Should Skinny Guys Go To The Gym And Work Out? What To Know If You Want to Improve Your Physique!

Should skinny guys go to the gym?

Deciding whether to join the gym is a big moment for any skinny guy. On one hand, you may be frustrated with your bony physique. On the other hand, you might also be intimidated by the gym or it may simply be financially unsuitable. Below, I’ll explain if skinny guys should go to the gym and work out.

Skinny guys should go to the gym if they want to bulk up. A gym provides all the heavy weight training equipment required to build muscle. However, similar workouts can also be replicated by buying gym equipment and training in a home gym.

Thus, you should work out at a gym or home.

The choice is yours.

But the most important thing is to start working out.

Keep reading to find out why!

I went to the gym to build muscle as a skinny guy.

Why Skinny Guys Should Go To The Gym And Workout

Skinny people can go to the gym to gain lean muscle weight. This requires heavy resistance training combined with a good diet that is high in calories and protein. Other benefits of going to the gym include; increased muscle size, strength, endurance, confidence, and overall athletic performance.

Reasons why skinny guys should workout.

Here are the benefits of going to the gym as a skinny guy:

1) Gain healthy weight.

Being chronically underweight is a relentless frustration for many skinny guys. There’s only one way to gain healthy weight (that’s muscle not fat by the way!). And that’s to lift heavy weights and eat enough food! The gym can help you facilitate the former.

2) Boost confidence and mood.

Low self-esteem was another persistent problem I faced as a skinny guy. Gymming has long been associated with improved mood and confidence. And trust me, there’s nothing that’ll help boost your confidence more than breaking a personal deadlift record!

3) Build muscle size.

Gaining muscle requires you to lift heavy. Around 75-90% of your 1-rep max (the maximum weight you can lift for a single rep in any given exercise) to be precise. And going to the gym will be the easiest way to do this for a skinny beginner who doesn’t have home equipment.

4) Increase muscle strength.

I was extremely insecure about my lack of strength as a skinny guy. Building strength requires you to lift progressively heavier loads. Again, going to the gym where all the equipment is readily available is the easiest way to do this!

5) Boost muscular endurance.

This may not be at top of most skinny guys’ agendas but it’s still a nice bonus. Even if you’re training for muscle size and strength gains you’ll likely improve your endurance too. This can help in daily activities as well as sporting performance.

6) Introduce routine and discipline into your life.

I found this to be the most underrated and surprising benefit of going to the gym as a skinny guy.

The gym provides order and structure in a life that’s otherwise filled with self-doubt, insecurity, and low e self-esteem! It turned into my safe place. The place I could go to make gains and work towards transforming my skinny physique. And I think it can do the same for you!

7) Improve athletic performance.

This comes as a result of the previous 6 reasons. Your athletic and functional performance should increase.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring footballer or simply don’t want your daily chores pummeling you to the ground; going to the gym can help you become stronger and fitter. And the benefits of this should transcend into every skinny guy’s life.

Quick disclaimer: you won’t see gains by simply joining the gym (as supported by 30% of this Quora thread)

You also need to follow an effective program!

If you’re interested, you can check out my other post for my best workout and nutrition tips to stop being skinny!

Skinny beginners often find it overwhelming to take the first steps in gaining weight. One reason is that they don’t have a timeframe for results. You can check out my other post to find out how long it takes for a skinny guy to become muscular!

How Skinny People Can Start Working Out At The Gym

Skinny guys can start working out with bodyweight exercises. This can progress onto weight machines and then free weights. As a general rule, beginners are recommended to start with light loads and progress onto heavier loads when their strength permits.

Complete Beginners Guide: How to Start The Gym For The FIRST Time
Check out TJ’s guide on how to start the gym!

Here’s a basic development program for skinny guys to start working out at the gym:

  1. Begin with bodyweight exercises. In my opinion, calisthenics movements like squats, push-ups, and pull-ups are extremely effective (albeit a bit boring) for a skinny guy to start building a base level of muscle and strength. The best thing is you don’t even need a gym for this. You can start at home and build your confidence at the same time!
  1. Progress onto weight machines. These allow you to isolate specific muscles with heavier loads. They’re also great for skinny beginners to practice their form on the main muscle-building free weight lifts. I’m talking about the bench press, shoulder press, row, squat, and deadlift!
  1. Move onto dumbbells. These are one of the best ways to start dipping your toes into free weights. And free weights are ESSENTIAL for any skinny guy looking to build serious muscle. Dumbbells range from diddly 5-pounders to gargantuan 100-pounders. Start light and work your way up!
  1. Start lifting barbells when ready. Most skinny guys should develop enough strength and confidence to move onto barbells after a few months of lifting dumbbells. Heavy barbell training is my best recommendation for skinny guys to bulk up fast. They allow you to lift heavy and add weight effortlessly. Both are essential for getting jacked quickly!

If you’re a beginner looking to learn how to start working out, you may be interested in my Skinny Guy’s introduction to the gym!

How Often Skinny Guys Should Go To The Gym And Work Out

Skinny guys should begin going to the gym 3 times a week. Completing a full-body workout in each session means each major muscle group is trained. It is not recommended to go to the gym every day because this is likely to result in overtraining.

It’s tempting to spend more time at the gym as a beginner looking to maximize muscle gains.

I know this feeling too well…

However, speaking from experience, you should avoid this rookie mistake.

Working out too often denies your muscles the rest they need to recover.

As a result, overtraining can be counterproductive to muscle and strength gains.

You should instead choose a good training split (how many training and rest days each muscle gets per week).

How often skinny guys should work out 3-day full-body split example.

The 3-day full-body split is one of the simplest and most effective splits for a skinny guy who’s just starting the gym. It goes something like this:

  • Mon- full-body.
  • Tue- full-body.
  • Wed- full-body.
How often skinny guys should work out 6-day muscle group split example.

Once you build a good level of strength, you could even try a 6-day muscle group split which goes something like this:

  • Mon- chest and shoulders.
  • Tue-back and arms.
  • Wed- legs and abs.
  • Thur- chest and shoulders.
  • Fri-back and arms.
  • Sat- legs and abs.

Both are effective training splits; they hit each muscle multiple times during the week and still allow them at least 24 hours of rest between sessions.

The muscle group split would be more appropriate for intermediates and aspiring bodybuilders, whilst the full-body split is better for beginners.

If you’re unsure how long each session should last for, you can check out my other post on how long skinny guys should workout!

What Skinny Guys Can Do If They’re Embarrassed To Go Gym

Gym embarrassment is a normal phenomenon, particularly in skinny beginners. People are intimidated by the gym for reasons including; body image issues, lack of workout experience, and fear of using the equipment incorrectly. This can be solved by hiring a personal trainer or training at home.

Getting help form a PT is the most obvious way for a skinny person to dip their toes into the gym.

But trainers themselves cal also be intimidating!

And they cost a lot too…

Well, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need a gym to gain muscle.

Home workouts are a very popular way to go. After all, you save a lot of time and money by training n at home rather than going to the gym!

You can begin with bodyweight workouts.

And when the time comes to up the intensity, affordable weights from reputable companies can be purchased on Amazon.

I use the PowerBlock Elite adjustable dumbbells. They aren’t the cheapest dumbbells on the market.

But having tried cheap ones too, I can say the Powerblocks are worth every bit extra.

They’re heavy enough to last a beginner for years, extremely durable, and feature up to 28 increments (with the addon kit) for you to effortlessly select using the pin selector.

Use a bench with dumbbells to build chest muscle

The PowerBlocks go well with the Flybird adjustable weight bench.

This is a cost-effective way to bench press at home.

It can also be folded and stowed away after a workout!

If you’re looking for a full workout program, you can check out my home workout for skinny guys to build muscle!

Can All Skinny Guys Bulk Up By Going Gym?

Most skinny guys can bulk up without difficulty. Beginners can gain muscle at a faster rate than normal due to the newbie gains period of rapid muscle growth. However, a skinny person needs to follow an effective training and nutrition plan to gain muscle.

It’s not uncommon for skinny guys to find it hard to build muscle.

But speaking from experience and research, it’s rare that a skinny person CAN NOT bulk up.

Some unfortunate individuals truly cannot build muscle for whatever reason…

However, for the majority of us skinny people, it mostly comes down to training and eating incorrectly.

Once you’ve nailed these two aspects, chances are you’ll start bulking up quite quickly!

For more information on what to realistically expect from your bulking journey, you can check out my other post on what skinny guys can achieve in 2 months.


I personally feel skinny guys should go to the gym and work out.

Speaking from experience (as a skinny guy who dug himself out of the trenches), the gym is a great place to transform your body and reap the functional benefits that come with a skinny to muscular transformation.

However, the gym isn’t suitable for everyone.

Some skinny people are embarrassed to frequent their local gym and this is normal.

If this sounds like you, then you can also work out at home!

But the best thing a skinny guy can do is to start working out, regardless of where you train!

Will you be hitting the gym as a skinny guy?

Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions! You can find my details on the “contact us” page.

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 printable worksheets) I used to go from skinny to ripped!

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,


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


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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