6 month skinny to muscular transformation

6 Month Skinny To Muscular Transformation: How To Do It And Why It’s Possible (With Before And After Pictures)

Speaking as an ex-skinny guy myself, a complete body transformation is on the top of the agenda for many underweight individuals. This post shares my 6 month skinny to muscular transformation, how to do it, and why it’s possible for you to transform your own body!

A 6 month skinny to muscle transformation requires heavy weight training and dieting. A 3-day full body split combined with progressive overload and a bulking diet is sufficient for most beginners to build a considerable amount of muscle in half a year.

I’ll also share case studies from others who successfully achieved a 6-month body transformation.

Hopefully, this can inspire you to reach your own training goals!

How I transformed from skinny to muscular in 6 months and a realistic amount of muscle you can naturally build in half a year.

(before and after)

Recommended Home Gym For A Skinny-Muscular Transformation

Equipment I used to go from skinny to muscular at home.

If you’re interested, here’s the equipment I used as a skinny guy to transform my body!

Why A 6 Month Skinny To Muscular Transformation Is Possible

It is possible for a skinny person to transform their body in 6 months. Even the skinniest of beginners can realistically build around 10lbs of lean muscle in half a year. And this is a highly noticeable amount of growth.

6 Month Body Transformation from Skinny to Less Skinny

Check out Joe Fazer’s skinny-to-muscle transformation story (with before and after pics).

The online world is rife with false promises of body transformations.

These are often overexaggerated and completely unrealistic.

For example- “gain 10lbs of muscle in [crazy short period of time]!

So is 6 months long enough for a skinny body transformation? Is it possible?

Speaking from experience, my answer is a resounding “Yes!“.

My before and after 6 month (half year) skinny to muscle transformation.

I managed to achieve this skinny to muscular transformation in a 6-month bulk (before and after).

It’s well known that muscle growth does not occur overnight. Many cycles of training-rest-recovery are required for hypertrophy (muscle growth).

And this can take many months- even years- to happen.

I’ve got good news for you though:

Half a year (6 months) is more than enough time for a skinny person to build an impressive amount of muscle.

A successful 6-month body transformation relies on following a good:

  • Resistance training program.
  • Bulking diet.

Now you may be wondering how to succeed in a 6-month skinny body transformation, how difficult it is, and how much muscle you can expect to gain.

I’ll reveal this later.

First, let me share my own skinny to ripped transformation story so you know that I’m not bluffing!

My 6 Month Skinny To Muscular Transformation Story

I’m a 5’6″ male of Asian descent (damn my Asian genes!).

Although my body shape is classically mesomorphic, I was also your typical skinny hardgainer for all of my teen years and most of my twenties.

I performed countless biceps curls at home.

I’d tried dozens of different protein powders.

Yet I had no results to show for it.

The lack of muscle gains was extremely frustrating, to say the least, mainly because I knew it was better to be muscular than skinny!

I used to be a skinny hardgainer who could not build muscle.

I was a skinny guy weighing a measly 130lbs for most of my life!

It wasn’t until I started researching properly that I realized just how unstructured my “bulking program” actually was.

This is in retrospect why I failed in my skinny to muscle transformation.

So I kept reading and learning everything that I could about bodybuilding, increasing strength, and best hypertrophy practices.

I took on an initial bodyweight program which was effective. I was building muscle and gaining strength.

This quickly adapted into a dumbbell and band workout program. And the extra resistance provided by the dumbbells (go here for the home dumbbell workout) and bands (go here for the band workout) really helped my gains explode.

Combined with a dirty bulk diet, I gained 10lbs within a few months!

I started doing bodyweight, dumbbell, and resistance band workouts at home to build muscle as a skinny guy.

My calisthenics program quickly turned into a dumbbell and band workout which helped transform my skinny body!

I continued to dirty bulk (I’ll reveal how I did this later) but transitioned into barbell training at the gym.

Again, this helped my muscle gains further explode.

Within half a year, I had achieved a 6 month skinny to muscular transformation!

Barbell training helped me to gain muscle and strength fast.

Barbell training helped me complete my 6-month skinny to muscle body transformation!

My personal body transformation saw me:

  • Gaining 20lbs of total body weight in 6 months (~50/50 split between fat/muscle).
  • Develop a pronounced V-taper upper body.
  • Grow bigger arms.
  • Increase chest definition.
  • Build thicker leg muscles.
  • Broaden my back.
  • Get considerably stronger and fitter.

You can check out my other article if you’re interested in my 2-3 month skinny to muscular transformation!

6 Month Skinny To Muscular Transformation Stories From Reddit

Don’t just take my word for it.

Many other skinny guys have also transformed their bodies in half a year.

Reddit case studies show it is possible to achieve a skinny to muscular transformation in just 6 months.

Credits go to the OP’s linked below! (Left-right; Urbut, As2488, Borgiee).

Here are examples from other skinny guys on Reddit who achieved a 6-month body transformation:

  • Urbut – a typically skinny guy who built a more ripped physique with defined pecs, shoulders, and arms, and a wider v-shape body.
  • As2488 – went from skinny to muscular and thick. Gained a much broader upper body with bigger arms, a more voluptuous chest, and even 6-pack abs.
  • Borgiee – transformed from skinny fat to a more shredded body with greater definition in the arms, chest, and abs. He achieved an overall more athletic and fit physique.

You can follow each link to see the respective story behind each transformation.

6-Steps To Achieve A 6 Month Skinny To Muscular Transformation

I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons since my body transformation experience.

Here is exactly how I would do a 6-month skinny to muscular body transformation if I had to do it all over again:

1) Prioritize Compound Exercises In Your Workout Plan.

6 Compound Lifts to Gain Mass for Skinny Guys

Skinny guys can compound lift effectively and conveniently at home using heavy adjustable dumbbells like the PowerBlocks to build muscle.

Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups in a single movement. The 5 big lifts are your classic examples:

Compound LiftTarget Muscle Groups
Bench pressChest and arms.
Overhead shoulder pressShoulders and arms.
Barbell back rowBack and arms.
SquatLegs.
DeadliftFull-body

These are arguably the 5 best muscle-building exercises you can do as a skinny guy.

Each movement works their respective muscle group as well as the core (which is why skinny guys don’t need to train abs if they’re doing enough compound lifts).

The majority of your exercises (I’d say around 90%) should be compound movements.

Additionally, prioritize doing compound lifts first and then do isolation movements like bicep curls as finishers during a workout.

That way you can expend the most energy on your biggest muscle-building exercises.

Result?

Faster overall muscle growth, greater strength gains, and better results for your 6-month skinny to muscular transformation!

2) Begin With 3x Full-Body Workouts Per Week.

Example 3-day workout split for skinny people to transform their body.

This style of training is also called a “3-day full-body split”.

Here, you work the whole body three times per week with at least 24-48 hours of rest between each workout.

You can follow the timetable above as an example.

In my experience, this is one of the more effective workout splits for skinny guys.

Why?

You can lift with maximal intensity (weight) on each workout and still give your body the time it needs to fully recover for the next session.

Remember:

Heavy lifting and sufficient rest are essential for muscle growth.

And I recommend this training split for any skinny guy looking to achieve their own 6-month muscular transformation!


You can go to my other post for a complete 3-day workout plan for skinny guys to get muscular in 6 months!

3) Lift Heavy And Progressive Overload.

How to progressive overload at home to gain muscle fast.

Heavy adjustable dumbbells like the PowerBlocks allow you to progressive overload at home.

Other than a good diet and compound exercises, lifting heavy is probably THE other essential for skinny guys looking to transform their bodies.

Any weight over 80% of your 1-rep max (1RM) on a given lift is considered to be “heavy”.

You can find your estimated 1RMs at Strength Level.

But lifting heavy weights won’t be enough for a 6-month skinny to muscular transformation.

You also need to apply progressive overload.

This keeps your muscles adapting and growing as you become stronger.

I found the most effective (and funniest) way to overload is to simply add more weight over time.

Aim to increase the weight on all of your lifts at least once per week.

This will help explode your strength development.

And since muscular size and strength are correlated, you should get bigger and stronger real quick!

4) Identify Bulking Calories And Reach Daily Caloric Targets.

A bulk is essential for any skinny person looking to gain muscle and strength.

Bulking simply refers to the practice of eating more calories than your body burns.

The surplus calories are then directed to fuel the hypertrophy process. Without these extra calories, you won’t get bigger or stronger no matter how hard you train!

Skinny guys can go on two types of bulk which differ in the surplus consumed and the overall results:

Bulk VariationSurplus CaloriesResult
Lean Bulk5 to 15%Moderate muscle gains and low fat gains
Dirty BulkOver 20%High muscle gains and high fat gains

You can find your maintenance calories at the TDEE calculator and then add 5-20% accordingly.

For example, a skinny dude who burns 2200 maintenance calories per day would need to eat 2400 calories every day to go on a lean bulk (10% surplus).

Now you’ve identified your daily caloric target, you need to make sure you hit those targets. Here are some tips to do so:

  • Calorie count by recording the calories consumed every day.
  • Identify calorie content in each meal.
  • Meal prep for easy calorie counting.

This is a pain in the ass to start with.

But it’s well worth the effort; learning to calorie count can help ensure you succeed in your 6-month skinny to muscular transformation.

5) Include High-Protein Foods In Your Bulk Diet.

High protein foods for skinny guys to bulk up fast and build muscle.

High protein foods contain over 10g of protein per 100g of foodstuff.

Protein serves as the building block for muscles. So you better make sure you eat enough of it if you’re trying to transform a skinny body in 6 months!

The foods listed above have some of the highest protein concentrations out there. A good protein powder like the MyProtein Impact Whey (link for the cheapest price) can be a particularly convenient way to up your intake.

Protein powders can help skinny people bulk up fast and get buff.

How much protein should skinny guys eat to build muscle?

Exact recommendations vary, but it’s generally accepted to be in the region of 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day for optimal hypertrophy.

Not eating enough protein is one of the most common reasons skinny guys struggle to build muscle.

But the converse is also true.

If you can meet your daily protein requirements, you should quickly increase strength, gain muscle size, and bulk up

6) Track Your Weight Gain Journey.

How to track a bulk as a skinny guy.

In almost all instances, a skinny to muscle transformation will result in weight gain.

You can’t pack muscle onto a skinny frame without getting heavier right?

That’s why it can be extremely helpful to keep track of your weight gain as you bulk up, get stronger, and build muscle.

The last thing you want to happen in your half-year transformation is to find out you’ve not gained any weight at month 5.

All the work done would have been in vain!

Tracking your weight allows you to troubleshoot your transformation journey before it’s too late.

Here are some tips to track your bulking journey:

  • Aim to get heavier by at least 2lbs per month.
  • Take weekly photos under the same lighting and angles.
  • Use body fat calipers to make sure you arne’t putting on too much fat on a bulk. You can get a cheap one like this Lightstuff caliper from Amazon.

Result?

Skinny guys can increase the chances of successfully gaining weight through muscle gains rather than fat gains!

How Much A Skinny Person Can Bulk Up In 6 Months

Beginners usually increase their body weight by up to 20lbs or more in a 6-month bulk. How big an individual gets is largely determined by their diet. A larger calorie surplus results in a faster rate of weight gain.

Dirty vs lean bulk differences for skinny beginners.

Two skinny guys can have 2 very different transformations depending on their bulking diet.

My take-home message to you is this:

How much you bulk up really depends on how many calories you consume.

It’s generally accepted that 3500 surplus calories leads to 1lb of body weight gained.

So theoretically, there’s no limit as to how much a skinny person can bulk up. The more calories you eat the bigger you’ll get.

There is, however, a limit on how much food a skinny guy can consume every day.

Here are some tips for skinny people to eat more calories without getting overly bloated:

  1. Space calories over 4+ daily meals. More meals mean more opportunities to hit your calorie target.
  2. Include liquid calories. Shakes and smoothies are easier to consume than proper meals.
  3. Identify calorie-dense foods. Sugary and fatty foods contain lots of calories for not much foodstuff.
  4. Eat a pre-and post-workout meal. This is when your body’s metabolism is at its highest.

With all this being said, I would say most beginners can gain up to 20lbs of total body weight in 6 months.

Just be aware that not all 20lbs of that will be from muscle. A lot of it will be from fat.

How Muscular A Skinny Person Can Get In 6 Months

Skinny beginners can typically gain around 12lbs/6kg of pure muscle mass in 6 months. This is based on the maximum muscle growth potential of 2lbs/1kg per month for untrained individuals.

How to get muscular at home for skinny guys.

Having access to heavy weights can help you reach your true muscle potential at home. I use the PowerBlock dumbbells (link for the cheapest price) with Flybird adjustable bench (link for the cheapest price).

Gaining total body weight is not the same as gaining lean muscle weight.

As I explained previously, there’s no theoretical limit as to how much total body weight you can gain in total.

But there is a limit on how much muscle you can gain. This is also called your natural muscular potential.

This is around 2lbs of muscle per month as an untrained beginner (it’s usually easier for skinny guys to build muscle due to the newbie gains period).

So that’s 12lbs of pure muscle gains in 6 months for the average skinny to muscular transformation.

Here are some tips to realize your true muscle gain potential:

  • Make sure you eat enough protein.
  • Consume enough calories.
  • Lift heavy and progressive overload.
  • Get sufficient rest.

You may have noticed these are all covered in the previous sections above!


You can check out my other article for more tips on how to transform from skinny to buff!

Estimated Timeframe To Transform From Skinny To Muscular

It usually takes up to 12 months to truly go from skinny to muscular. That’s because msucle growth is inherently a slow process. A longer timeframe allows for a more muscular physique to be built.

Here’s an estimated timeline for how long it takes to go from skinny to muscular, buff, ripped, fit, or whatever else you want to call it!

MonthEstimated Results
1-2Noticeable strength gains but very few visual improvements at this stage.
3-4First signs of improved muscular definition in the upper body.
5-6Visually noticeable broadening of the upper body “V-shape” muscles.
7-8Significantly bigger and thicker arms with increased bicep circumference.
9-10Thicker and more powerful leg muscles in the lower body.
11-12Complete “skinny-to-muscular transformation” by most people’s standards.

These are just rough estimates based on personal experience and research.

True timeframes will vary depending on lots of factors including:

  • Training program.
  • Diet plan.
  • Discipline.
  • Genetics.
  • Gender.

You can check out my other post for more details on how many months it takes to go from skinny to buff and muscular!

FAQ

Does it take 6 months to build muscle?

It does not take 6 months to build muscle. Muscular growth can be achieved in a much shorter timeframe. But it can often take up to half a year to see significantly noticeable physique changes.

Can I get six-pack abs in 6 months?

Naturally skinny people can often get six-pack abs in 6 months. An effective training and diet plan is essential for this because the six-pack definition requires a degree of abdominal musculature combined with low body fat.

Recommended Products Recap

Conclusion

I’ve shared my personal 6 month skinny to muscular transformation story and case studies from others.

I’ve also explained how you can transform your own body.

Whilst you probably won’t build yourself a bodybuilder-like physique in half a year, 6 months is still enough time to build an impressive amount of muscle.

You can follow the tips in my 6-step transformation guide to increase your chances of success!

How do you plan to build muscle and gain strength in the next half year?

Let me know in the comments!

You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,

Kal

(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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