I am Skinny and want to Gain Weight

I am Skinny and Want to Gain weight. What Do I Do?

I don’t have access to weights, but I’m looking to gain muscle.

Michael Medvig


People who want to lose weight don’t understand how painful it can be to be skinny and want to gain weight.

This was a question I answered on Quora.

It hits home for me because I started out as a weak skinny kid. 6′0 and 140 pounds.

Did I mention I had asthma and basically stayed inside and watched TV all day? (Video games weren’t around back then. I know, I am old.)

I really want to help, so let me give you some golden rules to follow.

These are the rules I used to gain over 100 pounds of muscle. It took me a long time to do it and I made almost every mistake in the world…but I did it.

And you can too. Just be patient and work smart.


The skinny person trying to gain weight has a two-fold problem.

  1. Adding muscle.
  2. Keeping the muscle.

This is how I gained muscle and kept it. 

The Golden Rules of weight Gain.

  • Eat as much as possible. You probably have a crazy high metabolism and if your body isn’t getting enough calories in, your body won’t have enough energy to create muscle.
  • Eat as much protein as possible. Muscles need protein to rebuild. If you can’t get access to a lot of protein (meat, fish, eggs, protein powder, protein bars, nuts etc..) take some branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s).
  • This is a project that is going to take time. Be patient. Work to keep every pound you gain.
  • Sleep as much as you can.
  • Cut out the cardio. Save your energy for building muscle.
  • Most supplements will be a waste of time and money for you. The ones to look at are actually the cheapest. Look at creatine, BCAA’s and protein powder.
  • 100 reps of anything will not build muscle. If you are using bodyweight exercises, try and make the exercise hard to keep the reps between 5–15. Anything more and you are building musclular endurance not size. The only exception to that is legs. Legs will respond to both high rep and low rep training.
  • Forget about a six pack. Getting ripped and getting bigger are two separate things. Focus on one at a time. Trying to do both at once means you will get half-assed results. (pardon my language)
  • Concentrate on the big muscle groups like legs, back and chest. Work those hard and everything else will fall in line.
  • Playgrounds are actually great places to work out. Generally you can find some bars to do pull-ups, dips and upside down rows. Combine that with some squats, lunges and planks and you have a great workout.
  • Try working out 45 minutes 3 days a week and see what happens. The biggest mistake I see with skinny people is that it is very easy to overtrain.
  • Take time between sets. Don’t rush and concentrate on form.
  • Get to the gym whenever you can.

Advanced tip.

There are always heavy things lying around a yard or house. I regularly use a log, rocks and a Home Depot Buckets filled with sand and rocks. Learning how to pick up and carry stuff around the yard will build muscle and tremendous functional strength. Just make sure your technique is tight.

Caution: Blatant plug for my online training coming up.

If you are interested, I do offer online training. Click here for details.