12 Most Dangerous Bodybuilding Mistakes Ectomorphs Make


MISTAKE #1: Not Having A Goal And Commitment

I’ve talked about this in my previous email, and I can’t stress enough how important this is.



MISTAKE #2: Getting Priorities All Wrong

The commonly held thought of most skinny guys is “I want to gain muscle and weight but I don’t want to grow fat”. Mindset translates into action, and hence they don’t eat enough to encourage muscle growth.

It is inevitable that you will gain fats as you attempt to pack on the muscles, unless you have a laboratory and money to spend on finding the exact calorie intake to bring about muscle gain with zero fat gain. And even then, it may not be accurate, as there are too many variables to consider.


MISTAKE #3: Using Machines & Doing Isolation Exercises

First, you get bigger arms not by doing heavy dumbbell curls, but by doing heavy bench presses.

A word of advice: isolation exercises should rarely be used by anyone with less than one year of training experience. However, it can still be incorporated depending on your goals

Compound exercises are the way to go for ectomorphs like us. These exercises are intense, overloads our central nervous systems, and forces the release of more growth hormones and testerone, which are the hormones that help us gain muscles!

With these intense exercises, our workout will be kept shorter, and we get to save more of our precious calories! That’s more bang for the buck.

And why are machines a big no-no? Because they aren’t as intense as free weights, and free weights engage our stabilizer muscles and thus, recruit more muscle fibers.


MISTAKE #4: Ignoring Progressive Overload

This is a good quote that sums it up: “Doing things the same way while expecting different results is insanity”.


MISTAKE #5: Not Having Enough Variety In Your

Our muscles adapt pretty quickly. How fast depends on your genes.

And remember the previous quote?

Though it’s important to have some form of consistency, you have to realize when it’s time to change things up, and make your muscles adapt to new and heavier stimulus!


MISTAKE #6: Thinking That You Must Train For The Pump

One of the most common mistakes that guys make is  training till they get that pump.

The main problem with training for the pump is that  it leads to muscular fatigue and not muscular overload.

Muscular fatigue is when you lift moderate weights for higher reps and you can not complete the set because of the burning sensation caused from the lactic acid buildup which results from a lack of oxygen to the muscle.

It’s just like how you can do 200 reps of 4lbs dumbbell  curls, feel the crazy burn but your biceps won’t grow big!


MISTAKE #7: Seeking The PERFECT Workout

Really, there is no PERFECT workout. Workouts aren’t designed according to your body, abilities, age, training age, genetics, etc.

So what should I do? How do I formulate a workout suitable for me?

You could look through the list of 14 muscle building principles on the site,

or wait for my next few emails where I reveal the 7 key factors of a workout to consider :)


MISTAKE #8: Training To Failure

This is a BIG mistake. Don’t worry, I once believed in this too!

But doesn’t training to failure makes sure my muscle fibers are fully worked?

I would like to clarify this, it’s perfectly alright to train till failure, but it’s not absolutely required for each and every set.

Let me just list some examples here:

Improving your body’s sensitivity to the cold does  not require you to go outside in the middle of winter  with no clothes up to the point before passing out.

If you want to improve your tan it isn’t necessary  to subject your skin to the sun prior to the moment of blistering.

Since your body’s primary function in life is to survive it will adapt only to the point where your body has sufficient defense to whatever element it is exposed to.

Catch the drift? Ok, now comes the next important point:

High intensity does not equate to failure. High intensity basically means lifting weights that are heavier than your previous threshold.



MISTAKE #9: Not Eating Enough

It’s really simple. Even if you have the best equipment or the best personal trainer in the world, you will never grow if you do not have a calorie surplus.

I will like you to just dump that “hardgainer” mindset now. I can tell you that it’s crippling you in a way as it becomes a convenient excuse for your skinny frame.

And don’t worry about growing fat as you can adjust your food intake accordingly once you have a better understand of how your body reacts.


MISTAKE #10: Believing Supplements Is The Magic Pill To Insane Muscle Gains

You will be more successful taking your fitness to the next level by mastering the important training techniques, recovery techniques and nutrition habits. 

I would still encourage getting protein powder because it’s quite impossible to get all your proteins from whole foods when you reach a certain level. And pre workout drinks can work too.

They key is to drink lots of water to transport the nutrients around your body and to filter out the waste products.

However, i strongly discourage you from consuming commercial weightgainers. They are made from low quality sugars and they are jam packed with so many calories they will force you to gain weight in the form of fats.

If you want to be skinny fat, then use them. If not, avoid like the plague.


MISTAKE #11: Overtraining

Overtraining can mean 2 things, training for too  long, or training for too often.

Training for too long is a BIG and COMMON mistake, especially so when you go with friends!

There is an exact point in your workout where  your anabolic hormone production peaks. After that  it levels off and it finally starts to plummet not too many minutes later.

There is another hormone known as cortisol that actually eats away muscle tissue and increases body fat storage. The production of cortisol begins to rise rapidly at about the exact same time that anabolic hormone production drops.

At the same time, more of your calories are burned as you stay in the gym for too long.

So try to keep your workouts between 45 minutes to an hour. And stick religiously to the specific rest intervals between sets.

The previous part is obvious enough, but what’s not so obvious, is you have to know that we can’t really have exact fixed schedules when we move on to really heavy weights. Actually it’s possible, but again, it depends on your body.

For muscles to grow, we have to progressively overload.

By doing so, we expose our muscles to higher levels of stress and naturally, our body needs more time to rest and adapt! And that’s why we can’t have a fixed training schedule when we reach that level.

Watch out for these signs of overtraining:

1.Not feeling right.
2. Still feeling sore that impedes your workout.
3.Not being able to do heavier, more sets, take longer to do a set etc.

Tip: Take 1 week off training every 8-10 weeks.


MISTAKE #12: Not Having Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep will lower your testosterone levels and increase your cortisol levels. Testosterone builds muscles, and cortisol destroys them.

Sleep deprivation also increases your insulin sensitivity.

This means your body’s abilities to tolerate and process carbohydrates without getting fat will be severely compromised.


That sums it up for today, hope you have gained quite a lot of new insights!


  1. Very infromative email.  Thanks.

  2. thnx

  3. exellent! thank you for taking the time to make this list!

  4. Thank you so much! I’ll sleep now..

  5. Thanks for that! Good piece of motivational talk. Btw. is 45min really enough for a training 3x week? I have just decided to do around 1,5 h of intensive cross fit. Does it mean I will start “losing” muscles instead of building them up? :(

  6. Is it possible apply this great advices on skinny girls?

    • Hi Rubi, yes it does. However, do note that girls will typically get less gains simply due to lower levels of testosterone.

  7. Of ALL the research I’ve done between videos, programs, websites, photos, blah blah blah…this has been most helpful. Thank you!

    -A Sincere Ectomorph


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