Bodybuilding 4 MIN READ 376 VIEWS February 27, 2016


Written By Vidhi Tuteja

Muscle building in hard gainers

10 essential tips for ectomorphs, the super thin to build muscles!

For someone struggling with weight loss, the ectomorph body type is a dream. Blessed with small bone size, long limbs, ectomorphs scarcely put on weight, as they have a super-efficient metabolism that burns extra calories without a fuss. However, there is a twist in the story when the ectomorphs try to pack on muscles, as their metabolism works against them now. Whereas mesomorphs breeze through muscle gain and endomorphs get successful in bulking up, if they plan it right, ectomorphs struggle at each step. No wonder, they are called hard gainers. Should they give up the pursuit of muscles? Of course not, MuscleBlaze has a plan in place which will help ectomorphs make friends with their active metabolism to build muscles.

1.   Recruit progressive overload to build muscles.

Defining progressive overload in the words of Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Progressive overload challenges muscle fibers to grow gradually so that it adapts to the exposed stress, recovers from the effect and grows stronger. When the muscles grow bigger and firmer, they are challenged with increased weights during the resistance training. The keyword here is gradual. The whole process works to adapt the body to the challenges rather than pushing it through the heaviest set in one go because then the body will be unable to adapt.

2.   Train with heavier weights

You should keep your reps in the range of 5-10. To build muscles, you’ve to tackle heavier weights eventually, but it has to be done gradually. Ectomorphs need to go slow because if they are pushed with heavy weights right from the start, their body will not adapt to the stress accordingly.  Hence they need to start with lower weights but more volume. This will enable their body to grow in the muscle size. As their body adapts, they can move to heavier weights.  For them the rep range remains 5-10, but not the stocky sets of 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 rather, pyramid style, 8-5-3 so that you don’t overwork your muscles.

3.   Do compound lifts.

Isolation exercises, like dumbbell curls engage muscles in silos, but compound lifts involve the use of more than one major muscle group at a time. Usually a compound exercise recruits a larger muscle group primarily and smaller muscle groups secondarily during lifts. Since bigger muscles are involved, it boosts production of testosterone hormone. The best exercises for you are squats, deadlifts, pull ups, dips, rows, bench press.

4.   Avoid cardio.

Cardio is to enhance fat burn, but the ectomorphs need not worry about it, because it’s least of their concern.

5.   Rest longer

Ectomorphs need to rest longer during their training sets. They need to aim at 2-5 minutes of rest to allow their nervous system to recover from the stress of training. Moreover, resting longer with lower reps maximizes the supply of testosterone, the muscle building hormone in the blood stream for bigger muscles.

6.   Get in a calorie surplus.

While the workout is just one aspect of building muscles, nutrition is another more significant aspect. A diet error takes you two steps backward in muscle building. Primarily, to build either muscle mass or to gain fat, you need to have extra calories over and above your regular needs. Ideally, 500 calories and above is a good target. In a week it will result in a pound (0.453g) of weight gain, but the problem with most ectomorphs is that their superfast metabolism will burn this surplus quickly.

7.   Drink your calories.

This is the quickest route to get a healthy dose of carbs, proteins, and fats in a day without going overboard on food. Also, it provides you with measured calories, so you know exactly, how much extra you are having in a day.

8.   Emphasize your protein intake.

The science is simple. Your muscle tissues are composed of protein and you need to get in a positive nitrogen balance to fuel your muscle growth. Try to get 1.3 to 1.5 g of protein per pound of body weight. If you find that your muscle growth is still stunted, increase the amount to 1.75 g per pound of body weight. Get your caloric surplus from Mass Gainer XXL which is the ideal mass gainer supplement if you’re looking for an additional caloric surplus.

9.   Get ample carbohydrates to build muscles faster.

Daily consume 60 to 80 grams of complex carbohydrates in every meal. You should understand that adding fast food, processed food as sources of carbohydrates would not be the correct idea.  You can get a healthy option by choosing low-glycemic, high-fiber carbohydrates instead of moving towards junk food.  Good sources of muscle building carbohydrates are beans, oatmeal, potatoes, pasta, barley, whole-grains. Carbohydrates not only provide you energy but also pump your muscles, somewhat similar to creatine.

10.   Get good fats.

It’s critical to maintain your testosterone levels. Aim to get a good helping of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to fuel your muscle growth.

Armed with these tips, ectomorphs can supercharge their muscle growth.

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