Bodybuilding Diet 6 MIN READ 18922 VIEWS June 15, 2022

Here’s How You Go from Being Skinny to Muscular

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Highlights of a Skinny to Muscular Diet
Highlights of Skinny to Muscular Workout Plan
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Eyeing Slim Muscular Build

Blame it on genetics but it’s hard for skinny people to build muscles. But it’s not impossible! The right kind of foods, scheduled workout sessions and giving your body ample time to recover post workouts is a proven way to get from skinny to muscular. Read through to know about a skinny to muscular diet and workout plan.

Highlights of a Skinny to Muscular Diet

Your diet plays an important role in your endeavour to get that slim muscular build. Your diet for turning skinny to muscular must include:

1. Eat Six to Eight Meals a Day

Skinny people need more calories to bulk up. A 6-8 meal per day diet plan helps you consume more total calories over the day. With more meals per day, you have the chance to add variety and diversity to your diet.

2. Consume 500-1000 Extra Calories Per Day

In your endeavour to go from skinny to muscular, eating 500-1000 extra calories per day will ensure you get the nutrition to add weight and build muscles. Experts suggest that if you are young and have an overly active metabolism, a minimum of 3500 calories daily will be required to add weight and build muscles. But make sure you include healthy foods instead of just taking in extra calories. 

3. Make Your Meals High in Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are used up in the body as energy. The metabolic activities convert these carbohydrates into energy and unused glucose from carbs is stored in the muscles and liver. On average, around 50% of the body’s daily calories must be obtained from healthy, easily digested, high-quality carbs like oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, potatoes, fresh fruits like bananas, mangoes, avocados, and peaches, and lots of vegetables like brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Remember, your carbs must give you ample fibre and nutrients. So, skip processed foods and refined grains.

4. Pack Proteins in Every Alternate Meal

Proteins are ideal for long-lasting energy and are necessary for muscle building and repair. Source your proteins from nutritious protein sources and make sure you get all amino acids by eating complete proteins. Every alternate meal in a day must be rich in proteins. At least 25% of your daily calories must come from proteins. As a rule of thumb, 2-3 grams of proteins per kilo of body weight will be required to get a slim muscular build. For this, you can include lean meat, tofu, nuts, soy, beans, dairy, hemp seeds, etc. You can also drink your proteins. This is a great way to increase calories and proteins. Drinking proteins before workouts and bedtime improves muscle strengthening and repair.

5. Add Healthy Fats

Monounsaturated fats are important for the body. Adequate intake of monounsaturated fats like olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, or coconut oil help release hormones that are crucial for building muscles. One can also eat foods that are naturally rich in healthy fats like avocados, salmon, sardines, and trout. Try to get up to 25% of your daily calories from monounsaturated fat. But remember to skip unhealthy fats like saturated and trans-fats as they can damage the body to a great extent.

6. Get Your Snack Time Right

To complete your workout sessions without feeling drained out midway, a pre-workout snack proves helpful. Before you head to the gym, make sure you have sufficient fast-digesting carbohydrates and proteins to give you instant and adequate energy. And if you plan to work out for more than an hour, another small snack in between workouts will provide the energy to get going.

Equally important is to re-fuel the body after each workout session. A healthy snack high in carbohydrates and proteins after a workout proves helpful. Aim at 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. While proteins will help in muscle repair post-workout, the carbohydrates give instant glucose and make up for lost energy. Do not consume fats post-workout as they hinder the absorption of carbohydrates. Also, in the journey from skinny to muscular, healthy snacking both pre and post-workout will help you add the extra calories to your diet.

7. Don’t Forget the Liquid Calories 

Liquid calories are easier to gulp down and also add to the fluid intake. Dehydrated muscles are more prone to cramps and contraction. Go in for full-fat milk as the base of smoothies and shakes. This will add calories and nutrition.

8. Pick Calorie-Dense Foods

It is very important for a skinny to muscular diet to not go for low-calorie dense foods. As these foods will provide volume but remain low on calories and macronutrients, a high calorie-dense diet is what must be preferred. 

Highlights of Skinny to Muscular Workout Plan

The skinny to muscular workout plan must include full-body workouts that help build muscles. The exercises that must be included in the skinny to muscular workout plan are:

1. Barbell Deadlift 

The Barbell Deadlift is an important exercise to improve the functional strength of lower body muscles. The hamstrings, glutes, back, hips, core, and trapezius are the major muscle groups that are trained by deadlifts. Remember to increase the weight with each set for enhanced performance.

2. Walking Lunges 

Walking lunges are important for leg muscles, especially for quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abdominal and hip muscles. Doing it with added weight by using dumbbells can increase workout intensity. Do at least 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per leg.

3. T- Pushup 

An important workout for the upper body muscles primarily the pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulder), and triceps (arms). They are also helpful in strengthening the core. Do at least 3 sets of 12 repetitions of T- pushups in every workout session. 

4. Standing Barbell Press 

The Standing Barbell Press is a comprehensive exercise that involves the muscle groups of both the upper and lower body. Do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions of Standing Barbell Press in every workout session.

5. Close-Grip Chin-Ups 

As compared to wide-grip chin-ups, the close grip variation uses the mechanical power of front and back muscles. This makes the exercise a little easier. Do 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. If required, use a machine or band for assistance. 

6. Renegade Row 

Although a difficult exercise to master but a perfect one to be a part of the skinny to muscular workout plan. In a full-body workout, Renegade Row activates the obliques (core muscles), rhomboids (back muscles), and the triceps (arm muscles). Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions per side.

7. Hanging Leg Raises 

This exercise works wonders on the abdominal and hip flexor muscles. When added to the skinny to muscular workout plan, it helps strengthen the core, spine, and overall mobility. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions each for best results. 

8. Swiss Ball Pass 

A great way to activate the core and glutes, this exercise helps you to flex and stabilise your abdominal muscles. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions each.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Eyeing Slim Muscular Build

Going from skinny to muscular is an arduous job. It requires consistent effort, failing which results become far-fetched. The most common mistakes that hold you back from accomplishing your fitness goal are:

  1. Not Eating Enough – The amount of intake is important when it comes to growing big. Not eating enough does not provide the required energy to fuel strenuous workouts. 
  2. Not Eating Right – Just like the quantity of intake, the quality and kind of intake is also important. Eating the right kind of food is crucial.
  3. Setting Unreasonable Targets – Building muscles isn’t a matter of days. A natural, healthy weight gain and muscle toning will require both time and effort. So, set realistic targets.
  4. Not Having a Pre-Set Plan – Your skinny to muscular journey will take you nowhere if you start without a solid plan.  
  5. Not Doing Enough – To stimulate muscle growth, you’ll need a tough, strenuous workout. Not working out progressively will not yield results.
  6. Including Cardio – No doubt cardio workouts are extremely beneficial for the body. But they are counterproductive for weight gain. So, it’s better to slow down on cardio exercises when trying for a slim muscular build.
  7. Not Following the Process – If you are too skinny, the ideal way should be to add a few kilos naturally before you start gym training. Starting too early will only increase injuries and delay results.
  8. Not Being Consistent – A day of work out here and there will not yield results. Being consistent in your eating pattern and workout routine is important to gaining muscle mass.
  9. Not Resting Well – Sleeping well is the key part of the skinny to muscular journey. Sleeping helps the body repair and recover post workouts. Without prioritising sleep, the muscles will become sore, leading to irreversible damage.


A skinny to muscular diet and workout plan must work in tandem to produce results. So, eat well, consume extra calories, work out well, and do not compromise on rest. Start by maintaining a log about what you eat and strength train strategically. Remember, going from skinny to muscular is hard work and perseverance. 

One response to “Here’s How You Go from Being Skinny to Muscular”

  1. This article really helped me get a solid understanding of what I need to start my skinny to muscular journey! Thank you.

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