How to Pick a Gym for your Skinny Transformation Project

Welcome, fellow skinny guys, to our very first in the “How To” series! Hopefully by now you’re motivated and want to start your very own Skinny Transformation Project. You’re definitely going to need a few things: motivation, food, and a gym to have a successful skinny transformation.

How to Pick a Gym

There are many factors you should consider when trying to figure out where to plop down your money on a gym membership. We’ll go through a things that I think are important when you’re deciding on how to pick a gym.

The gym should have the right equipment

Ah, this is probably the most important one. You’re not going to get beastly in your skinny transformation by doing lifts with 5 lb dumbbells (not to say that there isn’t a place for light dumbbells, but it can’t be the only thing around!) Here are what I consider the essentials your gym should have:
a) A power rack aka Squat cage, squat rack . It goes by many names but whatever you call it, it’s invaluable to the core lifts you’ll end up doing. Essentially, it’s one of the safest and best places to do a bench press, squat, dead lift, or rack pull. You can put safety bars at different heights that basically act as spotters in case you get stuck in a hard position, you can just slowly rest the bar and weight onto the safety bars. (And then take a deep breath and sigh of relief that you didn’t get squished with all that weight on you!)
Something like this here:
How To Pick A Gym for your Skinny Transformation
b) Cable machines. These are great machines that work well to target specific muscle groups. Versatility is its forte; you can do arm and triceps work, shoulders, and strengthening the muscles of your posterior chain. Something like this:
How to pick a gym for your skinny transformation
C) Dumbbells. Heavy dumbbells! Once you’re full into the swing of things with your Skinny Transformation project, you’ll notice increases in your man strength. You’ll need the corresponding weights to keep progressing.  You’ll probably start using the 20’s, but then find yourself reaching for the 30s, 40s, 50s, and more — especially with rapid strength increases in certain exercises such as dumbbell squats. I would recommend that your gym has up to at least 100 lb dumbbells. Yep, 100 lbs. I’ve been doing goblet squats with a 100lb dumbbell and it’s a challenging exercise. I probably could go higher, say if my gym had 120 lb weights, but the 100s keep me busy. I don’t think I’d need anything more than 80-90 lb dumbbells eventually for any other free weight exercises.

A skinny transformation friendly environment

What I mean by this, is that you should feel comfortable working out in your gym. You’re not going to ever gain weight as a skinny guy if you feel too awkward or weird to even set foot in your gym. Case in point when I was trying to pick a gym I saw two extremes of environment. On one hand, I was doing a free trial at a gym that had a lot of stereotypical “meatheads” — 200 lb gorillas that were grunting and making lots of noise while tossing around weights. And then the gorillas would stand around talking to other gorillas about their latest debaucherous activity at the bar, oogling every girl that walks by and generally wasting time. I asked one guy if he was using a bench, and he said yes, he had a few more sets left. He then proceeded to do triceps extensions next to the bench, while using the bench as a cup holder for his waterbottle! I was less than impressed. The next gym I checked out was almost the polar opposite of the one above. It clearly served a different clientelle. It didn’t look like anyone was trying to gain weight or muscle. Rather, everyone was pedaling away on stationary bikes or on the treadmill walking, trying to lose weight. The gym actively discouraged the “meatheads” I described above, actually so much so that there were no power racks, and free weights only went up to 40 lbs. Finally, here are a few other important factors to consider when picking a gym, in no particular order:
  • Cost: totally dependent on your financial situation. Gym memberships can cost as little as $1o/month or up to $100! Try to find a nice balance with cost as you’ll want to save some money for food to feed your skinny transformation as well.
  • Hours: how flexible are the hours of operation? Does it align with your life / work schedule? I decided that I needed a gym that was basically open 24 hours because of all of the random hours I have to work. Sometimes I’ll need early morning workouts, other times late at night.
  • Popularity. busy is it? Go check out the gym at prime workout hours, for instance between 5-7 pm. If it looks like you’ll have to wait 20 minutes just to get a bench, it may not be worth your time.
  • The Bonuses: do they have extra perks? Free shakes ? Swimming pool? Basketball court for you to shoot around on non-workout days? Good personal trainers in case you need to ask them something? Can you bring a friend or family member for free?
skinny transformation project
Ah, nothing like an empty gym to myself to lift heavy things.
So I ultimately chose a gym that was only $30 a month, had 4 squat racks, dumbbells up to 100lbs, open 24 hours a day and a good mix of younger / older people. I decided to forgo the fancy bonuses like pool, basketball court, and classes.
Hopefully this guide was helpful so now you’ll know how to pick a gym!

Now get out there and start your skinny transformation!

14 thoughts on “How to Pick a Gym for your Skinny Transformation Project”

  1. I would love to read more about your skinny transformation. when are you going to update us? Thanks!

    1. Hey Vivek! I’m going to be putting up an update post in the next day or two, just gotta get my pics off of my camera!

      How about you? Are you currently working out? (I’m assuming you’re a fellow skinny guy)

  2. hey man, I saw your blog before you changed the them e and layout..

    Specifically I was looking for the post where you open your box of supplements and whey protein. I remember I saw some BCAAs in there

    1. Hey! Yeah, I did have to change the layout of the blog. When I renewed my domain and website hosting, unfortunately all my old posts disappeared. I know which post you’re talking about, I took a photo of my huge order from with all my supplements!

      Do you have a particular question about it?

    1. Hi Tom! For those phases, my workouts usually lasted about an hour. I usually did get just the 3 workouts in for the week, I didn’t try to do more than what Bony To Beastly had written out for. Occasionally I could only workout twice a week if my work was really busy, but the one thing I was consistent with was eating and getting calories in on a daily basis even if I missed a workout. Hope this helps!

  3. Hey I was wondering what your opinion on home gyms was and if I would still be able to get the full effect of bony to beastly without a cable machine considering the cost of one is high but still having a power rack and dumbbells ?

    1. Hey Dalton! I think you could probably get a majority of the benefits from the B2B program if you have some essential equipment at home. Some of the cable machines were really helpful for some of the core strengthening exercises and also lat pull downs near the beginning of the program. I’d give an email to the Bony to Beastly guys when you sign up and see if they have some good alternative exercises you could do without the cables. In terms of other equipment for home, I’d say a workout bench, enough dumbbell weights, and a barbell with weights should get you through a majority of the exercises.

  4. hey Albert! congrats on all the great results! You’re truly an inspiration! I’m a fellow skinny guy, doing residency, trying to balance the crazy hours at the hospital, eating right, relationships.. awesome to find your site; you still happy with the beastly program?

    1. Hey L! Thanks! That’s awesome, what residency are you doing? Yeah, the balance is one of the toughest things to handle. The biggest thing is, if you make your health and weight gain goals a priority, you can totally have a good balance and make some good gains. If your friends, family, or loved one is there to support you too through the long days / nights, it’s even more helpful! I’ve been extremely happy with the program, I’ve put on about 30 lbs and have maintained the weight. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot of technique and how skinny guys like us should approach diet, exercise, and nutrition.

      1. hey man, I’m doing IM; what year are you? what do u want to do everntually? refreshing to see this perspective, since most people I know are trying to lose weight; very people with the same goals regarding diet/exercise; i’ve been going back and forth trying to get into a good running form, train for races, which is impossible to do and still gain weight, sadly, i’ve made weight/muscle gain a priority now and will go full force in a week (stupid step 3, lol) ; still considering bony-beastly, but 200 bucks is somewhat steep on a resident’s salary haha. how active is the message board?
        thanks for doing this blog, it’s inspiring

        1. Right on, awesome! Good luck with Step 3. I’m in 3rd year of family med now, exciting now that I’m applying for real jobs! hehe, yeah, our goals are pretty much total opposite of other peoples’ goals. It might be tough to juggle intense running / training with gaining weight, but I definitely still went out and did cardio in the form of basketball and volleyball all while gaining weight. It’s not as hardcore as training for races or marathons though.

          Everything seems so expensive with our student loans looming 🙂 The message board is actually very active. It’s one of my favorite parts of the B2B program. New members are encouraged to post up on the board and share their progress. I thought it was very helpful because it kept me accountable, striving to put on more weight when people are looking at your progress. Also, the B2B guys are very good at answering any questions you may have along the way. I had a bunch of questions and felt like such a beginner, but they always got back to me with tips, suggestions, etc. It’s also where they have videos of how to perform the exercises with perfect form. It’s like having your own personal trainer available to you 24/7.

          My opinion is obviously completely biased because I’ve had success with the program. Before B2B, I’ve never been able to consistently put on and keep on weight. It’s been so valuable, providing all the knowledge I need in one place. Plus the social support system is what brings it over the top. I like to compare it to Weight Watchers for skinny guys… you have more success with your goals when you’re a part of a community group!

          Good luck with studying and keep me updated on your progress!

    1. Hi Guarav,

      Thanks for the message and checking out my blog. Certainly, there is nothing “magic” about the Bony To Beastly. What I mean, is there there is no special “secret” that you will only know how to do from the program. What the program is, is a great guideline that tells you pretty much EXACTLy what workout, exercise to do, along with giving you guidance on nutrition and supplements.

      There is nothing super fancy, but it WORKS.
      If you are unable to purchase the program, I would instead consider developing a workout plan focusing on “compound” movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench presses. Of course, I would start off slow and make sure you really do the exercises properly — either have a trainer demonstrate for you how to do these exercises or watch videos on YouTube. It’s really important to do the exercises with proper form as to avoid injury.

      Next, I would suggest keeping track of what you eat with a calorie counter such as Myfitnesspal. Entire in your entire week’s worth of food…in a nutshell, you should probably have to eat about 500 more calories per week than what you normally do to start gaining weight.

      Before finding the bony to beastly program, I really wasn’t sure if what I was doing would work. So I would read different magazines and books, and change up my workouts. Part of my issue was just sticking with a program from start to finish. B2B really spells it out for you exactly what you should be doing, so I saw this as really helpful.

      Hope this helps!

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