Should skinny guys do full body workouts

Should Skinny Guys Do Full-Body Workouts?

It can be confusing trying to decide how exactly to train as a beginner. And a dilemma commonly faced by skinny guys is whether or not to do full-body workouts. That’s what this post will answer.

Skinny guys should do full-body workouts. It is the best way to prevent muscle imbalances that occur from neglecting the upper or lower body. Additionally, a well-planned full-body training split is an efficient and effective way for beginners to build muscle.

I use to be a skinny guy myself.

And I’ve made all the mistakes in the book (so to speak).

One of those mistakes was not starting with full-body workouts early enough, which led me to develop the dreaded chicken legs!

Keep reading to find out why I highly recommend all skinny guys do full-body training!

Full-body workouts helped me to build muscle as a skinny guy.

Why It’s Good For Skinny Guys To Do Full-Body Workouts

You can check out Fraser Wilson’s full-body dumbbell workout for skinny guys to get ripped!

Here’s what makes full-body workouts so good for skinny guys:

  • Balanced muscle development. Beginners often make the mistake of focusing on the upper body mirror muscles (chest, shoulders, abs, and back), all the while neglecting the lower body. This leads to muscle imbalances and the dreaded “chicken legs” physique. Not only does this look odd, but an underdeveloped lower body can also negatively impact your upper body strength and overall msucle gains (see next).
  • Ensures leg day is not skipped. Training your legs is especially important for a skinny guy. Why? Stronger legs create a more powerful base for your upper body lifts like the bench press to push from. And this can help you to lift more weight on the upper body exercises and build more muscle. Additionally, research has linked heavy leg days with an increased anabolic hormone response. These hormones, like testosterone and growth hormone, promote muscle growth!
  • Prevents overtraining. There is such a thing as too many sets per workout. This 2018 study concluded that training beyond 5 sets per muscle per workout does not confer additional muscle growth benefits due to the law of diminishing returns. These so-called “wasted sets” not only waste your time but could also impair muscle recovery. And this could have negative consequences for muscle gains. Targeting your whole body in each workout helps to prevent you from overworking a single muscle group.
  • Quick and effective. Full-body training splits (the number of workout and rest days per week) usually have you training enough to promote full-body muscle gains, but not so much that you spend insane amounts of time in the gym. Full0body workouts are fast and efficient. And this is often appealing to skinny beginners.

If you’re interested, you can check out my tips for skinny guys to get ripped!

Can Skinny Guys Build Muscle From Full-Body Workouts?

It is completely possible for skinny guys to build muscle from full-body workouts. This type of program is one of the most efficient ways for a beginner to quickly build muscle across the whole body. Highly noticeable muscle gains can be achieved through full-body workouts.

How to do a full-body workout for skinny guys.

It is recommended to reach a certain training volume (the total number of sets, reps, and weight given to each muscle per week) to promote muscle growth.

Without going into too much detail, you should be aiming to work each muscle with 10-15 total weekly sets to build muscle.

But it’s also important to factor enough time for your muscles to recover between workouts.

The effectiveness of full-body workouts lies in the way it distributes your weekly training volume.

A typical full-body training split has you working out 3 days per week with at least 24 hours of rest in between each workout.

Not only is this frequency enough to reach your allotted number of weekly sets to build muscle, but it also gives your body enough time to rest and rebuild.

Put simply- full-body workouts are a safe and efficient way for skinny guys to train and build muscle.

Just remember to lift heavy and apply progressive overload (increase weight over time) for maximum benefits.

If you’ve just begun your msucle transformation journey, you may also be interested in my other post to find out if it is it harder or easier for skinny guys to build muscle!

How Skinny Guys Can Do A Full-Body Workout

Below, you can see an example of a 3-day full-body workout split for skinny guys to build muscle.

ExerciseRepsSetsWeightRest Between Sets
Squats5485% 1RM3 mins
Flat bench press5485% 1RM3 mins
Barbell row5485% 1RM3 mins
Shoulder press5485% 1RM3 mins


ExerciseRepsSetsWeightRest Between Sets
Barbell deadlift5485% 1RM3 mins
Incline bench press5485% 1RM3 mins
Reverse dumbbell fly5485% 1RM3 mins
Shoulder press5485% 1RM3 mins


ExerciseRepsSetsWeightRest Between Sets
Squat5485% 1RM3 mins
Dumbbell chest fly5485% 1RM3 mins
Barbell row5485% 1RM3 mins
Shoulder press5485% 1RM3 mins

You can see that each muscle in the body is being trained with:

  • 12 total sets per week.
  • At least 24 hours of rest between workouts.
  • Heavy weight loads.

Combined, this is a great recipe for optimal muscle gains as a skinny beginner.

Additionally, the exercise choice is predominantly focused on the 5 big compound movements; bench press, overhead press, row, squat, and deadlift.

These 5 movements alone are sufficient to work every muscle in your body (including abs and arms).

All of the aforementioned exercises can be performed with barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.

Each movement can even be adapted to bodyweight variations!

For a complete guide, you can check out my home workout plan for skinny guys to build muscle fast.

How Often To Do Full-Body Workouts

Skinny guys should start with 3 full-body workouts per week. A 3-day training week provides a good balance between work and rest days, making it a great training split for building muscle. This can increase to 4-days as the individual becomes stronger and fitter.

3-day full-body split for skinny guys.

If you’re working at a high enough intensity (i.e. you’re lifting heavy enough weights), then trust me, 3-days a week is more than enough to drive muscle gains

In fact, you may even wish you had more time to recover!

The important thing is to allow your muscles the time they need to recover for the next workout.

Your muscles may still be sore on your next workout, but they should not be in pain.

Once you get stronger and your fitness improves, you may even increase to 4x full-body workouts per week.

Alternatively, you can check out my other post on how often skinny guys should workout, for a 6-day training split for intermediate skinny guys to try!

Equipment For A Skinny Guy To Work The Whole Body At Home

If you’re looking to do full-body workouts at are, then bodyweight circuits are a great place to start as a skinny guy (you don’t need a gym to build muscle!).

Home equipment for beginners to do full-body workouts.

But after a while, it’s a good idea to add free weights to increase exercise intensity.

This allows you to achieve your maximum msucle gain potential.

If you’re interested, here’s the equipment I uI’veenoughtand recommend:


I’ve explained why skinny guys should do full-body workouts.

Not only is it the best type of program for balanced muscle development, but full-body training splits are both effective as well as efficient.

Full body workout programs are a great way for skinny beginners to start working out!

What does your full-body program look like?

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,


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

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