I’ve seen it dozens of times, the skinny guys in the gym busting their butts for months on end, only to see little to no progress in the way of adding size to their frame. Being that I was once that skinny guy, I can shed some light into some ways to pack on some mass to those with a smaller frame.

The program I’m about to give you does not follow traditional bodybuilding rules, as far as rep and set schemes are concerned. The primary reason being, a smaller frame needs different stimuli to create an environment suitable for muscle growth.

Forget any preconceived notions you may about performing 3 sets of 8-12 reps and performing a hundred different variations of exercises for the same muscle group. Instead, this program will utilize big compound movements as a  base to build overall mass, and some very basic, but very effective assistance exercises to build specific areas.

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Again, deviating from traditional bodybuilding program roots, the effectiveness of this program stems from a higher frequency plan. Typically, normal bodybuilding programs call for a great amount of volume (higher number of reps per set) to stimulate growth by chasing the so called “pump.” Theoretically, this type of training does elicit growth by filling the muscle with nutrient rich blood, in turn expanding the muscle fiber. This type of training also stimulates the release of growth hormone, which we know contributes to lean muscle gain.

However, our primary goal is to combine these effects of higher rep training with the powerful effects of low rep strength training. Training in the lower rep range is the foundation for us skinny guys to gain size, while also having profound contributions to muscle growth itself. Low rep training increases production of testosterone, major player in the ability to grow muscle.

best bodybuilding workout

The bodybuilding program will follow a 4 day split

consisting of two upper body days and two lower body days. Any cardio should be limited, as this will put a huge dent into your gains.

Day 1 Day 2
Upper Body Lower Body

Bench Press

R: 3-5

BB Squat

R: 3-5
S: 5 S: 5

BB Bent Over Row

R: 6

DB RDL

R: 12-15
S: 4 S: 3

Standing Military Press

R: 6

Deadlift

R: 6
S: 4 S: 4

Lat Pull Down

R: 8-10

Reverse Lunge

R: 6/Leg
S: 4 S: 4

Dips

R: 8-10

Leg Press

R: 8-10
S: 4 S: 4

Single Arm Row

R: 6/Arm

Laying Hamstring Curl

R: 12-15
S: 4 S: 3

Reverse Fly

R: 12-15

Standing Calf Raise

R: 12-15
S: 3 S: 3

Chin-Up

R: 8-10

Leg Extension

R: 12-15
S: 4 S: 3

To maximize your efforts, having a schedule laid out is essential. This keeps you motivated and adds a level of accountability to not skip these workouts. Also, keeping a workout log can make a huge difference in your long term success with this program. Write down every possible detail about each workout, including weights used, how you felt that day, how you slept the night before, etc.

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