Bulking 101: The Skinny Guys Dream Bulking Guide

What i hear all the time from skinny guys is..

Bulking 101: The Skinny Guys Dream Bulking Guide

What i hear all the time from skinny guys is “I can’t put weight on” then they give excuses like:

  • My metabolism is too fast.
  • Haven’t got time to eat.
  • I’ve tried bulking diets they don’t work.
  • My job is to physical.

These are but a few of the excuses the skinny guys are coming up with, i will be taking you through how to gain weight successfully and keep it on with our bulking 101 guide.

Are you looking for a weight gain food list for bulking up?

It’s good to look into this type of thing because gaining weight is directly linked to caloric intake. If you don’t eat enough food and get enough calories, gaining weight is next to impossible.

Taking supplements and pills alone will not be be enough to gain the weight you need without a diet focused on upping your intake of calories. There are good ways and bad way to go about this and eating foods such as cookies, chips and cakes will certainly up your calorie count, but not in the way you want it to.

Focusing on a diet rich with proteins and quality food will meet the task at hand in a healthy way.

When choosing what foods to eat, stick with a diet that gives about 50% of your calorie intake from proteins, especially lean proteins.

Here is a weight gain food list for bulking up:


A large portion of your diet should consist of lean proteins from sources such as:

  • Fish as in salmon, cod, or tuna
  • Red meats as in lean ground beef and lean steaks
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and low-fat yogurts
  • Ham
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Tofu
  • Lamb
  • Protein supplements in the form of whey protein and soy protein supplements.




About 40% of your diet should consist of various forms of carbohydrates and you can get this from foods such as:

  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits
  • Whole grain cereal and bread
  • Pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Vegetables like corn, broccoli and green beans
  • Snacking on pretzels
  • Legumes like kidney beans, soybeans and chick peas.




You will only need about 10% of your diet intake to consist of fat sources. These would include foods such as:

  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Sunflower and safflower oils
  • Avocados and walnuts

These are all commonly known healthy fats.



No matter how disciplined you are, every now and then we all need a little snack and it’s best to keep it healthy. Snacking on these are all good choices when trying to bulk up.

You will want to eat items such as:

  • Nuts
  • Apples
  • Protein bars
  • Baked (not fried) potato chips
  • Full Meal Replacements


Meal replacements are also of vital importance when looking into a weight gain food list for bulking up. These are complete meals designed for people looking to bulk up.

Supplements only aid in speeding the process along with a proper diet.

Meal replacements are powdered drinks mixes that are used in place of a full meal.

They offer all of the nutrients and calories needed for a high caloric diet.

This is not to say that using meal replacements alone is enough to gain the weight you want. They are a replacement for one or two meals a day only but must be combined with a healthy, planned diet along with supplements.

There are a lot of options available when looking at a weight gain food list for bulking up that can be a solid foundation to a healthy high calorie diet.

Just remember to be smart about when you eat certain foods during the day.

I would suggest eating an extra 1000-1700 calories of bulking to gain weight consistently every week, and if you’re still feeling hungry don’t stop just eat eat eat.

Eat like this for three months and you should see the weight fly up and you will reach the goal weight you want.

We have our own bulking guide to help you skinny guys clean bulk without the fatty intake, click the picture above to take you straight to it.

Dirty Bulking, Lean Gaining, and Clean Bulking – Which is best for you

The way I see it, there are three ways to set your caloric surplus, the difference between them being the amount of fat you gain with the muscle.

Dirty Bulk

Dirty Bulking means eating a lot more food than necessary and gaining more fat than muscle in the process.

People who do this usually want to gain size really fast or they want to make sure they’re not leaving any muscle gains on the table.

I believe dirty bulking is not productive if your goal is looking good year round. I have two reasons for that:

1. Getting excessively fat ruins your proportions and blurs muscle definition (defeating the purpose).
2. You can bulk for very little time until you get too fat. By dirty bulking you go too fast from 9-10% body fat to 14-15% when you have to cut again. This means that for each bulk cycle you actually gain less muscle mass than someone who bulked cleaner.

How to do it: If you want to dirty bulk eat enough food to grow two times faster than the rates in the tables above.

That usually means about 18-19kcal per pound of body weight.

Lean Gaining

Lean Gaining means gaining weight at a slow rate with very little, to no increases in fat mass. It is possible to gain exclusively lean mass but I believe only advanced lifters (or advanced-intermediates) should do it.

The reason for that is because the rate of muscle gain is usually very slow. Beginners and Intermediates would progress at a much faster rate if they allow for some fat gain.

I tried doing it when I was just starting out (I was 150lbs/68kg at the time) and while I was making lean gains, the people at my level who were eating more were making better progress in the gym.

How to do it: Eat about 250 calories more than maintenance on your lifting days. On rest days eat at maintenance.

Lean Bulk

Clean Bulking or Lean Bulking is what I recommend for 90% of beginners and intermediates. With this strategy you maximize the rate of muscle growth (just like when you’re dirty bulking) but you don’t allow rapid fat gain.

From my experience two thirds of the weight gained this way will be muscle mass. In the worst case scenario you gain muscle and fat at 1 to 1 ratio.

That’s still pretty good.

You can gain a lot of muscle in one cycle of going from 10% body fat to 14-15%.

Setting macros

Setting macros when bulking is really simple.

You need to make sure you’re eating about 1g of protein per pound of body weight and fill the rest of the calories with a good balance of fats and carbs.

My standard recommendation is this:

1g of protein per lb of bodyweight 
25-30% of calories from fat
rest of calories from carbs 

I’d say this setup fits the majority of the population perfectly.

However, there is a lot of individual variability here. A small part of the population feels better with a lower fat intake (about 20% of calories) and a lot of carbs.

They gain less body fat by doing this and have better energy levels in the gym. 

I on the other hand do better with a higher fat intake. I find my energy levels, sex drive, gym performance, and mood are best when I eat about 30% of calories from fat.

Either way, until you discover what works best for you, I guarantee you’ll make awesome gains using the standard recommendation.

In the Gym: Beginner’s Tips

  • Go Big – Your chest, back and legs are the largest muscular regions on your body, and they require more attention (read: sets and reps) than your biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
  • Collaborate – Back exercises (featuring pulling motions) also utilize the biceps, just as many chest exercises (featuring pushing motions) add the triceps and deltoids. Activating naturally collaborative muscle groups in the same workout produces quality results.
  • Rep Right– Lower reps per set (1-5) increase your strength, moderate reps per set (6-10) increase both muscle and strength, and the farther you go beyond, the more the workout becomes endurance-based. 
  • Reshuffle – It’s easier to plateau when your body experiences a static routine, so after you’ve established a pattern, switch up muscle combinations and exercises! 


In the Gym: Advanced Tips

  • Negatives – Most exercisers focus on the initial motion of each exercise – for instance, the pushing aspect of the bench press. For negatives, focus on the reverse, and slowly lower the heavy weight for five to six seconds before it reaches the original starting position. Five to eight reps per set is ideal.
  • Complexes – Choose three to four exercises to do in a row, targeting the same muscle group without any rest in between. The first exercises should focus on strength and power (five to ten difficult reps), while the final exercise should be a bodyweight fatigue exercise (for instance, pushups or chin-ups), where you rep until you can’t go any farther. Another form of this to try: HIIT.



Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

We eat clean, are always motivated and helpout beginners in need. We sell guides on Cutting, Bulking and Muscle Building. Checkout our website!

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