Ectomorphs are called hardgainers because, well, they have a hard time gaining muscle. Having a taller, slimmer body with small wrist and ankle joints is a clear indication that your build is not genetically optimized to build and transport a large amount of muscle, but that certainly shouldn’t hold you back when it comes to becoming a bodybuilder. , because ALL THE WORLD You can build and maintain lean muscle mass!

Here are 5 hardgainer tips for skinny guys and girls who want to be bodybuilders:

Hardgainer Council n. # 1: have realistic expectations

Ectomorphs will never win the Mr. Olympia title, but neither will 99.999% of other bodybuilders. All over the world there are bodybuilders who work hard in the gym for a thousand hours a year while eating well, sleeping well, and taking all kinds of supplements and performance-enhancing drugs (DEP), and at that level you need everything to be in order. – including your genetics. But building muscle, having a great body, and looking good in the gym or on the beach can be achieved by winners, even without gorilla genetics or a bunch of PEDs.

Chances are, you already have a huge advantage over other bodybuilders: very little body fat. Normally, a “hardgainer” has a fast metabolism and is no more genetically predisposed to carry a lot of body fat than to build muscle. So when you visualize the body you want to build, imagine yourself with slightly less body fat than you currently carry and more muscle mass. How much more? That will depend on YOU – how relentless you are in your pursuit of a physical bodybuilder.

Hardgainer Council n. # 2: train smart in the gym

As a slim guy trying to build bigger muscles, you have to train smart and stick to proven principles. Make sure most of your workouts focus on the big compound lifts: squats, deadlifts, bent rows, bench presses, and overhead presses. Yes, you’ll want some isolation exercises for your arms, abs, and calves, but keep most of your energy and time focused on the lifts that are the best proven muscle builders. And keep your ego in check – constantly trying new personal record (PR) increases will hold back your gains. Endomorphs and some mesomorphs can gain noticeable muscle size with weightlifting workouts, but most ectomorphs will simply get much stronger without growing much from that style of training.

Instead, try to do 5 to 10 sets for each exercise, with 8 to 12 reps per set. Don’t rush your sets, but do each of your reps for 1 to 2 seconds on the concentric part of the lift and 3 to 5 seconds for the eccentric part. (You can always tell what the concentric part of any lift is; it is the part where the muscle you are working is shortening and contracting. Consider the upward movement of squats, deadlifts, rows, etc., and movement down tricep curls, etc.)

Rest between sets is also important. You’ll see a lot about Time Under Tension (TUT) suggesting you keep breaks within the set to a maximum of 30-40 seconds, but that’s not always the best advice for true hardgainers – resting 30 seconds between sets burns a 50 % plus. calories than 3 minute breaks according to Dr. Jim Stoppani. While a high volume of sets and 3 minute breaks per set would take too long, try to rest for about a minute between sets.

Keep your form tight and use weights that allow you to do 10 or 12 reps in your first sets without breaking form, but only allow you to do 6 to 8 reps in your last two sets. If you can’t do 6 reps in those last two sets, then the weight is too heavy. Conversely, if you still hit ten reps on your last set, keep failing that set, then increase the weight for your next workout until you’re back in that 6-8 rep range for your last set.

In many, if not most cases, the rapid metabolism of strength gainers allows their bodies to repair themselves fairly quickly. So be sure to work every part of your body at least twice a week; in fact, a full body workout on 3 non-consecutive days is usually ideal.

Hardgainer Council n. # 3: eat clean, eat healthy and eat MORE

Anyone trying to be a bodybuilder needs to consume a lot of calories every day, and those who exercise a lot need to consume a LOT more clean calories than everyone else. Yes, you have tons of energy. That’s courtesy of your faster metabolism and your habit of burning glucose, glycogen, carbohydrates, and protein to keep yourself supercharged. But let go of the “you can eat anything” concept, which is a common myth among those who have a hard time gaining weight because they don’t get a lot of body fat due to a poor diet. You need to understand that too many simple carbohydrates on a regular basis can numb your insulin receptors. Not only can that lead to type 2 diabetes later in life, but insulin is the main glucose transporter to the muscles, where that glucose is stored as glycogen and used to drive muscle activity.

Instead, plan to eat a cleaner diet with lots of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Start by calculating your daily needs with this simple formula: You want to consume 15 calories for every pound you weigh, so at 150 pounds you would start with 2,250 calories per day. You want at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and in our example, a 150-pound person would eat 150 grams of protein, which means 600 calories would come from their daily protein intake. Twenty to twenty-five percent of your calories (450 – 560 calories) should come from healthy fats, meaning the remaining 1,090 to 1,200 calories should come from carbohydrate sources such as yams, brown, red or black rice, oatmeal and vegetables.

Remember, though, that your goal is to become a bodybuilder with lots of lean muscle mass, which means you don’t want to stick with those 150 pounds. Once your nutrition is on point, as detailed above, you can start adding more calories. Start by adding 500 calories to your day and wait a couple of weeks to see results. If you’re building muscle without adding belly fat, add another 500 calories the following month, etc. If you have trouble eating larger meals, get the extra calories by adding a meal or two to your day – eat 4 or 5 times a day instead of 3 times a day.

In most cases, people who have difficulty gaining weight do not eat well and do not eat enough. Don’t be that boy or girl, pay attention to proper nutrition and make sure you consume all the necessary calories every day.

Tip # 4 for tough winners: get enough sleep

A big truism for bodybuilders is that muscles are worked out in the gym, fueled in the kitchen, and built in the bedroom while you sleep. Not getting enough sleep will prevent you from being a true bodybuilder; remember, as an ectomorph, you need everything to be right in your routine. There’s no point in putting a ton of effort into your workouts and tearing your muscles if you’re not going to feed the muscles properly and then get enough sleep to allow your body to repair and rebuild those muscles, making them bigger to meet the requirements. anticipated progressive resistance that they will face in the future.

In today’s real world, very few people can get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night, but you can certainly come close if your goal as a skinny guy or girl is to become a bodybuilder. You don’t NEED to be on social media for hours every night, you don’t NEED to text your friends late into the night, and you don’t NEED to hit the clubs every weekend. A busy social life won’t give you the muscles you want, but a smart workout, proper nutrition, and 7-9 hours of sleep every night will. It all comes down to how much you want it, right?

Hardgainer Tip # 5: Strategic Supplementation

Walk into ANY professional bodybuilding supplement store and you’ll find more than enough options to completely empty your wallet, melt your debit and credit cards, and leave you in debt. Fortunately for you, hardgainers can skip all but 3 or 4 of them …

For example, they probably have a large selection of potions and pills before training. But with your fast metabolism and all the carbs you’re eating, you already have more energy than you know what to do with, along with the determination that you will do whatever is reasonably necessary to build bigger muscles.

So what SHOULD you consider?

First of all, find a good whey protein or whey isolate powder. I don’t recommend getting one of the high-calorie protein blends for weight gain, as most are packed with simple sugars. Instead, find a good, clean source of whey and choose a flavor that you like. Mix it with water or 2% milk and have one every morning when you wake up, as your body has no protein left in the diet at that time. Then have a protein shake one hour before your workout and as soon as reasonably possible after your workout. Remember that most of your protein needs should come from whole foods: chicken, eggs, turkey, fish, lean meat, etc. – so you’re only adding that protein at times when your body can make the most of it.

The second is creatine. Creatine is probably the most studied bodybuilding supplement, and study after study has shown it to be a very effective aid for muscle building. Pour a teaspoon of creatine into a glass of water and drink it sometime during the day on rest days, and both before and after your workout on workout days.

Rounding out the big 3 are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), namely Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. The purpose of supplementing with them is to help build your muscles, and it is believed that they also help prevent your existing muscle mass from being cannibalized during intense workouts. Get the pills or powder and take them before, during, and immediately after your workouts.

Additional Hardgainer Tip:

Perseverance and patience should be the guiding lights on your bodybuilding journey. As a skinny guy or girl, it will take longer to build muscle mass and you should be consistent, while others may see gains while skipping workouts, deviating from diet, etc., you should be reasonably strict with yourself. But fear not: follow the 5 Hardgainer tips above and you will get the results you are looking for in due time.

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