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The Skinny Guy’s Guide to Becoming Ripped

Your uber fast metabolism is a blessing because you can eat copious amounts of trash and never gain weight. But it can also be a curse because being skinny isn’t near as socially appealing as being shredded, and bulking up isn’t as simple as lifting everything in sight. It’s going to take some dedication.

Obviously, we don’t advise eating trash, clean calories are going to help you put on muscle mass and trash is just going to make you flabby – or take you back to square one depending on how speedy your metabolism is.

Sure, you’re not at risk of the dad bod or beer belly, but being skinny comes with challenges of its own. The following are suggestions for how to bulk up and increase muscularity, particularly as a naturally skinny guy.

1. Liquid calories.

Have a shake or smoothie in between every meal. In fact, you should always have a shake by your side. On your way to work? Bring your shake with you (or a blender to the break room). Got a barber appointment? Drink your calories in the chair. The only time you should be shake-less is 30 or so minutes before your workout because you don’t want to throw up those valuable calories. And you’ll probably want to invest in a variety of protein flavors because vanilla can get boring real quick. Also, change up the ingredients. Remember your health is an investment not an expense. At the end of this blog, you’ll see our section on bumping up your protein intake where we’ll give you shake recipes to go with each protein powder flavor (you’re welcome).

2. Surround yourself with “healthy” fats.

You’ll want to be strategic in the ingredients of your shake and overall diet. High calorie clean eating is ideal (and rich in protein but we’ll get to that). Calorie dense foods include dark chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, avocados, whole grain pasta, quinoa, brown rice, goat cheese (like feta) fish like mackerel, salmon and halibut, and meat like beef, pork, and turkey bacon.

Peanut butter gets a shout out for being rich in protein and healthy-ish fats (depending on the brand). It’s also cheap and can be incorporated into every kind of meal. Dip your protein bar in peanut butter for more flavor, put it on top of your acai bowl (trust me) or in your shake, or on top of your halo top or frozen yogurt. The opportunities are endless.

But by no means forget about fibrous carbohydrates. AKA, your vegetables. To build up muscle you’ll need a diet full of nutrients. That means not skimping on the broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, sweet potatoes, etc. Also, a multivitamin will ensure you’re optimizing your potential for gains. And a fish oil supplement will ensure you get those essential fatty acids that help to sustain muscle.

3. When you’re not drinking your shake, have a snack instead. 

It’s either shaking or snacking, you choose. If you don’t have access to a kitchen throughout the day to cook, pack a snack of nuts or a protein bar. It’s a good idea to make sure you always have food on you. And really try to save room in your schedule (and stomach)  for a big meal post workout. Since you’ll be burning up calories for energy while you train, you’ll want to make sure to replenish. Salmon or beef with quinoa/brown rice and a variety of veggies, is a good option, for instance.

4. Lift hard, rest and repeat. 

You want to workout to increase your appetite so you’ll be able to consume more calories. And we also recommend centering your workouts on strength training. Push yourself to your limits without overdoing it, but make sure to allow enough recovery time. Any cardio you do, should be less frequent and incorporate resistance. You’ll need rest in between weight sessions and cutting your sleep short may affect your ability to gain muscle. Think about it like this: you lift to put on muscle and they may look larger and more swole in the process, but actually, you gain your muscle mass in your recovery time. So make sure to get enough of it.

5. Bump up the protein.

At this point, you’ve probably heard plenty of times how crucial protein is for putting on muscle. We already suggested foods you can incorporate into your diet that are rich in protein. And if you’re wanting to know which type of protein powder is best for you, head on over to this blog post. But for right now I’m going to focus on flavors of protein supplements and shake recipes to incorporate them into. Black Diamond has a huge variety of proteins and flavors.


Half shaker cup of frozen strawberries and/or pineapple
Half shaker cup of ice
Fill cup half way with orange juice
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 banana


Full shaker cup of ice
Dark chocolate syrup to taste
Half a shaker cup of your choice of milk (soy, whole, almond, etc)
1 banana
1 scoop of your protein powder

Cookies and Cream

Full shaker cup of ice
Half shaker cup of whole milk
Dark chocolate syrup to taste
1 scoop of your protein powder

Fruity (Peach, Mango, Orange, etc)

A generous handful of kale or spinach
A quarter shaker cup of coconut milk (or your preferred milk)
A quarter shaker cup of apple juice
A full cup of ice or frozen pineapple, strawberries, etc
1 scoop of your protein powder
1 banana

Strawberry Variations 

A shaker cup full of frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc)
A half a shaker cup of milk
1 scoop of your protein powder
1 banana

Chocolate Variations

A tablespoon of peanut butter
1 scoop of your protein powder
1 banana
A full shaker cup of ice
Half a shaker cup of milk

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