My 2 Month Skinny To Muscle Transformation (+ how I did it)

2 month skinny to muscle transformation

Skinny people looking to get in shape often wonder what they can achieve within a certain timeframe. This post shares what I accomplished in my 2-month skinny-to-muscle transformation.

2 months is enough time for skinny people to make a minor transformation. Typical results include visibly larger muscles, strength gains, and increased muscular definition. However, this would not be considered to be a full transformation by most people’s standards.

I’ll also reveal how I trained and ate to achieve the results shown!

I was a skinny guy who gained muscle size and definition from a 2 month transformation.
I made small increases in muscle size, gained definition, and got stronger in 2 months. But I was by no means “jacked”.

Key Takeaways

  • 2 months is enough time to make a small transformation, gain some muscle, make noticeable improvements to your physique, and get in shape.
  • But don’t expect to become jacked like a bodybuilder.
  • Lift heavy weights and combine this with a bulking diet for the best results.

How Skinny I Was Before The Transformation

What I looked like before the 2 month transformation.
Here’s me as a skinny (and skinny-fat) guy before my transformation!

I’ll begin with my own skinny guy transformation story. This gives you an idea of exactly what you can realistically achieve in your own journey.

I’ve been your stereotypical “hardgainer” for all my teens and early twenties.

I thought it was impossible to gain weight no matter what I ate or how I trained (or so I thought). The needle on the scale just would not budge. And I just couldn’t build muscle.

How skinny was I before the transformation?

A 5’6″ male weighing 130lbs with scrawny limbs and, in some places, visible bones. At one point, I was also what most people would typically call “skinny-fat” (due to bad eating habits and ineffective training).

Not a physique to brag about is it?…

Needless to say- this was an extremely frustrating period for me.

What I Looked Like After The Transformation

What I looked like after the 2 month transformation.
Here’s me after my 2-month transformation.

I noticed the following changes after 8 weeks of embarking on my journey to get in shape:

  • Leaner body and less skinny-fat. The “love handles” around my waist had reduced and visible six-pack abs were becoming more noticeable.
  • Noticeably larger muscles. I was by no means jacked-big but I definitely had more defined musculature. This helped my physique look better in the mirror.
  • Visible improvements in arm and chest muscles. My arms were filling out my shirt sleeves a bit better and defined pec lines were beginning to appear. A prominent V-shape was also starting to appear.
  • Increased muscle tone. I noticed that my muscles were tenser even at rest. And I had a noticeable “swole” feeling even on days when I was not working out (a good thing!).
  • Strength gains. I felt considerably stronger after 8 weeks of consistent training. My numbers had improved by ~45lbs (20kg) on all the big compound lifts.
  • Boosted confidence. I felt great as a result of the above improvements.

My Workout Routine To Gain Muscle In 2 Months

I started my transformation with a home bodyweight routine that was simple, free to do, and did not require weights.

This program was effective for building muscle and increasing strength. However, I eventually found bodyweight workout to be quite boring. And it was difficult to overload weight to drive continued muscle gains.

That’s when I moved onto a home dumbbell program (see below).

Full-Body Workout To Build Muscle & Strength In 2 Months:

Workout to build muscle in 2 months.
  1. Goblet squat (3 sets x 12 reps).
  2. Flat dumbbell bench press (4 sets x 8 reps).
  3. Bent-over overhand dumbbell row (4 sets x 10 reps).
  4. Standing overhead dumbbell shoulder press (4 sets x 8 reps).
  5. Dumbbell deadlifts (3 sets x 12 reps).

Program Structure:

It’s a full-body workout that hits all of your major muscle groups. This means you can repeat the same workout 3 times a week with good results.

Speaking from experience, I found simple programs to be more effective than those that feature a gazillion different exercises (which are overkill).

Complete the exercises in the specified order. This gives similar muscle groups time to rest whilst you work on the other muscles.

Complete the allotted reps before taking a 1-2 minute rest to complete a set. Complete the allotted sets and then move on to the next exercise.

How Much Weight To Use:

One thing I’ve learned in my personal muscle transformation journey is that skinny guys need to lift heavy weights to get bigger and stronger.

Aim to use at least 70% of your 1-rep max (1RM) on all of your exercises. 1RM is the maximum weight you can lift on any given exercise. For example, 70% of a 50lb bench press would be 35lbs (50lbs x 0.7).

Play around and test different weights. The ideal weight should be challenging for 8-12 reps but still allow you to lift with good form.

How Long To Rest:

Rest for 1-2 minutes after each set before moving on to the next set. Include 24-48 hours of rest between training days to allow your body to recover for the next workout. This is essential for efficient muscle growth.

I recommend avoiding the common beginner’s mistake I made of thinking more training equals more growth. This is untrue (you can go to my other post to find out why beginners should not work out every day).

For the full program guide, you can go to the dumbbell home workout here.

My Diet Plan To Gain Muscle In 2 Months

Me on a bulking diet.
A proper bulking diet is essential to succeed in building muscle.

It is well established by scientific studies that a calorie surplus is required to build muscle. In other words, you need to consume more energy than you burn. This is commonly called a “bulk”.

And learning the proper art of bulking was instrumental to my 2 months skinny to muscle transformation.

Recommended Daily Calorie Intake

There are two types of bulks – lean (clean) and dirty.

Lean bulking requires you to go on a mild calorie surplus (typically 5-10% more than your maintenance calories).

Dirty bulking requires you to go on a more extreme surplus (typically 15-20% more than your maintenance calories).

Having tried both, I recommend skinny people to try a lean bulk first. Unlike dirty bulking, lean bulking allows you to gain muscle without putting on excessive fat.

Lean bulks are also easier for beginners since it requires you to eat less food on a daily basis (something skinny people often struggle with). And despite a milder surplus, lean bulking can still help you build noticeable muscle in 2 months.

For an in-depth guide to bulking, you can go to my home muscle-building program for skinny guys here.

Recommended Daily Protein Intake

Your muscles are made from protein. So eating enough of it is just as important as going on a calorie surplus.

I ate 1g of protein per lb of body weight per day (in line with general recommendations). Some sources (especially bodybuilders) recommend eating more than this.

But I found 1g per lb of bodyweight to be sufficient for muscle growth and struck a good balance with cost (protein is expensive!)

For example, a 140lb skinny guy would eat 140g of protein every day.

Example Of What I Ate Every Day

Typical meal plan on my 2 month tansformation.
A typical day of eating as a skinny guy on a bulk.

Here’s an overview to give you an idea of what a lean bulking diet for a skinny guy typically looks like during a 2-month muscle transformation.

The meals combined give you a total of 2490 calories and 140 grams of protein.

1) Breakfast- 29g protein / 490 cal):

  • 50g oats.
  • 100ml soy milk.
  • 1 scoop whey protein.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Medium banana.

2) Pre-workout lunch- 27g protein / 530 cal:

  • 100g pasta
  • 60g chicken.
  • 100g veg of choice.
  • 120g tomato sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

3) Post-workout lunch- 25g protein / 350 cal:

  • 100g egg noodle.
  • 50g shrimp.
  • 1 egg white.
  • Seasoning.

4) Dinner- 31g protein / 820 cal:

  • 100g rice.
  • 50g beef.
  • 50g kidney beans.
  • 100g fresh tomato.
  • Curry seasoning.

5) Post-dinner snack- 28g protein / 300 cal:

  • 100g cottage cheese.
  • 15g wheat crackers.
  • Seasoning.
  • 1 medium apple.

To learn how I prepped and cooked these dishes, you can find my full 140g protein meal plan here.

Training Tips For A Successful Muscle Transformation

Here are some additional workout tips for a skinny guy. These tips will help you to achieve the best 2-month muscle transformation possible:

1) Base Your Program Around Compound Movements

As you know by now, 2 months isn’t a very long time to transform your body. So you should focus on big compound movements that work multiple muscle groups in a single motion.

Classic examples include; bench presses, shoulder presses, rows, squats, and deadlifts.

Isolation-type movements like bicep curls will do very little to help a skinny guy gain overall muscle mass.

2) Lift Heavy Weights With Good Form

Heavy lifting gives your muscles the largest hypertrophy (growth) stimulus. It’s essential for any skinny person looking to get bigger and stronger.

Aim to lift at least 70% of your 1RM.

Also, remember that good lifting form is equally important for maximal muscle activation. This means you should avoid lifting so heavy that your form breaks down.

You can check out my other post for a full guide on the ideal weight for skinny people to lift.

3) Overload When You Can

Overloading simply means increasing exercise intensity as your muscles get stronger. This keeps you growing and ensures you build the most amount of muscle in 2 months.

The easiest way to overload is to simply lift progressively heavier weights.

Aim to overload whenever you feel physically capable. Add 5% weight to upper body exercises and 10% to lower body movements.

4) Lift With A Full Range Of Motion

Studies show that lifting with a full range of motion (ROM) leads to the greatest muscle activation and hypertrophy stimulus. This means you should use a full ROM to gain the full benefits from your workouts.

An example of lifting with a full ROM is to make sure the barbell touches your chest before pressing it up during a bench press.

Half-reps won’t cut it if you want to maximize muscle gains during your 2 month transformation!

5) Work In The 8-12 Rep Range

This rep range gives you balanced gains in muscle strength and size. As a result, you should get considerably stronger and bigger by the end of your 2-month journey.

Working in lower rep ranges can also promote muscle growth. But lifting low reps puts emphasis primarily on strength gains.

In contrast, higher rep ranges are great for muscle growth too. But you may find it hard to overload when reps are too high.

6) Complete A Sufficient Training Volume

Training volume refers to the number of sets, reps, and weight lifted in a week. Reps and weight have already been discussed (see points 2 and 5).

So how many sets should you do for optimal muscle growth?

Aim to hit each major muscle group with 10-15 sets per muscle per week for best results. Exceeding this could lead to overtraining and this can negatively impact your muscle-gain results.

7) Do Not Exceed 5 Sets Per Muscle Per Workout

A 2018 study showed that exceeding 5 sets per muscle per workout does not confer added muscle growth benefits.

So save your time and effort for another workout!

This can help with energy levels and fatigue management, and as result, make your transformation more enjoyable overall.

8) Work Each Muscle Twice A Week Minimum

Higher training frequencies benefit muscle growth.

Aim to train each muscle group twice per week with at least 1 full day’s rest between workouts. For example, you could do 3 full-body workouts per week (mon, wed, and fri).

This will help you build the most muscle possible in 2 months.

9) Do Not Forget To Rest

Rest is essential for optimal muscle and strength gains. Remember, it’s only after a workout that your muscles grow.

General recommendations are to rest a muscle group for at least 24-48 hours before training it again. Avoid falling for the misconception that you need to train every single day for the fastest gains. You don’t…

Also, remember to get a sufficient amount of sleep to facilitate muscle repair after heavy workouts.

Diet Tips For A Successful Muscle Transformation

Here are some additional nutrition tips for a skinny guy. Combine these with the training tips above to achieve the best 2-month muscle transformation possible:

1) Do Not Neglect Carbs And Fats

Carbs and fats give you the energy to train hard. They also provide easy calories to fuel the muscle growth process.

Aim for around 2.5g of carbs per lb of body weight per day. Complex carbs are your best friend. But simple sugary carbs like sugars are also beneficial as a pre-workout.

Aim for around 0.4g of fats per lb of body weight per day. Healthy fats like those in oily fish and olive oil are ideal.

2) Lean Bulk To Avoid Excessive Fat Gains

As a skinny guy, you don’t want to come out of your 2-month muscle transformation…fat.

Lean bulking allows you to build muscle and strength with minimal fat gains. It’s ideal for skinny and skinny-fat people.

However, if you’re extremely skinny and don’t mind putting on a bit of fat, then a dirt bulk could also work.

Regardless of your chosen bulking method, aim to bulk for the entirety of your 2-month transformation journey. For more information, you can check out my post on the ideal bulking duration for skinny beginners.

3) Spread Daily Nutrition Targets Over 4+ Meals

Bulking can be difficult for skinny beginners who often have a low appetite.

I like to spread my meals over 4 or more meals.

This can help you take in your target calories and protein without feeling overly bloated from one particularly large meal.

4) Prioritize Calorie-Dense Foods

These are low-volume foods that have a high-calorie content; nuts, fatty meats, sugary fruits, chocolate, honey, etc.

They are ideal for skinny people to get easy calories.

Remember, you can be following the best workout program in the world. But without energy, your body just won’t build muscle.

As a skinny guy, you need to make sure you stick to your bulk to ensure maximum muscle gains from your 2-month transformation.

5) Create Liquid Calorie Meals

Liquid meals are another great way to meet your daily nutrition targets. These are basically shakes and smoothies that are high in calories and easy to consume.

I love to blend my oats with protein powder and fruits to create a delicious breakfast that I can quickly get down me in the morning.

You can check out my list of homemade mass-gainer shakes for more ideas.

6) Ensure Pre- And Post-Workout Meals Are Eaten

The two meals consumed before and after a workout are two of the most important meals for any skinny guy looking to build muscle.

A nutritious meal packed with calories and protein fuels your workout and facilitates muscle recovery.

If you’re not sure if your training and diet plan is working, you might be interested in my other post for the telltale signs of muscle growth!

Is It Possible To Get Big And Muscular In 2 Months?

Generally speaking, it is not possible to get “big” in just 2 months. Muscle growth is a slow process and it usually takes months or even years of dedicated bulking to get truly muscular. However, most people can get noticeably bigger by following an 8-week training and dieting program.

2 months is not enough time to get big.
A realistic timeline for skinny beginners from my own body transformation journey.

2 months is a relatively short timeframe for building muscle.

This makes it important to set realistic expectations. Doing so minimizes the likelihood of disappointment and maximizes the likelihood that you’ll continue your fitness journey.

The truth is you won’t be able to sculpt the physique of a bodybuilder or gain the strength of a powerlifter in a mere 8 weeks.

These types of transformations often require years of dedicated training.

In support of this- 92% of a Quora thread and 100% of a Reddit thread agree that whilst it’s impossible to get “Big” in just 2 months, it IS enough time to make noticeable improvements to your body.

Most people on Reddit and Quora agree it is impossible to get big and muscular in just 2 months.

So what can you expect to achieve in 2 months?

Speaking from experience, you can expect to build noticeably bigger and toned muscles as well as increase your functional strength. Just don’t expect to get jacked.

Skinny-fat guys can also lose a considerable amount of fat in just 2 months.

This all comes together to help you reveal muscle definition, make your muscles look bigger, and generally improve your body shape.

For a realistic timeline of results, you can go to my other post which explains how long it takes a skinny person to become muscular.

2 Month Muscle Gain Transformation Examples

So far, I’ve shared my own 2-month skinny-to-muscle transformation story.

Below, I’ll share examples from other people to give you a better idea of the kind of results you can expect to achieve in 8 weeks of good training and dieting.

Example 1: Private Pianist On Youtube


Results in 2 months:

  • Gained lean muscle mass.
  • More muscular-looking body.
  • Tone and athletic physique.
  • Fat loss and increased muscle definition.
  • Visible abs.

Example 2: Brett From Pinterest

Brett's 2 month muscle gain transformation.

Results in 2 months:

  • Muscle gain and fat loss for a ripped appearance.
  • Broader chest and shoulders.
  • Increased arm muscle definition.
  • Six-pack abs became more visible.
  • More prominent V-taper muscles.

You can find Brett’s story here.

How Much Muscle You Can Gain In 2 Months

A skinny beginner can realistically build just under 5 pounds (2.5kg) of lean muscle in 2 months. This is based on the maximum muscle gain rate of 2 pounds per month. The final results will be heavily influenced by training and diet discipline.

How much muscle you can put on in 2 months.

Now, you may be wondering where I got this figure from.

It’s based on the Lyle McDonald model of maximum muscle gain rates.

This is a widely accepted model which proposes the maximum amount of lean muscle mass that a beginner can put on is around 20-24lbs in a year. This equates to ~2lbs per month or ~4lbs in 2 months.

Bear in mind this rate is for untrained men who generally have a greater muscle-building potential compared to trained lifters (due to the Newbie gains phenomenon).

This is why skinny beginners often find it easier to build muscle.

Is It Possible To Gain More Than 5lbs In 2 Months?

It’s completely possible to gain a lot more than 5lbs in 2 months. And many people do.

However, anything over 5lbs of added weight is likely to be from excess fat rather than lean muscle.

Depending on how skinny you are, fat gains may not be a bad thing.

Speaking from personal experience- I was extremely frustrated at being skinny prior to my transformation. And any added weight (whether it be from fat or muscle) was welcomed.

Can You Get Ripped In 2 Months?

2 months is enough time for most people to get ripped. This type of physique requires a low body fat percentage to reveal underlying muscle definition. The average person can lose 10-20lbs of fat healthily in 2 months, which is usually sufficient to reveal muscle definition.

I got ripped in less than 2 months.
I was able to get ripped in less than 2 months.

The above photo is taken during my 6-month muscle transformation.

Here, I overbulked and as a result gained some excess fat. I subsequently went on a 2-month cut. And as you can see I was able to get significantly more ripped.

According to the USDA, it takes 3500 calories to burn 1lb of fat. So putting yourself in a daily 500-calorie deficit would see you lose 1lb of fat per week.

That’s 4lbs of fat loss in 1 month and 8lbs in 2 months.

In 2 months, I lost 10lbs of fat which:

  • Increased muscle definition.
  • Broadened my V-taper since I reduced fat from the lower torso.
  • Revealed my six-pack abs.
  • Developed muscle striation in the legs.
  • Got more ripped overall.

If you’re currently skinny, then it’s even easier to get ripped.

Your naturally low body fat levels mean you usually already have a high amount of muscle definition. This means any additional muscle you put on is easy to see. And this contributes to the ripped appearance.

Skinny-fat beginners who have not yet started their transformation journey may be interested in my other post to decide whether to bulk or cut first.


2 months is enough time for a skinny guy to make a minor muscle transformation.

Typically, results include slightly bigger muscles and increased muscular definition. You can refer to the example pics shared in this post for an idea of the visual results you can expect to achieve.

For best results- lift heavy, apply progressive overload, and go on a bulk.

If you’re looking to make a full transformation, you should allow yourself a longer timeframe (typically 6-12 months or more depending on how big you want to get).

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 (with printables) I used to go from skinny to ripped!


I'm Kal (B.S, M.S)- a health & fitness writer and owner of Kalibre Fitness. I love to nerd out on weight training and nutrition. My primary interests are in muscle hypertrophy mechanisms and strength development. You can connect with me in the "Contact Us" section below!

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