Before we get started let's define skinny. Skinny means “Skin and bones,” Not to be confused with lean, which means low body fat. So a skinny guy is lean but not all lean guys are skinny. Ripped or shredded means you're so lean your muscles look like they are exposed, like your skin was ripped or shredded off your muscles. You can’t be skinny and ripped or shredded, the latter two require muscle mass. If you want more mass you're in the right place!
The three controversial body types. Becoming Meso is what male hormones are for.
Ok, not everyone agrees that there are body types. I’ll tell you what I think I know and if you don’t like it there are plenty of things you can enjoy doing to yourself. ;)
Endo-Morph - This is the shitty one. The characteristics are wide hips, wide clavicles, slow metabolism, short, with what I see as estrogen imbalance in men and PCOS as a final product or diabetes in women. There are no advantages to this, but the frame is perfect for heavyweight. This is the body type which is ideal for POWERLIFTING.
Meso-Morph - This is the great one. You should wish you die and come back as one of these, that or a super hot chick’s sex toy. Big muscles, low bodyfat, masculine features, testosterone dominant, medium height and hips and all the glorious advantages. Structure is aesthetic but durable. Either beautiful or rugged, depending on a few other factors and how you eat and train. This is an attractive body type to women and it elicits an involuntary sexual response in a lot of them. This body type is best for being a BODYBUILDER.
Anabolic work, in a nutshell, is to make you as mesomorphic as possible. Your bone structure is fixed but your metabolism and face are not.
Ecto-Morph - This is the pretty one. This body type is very attractive on women. Narrow hips, narrow clavicles, long limbs, long torsos and flimsy joints which hurt when heavy weight is used. I believe they have an issue secreting insulin and that's why they gain weight so slow and have such a fast metabolism. This is the Ideal Body type for MEN’s PHYSIQUE.
So the idea is to be as close to the middle (meso) as possible since thats the balanced one.
Endo - High Test, High Estrogen, Insulin resistant
Meso - High Test, Low Estrogen, Insulin Sensitive
Ecto - Moderate Test, Low estrogen, minimal Insulin
The more testosterone, the more muscular and masculine you will look. The more estrogen the fatter you get in theory but estrogen also helps the muscle growth process. (click here for more on that).
If you're an ectomorph you need more testosterone and more carbohydrates to get an effective insulin secretion. Either TRT or Anabolics plus a high carb diet: Mass Meals for Hard Gainers
Hard Gainers and Mass Building
So if you're a hard gainer, chances are you're an ectomorph or a partial ectomorph and the part which you are is the relevant part. In other words, if you're a hard gainer then keep reading, this is for you! Even if you got swole and you're not skinny anymore your still metabolically a hard gainer.
Since it’s so hard to gain weight, the key is going to be using any means necessary!
You need to eat more calories than you burn. And your skinny ass burns through calories so fast you will NOT BE ABLE TO EAT ENOUGH. This means junk food and or shakes to help you get all your nutrients in. I'll talk more about diet in a little bit, so lets cover the key concepts!
Never Do Cardio!
Cardio will cut your gains in half but provide almost no additional fat burning. You're basically wasting the calories you're spending money on going nowhere vs. spending them on muscle growth. You may even burn your legs down. This is something you may have to use sparingly to get shredded but the ectomorph is most likely to lose his legs doing cardio while cutting. Do what Nancy Reagan says: "JUST SAY NO" to cardio while lean mass building.
Your metabolism is too fast for volume training. As you start gaining weight, add more volume but until your digestion can match and exceed your metabolic rate don't waste energy on lots of sets and reps. Start with 4 sets of 6-10 reps for your barbell lifts. 8-10 reps on machine cable and isolation stuff. Do not use weight so light you can get 11 reps. This wastes glycogen for fuel and to make more use of your carbs you should be applying those calories to recovery and growth.
In the figure above, we see three versions of Ectomorph skeletal forms and I would be an alligator, most useful picture I've seen in years!
Use Joint Support
Use wrist wraps, knee wraps and belts etc. Even if your joints don't hurt yet, they will. Total ectomorphs are not designed for weights. I'm an alligator in the figure above. I took a test for fun and I got ecto/meso. But I'm 5’4.” How you ask? Short arms and legs. So my legs look big and my arms would if I gained 1 inch on them. So I get the metabolism of a ectomorph but I'm short like an endo but everything else is meso or so. I am built like an alligator and my lower back can’t handle russian deads. I use Dumbells for romanians and the angled smith machine but not free weights ideally. Also, like the alligator, I have squat depth and never have knee issues. It's my squat mastery and its variants that makes me so good at developing women's rear ends.
Thus, I wear a weight belt but not wrist or knee wraps. If I was a total ecto not a Meso/ecto I would need joint support for all 3 joints/big lifts, not just 1. As you guessed, this is why I have poor biceps and hamstrings; I'm not built for pulling.
There are 3 main variables to a program: load, volume and frequency. Since we're using a medium-heavy load and we have to use a low volume, we can probably get away with a medium frequency. High frequency/ low volume is 3 times a week total body but little sets per body part. What I suggest is a 2 x a week program; Lower/Upper/rest/Lower/Upper/rest and load x 2.
Sunday: Lower body
Monday: Upper body
Tuesday: Rest and clean carb load
Wednesday: Lower body
Thursday: Upper body
Friday: Rest and either clean carb load or cheat meal at night
Saturday: same as Friday.
This lets you take a date out on Friday, Saturday or both. Or make dinner for her at home, it's way cheaper and it actually impresses women way more than just taking them out. And you're already at your place.
Pyramid the weight all sets, 10 or less is to failure. Use set extenders and advanced techniques on the 2 heaviest sets. First sets a warm up to prepare your nervous system for the action; use half the weight you would for your heaviest set. Use that weight again IMMEDIATELY after the final forced reps of your last heavy set to get 20 more reps. This is a drop set for extra pump.
Warm up bike 5 minutes
Squats: 20 warm up (wu), 10, 8, 6 drop 20
Romanian Dead Lift: 20 wu, 10, 10, 10
Leg press: 15 wu, 10, 8, 8, 6
Walking Lunges: 4 sets of 10 reps each leg
Leg Curl : 4 x 10
Leg Xtension: 4 x 10
Weighted Pull Ups: 20 wu, 10, 8, 6 drop 20
Incline Bench Press: 20 wu, 10, 8, 6 drop 20
Seated Row: 20 wu, 10, 8, 8 drop 20
Military DB Press: 15 wu, 10, 10, 10 drop 20
Lateral Raises: 20 wu, 10, 10, 10 drop 20
EZ Preacher Curl: 20 wu, 10, 8, 6 drop 20
Tricep Press Down: 20 wu, 10, 8, 8 drop 20
So you hit both workouts 2 times in a 7 day week. 2 on, 1 off with refueling, 2 on, 2 off with refueling.
Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.