The plight of the ectomorph or hard gainer is one that every bodybuilder and athlete should be able to sympathize with. If you’re just not naturally ‘big’ then packing on muscle can be incredibly difficult, even when you’re working harder than everyone else. It’s disheartening and ultimately it can make it very tempting to just give up!
But never give up!
In a recent video from Six Pack Shortcuts, Clark interviewed his friend Henry Tran who was himself a hard gainer. He describes the techniques he used to overcome his genetics and that any ectomorph can use to start growing!
Coming to Terms
The first step for Henry was to come to terms with his body type, which was of course ectomorph. A lot of guys don’t realize they’re ectomorphs or even don’t want to own up to it! That’s a big mistake because it means they won’t be training right for their body shape. To grow as an ectomorph you need to eat more and you need to increase your time under tension. See this as a license to eat far more calories than you were before and to still look lean – it’s not all bad news!
Eat on Schedule
Henry takes his eating very seriously, as should you. He eats seven meals a day and always on time, which means he’s eating every 2-3 hours!
The Right Food
So what does Henry use to keep fuelling his muscle gains? He eats lean turkey, chicken breast and beef. While you can eat more calories and get away with it as an ectomorph, and while fats aren’t that bad for you (it turns out!), that doesn’t mean you should just pile lots of fatty meat into your diet! Still opt for the lean stuff and you’ll feel leaner and healthier. A lot of ectomorphs eat rubbish because they can and that’s a mistake.
Sleeping is a super important factor when it comes to gaining muscle and that goes double for hard gainers. Remember: you grow most when you’re asleep. Ectomorphs burn through their calories super fast so that means you need to try and spend less time in your catabolic state and more time in your anabolic state. That means you should be training or resting!
How about training style? Henry says the ideal solution is to combine heavy reps and light reps. Henry sticks to higher rep ranges in order to increase time under tension and to provide double the pump. If you focus on heavy weights, you’ll build more explosive power but this won’t necessarily come from hypertrophy so much as an increased connection between mind and muscle.
Finally, Henry leaves us with two tips: be consistent and be committed. It takes more time and effort to gain muscle as an ectomorph but that just means you need to work harder! Feed the body and put the time in down the gym and be strict with your sleep. Give it time and you’ll get there!
[ajax_load_more post_type=”post” category=”workouts”]