The Skinny Guy’s Muscle Building Plan – How to build muscle fast


Note: If you want a step-by-step proven workout plan for packing on slabs of muscle, I highly recommend checking out Terry Asher’s Muscle Gaining Secrets book.  It’s hands down the best system for skinny guys to put on muscle. You should also check out the best supplements for building muscle.

With that out of the way…I’ve been getting a bunch of emails lately with guys always asking me how can skinny guys build muscle.

Well, here’s a no B.S. program to get you on the right path.  It really comes down to three things.  Lift.  Eat.  Recover.


Lifting to build muscle

I highly recommend checking out Terry Asher’s Muscle Building Book
As usual here at GymJunkies, we’re going to focus on compound movements using barbells (Pull Ups and Dips being the exceptions to the rule).  We’re going to combine the 5×5 strength building protocol with a mid-range weight and rep format to promote hypertrophy (that means getting those muscles big!).

We’re also going to use the super set (doing two different exercises in a row without rest in between) to keep the workouts short and get you out of the gym in 30 minutes or less.

Muscle building workout plans

Phase 1
Workout A:    Deadlift 5 reps x 5 sets.
Superset Shoulder Press with High Pulls 8 reps x 4 sets.

Workout B:    Squat 5 reps x 5 sets.
Superset Bench Press with Pull Ups 8 reps x 4 sets.

You should stick with the same weight and try to finish all of the sets with that weight.  So if you are bench pressing 150 lbs for 5 reps x 5 sets, you should use 150 lbs for all 5 sets.  If you make it through that, the next time in the gym you should try 153 or 155 for 5×5.

You should always be trying to break your personal record from the last time in the gym.  If you lift the same weight for 8 weeks straight, the muscle WILL NOT GROW.  You gotta increase the weight if you want to increase the muscle size.

Phase 2
Workout A:    Deadlift 5 reps x 5 sets.
Power Clean 8 reps x 3 sets.

Workout B:    Shoulder Press 5 reps x 5 sets.
Superset Bent Over Rows with Bench Press 8 reps x 4 sets.

Workout C:    Squat 5 reps x 5 sets.
Lunge 8 reps (each leg) x 3 sets.

Workout D:    Pull Ups 5 reps x 5 sets.
Superset Dips with High Pull 8 reps x 4 sets.

For Phase 2 you will train 4 days per week, training two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off.  As an example, you may do

  • Monday – Workout A
  • Tuesday – Workout B
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Workout C
  • Friday – Workout D
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – Rest

Muscle Building Diet

Nutritionist John Berardi says “Gaining weight is like going to war, and your weapon of choice is a fork”  I totally agree with him.

In the most basic sense, eat more than you’re eating now.  A lot more.  In a more specific sense, where I commonly recommend a carbohydrate restriction for weight loss, I recommend eating carbohydrates with each meal for muscle building.  When trying to put on muscle you should be eating anywhere from 3000-5000 calories per day depending on your current weight.  Building muscle is 80% diet and 20% lifting.  Your diet is that important.

But that’s not license to go crazy with Krispy Kreme and crapolla.  Oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pastas and breads, and potatoes should be included in every meal.  But that’s not at the sacrifice of your protein source: you should be eating a good protein source with each meal.  Ideally about 6 oz. per meal.  Unless of course you’re of the vegetarian persuasion, then no problem. . . tofu will work, as will beans and rice.

And to keep your vitamin and mineral content on point, eat at least one serving of fruits or vegetables with each meal.  Nuts are another fine addition as they are calorically dense and nutrient packed. You can also check out the best supplements for building muscle for even more gains.

Also, bring on the dairy!  I’m typically not a big fan of dairy (is there another animal besides humans that drinks the milk of another animal?).  But if you’ve been afflicted with Skinny-Man Syndrome your whole life, slurping down the cow juice will go a long way in adding the calories you need to pack on slabs of muscle.

Drinking 1/2 gallon – 1 gallon of whole milk per day is a good idea if you’re super skinny.  It’ll add an additional 1200-2600 calories to your day.  Super skinny guys can put on 10-15 lbs in a month by doing this.

Get protein right after your workout

An important thing to remember is you need to make sure you are eating breakfast every day and also getting a lot of protein in right after your workout.  Most guys that are skinny, have problems getting enough protein, so 20 oz+ of chocolate milk right after a workout will help.  You can also eat protein after your workout, but chocolate milk is just much easier to deal with.

Strive to eat 3 meals per day with 3 snacks, with about three hours between meals.  A sample meal plan follows.  When in doubt, just friggin’ eat!

Meal plans for gaining weight and building muscle

6:00am    4 eggs scrambled.  Serving of homefried potatoes with green pepper and onion.  Cup of oatmeal with mixed berries.

9:00am    8 oz glass whole milk.  Large handful of walnuts.  Fruit cup of melon and pineapple.

12:00pm    Stir-fried chicken and broccoli with a large serving of brown rice.

3:00pm    Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard. 1 apple with natural peanut butter.

6:00pm    Grilled steak with tomatoes, peppers, and onions wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with cheddar cheese and black beans.  Side salad of raw spinach.

9:00pm    8 oz. glass whole milk.  1 banana.  Large handful of raw almonds.

The hardest thing about getting bigger is eating enough food.  To make it easier, I suggest cooking your meals ahead of time so they’re always ready.  You can cook on Sunday and have meals that will last until Thursday.  Things like burgers, chicken, pork, eggs, mashed potatoes, chili, and veggies can all be prepared ahead of time.

Recap – what you should be eating

Protein – Eggs, chicken, pork, steak, burgers, tofu, almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, chili, beans

Carbohydrates – Potatoes (mashed or baked), whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, rice (w/beans)

Vegetables and Fruits – Bananas, oranges, apples, strawberries, green beans, lentils, broccoli, cauliflower

Dairy – Whole milk, plain yogurt with fresh berries

Proper recovery is crucial for muscle building

In today’s fast-paced world, recovery can often be the most difficult component to get in place.  Do the following and your body will have the opportunity to process all of the lifting and eating into the muscles you desire.

  • Sleep: Do your damnedest to get in 8 hours per day.  A quick 20 minute nap in the afternoon is also great if you can squeeze it in.
  • No more circuits:  I love high intensity “Oh, shit I’m gonna puke” circuit training.  But it will be counterproductive if you’re trying to pack on the muscle.  You have to be stingy with your calories: save ‘em for the heavy lifting and revisit the circuits when you’re ready to get lean.
  • Take Off Days Off:  Pay the neighborhood kid to cut the grass.  Forget about off-day “cardio” nonsense.  And unless your mortgage depends on it, avoid sport specific training if you can.  Again, we’re being stingy with the calories and providing the body time and energy to recover from the intense lifting sessions.
  • Relax!!!:  Meditate.  Read a book.  Pet the dog.   Or find a hobby that doesn’t involve jacking your heart rate.  Whatever you do, make time for activities that help you de-stress.

I’m trying to get bigger but it’s not working

If you’re following the plan above and you’re not seeing results, there are a few reasons for it.

1. You’re not eating enough

This is plain and simple.  If you’re following the plan above and you’re not gaining weight, then you’re not eating enough.  Even if you think you’re eating a lot, you’re obviously not because you’re not gaining any weight!

My tips for making sure you always have food around to eat are as follows…

  • Prepare meals in advance – You can prepare meals ahead of time for the next 3-4 days.  You might think “this sucks I dont want to eat the same thing”….well TOUGH!  What you’re doing right now obviously isn’t working, so it’s time to try something new.  When trying to build muscle food should be seen as fuel, not a delicious meal.
  • Keep your cupboards full – If you don’t have food to cook you’ll end up eating something that’s not going to help you build muscle.  Keep food around at all times.
  • Slurp the milk down – Seriously, if you’re not drinking 1/2 gallon – 1 gallon of whole milk per day, then get on it.  Buy 2-3 gallons in advance, and drink them throughout the week.

2. You’re not pushing yourself hard enough when you workout

When you workout, you should be grunting out the last few reps of every set.  That’s how intense each set should be.  If you’re doing shoulder presses and you float through each set without a “tough rep” then you need to add more weight to the bar.

If you find it hard to push yourself like many people do, find a workout partner who is motivated like you that will help push you during a workout.

Your biggest muscle gains come in the last few reps you crank out when you think you can’t do anymore.

Want more info?

If you liked this article, and would like to build muscle ASAP,  I HIGHLY suggest checking out Terry Asher’s Muscle Gaining Secrets.  He lays out everything for you when it comes to meal plans and workouts and goes more indpeth than we can in an article like this.Bottom line…he knows his shit and he’ll get you building muscle right away.  Check it out now!

Train Hard!
- Vic

Gym Junkies

I’m Terry I’m here to help you achieve the body you want. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want, with the proper guidance. Through my eBook I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My goals are to continue to help people all around the world and change people’s life for the better.

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  • avatar

    Hello. I’m 5’10 and 140 lbs, and recently decided to get bigger. I get a significant portion of my protein from whey powder as I’ve heard only good things about it. But you recommend milk instead. Doesn’t this come packed with a load of simple sugars (lactose)? I have a bit of a beer gut and fear simple sugars will only add to it. Instead I consume protein smoothies before/after workouts with fruit and whey, and a base of coconut/almond milk. I’d like your opinion on that. Thanks!

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  • avatar

    I am vegan. Do you have a meal plan that would work for me. I’m 6’2″ tall and weigh 176lbs. I’m trying to gain at least 40 lbs. of muscle.

  • avatar

    Hey Todd,

    Yes we do have a meal plan that would work for you; Vegans can simply do tweaks to the muscle-building guide and still get great results.


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  • avatar

    Hi Terry when does phase one take place in a weekly structure ?? Or one day ???

  • avatar


    Good question… It’s really going to be contingent upon how new you are to the gym. Realistically if you’re very new I would suggest doing body weight exercises for a couple weeks. This way you will acclimate your body to return or start with a resistance program. For some good body weight workouts you can check out:

    Thanks for commenting let me know if you need anything else

    • avatar

      Sorry Terry I didn’t explain where I am at.
      I’ve been follower ing the beginner workout for 6 weeks and thanks to you I’ve lost half a stone and I im currently 3 weeks in on the strength training program which I’ve already seen massive gains cheers for that.
      I was just perplexed as to the day by day routine of phase one as your previous ones state how many weeksand which day too do it on.
      I get phase two 4 days a week 2 days one one day off I was just confused with phase one times which days or for one week?? Or is that all in one day then start phase two

    • avatar

      Hey Joel,

      Good question, I am really glad you are seeing results! So for phase one I would follow this format:

      Monday – Workout A
      Tuesday – Workout B
      Wednesday – Rest
      Thursday – Workout A
      Friday – Workout B
      Saturday – Rest
      Sunday – Rest

      Also, it’s important to note Joel that 5×5 are ideal for strength training. I would mix up doing this workout with 8-12 reps for more optimal muscle growth. This happens to be one of the old articles published by the old Author, however I agree with most of the stuff here just wanted to make you aware of the rep ranges.

      Let me know if you have any other questions

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  • avatar

    How long do I workout using phase 1 before going into to phase 2?

    • avatar

      I would recommend doing phase 1 for a couple of weeks, once it becomes too easy you will want to proceed to phase 2

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