|Building Mass for the Skinny Bloke|
If you are a guy that seems to be able to eat whatever he wants and still not put on any weight you will want to keep reading. It seems no matter what you eat pizza, maccas, chocolate and you still can’t put on the mass that you want then there is a good chance you have the body type or somatotype known as an ectomorph. An ectomorphic body may be really thin, wirey, ribs showing, small waist, very little fat or even muscle and it can seem frustrating when trying to put on some mass.
If you are wanting to put on some mass and this description sounds like you the tips and info found in this article is forms the foundation for the 100s of guys like you I have personally helped put on 10, 20 or even 30kg of mass without cheating with steroids.
I would like to point out firstly that although I understand there are many ways to skin a cat and some people do things differently this article is based on my own experience with my own training over the past 15 years and training over 3000 people as a Personal Trainer. Ok I want to talk about your training because without the weights it just won’t happen regardless of your nutrition, well not the way you want anyway haha...
To be honest the first thing is you NEED a personal trainer or a spotter because you are going to need to lift heavier than what you are and to ensure extra overload and safety you want someone there, if you cannot physically push the bar you are screwed you can then focus on the eccentric phase. On a Bench press for example the eccentric phase is the downward phase where the muscled elongate or stretch against resistance this is where the muscle fibres break down created microscopic tares in the fibres and the fibres must heal thicker and stronger to avoid future taring.
So contrary to common belief on a benchpress even though the concentric phase (push phase) of the bench is important the truth hypertrophy or muscle growth comes from the stretching against resistance.
I have always as long as I can remember give a 100% money back guarantee of a 40kg increase in any males bench and a 4kg increase in weight in just the 4 weeks. The reason will be clarified in more depth shortly.
You need to lift heavy, most the scientific research to date suggests for maximum hypertrophy or muscle growth you want to do repetitions whilst the muscle is fatigued. It is important to note there are 3 ways (although often categorized into 2) to build muscle it is really important to focus on Fibre thickening as this is true growth and we get fibre thickening from heavier weights.
The fastest way I have found is a strategy known as drop sets where you start with a heavier weight do lesser reps then decrease the weight and do higher reps.
Example: Bench Press Set 1 100kg x 4 reps then 80kg x 6 reps then 60kg x 8 reps then 40 kg x 12 reps then 20kg (yes just the bar) x 20-30 reps.
It is important to warm up lightly only enough to been physically and psychologically prepared then START with the heaviest weight possible starting with 4 reps max for upper body exercises and 6 reps for lower body. This will allow you to save your energy and do maxim mum repetitions once the muscle is fatigue.
It is important to start with free weight compound movements. A compound movement is a movement that uses multiple joints:
· Chest: Bench Press, Dumbbell Press
· Back: Dead lifts, Bent over row, DB row
· Legs: Squats, Leg Press, lunges, step ups
· Shoulders: DB/Barbell Press, Upright Rows
These above exercises should for the basic structure for your strength training program.
Note: In my personal experience I have found leg press even more effective for strength gain than squats because you can increase by a massive weight in a short period of time. For example if you leg press 200kg now and just increased by 15kg each week very realistic in just 12 weeks you will be pressing 380kg that’s almost double and a weight realistically you will never move on a squat.
So what about frequency depending on how long you have been training and your body type I have found a 3 day split doing each body part only once a week will work for you if you would like more information about this simply let me know so we can be more specific.
What about cardio I think a little different it is important to stay fit and healthy whilst putting on mass so let me ask you a question if you want to lose weight what do you do? Decrease calories, increase cardio and do more high rep training or endurance training. So if you want to put on weight doesn’t it make sense to do the opposite?
Cut back on your cardio and perhaps do 1 or 2 sessions each week focusing on fitness so maybe 20minute HIIT training or interval training more than 2 x week his highly Not recommended. Some cardio is important because it improves the efficiency of your heart sending oxygenated blood to the working muscles and it will also condition the same energy system used in your weights improving your heart strength and breathing for your heavy weights.
This part I love its simple though if you are not constantly breaking down the muscle fibres with free weights and constantly recovering all the food won’t matter. Once you are you will need energy in the form of calories to recover. As an ectomorph this can be a challenge for you so here are my tips I have used with 100% results EVERYtime...
Again there are many concepts and theories this is what I have found personally works and how I went from 77kg-118kg and my brother went from 56kg-106kg in just a matter of a few years WITHOUT STERIODS EVER!
If you want to lose weight you eat more frequently and smaller portions right SO again if we want the opposite outcome we want the opposite input.
You don’t have to stick to the following but if you are reading this and you want more mass THIS will work:
· Every time you eat, eat until you can eat no more.
· Only eat HOT and cooked meals this will fill you more.
· Combine half protein and half carbs my favs: Spaghetti bolognaise and Beef curry with rice.
· Eat 2 dinners one at dinner time and one before bed.
· ALWAYS go to bed on a full stomach.
· Always eat before training.
· Have at least 2 Protein shakes each day that is half carbs rotate quick release during the day and slow release at night.
· Load on creatine.
· Every time you eat make sure you wash it down with something high in calories: fruit juice, protein etc...
· Since the nutritional value of these meals might be lower take multi vitamins or Juice Plus for your micro-nutrition.
These are the basic and most powerful tips if you stick to everything above and don’t put on 4kg in your first 4 weeks I will send you $100 of my own money.
If you are thinking wow this is a lot of food then you might need to increase your appetite the exercise i like to use is this: Buy a whole chicken and eat the whole thing if you can’t eat as much as you can and keep trying on a regular basis until you can. Once you can eat a whole chicken then go 2 ;)
I understand this may be perceived as not the healthiest way which is why I have recommended 2 x HIIT cardio sessions and micronutrients besides once you reach your goal (putting on mass the intention of this article) then you can turn your focus to health and maintenance.
Finally be sure to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water and have days off.