So you want to be a bodybuilder, but you are one of those guys that just can’t seem to gain any weight due to your freakishly high metabolism. Don’t push the panic button just yet! There is still hope for you!
An ectomorph is someone that has little body fat and generally light frame; examples of ectomorphs would be distance runners and basketball players. Those body types one wouldn’t usually associate with bodybuilding; the fact of the matter is an ectomorph can be just as dangerous on stage as any of the other body types. Every bodybuilder is going to have a slightly different challenge ahead of them when preparing for the big show.
OK, you have made the decision to compete in your first bodybuilding show now lets get started! The truth is you are already half way there! Once you make the tough decision to get up on a stage in your skimpy’s in front of a bunch of people that are critiquing your every muscle, you have already jumped over a huge mental hurdle. Typically you will want to start training for your show about six months in advance. As far as I’m concerned there are four major components to bodybuilding if you are an ectomorph. Weight training, supplements, calorie intake and rest. If you play by the rules and stay consistent in all four of these arena’s you are destine for success! First, weight training! As they say, this isn’t a “swim meet”, if you want the crowd to go crazy, you better have some nice, big muscles for them to look at! As far as your weight training goes, you are looking for mass. There is no reason for your reps to go any higher than 8 to 10. I would suggest 3 exercises per muscle with 4 sets. Those sets should be along the lines of 10, 8, 8, 6. End your set low and heavy, then walk away. There is no need for a burn out set. All that burn out set is going to do is make your body get closer to ketosis and deplete muscle growth. Ketosis is the
Second, supplements! Supplements make skinny people buff! All the supplements that you would need are available on this site. I would highly suggest a good pre workout such as Assault by Muscle Pharm or NO Xplode by BSN. You are also going to need some weight gainer protein, creatine, glutamine, a good multi-vitamin and amino acids. I would suggest amino acids in powder form, you can mix them in a gallon of water and have them throughout the day as well as keeping your self hydrated. I think a common mistake among people taking supplements is they do not drink enough water. Creatine allows your muscles to retain water and make them stronger. Drink lots of H2O! If you get dialed in on your supplements you will have great workouts, your muscles will heal up faster and hopefully get bigger!
Calories! Get ready to eat! You have to feed the machine if you want it to perform at optimal levels. This is crucial to the ectomorph, due to the fact that if you are not eating enough then you will not get bigger. Not only do you have to give yourself enough calories to get through your rigorous workouts, but you also need to provide raw materials for your body to allow for muscle growth. This goes back to the old saying, “you are what you eat”. You want food that is high in protein, carbs and essential fats. Try to stay away from foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium, these foods have little nutritional value and will just slow down the process. I would suggest keeping your calorie intake from about 5,500 to 6,000 a day until around 5 weeks out from your show. I know, it is a lot of calories but this is a big part of the sport and it will pay dividends when you are flexing on stage. If possible break those calories up into about 5 to 6 meals a day. The weight gainer protein that your taking will also fill a void as part of that calorie intake, but you must have real food also! That’s why they call supplements, supplements!
Last but not least, rest! This is probably the single most overlooked component in bodybuilding! You have to rest or you won’t grow! At least 8 to 10 hours a night when you are going through this 6 month training regiment. The whole time you are in the gym pushing all this heavy weight around, you are constantly ripping your muscles up and they must have some time to repair. One of the worst things you could do to your body is head back into the gym and train muscles that are still in the process of rebuilding. Over training actually depletes muscle growth! Make sure you are getting plenty of shut eye, I would also suggest a supplement such as melatonin to regulate your sleep cycles and help your body get to r.e.m. faster!
You are now 5 weeks out and its crunch time! At this point in the game it is time to get all diced up! First you are going to want to abandon your creatine intake, there is no need for water retention at this point. Most pre workout supplements have creatine in them so I would suggest switching over to something like White Flood by Controlled Labs, this will still give you a good pump and keep your energy level high during your workouts. Next you will want to get away from the weight gainer protein and switch to a protein that has less fat and sugar. As far as your calorie intake, still keep things around 3,000 a day. Sugars and fats are the enemy for ectomorph’s in the last 5 weeks! Stay away from them! Keep your protein intake high as well as your carb intake. The ectomorph does not need to worry about carb depletion and carb loading. All I would suggest as far as carbs go, is to take more than usual the day of the show. Other than that just keep them the same. Your workout should remain intense until about 2 weeks out, there is no reason to push a muscle to failure within the last 2 weeks of your show. No creatine, minimal sugar, minimal sodium and minimal fat, you should be in great shape going in to your show! 4 days before the big show I would suggest cutting from minimal sodium to next to none! That will allow water to be absorbed by your muscle, rather than being trapped in between your muscle and skin giving your body a puffy appearance. The last thing you will have to do is cut your water intake, I would suggest doing this the evening before the show. You will not want any more than just small sips of water until the show is over! You just concentrate on those carbs in the morning, sugars the day of the show are also OK due to the fact they will provide some vascularity.
At this point you should be ready to go out and flex those huge, ripped, striated muscles! As far as the posing and what color suit you want, you are on your own! Good luck!
By: Darren Conroy