Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys


  • 4-Week, 5 days/week
  • Hypertrophy/muscle-building focus
  • Includes focused core strength training and limited work capacity
  • This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.




Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys is a strength training program designed add muscle mass to hard-gainers and skinny guys.

Muscle hypertrophy means increasing the thickness of muscle (increasing cross-section) through moderately high volume and loading. In addition to mass building upper and lower body strength exercises, the program inlcudes some work capacity training and focused core strength work. This general fitness plan will increase your bodyweight via muscle mass, while maintaining your work capacity engine.



Monday: Leg and Arm Hypertrophy
Tuesday: Chest/Shoulders/Back Hypertrophy
Wednesdays: Work Capacity/Core
Thursday: Leg and Arm Hypertrophy
Friday: Chest/Shoulders/Back Hypertrophy
Take Saturday and Sunday completely off. Total rest.



This Program requires a fully equipped gym. It can be completed in any commercial gym.



How long should each session last?
60 min. Wednesday’s session shouldn’t take longer than 45 min.

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This programmed is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming. 
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

How do I access the plan? Pdf? Online?
Plan access is online, via username and password.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

What if I have more questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com

Good Luck!

Required Equipment

This Program requires a fully equipped gym. It can be completed in any commercial gym.

Sample Training

Below is Week 1 from this Training Plan:


Warm up:

4x Barbell Complex @ 45/65#

(1) 8 Rounds

  • 8x Front Squat (Increase load each round until 8 is hard, but doable)

  • 8x Standing Standing Barbell Power Curls (These aren't strict - you can swing your upper body - keep increasing load until 8x is

  • hard but doable)

  • 5x Shoulder dislocate + 5x Overhead Squat with PVC

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 10x Dead Lift (Increase load each round until 10x is hard, but doable.)

  • 10x Tricep Bench Dips (Feet on one bench, hands on another, lower your body and press up. Add weight (dumbbell/plate) on your lap to increase load)

  • 15x Situps

(3) 4 Rounds

  • 12x Back Squat (Increase load each round until 12x is hard, but doable.)

  • 12x Curl to Press @ 25# dumbbells (go heavier if possible but keep these strict.)

  • 30/5/30 Sean Special

Warm up:

4x Barbell Complex @ 45/65#


(1) 8 Rounds

  • 8x Bench Press  (Increase load each round until 8 is hard, but doable)

  • 8x Bent over Barbell Rows  (Increase load each round until 8 is hard, but doable. Do these strict - no swinging!)

  • 8x Shoulder Dislocate with PVC

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 10x Sitting Alternating & Rotating Dumbbell Shoulder Press each arm  (Increase load each round until 10x is hard, but doable)

  • 10x Horizontal Pull ups

  • 15x Situps

(3) 4 Rounds

  • 12x Incline Bench Press  (Increase load each round until 12x is hard, but doable)

  • 8x Chin ups (palms toward face - strict! - no kipping!)

  • 30/30 side bridge

Obj: Work Capacity

Warm up: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

  • Squat Jumps

  • Clapping push ups

  • Sit-ups

(1) 5 Rounds

  • 60 second 25m shuttle sprint back and forth, touch line at each end

  • 60 second rest

(2) 5 Rounds

  • 10x Slasher to halo @ 12kg (20x total)

  • 1 minute front bridge feet elevated

  • 10x weighted Sit-ups @ 35#

  • 15x Back Extensions unloaded

  • (3) 2 Rounds

  • 50x Glute Leg Lifts

  • 50x Shoulder Hand Jobs @ 2.5#


Obj: Hypertrophy
Warm up: 4 Rounds

  • Barbell Complex @ 55#

  • Instep Stretch

(1) 8 Rounds

  • 8x Dead Lift (Increase load each round until 8x is hard, but doable)

  • 8x Standing alternating dumbbell curls each arm (Try to increase load. These don't need to be super strict - you can swing)

  • 3x Shoulder Jackknives

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 10x Walking Lunge Steps each Leg holding 2x 16kg kettlebells or 2x 35# dumbbells

  • 10x Dips (loaded if possible)

  • Lat + Pec Stretch

(3) 4 Rounds

  • 12x Back Squats (Increase load each round until 12x is hard, but doable.)

  • 12x Curl to Press @ 25# dumbbells (Go heavier if possible but keep these strict.)

  • Hip Flexor Stretch


Obj: Hypertrophy
Warm up: 4 Rounds

  • BarbellComplex @ 55#

  • Instep Stretch

(1) 8 Rounds

  • 8x Incline Bench Press (Increase load each round until 8x is hard, but doable)

  • 8x Chin Ups (palms facing face)

  • Frog Stretch

(2) 6 Rounds

  • 10x Dumbbell Fly (Increase load until 10x is hard, but doable - do these slow and strict, Try to)

  • 10x 1-Arm Dumbbell Row each hand (Increase load until 10x is hard, but doable - do these slow and strict)

  • 5x Shoulder Dislocates

(3) 4 Rounds

  • 12x Tricep Bench Dips (Feet on one bench, hands on another, lower your body and press up. Add weight (dumbbell/plate) on your lap to increase load)

  • 12x Bent over Row (Increase load until 12x is hard but doable. Stay strict)

  • 3x Shoulder Jackknives

Show More

1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman - so I can't put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there - our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we've put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Email: rob@mtntactical.com


Coach, I wanted to say nice job on Hypertrophy & Rat 6.
Started the two right after SFAS, at 150lbs. Ate everything during Hypertrophy, finished it at 165-168 depending on time of day. Ate clean, but lots of carbs through rice. Did a 1 week deload, then started Rat 6. Weights are before-after
Bench 245-275
Strict Press 135-165
Power Clean 200-225
Clean & Jerk 200-245
Front Squat 220-295
Deadlift 315-375
*I replaced squat clean with full c/j, and hinge lift with full deads.
Current weight is about 175, below 10% body fat.
Planning on doing valor again next then restarting the 3 over again in order.

Thanks again coach!


I'm excited to write this email, because this will be the second military athlete program I have completed. The first being the Afghanistan pre deployment program. I am currently on a rest day anxious for week 4 of the Hypertrophyprogram. I have been following the meal plan and eating everything I can and can tolorate. As far as protien and peanut butter I just re supplied myself with the help of friends and family in the states. I wanted to get advice from the man himself, on what workout would be beneficial to keep gaining size and overall strength and durability.  I went from 134 to 148lbs. I recently scored a 300 on a pt test here in Afghanistan about a week ago with my 2 mile time sitting surely at 11:52. I'm happy with where I'm at for running that has always been part of a weekly schedule. What program(s) though would you recommend for me, whether it be part of LEA, MA, or MA it doesnt matter to me. Im actually looking into SWAT once I leave the military this next summer. Look forward to hearing from you!

Thank You,
- J

I am one week away from completing my third military athlete program and am once again more than satisfied with the results.  To date I have completed the body weight, skinny guy and am one week away from completing the 357 plan.  I am sure you get inundated with emails so as a refresher my initial goals were to increase strength and to add some mass.  I started at 158 and am now somewhere around 174 (I am 6'1" and 32 years old); so I am headed in the correct direction. I would like to eventually get back up to a weight of 190; where I was prior to training for/running a marathon a couple of years ago.  I have also seen strength gains via the 357 plan and feel fitter and healthier overall.
- P

You're a busy guy; I'll try to keep it short:  I'm a 5-year swat vet in Virginia and just finished the Hypertrophy Program for Skinny Guys. Great program.

I'm 5'10, 36 years old.
Pre-Skinny Guy workout weight: 169-173#
Post-Skinny Guy workout weight: 175-178#

- B


I recently used the Hypertrophy for Skinny Guys plan…it was awesome.  I added 7lbs of muscle over the month and saw some strength gains along the way.
Show More

Athlete’s Subscription Package

Sign Up

This Plan is one of 200+ plans included in the Athlete's Subscription.