Ectomorph Workout Mindsets
I will try to keep this section short, as it’s pretty much common sense.
Even then, not many have the right mindsets and attitudes towards working out. They demand immense and immediate returns, which is impossible.
This explains why so many fail to achieve their desired goals even with proper workout routines or meal plans.
As such, it’s crucial that you maintain these mindsets as a guide when working out. I will go as far to say that if you don’t possess these mindsets, don’t bother working out. Why?
Because your thoughts/mindset produces feelings which leads to action which generates your results. Start on the wrong foot, and you won’t get the results you desire.
Ectomorph Workout Mindset #1 – Discipline
Before you commit to any gym workout program, you must be prepared to see it through. Why waste weeks of training when you are going to abandon or change a program halfway?
To be able to do so, you need utmost discipline and commitment. Promise yourself that you will head down to the gym no matter rain or shine.
Adhere strictly to your diet plans as well. Don’t make excuses for yourself, as you are the one who will lose out ultimately.
A powerful technique I recommend you to use is the “inevitability effect“. Basically, it means you create layers of things/events that stack up which will make the result you want inevitable.
For instance, you could challenge your friend to a bench press challenge. Whoever can bench heavier weights in 3 months time will win something. Or get a workout buddy where the two of you can constantly motivate the other to head down to the gym.
Ectomorph Workout Mindset #2 – Patience
The second mindset to possess is patience. If you are a beginner, you will gain results pretty rapidly and hit a plateau quickly as well due to the law of diminishing marginal returns.
More technically, your early gains will come from neuromuscular adaptations, rather than hypertrophy. You will see pumps during your workouts, but these are merely short term fluid retention which will fade away soon.
Neuromuscular adaptations include increased motor unit recruitment, coordination of motor unit recruitment, increased frequency of motor unit firing, improved technique and cross education (1).
Of course, there are those who hit the genetic jackpot and who you call excellent responders (quite few actually). For the same exercise, they gain a lot more muscles than you.
This is because they have more satellite cells and can expand that cell pool via training (if you don’t know what this means, check out ectomorph bodybuilding) (2).
For most people, weight and muscle mass gaining takes time. Give yourself 3 to 6 months before you see some weight and muscle gains. Then, you will be so overjoyed you will become addicted to going to the gym to overcome your limits!
Thereafter, change your workout routine to break out of plateaus and see sustained growth!
Ectomorph Workout Mindset #3 – Health
Bodybuilding is not just about getting bulkier with bulging muscles, it is about learning to use your body and maintaining your health.
Many people believe that they have absolute control of their body, but they are wrong. Try fasting for a few days, and then try controlling your body. You can’t.
And don’t be obsessed over bodybuilding or not making instant muscle gains that you go crazy and start eating crap. I used to drink a lot of milk in the belief that I would be able to gain weight quickly, but all i got, was diarrhoea.
There was this GOMAD diet (gallon of milk a day) which I tried. Thought it would have been a good shortcut but it turned out badly for me. May or may not work for you.
Ectomorph Workout Mindset #4 – Skepticism
Be skeptical, really. The fitness industry is based on hype and hope, and it always pains me to see all the misleading ads out there making wild, unsubstantiated claims or taking claims out of context.
Remember, we aren’t bodybuilders, neither do we take steriods, so don’t be misled by those wild claims.
Be especially wary of fitness equipment and supplements. There are good ones, but more duds than effective ones. If an ad sounds too good to be true, it is.
At the end of the day, like all things in life, there is no magic bullet that will promise you instant and significant muscle gains. The key, is really working your ass off but being smart about it too, no way around that.
(1) Gardiner, P. (2011). Advanced Neuromuscular Exercise Physiology. Human Kinetics. http://www.humankinetics.com/products/all-products/advanced-neuromuscular-exercise-physiology
(2) Contreras, B. (2011). The Truth About Bodybuilding Genetics. Retrieved from T Nation: http://www.t-nation.com/training/truth-about-bodybuilding-genetics
Articles in This Section (Ectomorph Bodybuilding):
- Ectomorph Bodybuilding: learn the science of the muscle growth formula for ectomorphs
- Body types: are you a true ectomorph? It is not so straightforward
- Principles & mechanisms of muscle building: if there’s only time for one article, read this
- How to be lean and ripped: you want to be attractively lean and ripped, not the skinny kind
- What is strength training: for beginners, I recommend strength training
- Muscle building FAQs: why can’t you gain weight? How to gain muscle fast? etc..
- Glossary of bodybuilding terms: do check this out if you are just starting out