Muscle Growth Workouts – A Training Guide for the Skinny Guy

Muscle growth workouts are an important part of anyone’s journey from skinny to muscle and the body building industry knows this. There is an enormous amount of products, services and information on just this part of building muscles with gyms, weight machine manufacturers, magazines and others all bustling and competing with each other to earn some bucks; your bucks to be precise!

Now in between all this marketing and selling are some great information and services as a good gym of set of weights are vital but a lot of lost in the noise as these different companies all compete for your attention by bringing out NEW products, NEW workouts guaranteed to get your ripped, NEW services that are essential to your development! … and most of these are a bunch of crap designed to have something new to talk about when muscle growth workouts are not that complex. However because of all the noise many people are confused, especially skinny guys who may jump from one workout routine to another constantly changing on new advice when they do not feel they are seeing results. This is a real shame because changing like that hurts your muscle building as well as your motivation when you feel nothing works.

This article covers the basics of a skinny to muscle workout. For a more complete guide click here for what I used to gain muscle fast.

So what does work?

Well firstly It has to be clear that muscle growth workouts are NOT the only thing you need to focus on when bulking up. A gaining muscle diet is something that needs to be carefully monitored and a good rest and recovery schedule should be adhered to as well or your workouts will be for nothing! In fact when you look at it how long do you actually spend working out compared to everything else? Not that much and if you know what you are doing you can actually increase your workout effectiveness and efficiency building MORE muscle but spending LESS time doing it!

Now that we haves stated this lets look at workouts and exercises, the concepts behind them and what you should be doing as a skinny guy looking to pack on weight FAST.

How Should I Workout?

This is a commonly asked question when you start going to the gym and you see so many weights, so many machines and so many guys with bodies you want yours to look like strutting around all doing different things. The thing is that most of these guys might be genetically disposed to building muscles easily and following them may not help a skinny hard gainer who needs to know how to get the most out of every gym session.

There are many misconceptions about the best way to work out. Many propose a schedule that works on one muscle group a day, others propose that you should lift to ‘fail’ where you cannot do any more and give out under the strain and others still may point you to muscle isolation exercise machines. All of these ways of workout may produce some results but are ultimately flawed in their approach.

A quick guide on how muscles work is that when you lift heavy weights you stress your muscles and push them to their limits, this in turn actually creates small tears in the muscle from the extreme pressure that need to be healed. When you rest and have enough energy and nutrients the body heals over these injuries like scar tissue leaving more behind; this scar tissue is actually more muscle! Now this sounds simple right? Lift weights, create tears, heal, build muscle, look awesome. Therefore it may seem logical to build muscle fast, you simply need to create more tears equaling more repairs which equals stronger and bigger muscles; the body however does not follow such a linear progression. There is a limit to how much you can push your muscles and there is a limit to how much your body can actually heal meaning too much working out and too much weight training does not actually help.

Simply put, do not over train because you only need to lift to the point you have activated the muscles you want then stop. Build that muscle then come back, increase your weights and push them again.

OK, How SPECIFICALLY Should I Workout

Ok, the last section was very general but without that knowledge everything else may seem odd or flawed. These are some more specific tips on working out to fast all over muscle growth:

  • Do not do isolation exercises – concentrate on multiple muscle group exercises. So instead of doing bicep curls (pointless!) concentrate on something that might work your back and biceps and chest all in one. Free weights are better in this regard compared to machines but machines with cables may also provide good muscle growth workouts as they are not as restrictive as machines that have fixed points that concentrate all exercise on only one or two muscles groups. This is bad for your overall muscle growth and it also is not good for your natural range of motion meaning you can actually hurt yourself on these things.
  • There is no need in training to fail – As has been stated once you activate your muscles you spark the muscle growth and when you get to that stage with that muscle group doing more until you end up sore and exhausted may make you feel like you have done more but in actual results it produces very minimal extra muscle.
  • Lift heavier weights less often – This is where we get to efficiency. As you now know sparking muscle growth is the aim and to do this you should not be lifting a weight 50 times, if you are doing this you are testing your endurance not your strength which is what bigger muscles are all about. If you lift to the limit if your ability with 10 reps then you are at a good level. If you feel an 11th rep would be too much then you have probably reached that limit without going to the fail point. You will also find this saves you TIME as well as getting bigger muscles, a good trade off with the variable that changes these factors being effort.

Is that all?

Oh heck no! You also need to be consistent in your workouts, not changing in a panic if you do not see immediate results, research and find a good set of exercises to go through, set a timetable of how many times a week you will work out and stick to it! Consistency, intensity and belief in your abilities are the foundations of your muscle growth journey and should be adhered too.

You also need to track what you are doing, once doing 10 reps of a certain weight is no longer pushing you to your limit you need to add work weight, in fact you need to make sure you are ALWAYS steadily increasing the weights you lift so that you know you are getting stronger and then you will see you are getting bigger and filling out more and more. Take a sheet of paper in fact and write down your muscle growth workouts and next to each write the week, the number of reps and sets and the weight then aim to beat that each week. You will be amazed at the results that will be staring back at you from the mirror after just a few weeks in fact.


James McLain here, owner of skinnytomuscle.net

jamesmclainI know building muscle is hard work when you are a skinny hardgainer and continually punishing yourself at the gym for no gains is demoralizing to say the least. If this resonates with your experience I highly recommend what i refer to as the complete bible for skinny guys to gain muscle –  the No-Nonsense Muscle Building guide by Vince Delmonte.

Vince was once a hard gainer. A skinny runt who thought he could never gain the physique he craved but found out the secrets of skinny bodybuilding and went from 149 pounds to 190 pounds of rock solid muscle in less than 6 months!

Now a professional model and fitness coach respected worldwide Vince Delmonte has released a fully downloadable guide on how you can get the body you want without supplements or steroids. Vince’s guide has everything you need, from detailed muscle growth workout plans to exactly what you need to eat and when along with all the science behind every aspect of skinny to muscle growth. This is your best chance at going from skinny to muscle fast without wasting money on useless supplements and time with ineffective workout strategies.

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  1. Rick
    September 18th, 2011 at 04:01 | #1

    How do i know if i have sparked the muscle?

  2. September 20th, 2011 at 10:54 | #2

    @Rick
    Hey Rick,
    Sometimes it is nothing that you can feel. Some people have the view that if you feel the burn in your muscles you hade sparked muscle growth but this is not true. The real test is if you know at the end of your set you have pushed yourself to the extreme and you cannot lift anymore within about 12 reps max. This is testing the power and strength of your muscles not your endurance. Stressing the muscle strength and power wise is what sparks muscle growth so it is all about how you approach the gym and how you do your weight lifting. If you get sore the next day eat more protein also and it will help the pain and grow your muscles.

  3. Ryan
    October 21st, 2011 at 15:36 | #3

    Hi James I am lifting heavy weights and doing the 8-10 rep range I also eat lots and take creatine and protien I weigh 10 stone and have done since I started. I look ripped when I take my top off but just want to get more size any suggestions?

  4. October 23rd, 2011 at 02:24 | #4

    @Ryan
    Hi Ryan,
    It could be a number of things stopping you gaining weight. You might not be eating enough if you have a fast metabolism. If you are not getting enough calories your body does not have the energy to grow.
    It migth be a case of overtraining also which can happen when we go gung ho trying to build muscle without giving the muscle time to rest and repair.
    The last issue I sometimes see is simply a lack of intensity when you workout which ir probably not your problem – but it always pays to look at how much you are lifting. At 8-12 are you REALLY pushing yourself to the absolute limite before you fail the lift?
    I would check your food intake because all those supplements will not be as good as a proper bodybuilding diet.

  5. Callum
    April 7th, 2012 at 21:28 | #5

    How many sets of about 10 reps do you recommend for each workout?

  6. April 10th, 2012 at 10:11 | #6

    @Callum
    Hey man,

    Try 3 sets for each exercise/muscle group. In an hour session you can hit most of the major muscle groups and a few of the minor ones. Just mix up each session a bit to make sure you are working all your body in the week, if not each session.