If you have a naturally skinny frame, you might be despondent about your potential for bulking up. A personal trainer might even have called you an "ectomorph" - in contrast to a mesomorph, a man who tends to look muscular even when their workout regime falls short of yours in rigour. 

However, you can still build meaningful strength and muscle - you might just have to change tack when you exercise or replenish yourself with food and drink. Here are some pointers...

Eat enough food - and the right food
"Underweight people tend to overestimate their daily kilojoule intake," explains nutritionist Alan Aragon, as quoted by Health24. "Then they incorrectly attribute their low weight to a high metabolism." Hence, you should be careful to accurately calculate your kilojoule count.

If it isn't high enough to foster muscle growth, get more from healthy foods - like antioxidant-rich foods which could help you combat inflammation and, thus, the likelihood of cancer.

Stick to a protein-heavy - but still balanced - diet
You might already have often been told of the need to load significant amounts of protein into your diet. You should definitely heed this - such as through consuming the natural foods of turkey, eggs and salmon and turning to suitable supplements, like protein-heavy powders, bars or milks. 

However, also drink plentiful water to negate adverse effects of protein straining your kidneys, the Express advises.Your intake of carbs and fat should also be aimed at helping to balance your meals.

Set goals and monitor your progress towards them
You might have a specific idea of how much muscle you would like to gain. Keep this goal in mind during your muscle-building regime, as it could significantly help you to focus your efforts.

As for how to closely track your progress, you could weekly measure several girths on your body - including your chest, waist, bicep, neck, hips, thighs and calf. On each occasion that you carry out these measurements, photograph yourself, as doing so can also help stoke your motivation.

Pursue activities you genuinely enjoy
Of course, key to seeing long-term results with your regime is to keep adhering to that regime. Nonetheless, your drive could easily falter if you don't enjoy what you do. Hence, you should opt for sports and exercises that you know you like; you will even strengthen your efforts without realising.

Choosing a pleasant setting for your workouts could also help buoy you up. Fortunately, Prestige Boot Camp runs workout retreats in stunning exotic places like Spain and Portugal.

Don't be disheartened if early results falter
When you first get underway with your muscle building efforts, discernible results could be few and far between. For example, you might initially put on a few kilograms or lose one or two. Furthermore, adapting to a radically different routine can be seriously testing in the earliest weeks.

However, steady growth awaits once you have gotten used to your shifted routine. "Beginning lifters can expect about 1kg of muscle growth a month," says Aragon.