Tired of being called the ‘skinny guy’? Always feel like you’re the weakest in the gym? Being an ectomorph, for many, is just as bad as being an. For an ectomorph, however, you have to build muscle before you refine it. You must . The following is bulking program which utilizes the building-on technique . So you’re a skinny guy, a hardgainer, an ectomorph as far as science and As a hardgainer, you need to adopt a constant bulking mindset.

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They start off by mentioning how terrible their genetics are and how borderline impossible it is for them to build muscle or gain weight. This of course is done to make you see that they are or were just like you. I totally get that.

So why am I ectomlrphs you this? Just like you are. Or, at least… just like you think you are. Let me tell you all about it….

Usually something along the lines of the following…. These words are most commonly used to describe a man or woman who is naturally or better yet, genetically prone to being skinny and has a harder time building muscle or just gaining weight in general than most people. They often tend to be picky eaters with small appetites although you do occasionally see the opposite too.

They have a small bone structure. Narrow shoulders, flat chest, narrow waist and hips, super small and skinny wrists, super small and skinny ankles. And yes, I would say that all of this describes the hardgainer as well. But, if you ask me, there is one very subtle difference here:. And therein lies a key difference. One is skinny and lean, and one is just plain skinny.

Or, more accurately with this body type… skinny-fat. There are skinny ectomorphs that are naturally lean and defined the good versionand there are skinny ectomorphs that are naturally skinny-fat the bad version.

Now granted, both versions suck if your goal is building muscle and this article is aimed at helping both. But, that second version — the bad one — that one sucks a little extra. Those are what I call hardgainers. They have all the negative aspects of this body type super thin frame, fast metabolism, etc. And in a deficit, they tend to lose more muscle and less fat. After learning what a hardgainer is, everyone thinks they are one.

I gain too much fat in a surplus, I lose too much muscle in a deficit… thus leaving me skinny-fat. Or maybe one of the other reasons people fail at improving their bodies. Like I said, this describes most of the population.

The true hardgainer definitely DOES exist in that there are people who, when doing everything rightare just genetically below average at gaining muscle.

But whatever is it, there are most definitely men and women out there who, with all else being equalare genetically less-good at muscle growth than the average person is. Please allow me to take your coat and remind you that as long as your diet and workout routine are designed intelligently and executed correctly, you CAN still build muscle and get lean despite your less-than-stellar genetics.

The next step is figuring out how you need to train to get the most out of your below average genetics and build muscle as well as you can. So, what kind of workout routine is best for people like us? And guess what happened when I tried training this way? Guess what happened when I put all of that advice into action? See 3 here for additional details. It flat out sucksjust like how this type of training tends to suck for the rest of the population, too. In my experience and I wasted years training at a shitty once-per-week frequencywe lose muscular, neural and even technical adaptations surprisingly fast.


Case in point, when some people take a full week off from training, they can often come back right where they left off and feel fine, sometimes even better and stronger. To a lesser extent, I think this is exactly why we are so extra bad at low frequency training. We lose way too much progress way too quickly during those full 7 days between training that body part again.

Again, I find this to be true for most people… just to a much higher degree with our body type. I know, I just said to avoid low frequency training because we suck at it… and we do. But at the same time, I find that our body type also sucks at higher frequency training which in this case will be defined as training each body part 3 times per week or more.

Beginners are an exception here. When done right, full body workouts are usually a bunch of big compound exercises sometimes with lots of supersets — another thing I think we suck at — to allow you to fit what you need without the workout taking forever.

But the fact that the exercises being done are training the whole body makes it quite a bit more fatiguing and taxing overall on the CNS. Not exactly something an ectomorph or hardgainer does well with. Again, beginners are the exception. In what will become a running theme here as you go through this list, our CNS central nervous system recovery and work capacity are both below average.

All part of what makes our shitty genetics so damn shitty. And this fact means we respond to certain aspects of training a bit differently than others and should tweak these things accordingly.

One such area is rest periods. Not a second less, and sometimes slightly more like 3: Doing so leads to a huge improvement in my strength, performance, form, ability to progress, and just my overall comfort level on subsequent sets. For your secondary exercises the stuff in theoror even rep range, where progressive tension is still a big focus, but metabolic fatigue and muscular damage is now a focus as wellI think slightly shorter rest periods minutes are still ideal.

BUT, you may still want to experiment with exactly how long you take. I know exactly which exercises I do best with more or less rest during. Something like total reps for each big muscle group per workout, and around half that for smaller muscle groups with again, about two workouts per week.

In all honesty, I do believe that the rep range is probably the most important and beneficial rep range for ANYONE trying to build muscle, including us ectomorphs and hardgainers. Second, while progressive tension is the biggest muscle growth signaler and the rep range is ideal for thatsome degree of muscular fatigue and damage helps to signal growth too. Going into these higher rep ranges, even is ideal for that.

This is why there are few aspects of weight training as bad for us as going to failure all the time, or just ending up going to failure more often than we should which, if you ask me, would ideally be just slightly more frequently than never. It just tends to suck a whole lot more for people with our genetics.


Mentally and physically drained. Just a little out of it overall. I just naturally tend to lose 1 rep in each subsequent set with the same weight.

Where you start with the lightest weight and end with your heaviest weight while decreasing reps e. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups, rows, various single leg movements, etc. You read and understood 9, right?

Bulking For Ectomorphs: Nutritional Requirements Including Sample Diet!

For example, biceps and triceps isolation work is not the devil. When programmed correctly i. And stuff like leg presses, lat pull-downs, lateral raises, leg curls, chest flyes, various Hammer Strength machines, cable-based exercises and even the dreaded leg extension? In my case for example, I avoid the incline barbell bench press bothers my shoulders in favor of the incline Hammer Strength machine feels absolutely perfect for me. Look, if you want to build big legs, the back squat is a fantastic way to do it.

This is why I include it in virtually every program I design by default. What kind of people am I referring to? In these cases, they might be better off experimenting with focusing less on squats, and more on leg presses, deadlifts, and various single leg exercises split squats, lunges, single-leg leg press, etc. Or, just skipping squats altogether in favor of these kinds of exercises.

And that is, I find I can train muscle groups twice per week with no problem. So I can squat on Monday and leg press on Thursday, but squatting both days sucks. I can do heavy weighted pull-ups one day and higher rep lat pull downs on another. But heavy pull-ups twice a week sucks. I can overhead press one day, and do lateral raises on another.

But overhead pressing on both days? Again, deloading is something I recommend to everyone regardless of body type or genetics.

Bulking For Ectomorphs: Nutritional Requirements Including Sample Diet!

For this ectomorpgs, when we hit that wall, we really need to pay close attention and back off a bit. As mentioned earlier, I think we suck at taking actual time off e.

Instead, we need to deload, and in my experience we myself included do much better by deloading intensity rather than volume. Technically, every exercise is potentially an injury-causing exercise bulkinv on your form and overall workout routine. And of course, individualization plays a huge role here as some people can do certain exercises forever and be buulking fine, while others will have problems. In that same vein, I find that there are exercises that just tend to pose an increased risk to the thin bone structure, joints and tendons of an ectomorph.

Ectomorph Body Types: Bulking Up for Skinny Guys

First up on that list for me is the straight barbell curl. Now I did straight barbell curls on and off for years without any problem. Stick with the EZ curl bar or dumbbells instead. Heavy chin-ups underhand grip were almost an identical issue for me. Stick with pull-ups overhand gripneutral grip palms facing each others or rings. Then we have skull crushers. Either find a safer way of doing them details here: The biggest point here is that if ANY exercise free weight, body weight, machine, barbell, dumbbell, cable, etc.