A simple search of the web for any type of workout will return a million different results. This only makes sense because there are a million types of people in a million stages of fitness with a million different goals and opinions.
A Plan Specifically for Ectomorphic Body Types
How is a guy to find the perfect pre-made workout plan for just him? Sorry to say, but the truth is, he probably won’t. The problem is in the word “pre-made”.
Sure, there are a plethora of killer “Back Workouts”, “Boulder Shoulder Workouts”, “Workouts for a Bigger Chest” and so on and they do contain useful information, that’s why Skinny Yoked publishes them. By the way, we know what we talk about, below is a shameless selfie from our Editor:
In addition we publish workout routines researched from some of the famous skinny yoked aesthetic bodybuilders including:
We researched these men’s routine to share with our readers so that they A. have an idea of at least part of what it takes to build a truly great physique and B. because while they may not be PERFECT for you, there will always be bits and pieces you can steal from them to construct a workout routine that IS perfect for you and your body type.
Only an endomorph, someone with the “golden” body type, could probably do someone else’s workout and reap the gains they’re seeking. That’s not to say being ectomorph can’t be a blessing in disguise, but we have to be more selective in our training.
For everyone else though, especially ectomorphs, we have to draw the best of many worlds to carve out a functionally fit physique we’re satisfied with and that can impress.
So, if there is no one-size-fits-all plan, how is an ambitious skinny hard gainer like yourself supposed to go about planning your workout? Well, it’s a lot like cooking. First you compile your list of required ingredients, then you learn how to prepare them, then you cook them properly and enjoy their delicious rewards. So with thinking of our body as the main course, let’s get cooking some ectomorph gains.
1. Draw Inspiration from Both Powerlifting and Bodybuilding
Skinny Yoked is a firm believer in bodybuilding routines that borrow from functional powerlifting and weightlifting worlds as well. That is, we are firm believers you will experience more aesthetic gains combining both strength and hypertrophy training together than just doing one or the other alone.
After all, to be functionally fit while being aesthetic is the ultimate incarnation of being skinny yoked.
Why? Strength training is heavily focused on establishing a motor response to central nervous system stimulation. It’s a precise sport of concentrated bursts. Of course muscles are taxed and grow, but execution, form and fast-twitch efficient movements are the focus. The goal is to move as heavy weight as possible as efficiently as possible.
A bodybuilder on the other hand does not want to be efficient. Bodybuilders want to make every exercise slow, difficult and excruciating in order to pump the muscle full of blood and stimulate hypertrophy.
The efficiency and weight of the movement aren’t the focus, building up a targeted muscle group through exhausting it is.
Combining both will increase strength and size, increase testosterone levels, and keep workouts fresh and exciting, eliminating dreaded plateaus. You’ll gain mass like a mofo and also be aesthetic AF.
Watch this awesome interview Omar did on the benefits of combining both high weight low rep strength training with hypertrophy bodybuilding type workouts. A great snippet is when he says:
“It is not a binary decision, including a spectrum of rep ranges is critical for building muscle.”
A solid workout routine for an ectomorph combining both powerlifting will divide time spent doing heavy core lifts like bench press, squat and deadlift with a multitude of other isolation exercises mixed in. Drawing from both worlds gives you a massive list of exercises and training styles to pull from in order to develop your own perfect routine.
2. Compile a Shopping List of Target Muscle Groups & Body Parts
Being an ectomorph means to achieve a Zyzz-like physique we have to be picky about we emphasize. Some body parts that ectomorphs struggle with because well, they’re bodies are more “stretched out” include:
- Long thin necks (We’ve already covered building a monster neck)
- Narrow shoulders
- Long thin arms (small forearms, biceps, triceps because of longer muscle insertions)
- Long thin legs(again, huge bones stretch muscles, making them usually much thinner)
With these weaknesses in mind we have to develop a workout routine that goes about specifically targeting them, in effort to turn our weaknesses into our greatest strengths, similar to how Arnold trained back in the day.
Knowing we’ll probably be doing a power/hypertrophy split routine, we fill up 40-60% of our time with squatting/deadlifting/benching and the remaining 60-40% will be hypertrophy based movements designed to stimulate growth of our necks/traps, anterior/medial/posterior deltoids, bicep/triceps, quadriceps/hamstrings/calves.
Now we have the basic formula for types of lifting we’ll be doing it’s time to test.
3. Workout Frequency and Duration Need Calibration
One of the toughest parts of trying to copy someone else’s workout is getting the time/reps down. Someone who has been lifting for 5 years doing hypertrophy work will absolutely destroy an amateur lifter in terms of volume and time spent for the total workout.
Also, power lifters will move much more weight in a much shorter time than a bodybuilder. There are so many variables including type of lifting (power vs. hypertrophy), years spent training, age, diet, and time of day.
Planning the perfect workout routine requires not just research but the ability to listen to your own body. Overtraining will hinder growth just the same as under training, and nobody knows your body better than yourself so you will have to listen to it. Monitor your sleep.
Keep a written record of your exercises, weight and rep count for weeks/months. Evaluate how you feel, how you look and match it to a training style you’ve recorded.
This area is one in which personal trainers are hugely useful, as they can help you calibrate your program faster by just asking you a few questions and have a neutral perspective with which to evaluate.
However, it’s really not rocket science. If you’re exhausted all day and can’t do the same weight in the gym you did two weeks earlier and you’ve been training 6 days a week well you’re probably just too tired. Make an adjustment. Workout. Evaluate. Repeat.
Conversely if you leave the gym with a sh*t ton of energy and you’re not noticing gains while ‘mirin in your bathroom mirror then you’re probably not lifting long enough and without enough furious intensity.
4. Two Towering Factors: Discipline & Time
The last part of the equation comes down to two huge intangibles that are what truly separate “kinda looking buff dudes” from “damn that dudes huge” dudes.
Discipline is the ability to plan and FOLLOW THROUGH on that plan. Like they say, it’s easy to talk the talk, but walking the bodybuilder walk ain’t easy. It’s not easy but it IS fun. Things like party friends, alcohol and laziness will tempt you to stray, but you’ll be rewarded for staying the path.
Follow the right path for the correct amount of time and you will see results, guaranteed. Bodybuilding is one of the purest endeavors mankind can undertake. It is an art that begins in the brain with an idea, flows through the body via action and results in the body’s response in building beautiful muscle.
Unlike work or school, time is your friend in the gym. Forget about the clock. Just know for every ounce of work you put into the iron, the iron will reward you back. It isn’t your boss, it won’t skim 30% of your efforts of your work for its own profit.
No, the iron is honest and gives back just as much as you pour into it. The more you pour the more it gives and the stronger your relationship grows.
Throw in time and that relationship becomes deeper and stronger than ever, resulting in you becoming a strong and deep human being as well regardless of how skinny you are or how fast you metabolism your mom’s casserole.
In case this whole thing blew over your head or you just want a more experienced hands-on guide for developing your own ectomorph workout, Skinny Yoked is launching a custom training program service VERY soon. Sign up today to get first dibs.