Strength Training

If you are just starting out, I recommend strength training to build a solid foundation.

Read up ectomorph bodybuilding if you have not done so yet. Strength training is about focusing on achieving sarcomere hypertrophy.


How is Strength Training Done?

strength training

In bodybuilding, strength training is conducted with few reps (5 or fewer, though I recommend 5) and constitute compound exercises such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts etc.

However, I recommended in my article “principles of muscle building” that the moderate rep range (6-12) is the optimum range for muscle building.

So why the contradiction? Read on.


Benefits of Strength Training For Ectomorph Beginners

1. Maximize your muscle growth

For ectomorphs to gain significant muscle gains, you must do compound exercises.

Compound exercises work several parts of your body and this in turn will recruit more muscle fibers. By working more muscle fibers,  you maximize your muscle gains.

Furthermore, you can only blast these muscle fibers by doing heavy weights from compound exercises! Not by the light weights of simple isolation exercises.


2. Allows you to progressively overload

Strength training builds up your strength, and that is how you can progressively overload.

Only by exposing your muscles to unaccustomed stress will they grow.


3. Taxes your central nervous system

If you do not know, your muscles grow not only by being exposed to unaccustomed stress, they also grow via the effects of growth hormones and testosterone.

Strength training overloads your central nervous system, and this causes it to send signals to release more growth hormones and testosterone (anabolic hormones).


4. Creating a good foundation

As the name suggests, strength training will help you to build a good foundation by working several different parts of your body. In the future, you could do heavier weights for isolation exercises to achieve more defined muscle cuts.


5. Strength training is intense

High intensity overloads your central nervous system and forces the release of more growth hormone and testosterone.

Furthermore, an intense workout is shorter, since you will feel fatigue faster and this will help save some precious calories.

Note: Duration and intensity of a good workout routine is inversely related, meaning it should be short and intense.



If you still do not understand why I recommend strength training for beginners, it is because this form of training will help you establish a rock solid foundation in weight training.

In fact, both Reg Park and Arnold Schwarzenegger started off as powerlifters, and in Arnold’s case a competitive Olympic weight lifter. They could both deadlift over 700lbs!

In their cases, strength training created a rock solid platform for these two legends to push on and become two of the best bodybuilders the world has ever seen.

This is why I recommend strength training for beginners, and this training methodology underpins the beginner gym workout routine I have created on this site.


Articles in This Section (Ectomorph Bodybuilding):

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  1. fender

    Lol to think I was wondering why my bicep curls werent really giving me the biceps I wanted. thanks!

  2. Donald

    Yea, strength training should be the way to go!

  3. Mikel

    So does that mean we should forego isolation exercises totally?

    • Wayne

      Not really, it depends on your goals. Let’s say if you want to get very well defined and big biceps then you should do biecp curls and stuff. My ectomorph workout principles #1 is being specific. But as an ectomorph, I believe you would want to grow bigger first right?

      Anyway you still must do compound exercises as this will overload our central nervous system and produce more growth hormones and testosterone and improve your overall strength, you get the drift.

  4. Rem

    Hi Wayne!

    I visited this site because you told me to do strengthen my foundation.. So, I was doing the Phase 1 of the 12 week program that I saw here.. Will that be a great program for me as for now even though I cannot do a single wide grip pull up and only a 2 chin ups?

    Should I feel soreness on the next day when every time I do the exercise for monday, wednesday, and friday (on the 12 week program)? Because I am not feeling anything at all even though I had been lifting weights that are really until 4 reps.

    Sorry for asking lots of questions but I am really determined to have that “Model Look” like body.. ;) Thanks in advance if you happen to answer my question! :)

    • Wayne

      Hey Rem,

      I would still advise working on your foundation first, but it’s alright if you want to start with the 12 weeks program. Yes, you should feel soreness on the next day after gym. However, sometimes the soreness sets in on the second day after gymming and not immediately on the next day. If you don’t feel anything at all with 4 reps, you should go heavier, and do with correct and controlled form. Focus on the part of your muscles that is doing the contraction. Good luck!

  5. Peter

    Thanks for sharing this great article. I also do some training now because I really want to look good and build up my self confidence. I really think I want to to look great first and then get more strength is that the good way or should I go for strength first? Thanks for sharing!

    • Wayne

      Hi Peter, I would say go for strength first. It will help you set a solid foundation. And it doesn’t mean you wont look good because your body will grow too!



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