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Ectomorph Workout Helping Skinny Guys Pack on The Mass! Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:32:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Prevent and Treat Common Bodybuilding Injuries Fri, 14 Dec 2012 11:12:13 +0000 * This is a guest post Which bodybuilder hasn’t complai […]

The post Prevent and Treat Common Bodybuilding Injuries appeared first on Ectomorph Workout.

* This is a guest post

Which bodybuilder hasn’t complained about aching joints, sore muscles or a stiff back?  Probably no one!  These are very common issues for bodybuilders.

While injuries are a part of any athletic endeavor, they tend to be more frequent for ectomorph bodybuilders because of the physical and psychological stress.

Injuries can have a devastating effect on a bodybuilder; they can cause you to lose the gains you’ve made, miss workouts, sleep poorly, and might even end a promising career.

As an ectomorph, you’ve worked hard for your gains.  Don’t let an injury set you back.

How can you reduce the chance of injury?

First, you must be knowledgeable about what could potentially happen to your body.  Second, you need to make injury prevention a top priority.  Lastly, you need to allow plenty of time for injuries to heal.


Be Knowledgeable

Injuries fall into the following categories.  Use the information provided by Wikipedia to educate yourself about the various types of injuries.

  • Tendonitis –inflammation of a tendon; usually refers to large-scale tendon injuries
  • Strain – refers to an injury of a muscle or tendon; muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching
  • Sprain – refers to an injury of a ligament; ligaments tear as a result of overstretching
  • Bursitis – inflammation of one or more bursae sacs; involves the point where muscles and tendons slide across the bone
  • Avulsion – complete tearing of a muscle, typically along the junction between the muscle and its tendon
  • Contusion – bruising caused by trauma to the capillaries and venules.
  • Fracture – breakage of a bone; separation that is complete, partial or from compression


Also, make sure you are aware of the most common bodybuilding injuries:

  • Neck Strain – This injury is the result of excess stress on the neck muscles.
  • Pectoral Tear – The severity of this injury can vary and is most commonly associated with an overuse of anabolic steroids.
  • Elbow Tendonitis – This broad term includes triceps tendonitis, lateral epicondylitis/tennis elbow, and medical epicondylitis/golfer’s elbow.
  • Back Strain/Sprain – Injuries to the back are usually the result of lifting too much weight or using poor form during squats or deadlifts.


Prevent Injuries

All bodybuilders – especially ectomorphs – need to make injury prevention a top priority.  Here are some tips to keep muscles and other body parts in tip-top shape. 

  • Warm-up first.  Walk on the treadmill for about five to ten minutes.  Then, perform the desired exercise with very light weights.  About 20 repetitions should be a good warm-up.
  • After warming up, stretch the muscle you will be exercising.  Take the joint to the end of its range of motion and hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Pay attention to what you are doing.  This is the best way to prevent an injury to yourself or someone else in the gym.  If you are chatting with your friend or watching the girl on the elliptical machine, you are bound to drop a plate or dumbbell.
  • Eat plenty of protein.  This will help maintain muscle fiber strength and enable a quicker recovery.
  • This should be a no-brainer, but don’t wear open-toed shoes!  If you do, you’re just asking for trouble.
  • Wrap your knees when performing heavy squats.  Also, wrap your wrists during heavy lifts such as deadlifts or shrugs.


How to Deal with an Injury

If you sustain a serious injury, see a doctor right away.  The longer you wait, the longer it will take to recover.

For minor injuries, let the word PRICE guide your treatment strategy:

  • Protect the injury from further trauma with a brace or splint.
  • Rest for at least 48 hours.
  • Ice will limit inflammation, swelling, and scar tissue.
  • Compression with a wrap or towel will decrease swelling.
  • Elevate the injury above the level of your heart to slow blood flow and swelling.


Once you return to your regular workout routine, don’t push yourself too hard too fast.  If an exercise makes the pain worse, stop!

By educating yourself about possible bodybuilding injuries, doing everything possible to prevent them, and taking the proper care when they do arise, you can keep your ectomorph bodybuilding goals on track.

Guest author Bryan Jones works for a chiropractor in Lakeland, providing chiropractic information to lots of local bodybuilders.  He is very knowledgeable about back and neck injuries that result from improper weight lifting techniques.

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7 Most Underrated yet Essential Muscle Building Principles Sat, 07 Jul 2012 17:10:57 +0000 Often times, unsatisfied gym goers search desperately f […]

The post 7 Most Underrated yet Essential Muscle Building Principles appeared first on Ectomorph Workout.

Often times, unsatisfied gym goers search desperately for that magic workout, that magic supplement which they believe will give them immense amount of muscles within a short period.

Muscle building doesn’t work that way, unless you take steroids.

What you may not realize is that sometimes, you already know the principles of muscle building, just that you do not see the importance of it, and as such have neglected them.

What this article will do is to shed light on 7 principles which are essential for your muscle growth and which you have most probably neglected.

Muscle Building Principle #1: Your Calorie Intake Must Exceed Calorie Expenditure

Yes, I’m sure you know this already.

But do you know what’s your daily calorie needs?

Do you know how many more calories you need to consume for muscle growth?

Do you know that without a calorie excess, whatever you do will NOT lead to muscle growth?

Finally, there are tons of skinny guys out there who THINK that they eat enough, and leave it as that.

They are either in self-denial, or unwilling to take action because eating a lot is tough.

Note though, that supplements like weight gainers are NOT the solution, unless you want a bigger tummy.

Calculate your calorie needs, eat 5- 6 meals, and eat clean.

Muscle Building Principle #2: Consume Good Calories

Not all calories are created equal.

There are empty calories, unhealthy calories, and basically crap that you should avoid.

The 3 main groups of macronutrients you should consume are:

a. High quality protein

Protein is the macronutrient your body use to repair muscle tissues and build new ones. It is the most important macronutrient for building lean muscle mass.

Sources: lean meat, fish, poultry, skim milk, cottage cheese, peanuts, whey

b. Natural, high fiber carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates help your body absorb protein, are the main energy sources for your body, and they help to regulate the hormonal balance in your body.

Sources: unrefined, high fiber sources such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain, potatoes, yam, fresh fruits.

c. Healthy, unsaturated fats:

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) increase your testosterone levels (anabolic hormone, meaning it helps build muscles) and they keep you healthy.

For a more comprehensive list of good macronutrient sources and the top bodybuilding foods, do join my inner circle where I share these resources with my members. Don’t worry it’s free.

Muscle Building Principle #3: Drink Enough Water

Definitely the most underrated principle of all.

80% of your body is made up of water. 85% of our brain is made up of water. 70% of our lean muscle mass is made up of water.

How does water affect our muscle building progress?

1. A 3-4% drop in your body’s water levels can lead to a 10-20% decrease in muscle contractions.

2. Water helps to prevent injuries.

e.g Water lubricates joints and form a protective “cushion” around them, especially important because high intensity training brings about a lot of stress on your joint.

3. Water helps to transport nutrients around the body more efficiently.

4. Water helps your liver flush out toxins and unwanted chemicals.

Drink (your body weight in pounds) x (0.6) ounces of water daily.

Muscle Building Principle #4: Tracking Your Progress

Another principle that can make a world of difference yet not utilized by many.

Tracking is the only tangible way to measure your progress accurately!

If your progress is unsatisfactory, then you will know when and what to change.

If you are progressing well, you can then take note of what it is that you are doing right and to stay on the right track!

a. The Importance of A Training Journal

Muscles can only grow through progressive overload.

And that’s why you have to track your workout progress to go from strength to strength!

It will also tell you whenever you hit a weight lifting plateau.

b. The Importance of A Meal Planner

Tracking your calories intake is essential as well.

If you find that you aren’t gaining muscle weight proportionate to your gym training, then eat more.

Finally, tracking forces you to take action, to stay disciplined, and not to procrastinate – the #1 killer of all muscle gains.

Do it now.

Muscle Building Principle #5: Intensity and Duration

These 2 principles are inversely related.

They are also one of the most important muscle building principles you must know.

The shorter and more intense a workout, the more effective it is.

Apply this principle to your workout today and I am pretty sure the effectiveness of your workout will increase by at least 50%!

Most ectomorphs ignore this, why?


  • They feel they have to work out for at least an hour before they can target their muscles effectively.
  • They don’t know how the duration of workouts affects their body’s hormonal balance.
  • Ego lifting – they take long rest periods so as to be able continue lifting at the same weight and not be seen as wimpy.
  • They go to the gym with friends or they go to the gym to make friends.


  • They don’t understand the meaning of intensity and its effects.

The Correct Duration

Keep your workouts between 30 minutes to an hour, with 45 minutes being the optimal timing.


Because the release of anabolic (muscle building) hormones peaks at about 27 minutes and falls at around 45 minutes.

At this time, catabolic (muscle destroying and fat storing) hormones are then released.

Your mental focus will fade as well.

Finally, a short workout will save you your precious calories.

The Correct Intensity

Intensity is such a subjective idea that it’s not easy to explain.

Someone who feels sore but who takes extremely long rest periods within sets is not doing an intensive workout.

Intensity doesn’t mean you have to train to failure too.

Always training to failure leads to central nervous system burnout and increased chances of injury.

So what is the correct level of intensity?

Tough, with a consistent rest period in between sets and reps.

When your workout is intense, you will feel knocked out at the end of your workout.

You can use this list of advanced bodybuilding techniques to increase the intensity of your workout as well.

One more thing, do your sets with proper form, and focus on the eccentric phase – do check out eccentric training.

Muscle Building Principle #6: Rest to Avoid Overtraining

Overtraining is one of the more common mistakes my clients commit in the past.

Most of them just can’t wait to gain muscle mass fast and in the process sabotage their muscle gains.

It was the same case for me in the past, as I injured my shoulders and lower back.

Overtraining is like charging straight at the wall.

You are simply going to crash.

How To Avoid Overtraining:

1. Keep your workout below an hour

2. Don’t do more than 3 sets per exercise, and limit yourself to 10-15 sets per workout.

3. Limit your training frequency for each muscle group.

4. Don’t go to the gym for more than 3 or 4 days, with 3 being optimal.

5. Don’t go to the gym if you haven’t fully recover!

6. Understand your body well – how it works, how it reacts, and then help it by giving it the best stimulus to recover and don’t overwork it.

One tip:

It’s not always possible to adhere to your workout schedule.


Because to gain muscles, you have to overload progressively.

As you do a higher volume of work, your muscles will require more time to recover.

So control your temptation and don’t go to the gym when you know you have not fully recovered.

First, you will be wasting your time as you will be doing lighter weights (regressing).

Second, you are setting yourself up for injuries

Thirdly, muscles only grow when you rest, so this is counterproductive.

Muscle Building Principle #7: Consistency and Application

Underrated. Period.

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you don’t apply them on a consistent basis, you won’t be able to achieve the results you want!

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Bulking Up Causes A Permanent Increase In Fat Cells. Should I Bulk Up? Sat, 16 Apr 2011 10:44:18 +0000 Do you know that bulking up can cause a PERMANENT incre […]

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Do you know that bulking up can cause a PERMANENT increase in fat cells?

It means that you can only gain new fat cells, but you cannot remove them!

Does that mean ectomorphs should not bulk up? 

Bulking Up History

For many bodybuilders, bulking up = bulking then cutting

As the name suggests, you bulk up through weight training and consuming excess calories without being concerned about fat gain.

You then cut down with cardio and reducing caloric intake to get “stage ready” for a brief period of time.

Although this was a widespread strategy in the past, the precise effectiveness of the cutting and bulking strategy is unknown, with only limited observational case studies on the subject.

No studies involving precise hypercaloric feeding combined with resistance exercise have been conducted, according to wikipedia.

Permanent Increase Of Fat Cells Explained

I won’t bamboozle you with science jargon so as to keep things simple.

Our fat cells are like plastic bags which store fats. When they are overloaded, they split into more fat cells to hold more fats.

Conventional wisdom has it that fat cells live forever. However, there are conflicting studies showing that fat cells don’t live forever. 1 such report here.

Rather, they are replaced when they die, which does still mean that the number of fat cells in your body can only go up, and not down.

This will increase your body’s ability to gain and store fat while it decreases the ability to lose fat. Let’s just accept these facts.

Why Is Bulking Up Still A Widely Held Belief As The Key To Gaining Muscle Mass?

As aforementioned, there have been no conclusive studies to show that bulking up is viable.

However, the fact that some bodybuilders do so may have influenced others to feel that bulking up is the key to gaining muscle mass.

Firstly, people have varying expectations on how many pounds of muscles we can realistically build.

Generally though, most people have way inflated expectations, due to the wild claims by unethical SUPPLEMENT companies and from bodybuilders who use drugs.

Furthermore, these people want results fast, and so will not balk at eating anything and everything

Note though, that nobody can give a precise number, as everyone’s genes are different.

Secondly, most people don’t know how many pounds of muscles and fats they have really added on to their body frame.

Visually, men from the range of 13%~16% body fat percentage look similar in terms of muscularity, but in actual fact, there could be a huge difference in actual pounds of fats!

Thirdly, you can’t force your body to add more muscles just because you are eating more!

There are lots of biological processes at work here which you cannot influence, just like how you are an ectomorph.

Why Do I Still Advocate Bulking Up?

Note here, that I advocate clean bulking, and not bulking then cutting.

The table below is just a guideline for clean bulking. It’s better to calculate your own calorie needs.

Optimal caloric intake relative to lean body weight

Lean Body Weight (total weight — fat weight)Caloric Intake to Support Optimal Growth

One tip is to trim down to 10% body fat before bulking up. This is so that nutrients will be targeted for muscle mass gains.

The benefits of clean bulking are as follows:

  • You will look good all year round
  • You can put on muscles all year round
  • You don’t increase your body’s capacity to store fats and reduce its abilities to lose it too much (insulin resistance)
  • The leaner you are, you can eat more nutrients without gaining fat


Bulking up has always been a thorny issue and a topic for debating. However, it has been generally accepted that clean bulking is the way to go.

Not only for looking good all year round, but for your health as well.

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Taylor Lautner’s Hardgainer Workout Secrets Wed, 06 Apr 2011 12:33:27 +0000 If you don’t know who Taylor Lautner is, he is a […]

The post Taylor Lautner’s Hardgainer Workout Secrets appeared first on Ectomorph Workout.

If you don’t know who Taylor Lautner is, he is a Hollywood actor who rose to prominence in the movie Twilight for his lean and ripped body.

In fact, if you watched the movie (waste of time I admit), you probably won’t believe that he was just a skinny kid 9 months ago!

Within these 9 months, he managed to bulk up and gained 30lbs of muscles! What are his hardgainer workout secrets?

Hardgainer Workout Secret 1 – Nutrition

“The hardest thing for me was the eating. At one point I had to shove as much food in my body as possible to pack on calories. My trainer wanted me to do six meals a day and not go two hours without eating. If I would cheat on eating one day, I could tell, I’d drop a few pounds,”                                                                       – Taylor Lautner

That’s how important eating is. Without proper nutrition, no hardgainer workout is going to get you results.

You can start with how to gain weight for ectomorphs.

Hardgainer Workout Secret 2 – Workout Principles

These are the principles behind Taylor Lautner’s workout routine.

1. Progressive overload and above threshold

To grow large, your body needs to become comfortable with heavy loads. “That’s why I had Taylor ‘taste’ a much heavier weight.                                          – Leonard Yuam (his personal trainer)

To go above your threshold, get a spotter’s help.

When you expose your muscles to weights above your normal threshold, that’s when they will adapt, undergo muscular hypertrophy and grow.

And this is crucial for any hardgainer workout.

2. Varying your hardgainer workout

Muscles adapt fairly quick, and that is why we hit plateaus if we stick to one workout routine for too long.

By varying your workout, you maximize muscle growth as muscles are being forced to adapt constantly which will lead to muscular hypertrophy.

Here are some advanced bodybuilding techniques you could use.

3. Create tension

To increase tension, Taylor Lautner frequently attaches giant bands to the free weight he is lifting and anchors the band to a power rack.


This is because some parts of doing free weights is easier than others.

To work your muscles more consistently and to recruit more muscle fibers, using bands is a good idea and makes the workout much more intensive.

4. Cut down on cardio

The point of cutting down on cardio is to save your precious calories for the purpose of muscle building.

But cutting down does not mean eliminating it completely!

5. Don’t neglect your sides

Do you realize that most bodybuilding exercises are done front and back? Yuen has this to say:

“Perform side-to-side exercises in addition to traditional lifts. These boost your ability to move in any path. For example, work a few sets of lateral hops and lunges into every leg workout.”

6. Having sufficient rest and recovery

At one point, I realized I put on a lot of weight, and then I started losing weight dramatically and I was like, what’s going on? Why am I losing all this weight that I put on? And what I realized is that I was actually over-working myself. I was going seven days a week, I wouldn’t take a day off, and I would be in the gym for two and a half hours, and I was just burning more calories than I was putting on. That was my biggest problem. So then, I had to cut back; four or five days a week, and not be in the gym too long.                                                                                                     – Taylor Lautner

Overtraining, one of the most common mistakes killing muscle gains. Do check out 6 other underrated yet essential muscle building principles.

Hardgainer Workout Secret 3 – Situation

1. Mindset

I would dare say your mindset is the one of most important keys to success!

For Taylor, he had 9 months to save his career. It was make or break, and boy did he make it.

2. Solid foundation

Taylor Lautner is a martial arts world champion and that means he had a good physical base to work with already.

He is also very flexible, and this means the fasica over his muscles allow them to grow without restriction!

Tip: Stretch after your workout!

Hardgainer Workout Secret 4 – The Shrink Wrap Effect

Rusty Moore, author of visual impact muscle building, came up with the name – the Shrink Wrap Effect.

The Shrink Wrap Effect is the technique used by Taylor Lautner to get totally ripped for the move, albeit accidentally.

Basically, it means getting the skin to get so tight around the muscles that it makes them look very defined.

If you want to know more, you can go to this link where I have uploaded a pdf file explaining more about the technique there.

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