How To Build Muscles For Naturally Thin People {Ectomorph}

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Learn The Secrets of Muscle Building for skinny guys.

What Is Your Body Type?

Watch this video on how scrawny Dmitry Peleh transformed himself from a thin guy into a muscular hunk. Now will you be motivated enough to be the next Dmitry?

What Are The Ways To Put On Weight and Gain Muscle Size?

Muscles that are trained during the deadlift exercise infographic

Diagram of muscles being worked out on in the barbell deadlift shaded in red.

The barbell deadlift demonstration diagram

The barbell deadlift muscle activation chart. Can you see how many muscle parts are being worked out on at the same time in comparison to isolation exercises like the dumbbell curls which work out only on the biceps? So do more compound exercises like the deadlift in order to develop entire overall muscle growth.

Barbell Deadlift Demonstration - Always keep the bar as close to you as possible. Never hunch your back and keep your eyes looking straight ahead and don't look down when you are in an ascending or descending motion. This is because you may injure your lower back if you hunch and topple over if you look down.

Do keep in mind that since this movement work out multiple muscle parts of the body, the lift can be rather heavy and so the good and proper lifting form is very important for the prevention of weight training injuries.

Barbell bench press demonstration and muscles being trained infographic

Muscles Being Worked Out On In A Barbell Bench Press

Although the barbell bench press is primarily a chest exercise, it also work the anterior deltoids (front shoulders) and the triceps to a large extent too. The exercise also activate the biceps, latissimus dorsi (lats), serratus anterior, forearms and trapezius muscles in a smaller way. This is the exercise you must do in order to get a button popping large and stunning broad chest.

 

When you do this exercise in an incline position, you will activate more muscle fibers in your upper chest making your broad chest looking more full and well developed.

 

Do you know which is the body type that you belong to? No you don't? Then let us find out, shall we?

We are generally and genetically divided into 3 body types although most of us fall in between the categories. The the primary body types for males are:-

1) The Ectomorph - Ectomorphs are usually underweight, thin and skinny with long lanky limbs. It is rather difficult for the ectomorphs to put on weight or to gain muscle mass as they have very naturally high metabolic rate. These guys will be absolutely delighted if only they can put on one single pound of weight of body fat or muscle. 


If you are one of them, the good news is that you can put on muscular weight with the right diet and weight training program.

2) The Endomorph - These large heavy guys with high body fat content and are usually physically pear shaped looking. They are the exact reversal of the ectomorphs as it is very difficult for the endomorph to lose body weight.

On the contrary, they put on weight rather easily and quickly if they do not watch what they eat and drink. They are also more susceptible to obesity related diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart conditions, high blood pressure and stroke, among others. These are the people who should exercise regularly and to be put on a weight loss diet.

 

3) The Mesomorph - The Mesomorphs are the lucky chaps who have naturally well endowed masculine athletic physiques. They have the natural athletic built and can pack on slabs of muscles easily in comparison to the above 2 body types. Guys, don't we all want to have the mesomorph body type? However, this is not a choice, it is in the genetic that is already programmed in your DNA.

Unfortunately, not many of us will inherit this eye pleasing physiques of the Greek gods and will have to work very hard on it to get there. So if you belong to this category, do be grateful to your parents for generously  bestowing upon you with these awesome genes.

This article is aimed at the skinny ectomorphs whom we sometimes call them as the "hardgainers", so as to provide them with the means to add on muscular weight to their small frail skeletal frame. So can thin hardgainers gain big muscle mass? Of course they can, just take a good look at the pictures above or the video of the body transformation of Dmitry Peleh below. 

In fact, a skinny hardgainer with a well built muscular physique will possess a very aesthetically eye pleasing body shape since there will be very little body fat to cover the muscle tone and fibers, so that all the glorious muscular definitions can show through clearly. He will become a real gorgeous hunk indeed.

This is a tremendous advantage over the vast majority of bodybuilders wannabes. The average person has to go through the bodybuilding phase and then the fat cutting phase to become shredded and ripped whereas the ectomorphs probably need not go through the cutting phase at all as they have very little body fat to begin with and also there is no need to be overly concerned about putting on body fat when they eat more food to feed and fuel their muscle growth.

When you start packing on the muscles, you will naturally be lean and ripped as there is very little body fat to cover up the muscles. In fact, you will start to see your fabulous six pack abs developing much faster than the average Joe in the gym. That is gonna be cool eh? See the secrets to building big muscle mass.







 




















Although this is obvious, but is worth drumming it in yet again. Eat more food, especially protein. It is also a fact that many skinny guys also happen to have smaller appetites and they do not consciously know that they are eating less than the others.

In fact many of these underweight hardgainers do actually think that they are overeating and yet it is almost impossible for them to put on weight. They are always wondering why they are still so thin despite eating so much which in fact they are not. A mental mindset paradigm shift is required here. So go ahead and eat more and eat more often too. 

Furthermore, because of having a higher metabolic rate than others, you very quickly burn off the calories that you ate and this is one of the reasons why you should eat more food in a meal and to eat more frequently too instead of the usual three standard meals a day, so eat more meals daily.

Look, it is a cold hard fact that consuming more calories combined with proper and scientifically correct weight training methods will lead to explosive muscle growth, especially so if you are still young with your testosterone and human growth hormone at its optimum peak. This is more difficult for older men since they have less of the muscle building hormone called testosterone.

It is as simple as that! Also consume more protein. Proteins are the building blocks for your muscles as they are responsible for the rebuilding and recovery process of your entire musculature system. 

One more important thing, you need to retch up your testosterone and human growth hormone levels if you are in your late 20s and above. These are vital hormones for muscle building and recovery. As we age, these muscle building hormones will decline and the ways to produce more of these hormones is by intensive weight training, getting enough or even more sleep than the usual 8 hours, staying free from stress and stay away from alcohol and cigarettes. Our bodies produce the most of these anabolic (muscle building) hormones when we are in a deep slumber.

Sleep is the time your body produces higher levels of these hormones for bodily repair, rejuvenation and recuperation. Stress and alcohol suppresses the testosterone level which is vitally important for bodybuilding and male sexual functions. Worse, when your testosterone level is low, your female hormone estrogen increases and this works against your muscle growth. Take this testosterone boosting supplement to dramatically support your muscle growth.

When you are lifting weights, skip the bodybuilding machines. Simply rely on the good old fashioned dumbbells and barbells. Reason is because these traditional weights require you to use your stabilizing and supporting muscles to keep the balance and thereby working more muscle parts simultaneously.

Think about it and ask yourself these questions. If bodybuilding machines are far superior to the traditional weights, then the barbell and dumbbells would have already been extinct and gone the way of the dinosaurs a long time ago, don't you think so? Then why is it that they are still found in all the good gyms and the world class professional bodybuilders are still using them? So am I making some sense here? 

Forget about the small isolated exercises like dumbbell curls and wrist curls which work only on your biceps and your forearms which are small muscles. Yes, these small exercises do have their place, but if you want to get bigger and heavier all over, then choose exercises that work your bigger muscles and multiple muscle parts such as your back, chest and lower body. When big and multiple muscle parts grow, your overall physical growth will become much more apparent, don't you agree?

However, there are reasons to work on isolated muscle parts, but that will be for another article as hardgainers need to pack on bigger muscles first before embarking on isolation exercises.

Besides when working on bigger and multiple muscle parts, you are using compound exercises to do so. In other words, you are also working out many other muscle parts at the same time and not just the targeted muscle. Compound exercises are lifts that incorporate at least two or more joint movements.

So go for big compound exercises like the bench presses, barbell squats, barbell rows, military presses, chin ups, pull ups and deadlifts, just to name a few of them. My favorite is the deadlift as this is one of the few compound exercises that work out both your upper and lower body at the same time and this exercise also helps your body to produce more testosterone which is a vital hormone for bodybuilding to gain size.






































































A vitally important point to note is that the big exercises you do require you to lift heavier weights because big muscles are stronger and you are also kicking in the stabilizing and supporting muscles as well during compound lifts. You will also need to do progressive overloads. Progressive overload will mean that as you get stronger, then you must add more weight to your lift progressively.

Remember, if you do the same thing or lift the same weights with the same sets and repetitions, the end result is that you will stay the same, don't you agree? So progressive overload means that you have add on more weights and reps progressively as you become stronger and more powerful.

In order to do progressive overload properly, you will have to record all the exercises that you do, the repetitions and sets of the exercises and the weights that you have lifted. In other words, keep a workout log book so that you can refer to it to keep up a consistent progressive overload. Most people don't log in their workouts and thus they are missing out one of the most important tool to help you to progress in your bodybuilding quest.

Let us look at it this way, if you do not keep track of the details of your exercises, then how are you going to remember the previous workout details when you are in the gym the next time? It is very important to keep track of your workouts to progress steadily which most people, unfortunately do not bother to do so. It is to their detriment that they don't record and take note of their progress.

However, don't over train. Although you must have intensity in your exercises, leave the gym within an hour. Also take rest days in between your trips to the gym for your muscles to recover and rejuvenate from the stress of the workouts. Noticed the word stress? What does stress do? It spikes up your muscle eating and fat storing hormone called cortisol. When cortisol goes up, your muscle building hormone testosterone comes down. Cortisol also enhances your body fat storage capability.

Furthermore, the word stress is not only referring to the stress your body is taking in the gym. It can also be stress from other issues such as stress from work, relationship, depression, anxiety, worries, anger and so on. So take part in some stress releasing activities such as meditation or go for leisurely strolls in scenic locations and parks.

Although this was mentioned earlier, it is worth emphasizing once again. You need to get more sleep. You will inhibit your muscle growth if you have insufficient sleep. This is because when you get your forty winks, your body produces more human growth hormones and testosterone to repair and build your muscles. Without these hormones, your muscles simply will not grow larger.

Another problem with not getting enough sleep is that your body will be under stress as was also mentioned earlier. When this happens, the body will produce more cortisol which is a hormone that suppresses muscle growth and supports body fat retention. Take supplements such as protein powders and multivitamins to help your body to recover and to grow.

A common question I get asked very often in the gym is, "Shall I do cardio exercises first or lift weights first?" Well, do each type of exercise on alternate alternate days instead of in the same session. The answer is very simple. Say after you did a thirty minute run on the treadmill, some of your energy will be sapped up. Do you still have enough energy left for an intensive bout of weight training to work out your muscles to its full capacity? Of course not, right?

On the other hand, if after a weight training session, you still have energy to hit the treadmill for a good run, then your weight training was probably not as intensive as it was supposed to be, right?

Last but not least, hardgainers should avoid long grueling cardio exercises such as long distance running as it will prevent you from bulking up. Look at the physiques of marathon runners and those of 100m sprinters, who do you think have more powerful and muscular physiques?

Our human bodies are not designed to run long distances unlike carnivore predators who have long bodies with four legs. We have only two legs and have upright bodies, right? Too much running will have significant negative impact on our joints such as in the neck, spine, hips, knees and ankles wearing out the cartilages and ligaments of the joints. Furthermore, you do want to put on some body weight, don't you? Then why do you want to burn up more precious calories away with long and arduous cardio exercises?

Furthermore, doing both cardio and weight lifting exercises in a single session may stretch your time in the gym way past the hour mark. It could then put your body into a stress mode and causing the rise of cortisol which is the stress hormone which we spoke about earlier. This hormone will suppress and inhibits your muscle growth which is certainly undesirable. isn't it?

Although this short article can help skinny guys to put on muscle weight, please read the reasons why thin people are getting it wrong in their approach to bodybuilding.

 

So, must you take bodybuilding supplements to feed your muscles and to make it grow bigger? The general answer will be yes, that is if you can afford them as some of them can be quite expensive as they come in stacks to compliment each other. This is even more so for scrawny hardgainers because the body of an ectomorph metabolizes the food they ate pretty quickly and when you are doing weight training, you may not have enough nutrients to feed your muscles effectively for it to grow in size and thus more so you will need bodybuilding supplements fuel your weight and muscle gain program.

However there are so many health supplements out there in the market and which are the ones good for building up muscle size? So in this section, we shall discuss some basic bodybuilding supplements which a skinny or thin guy will most likely need to supplement his diet with for his physique to get larger and stronger.

1) Whey Protein - If you often hear people in the gym talking about consuming protein powder or protein shake, they are probably talking about either whey or casein protein supplementation. We all know that effective protein synthesis is helpful in fueling muscle growth, don't we?

We will discuss about whey protein first as this is the most common protein supplement consumed in the bodybuilding world. Whey protein provides a very wide range of essential amino acids, which are then absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream and fed into the muscles. That is why people consume this protein in powder form immediately before and after their workouts for rapid absorption and to begin the repairing of their muscle tissues almost immediately. Controlled studies have consistently identified that whey protein can help people to gain strength and muscle mass.

So where does whey protein come from? From milk extract. Milk actually consists of about eighty percent of casein protein and twenty percent whey protein. Whey protein in itself does not taste palatable at all and that is why the whey protein powders that you see in the health supplement stores are usually sweetened and artificially blended with pleasant flavors such as in the savoriness of banana, strawberry, chocolate or vanilla.  


Consuming whey protein supplement is just simply adding quick digestible protein to your usual meals. Since whey protein is derived from milk extract, you will need to be very careful if you are lactose intolerant or are allergic to dairy products. Even if you are not allergic to whey in any way, you may still experience some form of nausea, belly bloating, diarrhea and muscle cramps although most people should not have any problem at all.

The general bodybuilding benefits of consuming whey protein include :-

a) Enhancing your natural production of growth hormones and testosterone which are crucial to anabolic muscle building.

b) Quick and rapid infusion of protein and its broad range of amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle strength and growth.

c) Whey protein is quickly digested into your system and gets to work on your muscle very rapidly when consumed immediately after working out with weights in the gym.

d) It also provides a spectrum of other essential nutrients which are beneficial to your good health in general.


2) Casein Protein - Although casein protein, just like whey is derived from milk extract, it is released slowly into the bloodstream and then to the muscle tissues. This is why people take casein protein before going to bed at night, so that the protein is steadily released throughout the night when they are asleep and thus feeding muscle tissues continuously and steadily throughout the night when we are naturally producing anabolic hormones to accentuate muscle recovery, repair and growth.

This means that you should consume whey protein after workout for quick absorption and then take casein protein before sleep for its slow release effect.

 

Just like the whey protein, numerous studies have concluded that casein protein do indeed helps to build muscular strength as well as size and on top of that, having several other health benefits as well. Casein protein has a complete chain of amino acids and therefore is excellent for muscle mass development.

Just like whey, since casein protein is also derived from milk extract and if you are allergic to dairy products or is lactose intolerant, you should be mindful when you are consuming casein protein or you may need to substitute it with other alternatives such as the protein powders deriving soy instead of from dairy sources.



 

 

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 About The Author - Chris Chew is the health, fitness and grooming consultant to the Mister International Organization, which is the owner and producer of the Mister International and Mister Singapore Pageants. He is presently sitting on the advisory panel of Personal Trainers In Singapore.

Chris is also the Director of food health and hygiene for food and beverage establishments such as Kingdom Food Group of restaurants.

This article was researched and presented here by Chris and is meant to be helpful to the readers. It is not meant to diagnose or suggest any treatment in lieu of your medical professional's advise.

Chris is based in the cosmopolitan tropical island nation of Singapore and is still training his clients for fat loss, muscle building and general physical fitness in his free time and he can be contacted
here

 

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