¿How skinny men and women should train, eat and behave in order to gain big muscles? Here I will show some tips for thin people to Increase Muscle Mass. I will explain how to go from bony to beastly, how to achieve this skinny to muscle transformation.
Increase your muscle mass with the tips I will mention throughout this article and also by applying the workout routines I will leave at the bottom to gain weight in muscle mass. Now, you may have wondered why you can not gain weight in muscle when you train at the gym or practice a specific sport?
It is really frustrating, in most cases, not to be able to see the aesthetic (and sometimes performance) results you want, even when you train like a beast (man or woman) at the gym, a park, in Your home, a fitness center, etc., doing exercises that at least theoretically should help you to gain weight to increase your muscle mass.
Even when you lift or move heavy weights, even when you are the first to get to your sports training and the last to leave, yoo do not see good results. You wonder: why?
Reasons why you are not gaining big muscles
We could say there are many reasons why a person (man or woman) has difficulty gaining muscle mass, and the most prominent reason is due to genetics. Because if your parents are naturally thin (ectomorph somatotype) or have a small body structure, then it is very likely that you also have a thin body.
We were born with a genetically defined number of skeletal muscle fibers, and at the same time since we are practically babies (from 3 to 6 months) the type of muscle fibers that we are going to have is more or less 90% delimited.
Until certain point, the size of your body mass can also be controlled by your metabolism and the stimulation you can apply to it. If you have a hard time gaining weight, then you are likely to have a fast metabolism, which means your body burns calories at a faster rate than regular people.
Or if we see it in another way, it would mean that you probably have more slow-twitch muscle fibers that are less hypertrophic and that burn larger amounts of fat. Or seen in another way and in addition to the above, you could say that at the same time you have few fast-twitch muscle fibers which are the most likely to be hypertrophied.
You should take this into account when considering a particular diet and / or training program. So here is when you should ask yourself: Is this diet appropriate to my metabolism and my goals?
Is my current training workout routine appropriate for my needs? Because as you may know, there are many ways to train ... Hundreds, up to thousands perhaps ... Some of them work perfectly for you and some do not, but for the specific goal of increasing muscle mass (at least to achieve your maximum genetic potential), there are universal rules that all the skinny guys and girls (with rapid or fast metabolism) must know.
Universal rules to be taken into account when you are ectomorph (no matter if you are a guy or girl)
NOTE: it should be noted that a person is not 100% ectomorphic, but often has a very pronounced tendency towards this side.
1. Get the appropriate information related to your specific condition and goals:
The first big problem that often arises is that most of the skinny people do not have adequate information about their physical condition. Regardless of whether you are motivated or not, your efforts will be in vain if the diet is incorrect and the training applied is wrong.
For example, saying that you should give more importance to eat lean protein sources is a kind of mistake, since in your case you are skinny and you are difficult to gain muscle mass, so, in addition to taking into account an appropriate training, consumption of complex carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc., is much more important because they contribute to the much needed and important glucose slowly and consistently, and also provide some protein, fats and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
To summarize this rule, thin or skinny people generally apply the advices of people (instructors, colleagues, friends, etc.) who have never had trouble gaining measures in muscle; Then, if you want to gain weight in muscle mass, I recommend that you continue reading this post I wrote based in all the ectomorphic guys and girls that I have trained, which have obtained good results thanks to the advices or tips written in here.
It should be noted when I say "good results" I refer to their maximum genetic potential, since by natural sources they will never be able to match the results of a person with a tendency towards the mesomorphic biotype.
IMPORTAN: keep in mind I am not mentioning this to desmotive you but so that way you can face the reality, and you get an attainable goal, or seen in another way: do not point to the obviously impossible so you do not have to suffer when you can not reach it. Embrace yourself in developing your maximum genetic potential by training and nurturing yourself for it (keep reading).
2. Have confidence in yourself and believe in what you are doing:
Do not let hate and envy affect your life (it has a lot to do with the previous point). For most people who start a workout routine to improve their physique look and health, starting is just half of the "battle".
The other half will be kept motivated through the constant negativity and teasing they may receive from other people. Patience, concentration and motivation are the keys to not giving up reaching your goals. And of course carry out a proper training and nutritional plan.
A few words or negative gestures can do you much harm only if you allow it. The most insulting things you can hear will come from friends, colleagues or acquaintances from the gym.
People hate change in you, make them insecure, because they suddenly discover that there is more in you than they probably wanted to admit. They are afraid that you can actually achieve your goal. That makes them feel less "superior".
Once you begin your diet and training plan, you must have faith and believe in what you do. Stay focused and avoid the company of negative people who may criticize you. If you can and want, keep your workout plan and goals as a secret.
Keep in mind that seeing good results requires a lot of time (6 or more months), and that is not something that is going to happen in a few days of training.
And REMEMBER, when you get to achieve good results you must continue training hard, this is crucial if you want to keep everything you earned.
It might be advisable that when a person begins his training and nutrition plan, stop talking about what she / he is doing, to avoid comments such as "you can not do that", "it is impossible for you", "you are losing the time". If you kept it a secret for a long time and it turns out that for X or Y you they found out, simply do everything possible to avoid to be annoyed when the comments you hear are negative or less influence in a positive way.
"It is your life, it is your body, it is your health, it is your dream, never let your success or failure be in the hands of others."
3. Do not listen to the bad advice that come from empirical instructors (without studies) and some "crazy" magazines and less substantiated theoretically:
You can hear things like:
- "You need to train 5-6 days a week, and do more repetitions during your routine, in the range of 15-20 repetitions per set."
Instructors who tell you this can be quite confident in their recommendation, and may look like an impressive physicist who indirectly tells you, "Listen to me if you want to look like me" at the gym.
But this instructor or trainer does not take into account the part of genetics (somatotype) in each person, which that is why he or she will probably tell the same thing to everyone.
Surely this instructor or gym personal trainer has a more favorable somatotype (mesomorph) which allowed him / her to "earn" a good physique the way he / she recommends. "I'll tell you later why you should not follow this particular recommendation." Or maybe it consumed some kind of substance (artificial anabolic steroid) which would not be rare in this world.
Remember that you should not qualify the validity of what someone tells you just by how he or she looks. The fact that this person is big and voluptuous at the muscular level does not mean that he is giving the best advice so that you can achieve the goal that you want to.
Many people who have impressive physiques are did not got this only by training or applying a good diet plan. They can do anything and still gain muscle, it's in their genetics. Or they injected substances are often consumed (Roids: steroids).
4. Train Less but intensely and rest more:
This is the most difficult concept to understand for many because it involves less action, rather than more. When we become motivated and start a new training program, it is natural to want to do something always (to workout almost everyday and spend several hours at the gym)... We want to train, train and train.
Usually we think that the more we train the more we will gain. Unfortunately for people who find it difficult to gain weight in muscle, this is very far from reality, because as you may have heard: "rest is important, you grow at night while sleeping."
More training is not equal to more muscle growth or gains. You should understand that the purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth, but true hypertrophy is generated through appropriate rest and feeding. Training takes just a little time every day. And once that is done, the muscles need to be repaired and new muscle mass needs to be built (well, it is not "new" mass because it is the same you were born with... you enhance it).
Let's say better that current muscle fibers were well stimulated and therefore hypertrophied. This only happens when you are sleeping, in addition to feeding you well (below will talk about nutrition).
Nobody builds "new muscle" at the gym or while training, no matter how "swollen" we see each other while we do. You build new muscle mass while you sleep and give one or two full days of rest (without weights) to your body. If you will train 6 times a week, when will your body have the opportunity to build new muscles? Think about it very well.
Although, if you can afford to only dedicate to your workouts, to have a bestial diet, to be able to sleep good hours and to have good quality of sleep, and also to apply after training and during the day good muscle recovery techniques (Massages, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, etc.), it is likely that more action will not have adverse effects on your physical appearance and health.
Now, addthe fact that it is very difficult for you to gain measures and then the importance of rest increases. People who are naturally thin and have difficulty gaining weight tend to require less but intensive training and more rest (and of course increased intake of kilocalories, mainly from complex carbohydrates). "Do not forget it".
Although in the routines I raise at the end of this post, the total training time can be between 90 to 120 minutes (relatively long time), the same is simply because the resting periods between sets are also long (2, 3 or 4 minutes).
This relatively long rest periods I will explain in these articles-routines. Or in summary: there will be a lower energy expenditure by the intramuscular glycogen and therefore less protein wear, precisely thanks to the long breaks between sets and exercises, which allows a greater action of the energetic substrate known as phosphocreatine.
5. Focus on using free weights:
Free weights (dumbbells and barbells, for example) are better than "static-gym-machines" for many reasons, and the most important is the fact that free weights allow the stimulation of a greater amount of muscle fibers while training, because in one way or another you will have to work harder for Keeping the balance.
Stimulating these fibers of synergy and muscle stabilization will allow you to get stronger, and as a result you will build muscle faster (although strength does not always has to do with the size of the muscles).
Yes, many people can still build muscle mass using "static" machines, but why make it harder if you already have difficulty achieving your goals? There will be exercises like flat bench Press, free squat with barbell and dead weight to be able to "load" more weight, the dumbbells will not provide and will need to use barbells, should never be missing in your routine of training.
6. Lift what you consider challenging for yourself:
Building muscle involves lifting relatively heavy weight. This is necessary because the muscle fibers that grow the most in size (called Fast-twitch fibers type 2A and 2B) are better stimulated by lifting them. The challenge is to lift some weight that allows you to do only 8 to 10 repetitions (or sometimes less but with more weight, without this compromising the technique of performing each exercise) before the muscle failure (although sometimes you can get to failure if you have a good level of training).
Using a light weight and doing more repetitions will stimulate the fibers of slow-twitch, very little fibers type 2A and nothing type 2B (more hypertrophic). But these fibers (slow or also called type 1) do not grow much in size. And what you want is size, volume, strength, power, is not it? Compare the bodies of thin marathon runners (slow-twitch fibers) and the 100 m and 200 m flat sprinters (fast-twitch fibers), to give you an idea.
However, be careful to go and injure yourself by demanding beyond your limits. Listen to your body. When I say lifting something that is challenging does not mean that you are going to lift something "monstrous" even less if you do not have a good level of training.
I will explain this: for example "if you have been doing a month for dumbbell openings with 20Kg each dumbbell and you do 12 repetitions with this weight, and you feel that you can do them without problems, then try 25Kg or 30Kg next time no matter if you perform fewer repetitions ". Do not go from 20 kg to 50 kg, maybe you can maybe Not, the important thing is to increase and to demand yourself gradually in each training.
Also, do not wear a belt while exercising, unless you do it as a bodybuilder or have an injury (although if you have some injury it is best not to train or train in different way until recover is done). Using them will only turn the muscles of your abdomen and dorsal width lazy and dependent.
7. Pay attention to negative (eccentric) motion:
When you lift weights, the movement is divided into 3 distinct periods: the positive (concentric), the midpoint and the negative (eccentric). Positive movement is usually where we push hard or pull or lift.
For example, in bench press pushing the barbell up is positive movement. The midpoint is the maximum point where we end the positive movement, and from there begins the negative movement (in this case would be the descent of the barbell) to return to the position where we push or lift again.
Usually people recommend to do the negative move as fast as they can do the positive movement. But I recommend slowing down the negative movement to further stimulate muscle fibers for better and greater muscle growth. This activates both fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers.
8. Your workout routine should be short but intense:
Your goal should be to get into the gym, train hard and get out as fast as possible (no more than an hour, or maybe yes if you perform more exercises by muscle group). It is not necessary to do many exercises for each part of the body. You should not do more than 3 exercises for each part or muscle of your body.
Now, this recommendation abput a short routine contradicts a little with the routines that I propose at the end of this article, because they last between 90 to 120 minutes approximately, but in the case of those is not harmful because the times of Rest intervals are longer between sets and exercises (2 or more minutes) to avoid the use of much intramuscular glycogen and at the same time avoid an exaggerated use of muscle proteins as energetic material.
Doing more than 3 exercises will not help you to increase muscle mass quickly, although in some people it may work depending on your genetic potential, diet / supplementation and other internal factors such as avoiding stress, late nights, etc.
So, in some people doing more than 3 exercises per muscle could cause losses (although of course, these "losses" are temporary, something known as temporary muscle atrophies).
Long training sessions cause an increase in the level of catabolic hormones (when the person trains intensively and extensively at the same time). Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down muscle tissue resulting in muscle loss (]temporary muscle lost). And at the same time, long training sessions decrease the secretion fo anabolic hormones that help build muscle. I will explain the following so that you better understand this part:
Cortisol, which I think you could have heard of, is branded as a hormone merely with negative (catabolic) effects, but this hormone also has positive effects depending on how the person trains, how he feeds, how he supplements, how he has slept, among other variables. Cortisol is also called the adaptation hormone.
If you are badly fed and train in a very extensive and intense way at a time, where you rest very little between sets and your total training session is also very long (much more than an hour), you spend a lot of intramuscular glycogen and therefore For this reason cortisol should order degrading muscle proteins to amino acids to be able to convert them to glucose and be able to feed both your brain as nervous system and skeletal muscle tissue.
Hence it is sometimes recommended to use Bcaa's and other pre-workout supplements, because if your liver is "full" and you are well fed, this may not occur in a pronounced way.
If you train as I explain in the routines I leave in the links at the end of the article, this negative effect mentioned in the previous paragraph will be minimal even if you do not consume pre-workout supplements.
If you do not want to lose what you gained during the same workout, I recommend that you limit your routines to no more than 1 hour (unless you are planning to train to gain lactic anaerobic resistance and you are not so interested in pronounced muscular volume). Remember that it is important to also warm up before training and stretching after the weight routine, to increase strength, flexibility and effective recovery of muscles.
Look at the routines that I leave at the end in the links. Read them very well and do not focus on just looking at the pictures of the exercises.
9 Eat right:
Many people will tell you, "well, you can eat whatever you want (including junk food) and you do not get fat", and somehow it's true, but even if these foods do not reflect in your physical, little by little, pass through the years, you are going to accumulate visceral fat (although it is not noticed) and can bring you certain health problems. However, if you train, these problems (no matter what you eat and being ectomorph or mesomorph) may decrease. However, it is preferable to avoid junk food.
With the above I mean you should increase your caloric intake, and for many an easy, fast and delicious (but not very nutritious) way, is to eat hamburgers, hotdogs, pizzas, fries, anyway. Well, they can somehow help you replenish those calories your body needs to build and build muscle.
But you can also do it in a healthier way by eating, for example fruits (not suitable mixtures between fruits) in more quantity, much rice with meats like chicken, fish, tuna; The egg is a very good source of proteins besides being very economical. Carbohydrates are more important than proteins to increase muscle mass, at least in your case
You can consume these supplements:
- Glutamine: prevents muscle catabolism and strengthens the immune system.
- BCAA's (for before and after workout period and you can take with glutamine).
- Protein powders.
For example, 20 to 30 minutes before training you can consume BCAA´s with glutamine and water, and during training only water or a drink with minerals and some glucose. Then, no more than 30 minutes after training, take a protein shake (in water because milk does not allow good absorption of this type of supplements).
And then 40 to 60 minutes after taking this supplement you eat a good portion of rice with chicken and salad, for example. If you do not have time you can from time to time eat a hamburger, pizza, etc. But keep in mind what I mentioned in previous points.
Well, these are some tips that people (men and women), with ectomorph somatotype, should follow to gain muscle mass quickly and effectively.
Remember that patience, concentration and dedication are key to achieving your goals.
If you have any questions, doubts or recommendations, do not hesitate to comment so I may help you since I am Licensed in Physical Education and Sports and Gym Instructor with emphasis on physiology and nutrition. Greetings.
In the following links I leave two weight routines, one for men and one for women who are somatotype ectomorphic, that means they have difficulty gaining weight either in fat or in muscle mass.
Heavy weight training routine for skinny guys
How to get bigger butt and bigger legs (for skinny girls)