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Ectomorph Workout Programs For Growth: Great Training For Skinny Dudes!

Do you feel like you're a skinny bag of bones? Does your chest resemble the floor you walk upon? I've put together 2 great workouts designed for the hardgainer/ectomorph in mind. Try them and watch your body grow.

By: Kevin Singh

Article Summary:
  • Nutrition can make or break a body, it is not to be taken lightly.
  • Change things up every now and then to surprise your body into growth.
  • Just because you are skinny doesn't mean that you have to stay that way!
  • Do you feel like you are a skinny bag of bones with little muscle mass? Does your chest resemble the floor you walk upon ... flat? Do you even have a butt? (I know I didn't). Do you want to change that?

    Well if this sounds like you, you just may fall under the body type of an ectomorph, someone that is naturally skinny, perhaps boney, narrow, maybe you sweat easily, etc.

    What is right for an ectomorph may not necessarily be right for a mesomorph or isomorph (other body types), this means that everybody or "every body" should not work out the same, what is right for your friend may not necessarily right for you, what is right for professional bodybuilders and fitness models may not be necessarily right for you.

    At the same time someone working to put on muscle mass, someone working to put on cuts, and someone working to lift like Hercules (strength training) should all be working out differently.

    One reason this awesome article and regimen was made was so that you ectomorphs that want to put on muscle mass can enter the gym with actual knowledge of how you are going about putting on slabs of muscle and not be deterred because of building your body the wrong way.

    Another term for ectomorph is hardgainer as it is hard for ectomorphs to gain muscle mass (obviously it can be done but it is not as easy as it is for other body types).

    If you are beginner to bodybuilding I have great news for you already! Beginners usually see a noticeable difference in their body right away, because many of their bodies have never really dealt with weights the resistance is suddenly shocking to their muscles and well out of the blue, something it isn't used to, this is good because the muscles are forced to expand when reacting to weight and grow.

    Author, Kevin Singh: 'Beginners Usually See A Noticeable Difference In Their Body Right Away.'
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Author, Kevin Singh: "Beginners Usually See
    A Noticeable Difference In Their Body Right Away."

    It is true that any human body's muscles expand when dealing with weights, but a newbie is especially likely to feel this because their body is especially not used to the sudden pressure compared with someone who has been bodybuilding for some time.

    So you know you are going to get results as a beginner ectomorph in the gym no matter what workout regimen you use, however do you want to maximize your time in the gym and out or let a lot of that hard work, time and money go to waste?

    Bodybuilding is what the word says, building the body, do not be fooled into thinking that heaving around a lot of heavy metal in the gym is all you need to do to get much bigger and/or muscular, it is true that you will see some results, but if you are serious about having a fantastic physique, it's essential you work smart and hard, not only hard. Bodybuilding is a science.

    RELATED POLL
    What Is Your Body Type?

    Endomorph
    Mesomorph
    Ectomorph

    dot
    A Bit About Me
    dot

    For me it's not about impressing chicks to get dates, or about out bench pressing others, or even because I love bodybuilding and want to challenge myself with the sport, I do it for my acting career. I started working out in high school, in I think grade 11, to upgrade my body for my acting career.

    I felt that being skinny would affect the roles I would play negatively. I felt and feel that for a hero and main roles, it's a good idea if I am, well, dissimilar from the heroines. It is also true that muscular size and intelligence often contribute to having more confidence and presence.

    In grade 11, I think it was, I got a cheap bench, and mostly trained with 20 pound and 30 pound dumbbells. I did exercises like push-ups, concentration curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, shoulder press, lunges, etc.

    I Started Working Out To Upgrade My Body For My Acting Career.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Started Working Out To Upgrade
    My Body For My Acting Career.

    In grade 11 I think I was around 115 (around 5 ft 8 or 8.5) and before entering the University of Toronto Scarborough campus (end of grade 12) I think I was around 130 pounds.

    When I reached there, I finally got the opportunity to bodybuild in a gym that had much better equipment than I had at my house and that I had regular access to. My high school gym was only open 3 days a week and with the cancellations and my involvement in school clubs, etc, it wasn't happening.

    I started working out at UTSC in September and by the end of the year I gained another 20 pounds which got me up to 150 pounds. Now I could have grown a lot more but my dedication and effort were not as high as they could have been, I did not have the awesome regimen that I am outlining here.

    I Felt That Being Very Skinny Would Affect The Roles I Would Play Negatively
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Felt That Being Very Skinny Would
    Affect The Roles I Would Play Negatively.

    I did gain some bad fat - one reason was that I started eating lots of ice-cream and junk food; boy was I wrong about eating junk food to gain muscle mass, but I gained muscle too!

    I have not been working on my body as hard or as smart as I could have been to date but one day I feel I will have an AWE-SOME body with much more muscle mass than I do now in 2008, and the newly implemented workout outline in this article will help me to do it.

    I must confess that most, if not all of the gains that are apparent in my photos are not a result of the regimens outlined in this article, I improved by doing different exercises that were somewhat random. I used regimens that were nowhere near to being great or even good, let alone elite.

    I Improved By Doing Different Exercises That Were Somewhat Random.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Improved By Doing Different
    Exercises That Were Somewhat Random.

    I didn't work out my legs and other body parts properly, and I had no idea how to build a V-taper, not to mention the lack of variation and knowledge.

    Now though, when I have been using one of the newly made well thought out and researched workout programs here for more than a month and a half so far. I can already see a big difference right away and I can tell a whole new world of improvement is coming.

    I wish I had these programs and tips when I first started but their implementation is helping me now and I am sure they will help your body too.

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    dot
    The Workout Plan
    dot

    I love the workout plan focused upon in this article because it uses mostly compound exercises which are important for putting on overall muscle mass, I feel it leaves time for muscles to re-energize and get rest, I feel it contributes to thickness AND width, I feel that it assists with building a V-taper, I feel all major muscles are used, that there is variation, and just that it's a good workout all and all. Furthermore exercises are switched around in the cycles to promote variation.

    This workout regimen in my opinion is not only great for ectomorphs in general but even good for other body types wanting to put on muscle mass, although I do admit that I am not sure how many reps these other body type people should work out with.

    Steeve Reeves and countless other bodybuilders (including me) are sticklers for proper form - not only is performing exercises properly more beneficial but more safe as well. However sometimes it is also beneficial to force a rep not in proper form.

    Cardio Bodybuilding.com Exercise Guides:
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    I suggest checking out articles on Bodybuilding.com and definitely recommend watching Milos Sarcev (he is often on The Fit Show) to learn about exercises and bodybuilding as he is a wonderful bodybuilder, good at explaining, and is well, a pyramid (or should I say V-taper) of knowledge himself.

    It is important to change things up every now and then so that muscles are continually shocked, variation promotes muscle growth. The reps are intentionally set low assuming that you are using a weight that is heavy for you and doing the exercises properly. If the exercise demands 6 reps and you can do 9 without going crazy, it is too light.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    The Fit Show: Chest Training With Milos Sarcev!
    This week on The Fit Show, get ready for a mind blowing chest workout with bodybuilding legend Milos Sarcev.
    Author:
    The Fit Show

    Unfortunately in bodybuilding, sometimes "the simple" is even disagreed upon. This regime operates under the base:

    • Strength Training: 1-5 reps x 4-6 sets (Very heavy)
    • Building For Mass: 6-8 reps x 8-12 sets (Heavy)
    • Cuts: 10-12 reps x 15-30 sets (Heavy Light)

    "Heavy light" means that the weight is still heavy but not really, it's more about endurance. All workouts should be hard to complete - having you working hard pumping blood into your muscles and sweating ... none of them should be easy.

    There are 2 cycles within the two workout regimens outlined in this article. Each cycle lasts 4 weeks and a week break from exercising (not nutrition and sleep) after that repeat with the next cycle.

    dot
    5 Days A Week
    dot

    I encourage stretching and warming up 200%, actually make that 300%. Stretching is basically using your own body without weights to stretch. I am not really sure how to explain stretching but I trust you know what it is. Touching your toes, making butterflies with your arms, etc. I suggest normally stretching your whole body on all days. Stretch your legs on all days not only leg day.

    Warming up is basically performing an exercise with a weight that is fairly light for you before you start to begin your real sets and lift heavy. I like to use half of my heavy weight or a little more for 10-12 reps - be a little fatigued, do not be tired and out of breath.

    I often (not always) warm up with no weights at all before warming up with around half of my heavy weight, I think this is beneficial. Stretch prior to dealing with any weights as soon as you enter the gym, and then warm-up before each exercise. They help to prepare the muscles for the movement, get the blood circulating, prevent injury, warm up your muscles so you can lift more comfortably, etc.

    CYCLE 1

    Chest & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Chest & Abs.

    Back, Shoulders & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Back, Shoulders & Abs.

    Legs, Traps & Chest: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Legs, Traps & Chest.

    Arms: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Arms.

    CYCLE 2

    Chest & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Chest & Abs.

    Back, Shoulders & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Back, Shoulders & Abs.

    Legs & Traps: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Legs & Traps.

    Arms: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Arms.

    dot Break: Breaks Are Important! dot

      Each cycle last 4 weeks. When the cycle is over take a 1-week break before beginning the next cycle. Do not take a break from regular nutrition or sleep.

      During this week, don't make it a point to give yourself direct exercise, meaning don't go for runs or hop on an exercise bike for the purpose of doing cardio, however if you really want to do activities like soccer or dance, don't hold it against yourself ... but don't do it every day either if your main priority is your body. Breaks are important, make sure you take them!

      Right now my general plan to gain overall muscle mass is to use a weight gainer for 7 months, then use a protein powder for the remaining 5 months of the year (April, May, June, July, August).

    Breaks Are Important, Make Sure You Take Them!
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Breaks Are Important, Make Sure You Take Them!

      This may change as I deal with more expensive supplements, e.g. when I make a lot of money I may use a supplement like Myoplex for the whole year and maybe a meal replacement that contains protein on weekends, maybe even creatine.

      So far for many years, I usually take half of the powder instructed to save money and get more out of a bin. E.g. if it says 3 scoops, I may take 1.5 scoops. I feel I will take the amount instructed when I become better off financially and you take the recommended dose if your finances allow, but only if you are working hard.

      Some supplement have a lot of fat and other stuff inside so if you don't work out, these ingredients will not run straight to your sore muscles and may end up doing more bad to your body than good.

    Supplement Information Bodybuilding.com:
    Supplement Guides.

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    dot Notes: dot

      For forearm curls, shoulder side laterals, and incline hammer curls only work one deltoid and biceps at a time. You should never be holding more than one dumbbell while performing these exercises. It is 6 reps on one deltoid/biceps, then switch the dumbbell to the other hand and, another 6 reps.

      Chest:

      • Do presses and pullovers for mass. When you want to separate the chest, do flyes.
      • It is good to change things up every now and then to surprise your body into growth rather than always dishing out the usual medicine.
      • I am not sure but doing barbell chest presses without a smith machine may be better in general, however I do not have a training partner to help me and don't want to ask people to spot me every 5 minutes, so I prefer to use the Smith Machine - I can lift heavy by myself and practically just turn the hooks if I am having trouble moving the weight.

    RELATED VIDEO: CHEST TRAINING


    Tri-Phase Training Video Series:
    Phase #1: Volume Training!

    In this second episode, watch and learn as Scivation's Marc Lobiner and Derek Charlesbois explain Tri-Phase Training, doing a Chest and Shoulders volume workout on Day Two!

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
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    [ Scivation Tri-Phase Training: Video Show Main Page ]

      Back & Shoulders:

      • Where to position your hands when doing pull-ups and pulldowns is a sticky question, I was told it depends on your height but am not sure if that is the main factor that determines hand placement, whatever you do though make sure you position your hands are wider than your shoulders as you are going for back width here (which, by the way, also shows on the front side of the body).
      • For me I currently like hands a little past the bend of the bar for pull-ups and hands at maximum width on the longest bar attachment for behind-the-head pull-downs.

      Legs & Trapezius:

      • Not working out the legs can make the body look unbalanced, and can make you slower as you will gain muscle weight on your upper body and not have a good amount of muscle weight in the lower body to support it.
      • Also some leg exercises work your bum, which is probably another dimension all you ectomorphs want to make 3D.
      • Nice muscular legs definitely contribute to a built physique/look, some even say that working out the lower body helps the upper body to grow, do not ignore the legs!

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Rollin' On Dubs!
    What we will discuss today is the high-rep part of the equation, providing a leg workout plan as well as recommendations for leg day supplementation.
    Author:
    Marc Lobliner

      • I am not too concerned with having nice big calves so I don't work them, however if you wish to do so, obviously you may, I am not sure what exercise I would recommend replacing or where it should be added in.
      • One of the hardest decisions for this regimen was not implementing the normal barbell deadlift. Perhaps the main reason I did this is because I really don't like performing normal barbell deadlifts and feel I do not do them properly, also I feel there is enough work on the abs, butt, hamstrings and quadriceps in the regimen already.
      • If you are good at doing normal barbell squats, do them if you feel you should, I think maybe replace leg extensions in cycle 2, but like I said I don't know. Many people would disagree with my choice to exclude this exercise, that many people would agree as well.
      • Watch Milos leg workouts on The Fit Show.

      Biceps, Triceps & Forearm:

      • For the push-ups just do a quick set to warm up the body, for example a quick 10 push-ups. The point is NOT that you get your muscles tired and that you get out of breath, just a short quick warm-up. Up or lower the repetitions according to how you feel.
      • If you honestly think the skull crusher machine is better for you than the EZ bar than use that, but I think the normal EZ bar is much better.
      • For triceps extensions, I prefer doing them on a utility bench but you can also try doing them on your knees, standing up, or sitting, do what you think is best for you.

    Do What You Think Is Best For You
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Do What You Think Is Best For You.

      • If performing this exercise on the utility bench and you feel that the weight is not going deep enough than tilt your head downward and extend the weight into the space between the back of your head and the bench.
      • For triceps dips, don't lean forward a bit or you will be putting more stress on the chest, you want the stress to be focused on your triceps if following this regimen.
      • The long head and short head are different heads on the bicep. Brachialis is part between biceps and triceps, working this helps create illusion of a bigger arm, plus an arm arguably looks better all in all with a developed Brachialis.
      • One selling point of triceps chest press is that it works inner chest, you can do this instead of skull crushers however with my experience so far I feel that skull crushers works my triceps better, it may be different for you though.
      • I work the forearms for 5 reps as I think I am more concerned about my forearms being strong than big, as they support other exercises such as the stiff leg deadlift, dumbbell curls, dumbbell trapezius raises, etc. Forearms will still grow in size with 5 reps however it is arguable that they will grow more in size with 6 reps.

    Cardio Building Huge Arms Super Feature
    Forearms!

    Get the detailed information right here about forearm anatomy, arm pictures of the pros, exercises specific to the forearm, and forearm workouts!

    [ Check Out The Building Huge Arms Super Feature ]

      Cardio & Abs:

      • When your top two abdominals start showing well, I would advise to stop doing the normal lying crunches, and instead do lying leg raises.
      • Circuit training means that the exercises are performed one after another. E.g. instead of 3 sets of lying crunches followed by 3 sets of lying leg raises followed by 3 sets of bent crunches it would be one set of lying crunches, then one set of lying leg raises, then one set of bent crunches, repeated 3 times.
      • The ab circuit training begins after 3 sets of jump rope. Either go straight to the next ab exercise or rest for 15-30 seconds between exercises.
      • For back/shoulders day - Knee raises or leg raises, you do what you think works your abs better. If your abs are not strong enough to do these properly yet on even a Roman chair, do seated leg tucks on a flat bench or lying leg raises with a medicine ball. Some Roman chairs make the exercises much harder than others. When you attain the strength though, move on to the Roman chair, and eventually the bar.
      • After jump rope and ab exercises, have some water before your cardio exercise, however don't drink too much as you may have a problem performing cardio after consumption, maybe a small glass, you be the judge.

    RELATED VIDEO: ABDOMINAL TRAINING


    LiftRite Video Series:
    Episode #7: Hardcore Abdominal Training!

    Impressive abdominal muscles are often defined as the foundation of the perfectly balanced physique! Check out these exercises from beginner to advanced and listen in for nutrition facts!

    Click The Play Button To Start The Video.
    Or Download Here:
    Windows Media (88 MB) - Video iPod (130 MB)
    [ LiftRite Video Show Main Page ]

      • For chest days - exercise ball crunches
      • For chest days - Airbike
      • One style of bent crunches is the one labeled "crunches." You can do these with your legs on top of a sofa, on a flat bench, wrapped around a big exercise ball, etc.
      • Ab day can be done outside of the gym.
      • Bill Grant and many other bodybuilders (but not all) say to keep away from oblique exercises as they may make the obliques big which will take away from symmetry and V-taper. If you don't know what a V-taper is, search it! I believe them.
      • Big abs do the same thing and because I don't want big abs for myself, I did not implement any weight resisting ab exercises and don't plan to.
      • Abdominals are just like other muscles in the way that they will expand in size due to proportions of weight commanded upon them, I do not use weights for my abdominals because I do not want big blocky abs. So for now and perhaps forever I am cutting out direct oblique exercises and weighted ab specific exercises.
      • 10 proper exercises can be better than 80 improper ones, do the exercises properly, force your abs to do the work, do not swing your self, it is quality that matters more in bodybuilding than quantity.

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    Abs (Self-Portrait)
    Abs (Self-Portrait)
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    Week #14 - 6/13/2006
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      • When working the abdominal muscles it is especially important that your food is well digested, so digest your food before you work out.
      • Just a quick tidbit of knowledge - It is a combination of developed abdominals AND low body fat that allow the abs to be seen well. Someone may have developed abdominals but they will not be seen well if their body fat is high, just as someone with low body fat may not have nice abs because they have not been built and sculpted.
      • The cardio is not supposed to be a walk in the park, literally and as it shouldn't be easy. When you are doing cardio you should be doing it hard, make yourself sweat! If you are playing soccer don't play light soccer, keep running, if you are jogging try to keep a fast pace for the full 20 minutes, walk a bit fast if you need a break, etc. Sweat because you are pushing yourself not because of the heat.
      • At end of day do what you think you should. If you think 20 minutes of cardio a week is too little for you than up it up. If you feel your job, dancing class, whatever has you doing enough cardio than limit or take out the ab day cardio. Remember too much cardio can sweat away muscle too not only fat, so don't over do it, and too little cardio will let stomach and other body fat grow. Do not totally exclude cardio though even when wanting to maximize muscle mass!
      • I suggest doing the cardio at the time when the sun is not pouring hot.

    RELATED POLL
    What Time Do You Do Cardio?

    Morning
    Afternoon
    Night
    Whenever I Have Time

    dot
    4 Days A Week
    dot

    Now I recommend the above 5-day program more than the program below, however the below program can come in handy when wanting to train within a smaller time span. This is a great program, do not underestimate it.

    I know I am contradicting my first sentence but honestly, sometimes I think that this program is better than the one outlined above. My mind is parted, right now I am thinking 55% 5-day regime and 45% 4-day regime.

    4 days a week, preferably a day of rest in between training. Now there should be a reason that you are using the 5-day program rather than the 4-day program and that reason should not be laziness, it should be because you want to use the saved time toward something else. Or it could be because you think this regimen is better.

    CYCLE 1

    Chest & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Chest & Abs.

    Legs, Biceps & Traps: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Legs, Biceps & Traps.

    Back, Shoulders & Triceps: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Back, Shoulders & Triceps.

    Abs & Cardio:

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 1: Abs & Cardio.

    CYCLE 2

    Chest, Biceps & Abs: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Chest, Biceps & Abs.

    Legs, Traps & Forearms: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Legs, Traps & Forearms.

    Back, Shoulders & Triceps: 3 Sets

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Back, Shoulders & Triceps.

    Abs & Cardio:

    print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Cycle 2: Abs & Cardio.

    dot Helpful Tips: dot

    • Palms-out refers to palms facing away from body (to outside), and palms-in refers to palms facing toward the body (to inside).
    • A large aspect of bodybuilding not really mentioned in this article has to do with nutrition. Nutrition can make or break a body, it is not to be taken lightly. I would go as far to say that Nutrition can double one's results in half the time.
    • Good sleep and eating are always apart of the game, and they are big parts. There are many articles on Bodybuilding.com that address bulking with nutrition; some articles specifically address bulking for ectomorphs.
    • Bad Fat = Trans fat and saturated fat.
    • Good Fat = Monounsaturated/polyunsaturated saturated and unsaturated.
    • One tactic that works well is when wanting to avoid junk food, is not to look at it! Put snacks away, don't leave them in the open where you will see them and develop cravings.

    RELATED ARTICLE

    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Manage Your Cravings!
    The next time you start longing for an entire meat lover's pizza or a banana split when you're already stuffed try following stay-sleek strategies!
    Author:
    JNL

    • You can use Smith Machine for various exercises but still use spotters if you feel they may be necessary.
    • It is true that a specific number of reps and sets are instructed above, however if I feel that I didn't work hard enough or that I did a bad job in an exercise, I will do more reps or another set.
    • Be careful not to overtrain though, obviously still work really hard. And while we are talking about overtraining, Do not spend all day in the gym, 45-60 minutes is good, after that kick yourself out.
    • If you are doing exercises for the first time and/or are having trouble executing them properly, do a lighter weight with more reps to practice, when you get it down go back to a heavy 6 (8 for chest).
    • I wouldn't suggest working out before 17 or until you feel that your height will not naturally increase anymore, just in case.
    • As mentioned earlier, most or all components of this regimen are compound exercises for muscle mass, I would suggest doing research outside this article if your goal is to shape your muscles and get especially toned or if your focus is strength.
    • There is more to these different focuses than just changing the amount of reps you do. E.g. If I want to get toned I will change the way I work out (perhaps more cardio, more reps, protein instead of weight gainer, more isolation exercises, etc.)

    If I Want To Get Toned I Will Change The Way I Work Out
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    If I Want To Get Toned I Will
    Change The Way I Work Out.

    • Do not be deterred, learning to do movements properly may take a while. E.g. when you are doing bicep curls, use your biceps not your back, when doing chest presses use your chest, not only arms, etc.
    • In my opinion it is better to do a hard weight with great form rather than a huge weight with screwy form.
    • When you eat too little your body will use your muscle as another source of fuel and energy, not a good idea. Also you are getting in less healthy calories and nutrients in your body. Train smaller muscle groups last.
    • Do not be afraid to sweat even if you are an ectomorph, but sweating due to excess sweating can be bad. E.g. your shoulders sweating because of heavy side laterals are good, your shoulders sweating because of too much time spent in the sauna room can be bad if you want to gain muscle mass; as the sauna room translates into a kind of cardio.
    • I am not telling you not to go to the sauna room or whatever, I am just saying to monitor your cardio and make sure you are not over doing it, if you want to gain muscle mass. I once read about someone arguing with their father about walking over to the corner store, the guy didn't want to go out of fear that he would burn calories in the process, this is a No-No, an unnecessary worry, and is going too far. I cannot tell you how much cardio is too much cardio so you be the judge for yourself.

    Cardio Bodybuilding.com:
    Cardio Super Feature.

    Here you will have easy access to the best cardio methods for fat loss, general health, endurance and how to make this boring activity fun!

    [ Check Out The Cardio Super Feature Here! ]

    • I strongly suggest NOT ignoring certain smaller body parts like the forearms and trapezius. Forearms are supporting muscle groups for exercises, and a well built trapezius tops of a physique nicely. Drink lots of water and do not ignore the abdominal muscles! Even if you want to put on muscle.
    • Leave your ego at the door, the goal in the gym is not to out-lift others at all, it's to successfully stimulate YOUR muscles to expand and grow in size. In other words your goal is focused more on looking like Arnold than lifting like Hercules. That said lifting heavy is still important for putting on muscle mass but whatever you lift, do it properly.
    • Do not think for a nanosecond that if you are vegetarian or do not buy supplements like protein or a weight gainer that you cannot grow slabs of muscle, you will definitely still grow a lot with hard work, smart work, great eating and sleep.
    • I suggest purchasing exercise gloves, multivitamins, and maybe using a barbell pad when doing squats. Some people enjoy working out at home and if that's you than by all means do that, but use good and safe equipment and of course a spotter if you feel necessary. I also find listening to an mp3 player when exercising (including cardio) extremely helpful; again this is up to your personal preference.

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    • Bodybuilding can teach discipline, hard work, knowledge, dedication, etc. I totally agree with the concept that if something doesn't hurt you a lot but helps someone else a lot, that you should do it. Do not be afraid to ask others for some help (e.g. spotting, putting away a barbell, etc.) and do not be dim enough to refuse giving a little help here and there.
    • If someone asks you to spot them and the weight they are carrying is too heavy for you, tell them that the weight they are carrying is too heavy for you (duh)! Don't be afraid that people will think you are weak; you are here for looks mainly, not strength.
    • I once spotted someone doing barbell flat chest press and the weight was too heavy for me to lift up, so the bar was smack on the guy's chest and we were both struggling to lift it up. It's dangerous; agree to spot someone if you are comfortable with the weight.
    • I am not going to tell you when it is ok to cheat on your diet, but it is bound to happen, and it can be psychologically refreshing when it does. One tactic is pigging out on a craving food (e.g. chocolate cake) like crazy during one sitting or through out one full day on your week off, so your taste buds get over satisfied and the food gets out of your system and even starts to taste bad.
    • Obviously you don't have to do that, but if you trail off the path ... just get back on. Another tactic is a cheat meal once a weak whenever (just not after workout).

    • DO NOT eat everything in site! Bulk on "clean healthy" fats not ice-cream, candy, etc. Eat foods that do something for your body, rather than just make you full! For the most part say no to saturated and trans fat.
    • An ectomorph working to gain muscle mass should eat lots of small meals, let's say a small meal every 3 hours.
    • Milk contains casein protein, meaning that it is absorbed by the body slowly over time as opposed to whey protein which is absorbed quickly.
    • The ideal time I think to drink milk is at night before you sleep as you will not be consuming any nutrients for a while, experiments say that warm milk helps with sleep as well, I think it's the same with cold milk but I am not sure. I like drinking milk especially at night.
    • Another protein comes from Soya called "Soya Protein", found in soya milk, etc. I am not telling you to totally ditch the stuff as it has health benefits, however I would suggest not consuming a lot, as there are ingredients inside soya that the body will mistake for estrogen.
    • I like and suggest homogenized milk even though there is a lot of saturated fat in whole (homogenized) milk. I feel that 1% and skim milk are too watery with less nutrients. I used to like 2% milk but I feel like my body could use the extra nutrients from whole milk. You shouldn't be skipping the cardio and ab work at all, but especially don't skip it if you are drinking homogenized milk.

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      • Whole Milk - 150 Calories - 8g Fat
      • 2% Milk - 120 Calories - 4.5g Fat
      • 1% Milk - 100 Calories - 2.5g Fat
      • Skim Milk - 80 Calories - 0g Fat

    • Although not as glamorized as supplements, sleep is an important part of bodybuilding, it's when your muscles grow. There is debate about how much the minimum amount of sleep is to help your muscles, some say 7, some say 8. Remember the clock doesn't start as soon as your head hits the pillow, it begins to tick when you actually fall asleep.
    • One strategy is to get extra meals in is to by buying a meal replacement (MRP). Just like protein, MRP's can come in powder that you can mix to make a shake and drink. They contain protein as well.
    • Seriously try not to workout on an empty stomach.
    • Peanut butter sandwiches are one good source of good fat and protein; real peanut butter is better than other peanut butter, but others are still good. Just so you know, real peanut butter is not that much more expensive that Skippy brands.
    • Another thing may be obvious but I am repeating it for you guys and gals out there who are just waiting for an opportunity to make an excuse for a break. If for some reason you cannot exercise because the equipment is occupied by others, do the other exercise for the same body part, and if you already did that then just move on and come back later.

    Try Not To Workout On An Empty Stomach.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Try Not To Workout On An Empty Stomach.

    • Other exercise techniques include repeating a mantra like "bigger-stronger-better," looking at pictures of people with the type of physique you want for inspiration, reminding yourself of your goals, etc. Arnold had a mantra similar to the one above.
    • Also if you are working out at a good home gym or at a time when very people are in a gym (so no one can take your machine) I would suggest sometimes doing circuit training with the weight exercises, like on ab day but with weights. This is a way of changing it up every now and then.
    • It is important to change things up now and than. After a while your body gets used to the exercises and is less shocked, changing things up surprise your body, which is good. Shock your muscles into growth.
    • I suggest timing meals every 3 hours (some people will say 2.5 hours). The aim is to get smaller healthy meals in. A meal can be as small as a peanut butter sandwich, banana, and a big glass of water - although there are obviously healthier combinations.
    • There are ectomorphs who have become and will continue to become successful bodybuilders, there are ectomorphs who are not professional bodybuilders but who have worked on their body to the point that you will not believe your eyes when they show you an earlier, skinnier version of themselves. Just because you are naturally skinny doesn't mean that you have to stay that way! Don't use your natural body type as an excuse!

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    Author:
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    dot
    Working Out At Home
    dot

    If you are bodybuilding at home and do not have a lot of money or do not want to invest a lot of money into a gym membership or a great home gym, then you can still improve your body a lot with dumbbells and a bench. Exercises like triceps kickbacks, triceps extensions, lunges, stiff dumbbell deadlifts, squats, military press, dumbbell chest presses, side shoulder laterals, dumbbell rows, triceps dips from a bench, dumbbell curls and more.

    These will definitely help you with your physique, so don't think you can't improve with little money or if you are working out at home, that's just an excuse for the lazy and/or unknowledgeable. You can even purchase a pull-up bar and do various pull-ups.

    Cardio High Quality Home Gym Equipment:
    The Best Prices For Equipment!

    These are top of the line home gyms that will give you the ultimate workout! Get the equipment that you need to build the ultimate physique.

    [ Check Out The Home Gym Equipment ]

    dot
    Conclusion
    dot

    There is a lot more to bodybuilding than just picking up hunks of metal and pushing or pulling them around. Bodybuilding is a science.

    There are a lot of exercises and different ways of doing exercises, there is nutrition, sleeping, resting, overtraining, supplements, things to avoid, there are conflicting points of views, etc. I encourage anyone seriously interested in bodybuilding to explore different articles and points of view.

    As mentioned earlier the majority of this workout is made of compound movements to put on overall body muscle mass which is important for ectomorphs who do not gain muscle mass easily.

    I have confidence in this regime and feel strongly that 95% of ectomorphs that eat well, sleep well, lift hard, properly and consistent, and that follow the regimes outlined here will definitely gain lots of muscle mass. My exceptions are the ectomorphs who are top notch professional bodybuilders, honestly though, even they could benefit from this article.

    I Have Confidence In This Regime.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I Have Confidence In This Regime.

    I love the workout plan focused upon in this article because it uses mostly compound exercises which are important for putting on overall muscle mass.

    I feel it leaves time for muscles to re-energize and get rest, contributes to thickness and width, assists with building a V-taper, I feel all major muscles are used, that there is variation, and just that it's a good workout all and all. Furthermore exercises are switched around in the cycles to promote variation.

    This workout regimen in my opinion is not only awesome for ectomorphs but good for anyone wanting to put on muscle mass (although I am not sure if other body types should up the reps). People wanting to focus on shaping their muscles and/or that want to focus on strength training are recommended to do more research outside of this article.

    It can be hard to put together ONE awesome workout. I have read fitness magazine articles, watched bodybuilding exercise shows (especially The Fit Show), skimmed many articles on Bodybuilding.com, and have watched some episode segments more than once.

    The point is, this article has been well researched. Hours of work (research, thought, and experience) have contributed to this article.

    At the end of the day do what you feel will be best for you based on your goals, body, research, experience. I am sure there are things that I will change with my working out in the future, I doubt this will be my workout plan all my life.

    I may add, take away, or replace exercises. I may work for more or less days, there may be a point when I want to tone my body, or totally shock the muscles with a totally different regimen.

    At the end of the day you have to look at your priorities, follow your own body and do what you think is right. For example, if I am dancing in a movie I am not going to skip dance practice because it will result in more cardio than is recommended here, as my priority is my acting career not body.

    It is simple: work smart, hard, be consistent, and you will grow a lot. If you don't, then the only thing that will grow is your stomach fat. Use your muscles and knowledge for the good of others. With power comes responsibility, so don't be a bully.

    The last thing I want to remind you is that most of the game is of the mind. Can you force yourself to carry the heavy weight properly? Are you motivated enough to educate yourself, to put in those hours, to force yourself to sleep, to pass up the junk food, to crank in those last few reps.? Your body may not be strong enough, but is your spirit?

    About The Author:

      Kevin Singh as of 2008 resides in Toronto Canada, this is subject to change. He is going into professional acting, whether it is in Hindi Cinema or English or both remains to be seen.

      He has done short films, theatre, hosting, music videos, as well as modeled for companies like Tetrapak, Pablo B Clothing, Southasianlife.com, Syney Crosby's clothing line at Sportcheck, etc. What he has accomplished in the field to date (2008) is timbits to what he will do in the future, but don't take his word for it, keep watching his work!

      He is a spiritual person and thinks about God/afterlife on a daily basis, he works to do more good than bad in his time on Earth while remembering God. One of his mottos is "Blood, Sweat, Tears, God" signifying how hard he works to reach his goals and how nothing is possible without God's permission.

    Ectomorph Workout Programs For Growth: Great Training For Skinny Dudes!
    kevinsingh25@hotmail.com

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