Ectomorph Workout – The Ectomorph Workout That Helps Skinny Guys Gain Mass

If you find it hard to pack on weight and muscle, or have a naturally slight frame with long slender muscles, then you are more than likely the classic ectomorph – or “hardgainer”, in bodybuilding jargon.

Don’t worry though, it is suggested that between 60-85% of folks fall into the ectomorph category, which is also why a lot of folks get frustrated when performing workouts at the gym. You see, most of what you read in the bodybuilding magazines is not ideal for the ectomorph and hardgainer. So what happens is folks follow the workouts in the magazines not realising that they’re often hampering and delaying their success.

So if we can’t trust the magazines to give us a great ectomorph workout, then what can we do?

Well, the good news is that the ideal ectomorph workout doesn’t require you to train 5 or 6 days a week, nor does it require you to spend hours every day. You should be able to complete the ectomorph workout within an hour or so.

There’s no need to spend hours every day focusing on one body part like some workouts…you know the kind that go…Monday is Chest Day, Tuesday is Back Day, Wednesday is Legs Day…etc. What these kinds of workouts do is get you to expend 60-80% effort through the whole workout, because 100% effort would result in exhaustion before you finish. That doesn’t make much sense.

They also cause you to workout each muscle group only once per week, whereas 3 good all-body ectomorph workouts per week would result in 3 times the muscle growth and development.

The ectomorph workout will look to build multiple muscle groups simultaneously, therefore the ectomorph workout focuses on the classic “big basic” exercises of

Squats,

Bench Press,

Deadlifts,

Bicep Curls,

Bent Over Rows

Woodchoppers, etc.

Remember we want functionality as well as growth. These big basic exercises help you to develop a great total body physique, rather than isolating biceps, or pecs or whatever.

Less Is More – what I mean is that in your ectomorph workout, you want to focus on high quality reps (between 8-12) and low numbers of sets (between 1-3). Anyone who tells you to do 6 sets of 12 reps is not giving you good advice for an ectomorph workout. If you’re able to do 6 sets of 12 reps on an exercise then you’re not putting out enough effort. Gaining muscle mass for the ectomorph comes from high-intensity low-volume training – i.e. 100% effort on less sets.

Eat Big To Get Big – eating well and consuming the right amount of calories is the biggest stumbling block an ectomorph faces in their workouts and ability to gain mass. The recommended daily calorie intake for a person is between 2000 – 2500. However, many ectomorphs see this and think that this applies to them too. BIG mistake! Weight gain and weight loss is all about caloric deficits – simply put, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume, and to gain weight you need to consume more calories than you burn .

Muscle – The New Femininity

She stood before the squat-rack, a petite, Filipino beauty, focusing on a steel bar inches before her face. Then, oblivious to the rest of the crowded base gym at Hurlbert Field, Florida, she began squatting for dozens of rock-bottom repetitions…with 250 pounds.

I don’t remember her name -let’s call her Rachel. What I do recall is that this was ten years ago, before Fitness competitions, before women so exquisite consorted with barbells. This tiny E-4 was handling more weight than any fitness competitor today uses, in fact, more weight than used by most men. I asked her if she competed in bodybuilding. “No,” she replied, “powerlifting.”

Powerlifting? That’s about grunting up a single maximum lift…powerlifters don’t look like this! Enlightened as I thought I was about female muscle, my mental images of blocky, chalk-covered, “she-males” now had to yield to new possibilities.

With the bodybuilding magazines now filled with dumbbell-wielding Fitness beauties (athletic versions of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models), I think of Rachel, so far ahead of her time. Even now the question of muscle and femininity continues to arise with monotonous predictability: Will a woman “look like a man” if she lift weights?

I’d defy anyone looking at Rachel (or her tens of thousands of successors) to prove it. Muscle has no genderU.S. News & World Report was reporting that the number of women using free-weights had doubled between 1987 and 1996, from 7.4 million to 16.8 million. One can only guess what those numbers are now, but with the profusion of Fitness magazines and competitions, along with the emergence of female sports, it is a safe bet they’ve doubled again.

To a society obsessed with body image, and increasingly concerned with health, it couldn’t be a better time. As muscle is metabolically active, it burns calories 24 hours a day, even during sleep. Thus the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Unlike with running (which, in excess can break down muscle tissue), in weight training you can only hurt yourself by being careless.

Pumping iron strengthens bones, joints and ligaments as well as muscle, increases growth hormone production (the real fountain of youth) and can be done at any age, which means that senior citizens now have a route to renewed vigor which will allow many of them to discard the canes and walkers. Don’t laugh; it’s already happening!

But getting back to the femininity issue, if we can accept that the essence of female form is curves (rather than the straight lines of the stick-thin fashion models), we’re left with two choices for the substance of those curves: fat or muscle. For most of us the choice is a no-brainer. Consider this: why do women wear high-heels? To look taller? No, to make their calves look shapelier. And their calves look shapelier because they’re muscles being flexed.

But what is “enough?” Or “too much?” I must stifle a grimace or a laugh when someone expresses a fear of becoming “too muscular” to me. Right, and you’d better stop taking piano lessons because you can’t afford the dress you’ll need to perform at Carnegie Hall. Unless a woman has unusual genetics and is taking boatloads of illegal pharmaceuticals to boost her testosterone, she’s not going to add much size. In fact, since muscle is so much denser than fat, she’ll be smaller, even if she weighs more. Thus my clients can ignore the bathroom scale, relying instead on the mirror, skin-fold measurements and their improved performance in the gym.

Most women training with weights are still using only a fraction of their capability. Take calves: women will train them with fifty pounds on a machine, unmindful of the fact that in a two-mile run they’re subjecting them to thousands of repetitions at bodyweight multiplied by G-force. One of my clients, Leslie, an overweight mother of two, in her forties with no athletic background, had already been training at her YMCA when I began with her. But she’d been training like the rest of the women there: cardio, and light reps on the machines.

Initially she could barely squat with an unloaded Olympic bar (45 pounds) for ten repetitions. Less than a year later she was squatting with 185 pounds for 15 repetitions. Doing full sets of seated over-head presses with 40 pound dumbbells, triceps dips with 100 pounds strapped to her. Her face changed, the cheek-bones emerging, the age vanishing. Her outlook’s changed too, no doubt in part to the new-found male attention she’s getting. “Too much?” Her YMCA cohorts are still huffing on the Stairmasters and treadmills, looking the same as always and staring at Leslie when she’s not down in the weight-room out-lifting many of the men. And while she initially was looking to lose fat and get “toned” (I still don’t know what “toned” means), now she even looks at the Fitness stars with some disdain: “I want realmuscle! Like the bodybuilders.”

Just as dramatic is my friend Renita Harris, also a mother of two, formerly overweight. To escape an abusive(former) husband, Renita found solace in the rhythms and challenges of the weight-room. Years later she was competing in bodybuilding and Fitness championships on a national level and winning.

In addition to her regular personal training clients, she was training pro athletes like the NBA’s Kendall Gill. And appearing in numerous magazines. She’d transformed herself into what Art Carey, an editor and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer described as “a head-turning goddess…a walking aphrodisiac…a caricature of female form like the femme fatale in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Yet this tiny-waisted “walking aphrodisiac” has squatted with 405 for a dozen reps. She’s now a Chicago cop. And, like Rachel, our powerlifting E-4 at Hurlburt Field, as feminine as ever.

How many more potential Renitas, Leslies and Rachels are out there? Millions. They just don’t know it. Some of them are at your gym. Maybe you’re one of them. There’s one way to find out.

How to Start and Maintain a Weight Training Program

You should begin your weight training program with both short and long-term goals. Identifying goals is an important means of maintaining interest and enthusiasm for weight training. A key point is to establish realistic short-term goals that can be reached in the first several weeks of training. Reaching these goals provides the motivation needed to continue training.

Developing an Individualized Exercise Prescription

The exercise prescription for strength training has three stages: the starter phase, the slow progression phase, and the maintenance phase.

Starter Phase

The primary objective of the starter phase is to build strength gradually without developing undue muscular soreness or injury. This can be accomplished by starting your weight training program slowly beginning with light weights, a high number of repetitions, and only 2 sets per exercise. The recommended frequency of training during this phase is twice per week. The duration of this phase varies from 1 to 3 weeks, depending on your initial strength fitness level. A sedentary person might spend 3 weeks in the starter phase, whereas a relatively well-trained person may only spend 1 to 2 weeks.

Slow Progression Phase

This phase may last 4 to 20 weeks depending on your initial strength level and your long-term strength goal. The transit ion from the starter phase to the slow progression phase involves three changes in the exercise prescription: increasing the frequency of training from 2 to 3 days per week; an increase in the amount of weight lifted and a decrease in the number of repetitions; and an increase in the number of sets performed from 2 to 3 sets.

The objective of the slow progression phase is to gradually increase muscular strength until you reach your desired level. After reaching your strength goal, your long-term objective becomes to maintain this level of strength by entering the maintenance phase of the strength training exercise prescription.

Maintenance Phase

After reaching your strength goals, the problem now becomes, how do I maintain this strength level? The bad news is that maintaining strength will require a lifelong weight training effort. Strength is lost if you do not continue to exercise. The good news is that the effort required to maintain muscular strength is less than the initial effort needed to gain strength. Research has shown that as little as one workout per week is required to maintain strength.

How to Burn Arm Fat With Shake Weight

We all hate the arm flab wobble. It’s annoying and embarrassing. Many people try to cover up this flab problem by wearing long sleeves all the time, which eliminates a lot of clothing choices. It makes it hard to find something to wear, especially if it’s for a special event, and it’s particularly uncomfortable in summer. When you finally get tired of being embarrassed about your arms, hiding them, passing up pretty tops and summer dresses because they are too arm-revealing and make excuses for why you can’t go to the beach with friends is the day you decide you simply have to do something about that awful arm flab. But how?

Arm Flab Annoyance

Arm fat may come with carrying extra weight as well as with aging (after age 40), but not necessarily. Even when you are younger, and a healthy weight, you may have to deal with arm flab. It’s an area that just naturally seems to attract fat deposits in some women, especially if you have a mostly-sedentary lifestyle and a desk job. If you tend to avoid physical activity, you may need to build arm strength as well as get rid of the arm fat. The good news is that muscle burns fat. Build muscle and you will burn fat – the two goals go together.Even when you are reasonably active – but you prefer cardio to weight or resistance training, you may have an arm problem.

What works to burn arm fat?

You have a lot of options. If you already do cardio, you could add in some weight – for example, when you jog or power walk, do it holding weights and swing your arms. You may think it looks odd to do this, but does that really matter when you’re ramping up your routine to target those flabby arms? Or you could switch to sometimes doing a form of cardio that is great for an arm/shoulder upper body workout, such as rowing, swimming or cross-country skiing.

Of course, those options aren’t always accessible or convenient. One that is fast and easy to do at home, or almost anywhere, is a new piece of exercise gear that uniquely combines cardio and weight, called Shake Weight. It comes in two versions – one marketed to men, and one to women.

Benefits of Using the Shake Weight Dumbbell For Your Arms and Upper Body

One way to burn arm fat is by using the Shake Weight dumbbell. This is perfect for the person who doesn’t have a lot of time or wants to include a new fitness tool in their workout regimen and is a great ‘entry-level’ piece of gear if it’s been some time since you worked out, allowing you to strengthen your arms and upper body and (if you choose) eventually ‘graduate’ to more challenging workouts, either at home or at the gym. Shake Weight is small and light, so unlike most fitness equipment, it can: using this dumbbell is that it can be used anywhere, especially:

– travel with you on vacation

– be used outside

– be used in front of the television

– can be taken to work for use on breaks or lunch hour

Here’s what one user has to say about Shake Weight:

“Not a full workout on its own, but this is a fun, quick addition to an existing routine….the intensity of the exercise is affected by the rate at which you shake it. A gentle shake provides a gentle workout, and more vigorous shake gives a little tougher workout.”

– WS, amazon.com

How Does Shake Weight Work?

The whole idea behind this special dumbbell is that it uses a technology the company that makes it calls “dynamic inertia” to tone arms and upper body muscles. This technology refers to the Shake Weight’s oscillating movement, which creates a higher force output when it’s in use. The manufacturer says muscle activity is increased by 300 percent, at least compared to traditional weights. This helps you burn arm fat and strengthen the arms, chest, and shoulders.

“My arms are toning and the fat is disappearing. I have lost one inch on each arm because I measured it before I started using it. Once this becomes too easy, I plan on buying the Men’s Shake Weight.”

– Joan L. Cortez, amazon.com

One thing to be aware of with Shake Weight is that you need your feet planted firmly on the floor to get the correct stance. Stand up with shoulders back and your neck straight from the spine. Fingers and wrists should be strong and loose. Or you may choose to use Shake Weight while lying on your back on the floor.

Combine Your Fitness Routine with a Healthy Lifestyle

No smoking, cut down on drinking and caffeine, get enough sleep, de-stress. This also means eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and plenty of water.

Typically, users said they felt the muscles getting a real workout from their very first Shake Weight session – and could see the difference in the mirror in just two to three weeks. Shake Weight isn’t a magic cure for flabby arms – but it produced faster results that traditional arm exercises with traditional dumbbells.

4 Easy Activities To Stay Healthy

4 Easy Activities That Can Help You Stay Healthy

The good news is there are any number of leisure activities that will help us stay healthy and physically fit. The other good news is that a lot of them are low impact and don’t involve any strenuous physical activity.

Here are a few leisurely activities that you can indulge in as much as you want to promote good health and personal well being.

1. Dance

Dancing is an exceptional activity that promotes energy, vitality, physical health and an improved mood to support your overall well being at any age! We used to dance a lot when we were younger and a lot of weight loss and fitness routines as well as some of the latest exercise equipment involve some kind of dance movements.

There are many dance styles that will fit into many different lifestyles, from zumba to ballroom dancing and lots in between. All you have to do is find a partner and start moving!

2. Plant A Garden

Do you like the great outdoors? One of the greatest benefits of gardening is that it gets you out of the house and provides you with some less than strenuous physical activity. Gardening might seem like a hobby for old folks, but it offers some health benefits for everyone: exercise, stress relief, nutrition (if it’s a vegetable garden).

A number of studies have indicated a correlation between brain activity and a decrease in Alzheimer disease. In this respect, gardening may even help keep your brain healthy since your mind stays active as you tend your garden.

3. Cook at home

Many people consider cooking to be a leisure activity. When you consider cooking can give you a lot of creativity opportunities and it definitely requires thinking that keeps your mind active, it only makes sense that it could be considered an important activity to your overall mental and physical health.

There’s a good possibility that you may be more likely to eat a healthy and nutritious meal when you are spend time in the kitchen preparing it yourself. If you happen to be cooking with products that you grew in your own garden, then you’ll reaping the rewards of two leisure activities.

4. Do Some Low Impact Exercise

Take a Walk; It goes without saying, exercise is necessary for maintaining your weight and good overall health. Most people equate exercise with going to a gym, lifting weights or some strenuous activity. But, the fact is that just walking is sufficient to promote good health, help battle the ravages of disease like diabetes. It’s also been proven to be beneficial for maintaining good BMI and lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure.

The CDC website has reported that walking is an ideal place to start a physical exercise program, Try twenty minutes a day, three days a week to start. You can increase the time or distance as your strength improves or start other more strenuous activities like tennis, bicycling, or whatever. Find a partner and use the time for socializing and to hold yourself accountable for completing the walk.

Low Impact Yoga; Yoga is a centuries old holistic ancient methods of exercise that aims to treat the entire body and mind. Yoga instruction teaches you how to use good breathing techniques and the various poses allow you to strengthen your body through stretches and which help keep you flexible.

Properly done, yoga can help reduce aches and pain, and may even help prevent injury by improving flexibility and strength. It has also been reported that yoga helps relieve stress by teaching how to control breathing to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Bottom Line

People all over the world are becoming bigger. But there are a lot of leisure activities that offer the benefits of regular exercise: stress reduction that reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, weight loss and improvement in physical fitness.