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In this blog post we are going to discuss the reasons why ectomorphs aren’t building muscle in the gym, and how you can overcome this obstacle with 2 easy steps.
1) You’re Not Eating Enough
This is one of the main reasons why people with an ectomorph body type struggle to make any progress in the gym, and can’t seem to build muscle. 100% of the time this is the number 1 reason why they’re not putting on any size.
In order to make results in the gym, you need to be providing your body with the right nutrition and a sufficient amount of calories to start making progress. So, how do we do this?! EAT MORE FOOD! It’s as simple as that.
Start off by increasing calories slowly, and improving each meal so that it is balanced. Focus having a source of protein with each main meal, a source of carbohydrates and lots of vegetables. By doing this your body is getting the nutrition it needs to start making progress.
Protein is found in every cell of our body, and protein is going to help aid muscle recovery and growth. You need 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight. If you’re not getting enough protein into your diet, and not eating enough calories then of course you’re not growing.
150g-200g of chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, fish. These are all sources of protein that you can have with each meal, combining this with 250g-350g potato, stock up on vegetables and you’ll be well on your way to making some gains in the gym.
At first it will seem like you’re eating a lot of food, but in order to gain any sort of muscle this is what you have to do. As an ectomorph body type myself, I know what it’s like. If you persevere then you’ll never look back.
Ectomorphs have very high metabolisms, meaning that they can practically eat anything and just don’t seem to gain any weight because they’re constantly burning off the calories.
Although this may be the case for most people, or so they say. You’re really not eating enough…I know! It’s crazy right?! But it’s the truth. You have to consume more calories than you’re burning off in order to do this.
This guy definitely wasn’t eating enough food! (That’s me when I was 14, before I started training).
2) You’re Not Training Properly
Another issue that’s stopping you from progressing in the gym is your training program. Most of you who aren’t making any progress probably aren’t even following a training program.
We’ve all done it with our training, that typical bro split that we all know and love. International chest Monday’s and arms everyday with no consideration for the rest of your lagging muscles.
Leg day is a myth at this point, and anyone who trains legs is insane. This then causes you to have chicken legs, which is ok if you want to wear your girlfriend’s skinny jeans, but it’s definitely not a good look if you want to make gains.
By going to the gym and making up your workouts as you go on, based on some bodybuilding video you saw on Youtube isn’t going to help you progress. Your training and nutrition go hand in hand, as soon as you get these two down then say hello to results.
So, let’s go through some examples of different training programs that you can do…
Full Body Split
If you’re relatively new to the gym and just starting out, then I would recommend starting off with a full body training plan in which you will weight train 3x per week. Cardio is non-existent, you don’t want to be burning extra calories.
A full body training program will allow you to train each muscle group 3x per week which means training frequency is increased, this then equals a higher chance of muscle growth as you’re training each muscle more frequently. This makes sens for natural trainees as muscles are usually recovered within 48 hours.
Focus on doing the compound movements first Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press etc. These are going to be the big movements that will produce the most muscle growth. Aim for a 3:1/2:1 ratio for your push/pull movements. So for every push movement, do 2 or 3 pull movements as most people overdo pushing movements which results in poor posture.
The push movement would be a chest press, incline press and shoulder press. Then 2 pull movements for your back, so lat pulldown and seated row.
By doing this it is going to help prevent you from being too rounded, as a result from doing too many push movements. There should be a minimum of 3 lower body movements.
Another example would be an Upper/Lower training split. This training split allows you to train and upper and lower body 2x per week. Again, focusing on training frequency here. The more you train, the more you gain…(literally just made that up).
Upper/Lower Splits allow you to get a little more variation in as you’ll be doing 4 workouts per week instead of 3. The reason we wouldn’t do full body 4 times per week is because it will be very tough for your body to recover. By splitting the upper and lower body it allows for more recovery whilst still getting in a good amount of frequency and volume.
Training intensity needs to be present as well, if you’re just going through the motions, doing bicep curls for the girls then don’t expect to see results.
You need to be pushing yourself in the gym, and training hard. Record your workouts, look back at previous weeks and try to progress from those lifts. If you don’t record your workouts then you could be lifting the same weight that you were lifting 2 months ago!
Stay consistent with your training, the bodybuilders you see on the internet didn’t get to that level over night. At one point they were skinny too. So don’t compare yourself to others, just focus on improving yourself.
Follow your training program for 8 weeks, and then change the program. You need to be continuously improving, and getting stronger. Consistency produces results, don’t quit because you haven’t seen any results yet, be patient and the results will come.
So, what can you take away from this blog post?
- Eat more food
- Train properly
- Be consistent
- Increase training frequency (to a point)
- Stop telling people you can’t gain muscle
Just to illustrate, here is my journey from age 14 to age 20…
Convinced yet? If you are and you need some help, then get in touch and we’ll help you pack on some muscle.
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