Training for an ectomorph

How to switch up your training and improve if you're an ectomorph.

When training as an ectomorph it can be incredibly difficult to make any kind of great gains as your body type means that you work fast at breaking down the calories you intake and your metabolism works faster than most. This is a good thing if you are looking at losing weight or trimming fat but when you want to add some serious bulk and gain some weight over the coming months then how can you do that as an ectomorph.

What needs to happen is a rethink on how you lift and how you train in a typical regime. The way you lift and the way you configure your regime needs some working out as your body type means that you have to adjust and specialise your training to maximise your results. So how do we begin?

Ectomorphs need to focus on not over training and tweaking your efforts so that you are building rather than burning. Because your body type has a tendency to work quicker than most then your efforts during training should be revolved around working inside your maximum lift levels and doing no more or no less. So what are the key ideas?

Pyramid your reps

Following a typical 5x5 or 10x10 rep range with sets is OK for the starter in training and the casual user but if you're serious about packing on some size then you really need to think about the pyramid structure with your training. The reason for this is because an ectomorph cannot handle too much stress in one particular rep range as the time spent lifting the same weights and the same amount of reps then you risk the chance of overworking that muscle group and burning out. You need to think about taking the following rep range or a similar one: 10, 8, 6, 10.

This range will allow you to build your maximum lift weight and also make sure that you are working towards packing on size and shape as you progress through the weights. The lower weights at a higher rep range means you'll be working at training your muscle groups into the technique of lifting and the heavier sets at the end mean you'll be maximising your lifts so you learn to lift the heaviest you can.

Rest longer

Between sets you should be aiming to rest longer than most other trainers and you should be aiming for somewhere between 2-3 minutes. The longer period of rest will allow you to rest sufficiently before lifting gradually heavier weights with each set, and this means you'll be ready to perform at your best throughout your workout. Training this way with a bigger rest period also means that you receive a larger amount of testosterone into your system which will help with the heavy lifts and your maximum lift potential.

Example regime

For the ectomorph training there has to be a solid focus on the pyramid scheme and how you lift heavier weights progressively through your time in your gym. The idea is that you build at lifting more and train your muscle groups into working at building mass rather than overworking them and burning yourself out with weights that won't build your frame.

  • Bench press
  • V-Bar pulldown
  • Dumbbell curls
  • Squats
  • Close-Grip bench press
  • Lateral raise

Each exercise is to be performed at the sets of 10, 8, 6, 10 and the weights should be slowly increased through the rep ranges.

Given your body type and the way you can possibly over train you should be looking at performing this regime no more than four times a week to avoid burn out or not building mass. The exercise type will allow your body to grow the biggest muscle groups and really work on building solid mass across your frame meaning you should bulk up quite effectively.

There's obviously a key component when undertaking any kind of training which is to stay frequent with it and remain concentrated on working your hardest each time you do lift with the different exercises. Without staying consistent then you simply won't see the results you want and it won't happen magically it'll take hard work and sweat to build your body the way you want it to grow. It doesn't have to be a complicated regime when you are an ectomorph as your body will respond well to the compound movements and the longer rest times so try this regime for a four-week period and tweak it where you need to.

Written by:

Taeo Robinson

Taeo Robinson

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