Are you the guy who’s always being over-powered on the field? Are you the pick-up games last pick? Have you been grinding out hard work in the gym for hours on end with no results to date? Chances are, you’re a classic example of an ectomorphic-hardgainer. Your genetics have built you lean and that’s how you stay. But have no worries, with a little patience, persistence and training-by-the-rules, you’ll be well on your way to living large(r).
RULE 1: Go Big or Go Home
Heading to the gym to lift just for the sake of lifting won’t get you anywhere faster. You’ve got to go with the exercises and movement patterns that give you more bang for your buck. “Far too many guys spend time working on isolation exercises searching for hypertrophy,” says Colorado-based certified trainer and fitness writer, Jeremey DuVall. You want to program your workouts with moves like the deadlift, squat and overhead press. “Bigger exercises require more muscle recruitment and make for a more efficient workout," he adds. John Annillo, CSCS of Training for Warriors agrees, “Your body works as a unit, so drop the isolation exercises and train it like one. The more muscles (or joints) that are working during any given exercise the better.” Trainer, fitness writer/model Parker Cote also believes "big moves" are especially important for beginners saying, "it's the best way to expedite the mass gain process."
Make the squat the primary exercise in your leg workouts. (3-5 reps, 6-8 reps) The deadlift in your back workouts. (3-5 reps, 6-8 reps) Overhead presses in your shoulder workouts. (3-5 reps, 8-12 reps) And barbell bench presses for chest. (3-5 sets, 10-12 reps)