We’ve given you a fair bit of information about why building muscle is so great, and also about why it can be so hard for naturally skinny women. At this point you might be thinking, okay, yeah, this sounds great—I want more curves, more muscle, and more strength—but how do I actually get started?

In this post we’re going to explain exactly how you can get started lifting, either at home or at a gym, and then give you a routine to follow for your first few weeks. If your diet is on point, you should also be able to gain 2–3 pounds of muscle while doing it!

If you’re new to lifting, doing a couple exercises a few times per week can go a very long way. When it comes to choosing those lifts, it’s no secret that a few lifts rise to the top. These lifts are: the squat, the deadlift, and the push-up (or bench press).* They work a ton of different muscle groups at once, they allow for very heavy loading, and they’re natural movement patterns that translate well to sports and day-to-day activities. To pick up a kid you squat down and pick ’em up. If you want to carry a couch you deadlift it. If you want to push someone, you’ll be doing the bench press.

You can make a good case for the chin-up, row and carry as well, but we’ll get to those later.

The problem is that these are very technically advanced lifts that require a ton of practice, a fair bit of equipment and oftentimes an in-person coach. Fortunately, since you’re a beginner, you can get just as much growth with easier variations of those lifts.

To get all the benefits without all the downsides, we recommend starting with the goblet squat, the dumbbell sumo deadlift, and the push-up. The goblet squat will work your biceps, shoulders, quads, obliques, abs, calves, lower back and butt. The dumbbell sumo deadlift will work all the muscles in your thighs, your grip (forearms), all the muscles in your back, and it’s one of the best lifts in the world for building your butt. The push-up will work your triceps, shoulders, chest, and abs. With just three lifts you have a very effective full body muscle-building routine.

You can use these even as an advanced lifter (the strongest women in the world will usually still find goblet squatting a 100 pound dumbbell challenging), but once you master the technique of these lifts I would recommend adding in some new lifts and also beginning a more sophisticated program.

As you grow much stronger you’ll need more advanced programming to stimulate consistent growth, and you’ll also need heavier and heavier weights in order to force your body to continue growing stronger. Eventually you’ll be doing the barbell front squat (or back squat), the barbell deadlift and the barbell bench press with hundreds of pounds on the bar (if you so choose). You’ll also be doing rows, glute bridges, chin-ups, hip thrusts, lunges, ab exercises, etc.

For now though, you can begin with just three lifts. Let’s go over each of them in detail:

The Goblet Squat

Here’s Marco and Simone teaching the goblet squat. This lift is great for developing the quads (front of thighs), glutes (butt), shoulders, upper arms, lower back, abs, etc. (This lift works over 200 muscles, so we’ll stop the list there.) Don’t be discouraged if it takes you a little while to learn to bend in the hips as well as Simone and Marco. They’ve been practicing for a very long time.

The Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift

Here’s Marco and Marielle teaching the dumbbell sumo deadlift. This lift is great for developing the hamstrings (back of thighs), glutes (in a slightly different way from the squat), upper and lower back, forearms and, again, hundreds of other muscles. This is one of the best lifts for improving your posture too.

The Push-Up

Here’s the push-up. This lift is great for the chest, the shoulders, your core stability, and your posture. Combined with the squat and deadlift this creates a pretty balanced routine for your entire body.

Putting The Routine Together

So that’s how you do the lifts. Now we’re going to teach you how they come together to form a full muscle-building routine. Here’s Reetta from Finland, a Bombshell member turned Bombshell coach, with a video to demonstrate the routine:

For all of these lifts you want to choose a weight that you can’t do more than 15 repetitions with. That will guarantee that your body is making strength adaptations, not endurance adaptations. 8–12 reps is the golden zone, but anywhere between 4–15 reps is fine. Your strengths and the weights you have available will vary, so some flexibility will go a long way.

Don’t actually lift until you fail! You just need to get close to failing. When you just begin lifting you want to be practicing lifting well. Lifting to failure is not lifting well. That final rep where you’re contorting your body in your best effort to do something you really shouldn’t be doing… that’s no good. That’s practicing poor technique. It’s also not very safe. It also isn’t necessary, since going within a rep or two of failure will build muscle just as well. When you’re very advanced you’ll be able to lift to failure with better technique. For now, avoid it.

The more sets the merrier, but start modestly. We recommend doing two sets of each exercise the first week. Practice your form, find the right weights, take your time. Next week add a set to each exercise. Add another set the next week. Maybe even add another set in the week after that. You can repeat this cycle once more, going back to two sets and working your way back up to five (but with significantly heavier weights or significantly more reps). After your second cycle you should be ready for a more advanced routine.

Three workouts per week. You stimulate your muscles with the workout one day, then you recover and grow the next day. Your week will look like this:

Day One: Lift
Day Two: Rest, grow
Day Three: Lift
Day Four: Rest, grow
Day Five: Lift
Day Six: Rest, grow
Day Seven: Rest

Rest plenty between sets. This isn’t a cardio workout, so it doesn’t matter how out of breath you get. Rest a good minute between sets—more if needed. (You can perform the lifts in a circuit or not—both approaches will build muscle similarly well.)

Use this as a foundation, add lifts that help you accomplish your goals. Want bigger glutes? Add in a couple sets of one-legged hip thrusts. Want bigger biceps? Add in a couple sets of bicep curls at the end of your workout. Once you have completed a few sets of these main exercises you can do more exercise if you choose to.

Pair it with muscle-building nutrition. In order to gain weight you’ll need to work on your nutrition as well. Combining this workout with enough calories and enough protein is key in order to gain weight and build muscle. We’re going to cover some basic nutrition principles in our next article!

* * *

What next? The Bony to Bombshell Program includes a fully optimized nutrition and workout program customized to perfectly suit you and your goals, coaching from us throughout your transformation, and a membership in the community where we can track your progress and you can hang out with other gals with similar goals 🙂

Or stay tuned for our next free article on nutrition!

Did you enjoy the article? Why not share it to help someone else?


  1. Bonnie on February 20, 2016 at 11:32 am

    Ooh so excited for this free starter plan! Should be perfect to get me motivated since I’ve been putting off buying the full plan! Thank you so much Bony to Bombshell Team!

    • Shane Duquette on February 20, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Really glad we could help, Bonnie! Good luck and let us know how it goes! 🙂

    • Zvashe on July 9, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      I’ve too have been putting off buying The Program.
      I want to know if you can make progress using the information given on the website alone?

      • Zvashe on July 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm

        *I too/I’ve also

      • tara clark on May 10, 2018 at 11:08 pm

        Of course you can, eat enough calories and protein..track it with an app;) and then do the routines.
        Self motivate

      • Yolanda on May 11, 2018 at 8:07 am

        Yes! Definitely. I did it for 3 weeks and saw great results and ended up buying the program.

        I have been going at if for a year now. First time I ever stuck with any workout for this long and I feel and look great!

  2. Sarah on February 23, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Can you recommend a good starting weight?

    • Shane Duquette on February 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hey Sarah, you’ll need to do some personal experimentation to find the right starting weight. Someone might be able to do 20 goblet squats while holding a 40 pound dumbbell when just starting, whereas another person may only be able to do 10 goblet squats while holding a 20 pound dumbbell. If I gave the average starting weight the stronger woman wouldn’t grow at all because the weights would be too light, and the weaker woman wouldn’t be able to finish her sets properly.

      Start light and work your way up. The sets that are too easy count as warmup sets. The first “real” set is the one where you get almost to muscular failure—to the point where no matter how hard you tried you wouldn’t have been able to do another rep or two with proper technique.

      • Sarah on February 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

        Thank you so much!!! That helps!

      • Shelly on June 11, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        There’s no way I can lift my boyfriend’s 20lb dumbell.
        I can start at like, 5 or 8lbs & still see good results?

        • Shane Duquette on June 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm

          You might not be able to curl it yet, but you could probably do some goblet squats or dumbbell sumo deadlifts with it, and then it will quickly become too light for that.

          But yes! So long as the weight is heavy enough that you can’t do more than, say, 20 reps before hitting muscular failure, then you’ll build muscle just fine even if it’s light in an absolute sense.

      • Reba on August 30, 2016 at 11:51 am

        Hey Shane ! I am having some trouble
        I am 21 years old and my weight is 103
        I am having trouble gaining weight… I have recently started counting my calories to see if I can eat more than I burn off
        however I find it soooo difficult to eat more than 1200-1400 a day
        I get full so easy and on top of that I do not eat any meat(I have tried to, cant, and don’t plan on starting)
        Do you know of any foods that are high in calories or shakes that are high in protein and calories? maybe if I find something high in calories then I will not have to eat as much

        • Sarah on August 30, 2016 at 12:05 pm

          I struggled with this at first too! I started using the My Fitness Pal app to track what I was eating which helps a ton. There are TONS of great protein powders out there. Just experiment to find one you really like. I love using a hemp protein and make a shake of hemp protein, one frozen banana, powdered peanut butter and cacao powder and almond milk. Nutrient dense and great source of proteins! So I drink that after my work out and then mid morning also have a protein bar (I love Oatmega). Use nut butters (great source of calories, healthy fats and protein), avocados, and healthy fats. Once you start to track your foods you’ll be able to see where you can make easy adjustments to get the calories you really need!

        • Shane Duquette on August 31, 2016 at 6:21 pm

          I can totally relate to all of that. Eating enough is without a doubt the hardest part for almost all of us naturally thin people.

          Sarah has you covered with the smoothie.

          Some other good easy-gainers are:
          Legume stews cooked in bulk (e.g. lentil stew or vegetarian chili)
          Trail mix (add dark chocolate for bonus points)
          Cottage cheese + strawberry jam
          Muesli cereal + yoghurt or milk

          Snacking is great, too. Adding in a handful of trail mix between meals and then maybe a protein powder shake after the gym—that’s often all that it takes 🙂

  3. Sarah on February 23, 2016 at 9:46 am

    …(if you are doing this at home.) And thank you so much for your helpful articles!

  4. Joy on February 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Would it be wrong to use a kettle bell for the The Goblet Squat and The Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift?

    I’m just starting out (still very bony lol) and there are two areas in my gym – the dumbbell area (which is really crowded for space) and the kettle bell area (not so crowded at all).

    • Shane Duquette on February 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Kettle bells are great for those lifts, yeah 🙂

  5. Sonia on March 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Hello! I am 17 years old, im 5’7 and i weight around 126. Im interested in gaining muscular mass and your program seems very effective. I have a little question, the models from the before and after pictures transformed their bodies by only doing those 3 excercises for several months? Are those the only excercises required? Thank you!

    • Shane Duquette on March 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Hey Sonia, they aren’t models, just regular people doing the Bony to Bombshell program. They didn’t do just these three exercises, they did the full Bony to Bombshell program, which features many different assistance and isolation lifts, progresses you through several phases, etc. However, this would be a pretty perfect place to start 🙂

      After you do this for a couple months, gain a few pounds of muscle… then you progress to the next stage.

  6. Davya on March 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    When does the free nutrition article come out? Been stalking you guys for a while, figured I would get all my basics done before starting the full program. Super excited!

    • Shane Duquette on March 4, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Glad you’ve been liking the free content, Davya! Soon 🙂 In a couple weeks, I hope. We might put out another mini-article first though.

  7. Tuberose on March 6, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve done this three times in the past week. I already have a good diet that works well with my body, and already eat high-calorie nutritious food. At my heaviest when I was 13-14, I was 108lb. Now,nearly 18, I have been 103 at 5’7 for the past several years. I weighed myself this morning- 107! I really cannot believe this- it’s amazing. Is there a way to purchase the exercise portion of your program?

    • Shane Duquette on March 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      So glad to hear it’s working so well for you, Tuberose! 🙂

      You can purchase the whole program here: http://bonytobombshell.com/weight-gain-program-for-women/

      We aren’t selling the workout program separately, but we might come out with a smaller and cheaper version of the program (that doesn’t include the community or coaching) later, if there’s enough demand for it!

      I hope that helps, and keep it up!

      • Elli on August 16, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Hey Shane!~
        So I’ve read your articles and been totally obsessed with your website. In reply to your comment here about releasing a smaller, cheaper version of the program, is that still in the works? I’ve been very unhealthy and underweight most of my life due to digestive issues and with medical bills and life in general I just can’t afford the full program. Unfortunately! Because I’m sure the value of your program exceeds the cost, based on the before and afters. I’m excited to try some things based on your articles as well but hoping I can get more out of a small version of the program. Thanks a lot!

  8. Be on March 7, 2016 at 11:23 am


    I’ve been struggling to gain weight and have a consistent diet to keep up with. I’m 23 weighing about 110 lb, my average weight before my weird weight loss was 130 lbs.. I would looove to get my curves back. I’m planning to start this weight out routine this week!!! However I’m worried about my diet, I do not eat meat, are there any foods/shakes/bars, etc.. Anyone can recommend to help me gain weight that are not meat ??

    • Shane Duquette on March 7, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      You don’t need meat at all. If you consume dairy that’ll be more than enough—milk, greek yoghurt and cottage cheese are all very rich in protein. Lots of carbs have a little protein in them as well—legumes, whole grains, nuts, peas, etc. And while eggs are mostly fat, they can be a good protein source too. Then there’s the muscle-building stable: whey protein. It can can be mixed with water, milk or blended up into smoothies.

      If you want to avoid animal products altogether you can get some plant-based protein powder. They make it pretty easy to hit your daily protein targets even without meat, eggs or diary.

      (We have some recipes for homemade protein bars and some simple higher protein vegetarian meals included with the program too!)

  9. Julia on March 13, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Hey, thank you for such a helpful article! I don’t have a gym membership but experimented with this for the first time today at home. I used a 5kg (11 pound) dumbbell that I already had in the house. I did 15 reps – it wasn’t easy but I wasn’t at the point of almost failure by the 15th. I’d like to buy a heavier kettle bell so I can do my first “real” set but was wondering what kind of weight to choose? I know it’s difficult as you haven’t seen me lift but any advice would be really appreciated 🙂

    • Shane Duquette on March 14, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Hey Julia,

      Getting a heavier weight will certainly help, especially if you get one with some growing room in it. Maybe if you got a 40–50 pounder, for example, at first you could do lower rep goblet squats, progress to higher rep ones over the course of a couple months, and then switch to lower rep single leg squats, then higher rep, etc.

      However, it would be even better if you invested in some adjustable dumbbells. Those would grow with you, and they would allow you to combine together a bunch of different rep ranges and do a wider variety of lifts 🙂

  10. mariz on March 28, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Would love the program but the price is way out of my league:((((

    • Shane Duquette on March 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      Don’t worry, Mariz. We’re going to keep coming out with free content like this as well 🙂

  11. Kelly Marie on April 4, 2016 at 7:10 am

    This is awesome! I’ve just completed my first week and I feel amazing! Plus, I’ve gained 2 pounds! That never happens! Thankyou!

    • Shane Duquette on April 7, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Yesss, congrats on the two pounds, Kelly Marie! 😀

  12. Gabriela on April 6, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog and I am really interested in the program. I was just wondering if these exercises would be appropriate for someone with knee injury. I have a tear on my left meniscus (this is a very old injury) and I have always been wary of squats and the like. Do you know if the exercises are safe?

    Thank you!

    • Shane Duquette on April 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Yes, we can help you work around your injuries 🙂
      (Coaching is included with the program, and Marco is well trained to deal with your particular issue.)

  13. Ramirez on April 7, 2016 at 1:49 am

    This is amazing I finally found something that made me feel better and excited about gaining weight…ppl usually look at me and say why do you even bother working out…but thanks so much I’ve been really wanting to gain muscle and weight. Going to try this.

    • Shane Duquette on April 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Really glad we could help, Ramirez! Good luck 😀

  14. Love on April 13, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Hello I’m 5 feet and weigh 91 pounds. all my life I have been little and its time to change… my question is how long before I start seeing results.. thank you

    • Shane Duquette on April 14, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Hey Love, if you don’t see measurable results without your first week then it’s time to change something. For members of our program, for example, we recommend gaining around 0.3–0.5 pounds per week when the goal is building muscle. If they don’t gain that amount, we increase their calorie intake so that they grow the following week. How long until this creates noticeable, visual improvements? Usually 5–10 weeks, depending on their genetics and how consistently they follow the lifting and nutrition program 🙂

  15. yousra bensedgua on April 17, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    hello i would love to know if we need to warmp up before the excercises and if so what kind of warm up we need

    • Shane Duquette on April 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

      That’s a really good question! The most basic warmup would be running through the exercises but with weights that are only about half as heavy to limber up and get some blood flowing. Dynamic warm-ups can work well in addition to that though. That might make for a good follow-up blog post 🙂

      (In the meantime, just don’t stretch. It isn’t very good for increasing mobility/flexibility and it reduces strength for a little while afterwards, so you’d get a little bit less out of your workouts.)

  16. Myra on April 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Do you need to be a member of a gym to do this and do you need to buy a lot of equipment if you are at home?

    • Jared Polowick on April 28, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Myra,

      You definitely don’t need to be going to a gym. Many of our members are working out from home 🙂 And the good news is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. You do however need heavy weights. We recommend getting two very heavy adjustable dumbbells (80-100 pounds each) and a bench. That will allow you to do every exercise you’ll need to do with heavy enough weights to be able to build muscle.

      I hope that helps, and you can email us anytime if we can help clarify anything else 🙂

  17. SP on May 10, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Hi, thanks for all the awesome info! I am 5’10” and 115 lbs, starting out at home with lifting. I did it for about a week as recommended in this article, but am finding that my lower back is really sore… is this normal for a bit when starting out with lifting because I don’t have much strength in my back yet? I do generally have a stiff/sore back (lower and upper), likely from poor posture and lack of muscles 🙂 I feel like my technique is good while lifting, but I don’t want to hurt my back.

    • Shane Duquette on May 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Your lower back will be trained when lifting, we just want to make sure that you aren’t relying on it too much. Oftentimes soreness is caused by your hips being tilted forward, putting your lower back in a perma-flexed position. This can make it really tired and sore, especially when lifting.

      Is the soreness in your spinal erectors? (The muscles running up alongside your spine.)

      • SP on May 16, 2016 at 9:03 pm

        Its hard to say exactly. Possibly… it just feels sore in a general sense, I think. I will pay more attention to that and see if it makes a difference! Thanks!

  18. Kellie on May 26, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I just found this program and boy, am i excited! I am about to turn 50, and i have been lifting weights since i was 18 and have only been able to put on minimal muscle. Now that I’m older, I’m turning skinny-fat! I would REALLY LOVE to put on as much muscle as i can and be a kick-ass 50 year old! Is this program for me, even tho I’ve recently gotten thicker in the middle? (Hint: PLEASE SAY YES!)

    • Shane Duquette on May 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Oh no! The dreaded skinny-fat stage! Ahaha we see this happen in a lot of people as they get older. We can help you with that for sure. You’ll find other women in the community in similar places with similar goals too.

      So the answer: YES! 😉

  19. sana on June 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    hello! I’m 20, 5’4 and 40kg.

    I am student so kind of on a budget but I have a holiday to go to in August and was wondering if I use these weights my dad has at home which weighs 3kg will that work?

    • Shane Duquette on June 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Hey Sana,

      3kg is pretty light! Your muscles wouldn’t need to grow any stronger/bigger to use weights that are already light for you. I would recommend getting some heavier dumbbells (or getting your dad to get some). They aren’t that expensive, sometimes you can get them second-hand, and that would give you everything that you need to build muscle properly 🙂

  20. Melissa M. on June 27, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Hi, Shane. Im Melissa and Im new in this workout stuff. Im skinny. I wanted some muscles. But im not a kind of girl that eats a lot. Any other suggestion for nutritions or workout tips for ads/muscles? If i workout 6 days a week, any chance that muscles will develop quickly for women?

    • Shane Duquette on June 27, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Hey Melissa,

      Working out six days per week won’t build muscle more quickly than working out just three times per week, but in either case, yes, women can build muscle very quickly! Women build muscle at a similar pace to men, actually, once you factor in their smaller overall sizes. Just make sure to do a program designed to build muscle, not a general fitness program.

      You will need to eat more though! Learning how to eat more, more easily is a big part of the program, and we’re going to be writing more about how to do that here on the blog soon 🙂

      • Melissa M. on June 27, 2016 at 6:24 pm

        My body can’t gain any weight..i mean i can’t get fat. Im weight abt 50 to 55kg.

        • Melissa M. on June 27, 2016 at 7:14 pm

          And also, if i wanted to workout at home, any other stuff tht can use as weights other than buying dumbells?! I mean dumbells doesn’t come cheap in my hometown.

        • Shane Duquette on June 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm

          Ahaha it’s possible for you to get fat, just difficult. Once you figure out some appetite hacks and more about how to eat for weight gain, you’ll be in pretty good control of your weight. That means you could gain muscle or fat. I’d recommend building muscle, but you’d have the power to do either 😉

          You could get a barbell and some weight plates instead, but that wouldn’t be quite as good for a beginner and that’d probably be more expensive. I’ve heard of people using dry-bags for camping. Those watertight bags designed to keep your stuff dry when canoeing and whatnot? You can fill them up with varying amounts of water so that each week you can lift heavier and heavier weights. Honestly though, it’d be worth spending an extra $20 and getting some actual adjustable dumbbells. If you order them online—Amazon or something—there are some cheap ones!

  21. Melissa M. on June 30, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Like my friends said to me tht you must be fat so that the fat change to muscle when u workout. Is it possible for skinny people like me to have muscles? I mean..im skinny right?! So does that i can be more skinnier or its impossible cause i don’t have any fat to burn?

    • Shane Duquette on June 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Muscle doesn’t turn into fat and fat doesn’t turn into muscle. They’re totally separate things.

      A skinny person can build muscle. A skinny person can also lose fat, but if you already have a low body fat percentage, it will probably make you look and feel a lot better if you focus on building muscle instead.

  22. Nina on July 6, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Hi! Just learned about your program and trying to figure out if it would work for me. I’m pretty much thin all over but store fat in my belly 🙁 I’m 5’2″ and weight 114 lbs. I do have some fat I need to loose around my belly. Should I loose this fat before I can start this program to gain more curves in other areas of my body or will this program help me loose the belly fat and gain muscle weight as I do it? I know the program is intended to gain weight and I definitely need that around my legs and booty but I need to loose my belly. I’m afraid of starting the program and gain more weight in my belly due to the high calorie intake. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

    • Shane Duquette on July 7, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Hey Nina,

      If your goal is maintain/build muscle mass as you lose the fat, and it sounds like it is, then I’d recommend starting up a program like this one before you lose any weight. Otherwise some of the weight you lose will be fat, some will be muscle. (Your calorie intake would be specific to you and your goals.)

      And yes, we have fat loss guides included with the program as well, although always with muscle and strength in mind 🙂

  23. Neha on July 26, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Hi! Just learned about your program. I’m 23 and weigh 43Kgs, I’ve been trying to put on weight but nothing really helps. I have started to take care of my diet and also started working out. Could you please help me with some lower body work out?? I have skinny legs and nothing fits me well!:( And also if you could tell me how many mintues of work out is helpful.

    • Shane Duquette on July 26, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Hey Neha, this beginner’s workout should help get you started. For a more thorough, optimized routine that includes coaching and customization, I’d check out our full Bony to Bombshell Program.

      How long your workout takes doesn’t matter much, but 45–75 minutes 2–4 times per week is often about right.

  24. Stacy on July 27, 2016 at 11:20 am

    HI I’m Stace I’m 16 and I need help to make my body look more attractive and yeah sexy .haha.im trying my best to be fit .i eat a lot I exercise but it seems like it’s not enough.

  25. H on July 29, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Hi do you have pre-beginner tips. I can’t do even one push up. And barely able to do 15 squats without holding a weight.

    • Shane Duquette on July 30, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Hey H,

      Did you watch the full push-up video? Most people will need to start with a raised push-up to make it easy enough, and that’s perfect fine 🙂 That’s actually good news as far as muscle growth goes too because you have a long time before you’ll become so strong that push-ups won’t build muscle anymore. (Once you can do 30+ push-ups from the floor, they’ll cause you to improve your endurance instead of your muscle strength / size.)

      Same thing with squats. Right now you’re in the ideal muscle-building rep range, so no issue whatsoever. Start with a range of motion you can do properly, and gradually work your reps higher. When you can do 20 or even 30 reps, start loading it up with weight to get you down in that under-15 range.

      The workout will still feel awkward for a couple weeks, but that’s not because it’s too difficult, it’s just because you’re moving your body in new ways—like trying to brush your teeth with your left hand. Feels weird at first, but you’re more than capable of doing it with a little practice 🙂

  26. Taylor on July 31, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Hi, My names Taylor I’m 19 and weigh 89lb and a girl. I’m very underweight and have been that way since like 15. I eat a ton of food per day, I eat small snacks but about 6 times a day and I’ve tried just eating large meals 3 times a day and nothing seems to work. I really hope this helps put on weight. I have a pretty small chest.. Will the push ups make it smaller or will that help with growth as well?

    • Shane Duquette on August 3, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Hey Taylor,

      Eating more frequently (or snacking between meals) will often work well when trying to gain weight, especially for us naturally thin people who have smaller stomach capacities. Nothing wrong with eating three, four, five or six meals, so just pick the schedule that allows you to consume enough calories 🙂

      Making a muscle stronger will always make it bigger (provided you eat enough calories to gain weight, and enough protein to build muscle). This is true for your chest, which will become bigger by doing push-ups, and even your abs! The more crunches you do, the bigger your waist will become. For some this is good, for others not so much. In your case though, with your chest, yes, push-ups are a good way to grow it 🙂

  27. Paula on August 3, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Hi, I’m trying out this routine and I got some adjustable dumb bells, but the disks are much wider and when stacked are thicker than what’s used on the video so I can’t hold the same way – is it ok to hold by the bar one hand above the other? Or would it be better to get a kettlebell for that one?

    • Shane Duquette on August 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

      I’ve got those dumbbells too. I know what you mean. Holding it however works best is okay, just switch up which hand is on top from set to set so that you develop your muscles in a symmetrical way. Also be careful! The most common lifting injury is dropping a weight on your foot 😉

  28. C on August 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Hello! How much is the program? Do you have any promotions going on?

    • Shane Duquette on August 7, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Hey C,

      The program is 197, and it includes the main eBook that teaches you everything you need to know about muscle-building nutrition (including how to comfortably eat enough to gain weight), everything you need to know about lifting, supplements, and everything else. It also includes a 5-month workout program and videos teaching all of the lifts. Perhaps most importantly, it includes a yearlong membership in the community + coaching from us along the way to make sure you can overcome every obstacle 🙂


      For promotions, we could set you up with a payment plan. If you’re a student, we also have a student discount. Send us an email at us@bonytobombshell.com for the details on those 🙂

  29. Melissa M. on September 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve alrdy brought some protein shake powder. Hw often should i drink it? I mean i’ve workout only in the evening and should i only drink during workout? Cuz i’ve read some other wedsite abt it, and said i should drink it before bed, after i wake up, and 30 minutes before starting workout. And also, if i didn’t mix anything but the protein shake powder, it still works on growth or should i really mix with vegetable, fruit and etc to make it work?

    • Shane Duquette on September 5, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      You can have the protein shake whenever you aren’t hitting your protein goals with whole foods. So if you aren’t going to get a gram of protein per pound bodyweight that day, add in some protein powder. If you realize that right before bed, have it right before bed. If you already know you’re going to have a low protein day in the morning, have some when you wake up.

      You can also have a scoop of protein powder after working out.

      You don’t need to mix it with anything, but you can!

  30. Precious on September 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Hi, i am 21 and i don’t have any hips at all and i have a larger upper body and thin legs. I measure 32-26-34. Is there any workout i can do to balance out my body and gain some hip muscle. And also for weight lifting, do you think 10kg dumbells are good enough to build a bigger lower body for me or do i need heavier dumbells and also what exercises do i need to trim my upper body? Thanks.

    • Shane Duquette on September 13, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      A workout like this one would be a good place to start. Our Bony to Bombshell program would be even better. We have all the isolation and lower body emphasis lifts in there, along with videos teaching you how to get the most out of them. It includes everything you need to know about nutrition as well, a membership in the community, and coaching from us throughout and 🙂

      You can do some stuff with 10kg dumbbells. You could do even more with 20kg dumbbells. And even more with 40kg dumbbells.

      Generally, the lower body needs heavier weights than the upper body. Women can usually build a much heavier squat than bench press, for example. This is even more true with the lower body isolation lifts, like the glute bridge and hip thrust. Mind you, in a pinch, you can get some good results by focusing on single-leg stuff with lighter weights. You can do a one-legged hip thrust with lighter weights than a regular hip thrust, and you can do a split squat or lunge with much lighter weights than you would need for a goblet squat.

      To trim up your upper body, the main thing you’d want to do is lose a little body fat. This is best done by losing weight overall. Given your goals, though, that might not be something you want to focus on right now. Fortunately, those who are new to weightlifting can often lose some fat and build some muscle at the same time if their nutrition and lifting programs are good enough.

      You can also get some visual improvements in your upper body just by following a good lifting routine. A good lifting routine will include some upper body compound lifts, and those will help you tone up your upper body by adding some muscle mass 🙂

  31. Melissa on October 17, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Hi, I live in newzealand and have tried contacting you via email, I would really love to start this program but, would like to now how the format works, do I need a laptop or is it a book? I have a few other question, thanks Melissa

    • Shane Duquette on November 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Hey Melissa. We answered your question via email, but for the sake of anyone else reading, the book is digital, so you can read it on your laptop, desktop, tablet, smartphone, or however you like 🙂

  32. Samantha on November 1, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Hi! My name is Samantha, I’m 17 years old, around 5’0″ and 118lbs. I’ve been very insecure with my body for such a long time now, since my freshman year of high school. It really upsets me that although people in my school are alarmed when I tell them I weigh as much as I do, that I’m still considered “small and skinny”. I have no problem being short, I’m just very unhappy with my body. I wear a size 00 in jeans right now, just about everything that I wear is a size XS/S. I’ve been wanting to change my body for a long time now but I’m unsure of how to start. My goal is to try to go up a few jean sizes, like instead of being a 00/0 I would like to be a size 3. I’m also very fond of a body shape that I’m not exactly sure if I have. My ultimate goal is to have a larger/wider bottom portion than my top half- pear shaped. My measurements are 34-29-37. All I honestly want for myself is to be a little bit thicker, with thicker thighs and wider hips. I’m so in love with the idea of being this way that I’m very sad with myself. It just really depresses me being called skinny, knowing that I barely have “anything” to my body. And I know this may sound ridiculous, but this has affected me so much that if I can’t achieve the body I want on my own I would perhaps resort to surgery in the future, if such a thing is possible. I would really love to hear your input and advice, and if this is something that is truthfully attainable for me. I have profile images if that would help. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it means a lot.

    • Shane Duquette on November 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Hey Samantha, I think the news here is pretty good. Your lower body, especially your hips, and thighs, are covered in muscles that all have a great deal of growth potential. So your ability to get the shape you want should be fairly achievable if you’re willing to lift some weights, diet right, gain some weight, and rest like a bear. (Note: Hips will get deeper more so than wider, but some width will be gained as well!)

      Perhaps better still, you can definitely, definitely, 100% get strong and curvy enough that no one will ever think of you as skinny ever again. And you can do it in a very healthy, natural way that will cost a fraction of what surgery would cost 🙂

      You might think that it sounds ridiculous given how few people you know who are struggling with the same thing, but as someone naturally skinny who deals pretty much exclusively with other naturally skinny people… I couldn’t relate more. Even drastic measures like surgery didn’t sound so unreasonable for me. That is, until I realized I didn’t have to do that (and that surgery wouldn’t look/feel/be nearly as good as doing it with lifting/diet.)

      I really hope you decide to join our program! You sound like exactly who we wrote it for. But even if you don’t, you’ve already stumbled on a great way to get started 🙂

  33. rachel on January 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Hi My name’s Rach in 24. I was a dancer for about 15 years ,lots of ballet etc however i have stopped dancing about 3 years ago, and therefore stopped training. I am 5ft 5 inches tall and weigh 46kgs. My biggest issue is that my abs are muscular but they stick out rather than being flat (I have no boobs so this makes it look worse). I think this may be due to years of incorrect technique for sit-ups etc. Could you recommend the best way to correct this? Thanks so much in advance 🙂


    • Shane Duquette on January 30, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      Hey Rachel, it sounds like your hips are tilted forward, making your stomach stick out. There isn’t a super easy fix for this, but it’s very common, and a well-rounded approach to training will gradually get your hips back into a more neutral position. The general workout advice here should help, but it’s important that you do the exercises with great technique so that you get all the benefits. If you’re doing everything with your hips tilted forward, it won’t do much to fix them.

      There are some exercises, like planks, which teach you how to hold a neutral position, but you’ll also want to use loaded exercises, like deadlifts and goblet squats, that will strengthen that position.

      You know what, this merits an article of its own. I bet Marco would like to write that article, too.

      (Also worth pointing out that in the meantime, the Bony to Bombshell program fully covers all of this, with tutorial videos explaining exactly how to lift with your hips in a neutral position so that they’ll stay that way naturally in your day-to-day life.)

  34. Mystical on January 12, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Hi, my name is Mystical Allen. I’m only 18 years old but I’ve been struggling to gain weight for a while. I eat a ton but I can never gain extra weight, I’ve been 119 lbs and 5’8″ since I was 13 years old. I tried working out, I’ve bought pills, and I also purchased an online workout regimen similar to yours but I still saw little to no results. I’m really skeptical about purchasing anything new because of my past experience, but I still wanted to know if you thought there was any hope for me.

    • Shane Duquette on January 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Of course there’s hope! At 18 I was in the same bony boat as you, with lots of failed attempts under my belt. I was 125 pounds at 6’2. That’s why we made this program. To help people struggling with that same issue of not being able to gain weight no matter what they try.

      I get the skepticism for sure. I would think the same thing. Would it help to know that we have a full refund policy? You don’t need to wonder if it will work, you can try it. If you don’t dig it, you send us an email and you get a full refund.

      Fortunately, you’ll get into the community and realize that other people struggling with the exact same thing as you are are succeeding, and I think you’ll find the confidence to trust us for long enough to get you results. After you first week alone, you should be up 0.5–1 pound, and then you’ve just got to keep at it 🙂

  35. Taylor Angel on March 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Hi there, im so excited that i found this site! Im 20 yrs old, 5’1”, and only 95 lbs. Ive been slowly losing weight as i get older & tired of it! Ive began drinking protein shakes that add an extra 1300 calories per day to my meals. I dont substitute meals for shakes, i always eat with them. I use 2 10lb dumbells. What advice can you give me to improve? I want to start the program. Are the shakes going to help? Thanks!

    • Shane Duquette on April 1, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Shakes are definitely going to help. Getting some heavier adjustable dumbbells (or a gym membership) would also help. After all, building muscle is about getting real strong, and to do that, you’ll need some heavy things to lift 🙂

  36. Yolanda on May 8, 2017 at 6:26 am

    First thank you for the free guide. So excited because I have to wait until July before I can look into buying this program.

    I am curious about whether I matters how we do our push ups. Do we really need to do it on a bench or does a regular floor position or kbee to floor position count as fine? I don’t get close to 15 reps for push ups 5-7 doing regular and about 10 on knees.

    As long as they are proper and not stressed should I just do extra sets in a work out or just stick with 2 for the first week ?

    • Jared Polowick on June 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

      The bench or raisded push-up is better than the knee position on the floor.

      It’s good to remember that you don’t need to annihilate your muscles, just stress them enough. So it sounds like from the floor is just a little bit too tough for right now. So try them off the bench and in a week or two you might be back down to the floor but stronger than ever 🙂

  37. Monica on June 24, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    Hi im monica and iam 17 years old , i wanted to know how to get a more curves amd a bigger butt by weight training but iam skinny all over except for my stomach which is the place i store fat and gain weight the most in …..how much calories a day should i eat?….should i eat more calories than i burn to gain weight or eat less calories that i burn to lose weight ? And also i eat 1000 calories a day but it only contains junk food or white rice,etc.

    • Jared Polowick on June 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Hey Monica,

      Being under 18 you should always talk to your doctor or parents first before beginning *any* lifting or nutrition program.

      We don’t know exactly how much bodyfat you’re carrying, some people that say they’re fat are extremely lean and vice versa. But generally it’s best to focus on one goal at a time. Either burning fat or building muscle. Check out the beginner’s nutrition guide on this site for a bit more info on calories.

  38. M a on June 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    This sounds amazing and I want to try but I have to wait until I can cancel my gym membership in November so I can afford it. I have been working out for years. I played sports all through high school. I had 2 kids the past 2 1/2 years and after both kids I lost so much weight so fast. I was worried so I had my thyroid checked but it was fine. I am 5’1 or 5’2 and had always weighed around 100lbs through high school and after (103 being my heaviest and 98 being my lightest) I had gotten sick with bronchitis and had stress from two kids and being in a wedding and remodeling a house this past December and got down to 93 lbs!!! I immediately went to get a gym membership and a personal traniner. She helped me gain muscle and got me back up to 98-103 lbs (varies by the day /time of the day) but she moved out of state so now I am at a stand still with my weight being 99-101. I have always eaten a lot and any foods that I want however I tend to eat a lot of fruits and veggies just because I like them. Also a lot of sweets. I love meat too I just don’t know how to cook it / have time to cook it since I work and have 2 young kids. I am definately interested in starting this program. I was thinking in the meantime I would start with the first couple week work out plan that you had in a video on your page. I deff need to get my chest and shoulders bigger. They are so bony!!! So annoying and annoyed with people saying how small I am, I don’t want to be so small !

    • Shane Duquette on October 23, 2017 at 10:51 am

      November isn’t so far away 🙂

      Agh, the sounds like a really stressful time. Being a busy mother with bronchitis living in a house undergoing renovations while being in a wedding sounds crazy. Crazy how our body type responds by losing weight, whereas the average person will gain a few pounds.

      If it helps, we’ve just, just released a brand new version of the entire program, and along with the new release, we’ve included the option to pay with a payment plan:

      It includes a recipes that should help you with the cooking / appetite side of things, too 🙂


  39. […] grams of protein, which is ideal in most cases, but when you train your entire body each workout, as we do, we’re stimulating an unusually large number of muscles all at once, so we benefit from a […]

  40. Jennifer on February 6, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    I know its 2018 and it’s been a long time this article was written but if anyone see my comment can you help me please? First of all sorry for bad english (it’s not my first language).
    Here are my questions:
    -The workout in the video is the only work out we do all along the week or do I need other exercices?
    -My arms are so weak I can’t do even 2 push ups what sould I do?
    -The weight I can “grab” is very light I see some people grab 30kg I can’t do that. Is their a specific weight to grab if I want to gain weight?

    Thank you if someone can answer me.By the way article is very cool and helped me understand some things I was wondering about.

    • Taylor Angel on February 7, 2018 at 6:49 am

      Hi Jennifer! Is your goal to gain muscle in all areas? In my personal opinion, you target a different muscle group each day. I started lifting in August of 2017 & my weight went from 95lbs to 108lbs since then 🙂 I dont do cardio, i just lift HEAVY & stay consistent. 5 days a week & rest on weekends. I hope this helps!

  41. Ariana on April 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    What foods would you recommend eating to help gain weight?

  42. Gail on April 17, 2019 at 1:15 am

    I’ve been using the resources you have available online for 2 1/2 weeks now and my boyfriend has already noticed a difference. Can’t wait to keep it up!

  43. Lauren on May 21, 2019 at 11:04 am

    On rest days, can you do a form of cardio or would that hurt building muscle? If so, how much should I do and intensity? Also, how long should the beginner workout be done for on those days? 30 minutes? 60?

  44. Aastha on July 24, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Hi! I have been able to gain weight and get to my desired number on the scale. However, now I am really confused how I can just maintain this weight, not lose or gain any now. If i stick to my skinny days diet and workout plan, i would only get back to skinny. And if i keep on doing the workouts and eating enough calories as during the weight gain journey, I will keep putting on weight. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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