Since skinny people, like myself, need to track their progress while building muscle mass and staying feet; what should I be looking at?

Right now I'm measuring muscle, weight, and body fat but is body fat (percentage) actually a helpful tool for measuring muscle mass in skinny people?


2 Answers 2


When you're skinny and want to get bigger, the first step is just getting stronger. At first you really only need to track how much weight you lift each time, and how much you eat (calories).

If you're eating enough, and resting one day between lifting sessions, you should see your lifting numbers go up, every time, for a month or two.

After you've gotten stronger and gained some weight (some of which will be body fat), then you can turn your attention to things like body fat percentage.


I should add, you need to choose the right lifts if you want to be able to see continuous, incremental progress. Big lifts that use lots of muscles (squats, deadlifts, bench, overhead press) will give you that. You can't expect your bicep to be able to lift 5 more lbs every time you hit the gym, but you can expect large groups of muscles to work together to be able to lift 5 more lbs each time.

  • +1 Everybody, whether skinny or fat, needs to track how much weight they're lifting, and try to make that number go up. Jan 16, 2012 at 15:07
  • Use the big compound lifts like overhead press, bench press, squat, and deadlift to build muscle mass. You can tone it all up with machines and dumbbells once you have it. Jan 30, 2012 at 20:36

Usually measuring tape and a weighing scale is enough to take your progress measurements.

Body fat percentage measurements would be more useful for someone overweight trying to slim down. If you're asking for a guide on how much body fat percentage you should maintain, here is a table of typical body fat amounts table from Wikipedia.

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