart. Use regular whey protein instead, and make your own weight gainer shake with oats and milk. This is cheaper and healthier as you get vitamins, minerals, and fiber instead of fake sugar.
If you’re lazy or you don’t have enough time, then just drink milk. One liter of whole milk contains 600kcal and 33g of protein. Milk is a good option since it’s tasty, portable, and requires no preparation. Drinking a gallon of milk per day is extreme but it’s effective. I don’t recommend it, but if you have no time to make a shake for yourself then you should rely on it for gaining weight. Check the GOMAD guide to decide this.
Can Skinny Men Gain Muscle? – Training
Definitely YES!! Skinny men should beat their genetics and train smarter, but it doesn’t mean they can never gain big muscles. For the first few months of training at the gym, drinking protein shakes, and eating unusual foods, I saw no results.
I thought I can never get bigger and build muscles and I remain skinny. But, when I got a new point of view from a lot of searching and speaking o trainers, I finally did it! So, never think it’s impossible.
Your body’s ability for weight gain depends on your training, genetics, and how skinny you are. Every individual’s results will vary and thoughts are mixed on how fast we can build muscle. Some say you can expect to gain 1 pound (.5 kg) of muscle a week under optimal conditions. Although a man’s results have shown that 2 lbs (1kg) per month is more realistic. A study also revealed that strength training produced a 2.2 lb increase (1kg) of lean mass in eight weeks.
Heavy lifting triggers your body to make muscle mass. Lifting weights also increases your appetite and helps you eat more. Training is as much important as eating. If you don’t train your muscles by lifting weights, then all the excess food you’re eating will be stored in fat – especially belly fat. Keep in mind that you want to go from skinny to muscular, not chubby. So take your training time seriously.
The best way for building muscles is lifting. But, there are some basic rules of lifting for skinny guys. If you’re a hard gainer or ectomorph like I was, the following is the best way to lift that will increase your body weight naturally.
How Can a Skinny Guy Gain Muscles Fast?
- Free Weights. These are safer than machines because you must balance the weight yourself and control how the bar moves. Also, more effective than dumbbells as the weight is heavier.
- Do Compound Exercises. Squats, Deadlifts, Bench, Press, and Rows are exercises that work several muscles simultaneously. They can trigger maximum strength and muscle growth in your whole body. All of these big fives must be the bulk of your training routine.
- Progressive Overload. Always lift more weight than in the previous session. This strengthens your body and forces it to gain more muscle mass. You can’t build bigger muscles if you lift the same weight long-term.
- Proper Form. You have to work your muscles through a complete range of movements for proper muscle development. Half Squats give you half forms and the gains. Proper form prevents injuries as well. It helps you lift heavier and gain more strength and muscle mass.
- Rest. Your body and muscle groups need rest to recover from your training. Muscles can’t grow if you train them every day with a gazillion of workouts. Skinny guys just need three full-body workouts per week. Doing more won’t make you gain more muscles. Doing a bunch of things altogether makes it happen – including enough rest.
- Forget About Cardio. The more cardio you do in the gym, the more calories you burn. Thus, you have to eat more to create a caloric surplus. Cardio is not a good idea for skinny guys who wants to gain weight. Do the minimum HIIT to gain muscles.
After reading every muscle and fitness magazine I could find, take it from me: no one can gain weight by just drinking protein shakes and no muscles are made by exercising 3 times a week. There are many things you’ll need to consider that we explained every each of them. Pay attention to details like your calorie intake, type of training, what you eat, body metabolism, etc.
Applying all these important things together to your everyday routine actually leads to results very fast! Stop wasting your time by just eating more and try to understand how your body works.