Thinking about giving up bodybuilding. Can an ectomorph really get big?
- 11-12-2008, 06:03 PM
Thinking about giving up bodybuilding. Can an ectomorph really get big?
I'm 19, turning 20 this November. I made the decision in grade 10 at 15 years old to start working out because I was unhappy with being skinny. My whole family is tall. My dad is 6'5 and quite skinny and I'm a naturally the same way. It seems like I don't have the genetics for natural bodybuilding at all.
All in all I've managed to bulk myself up to 200...but 200 at 6'3 is not that impressive and in all honesty I still look fairly skinny. I'm beginning to think that there's no way I'll ever be a big guy unless I turn to steroids. Less than 15 minutes ago I called a local guy and placed an order for testosterone cypionate as a beginner cycle of gear. I called about 10 minutes later and called the order off. As much as I want to get big, I do not want to suppress my HPTA permanently at my age or risk side effects like balding or acne.
The thing is, after 5 years of bodybuilding I'm genuinely considering giving up. I'm so tired of busting my ass in the gym (on programs like German Volume Training, Gironda's 8x8, typical 5x5, etc.) and spending half of my day eating and preparing meals (and yes, my diet is quite healthy and I take in PLENTY of protein and complex carbs, fruits and veggies, etc. with loads of calories).
Is it reasonable to say that a skinny guy like me can actually build up to a decent sized frame without steroids? I honestly don't think I can do it. Anyone?
- 11-12-2008, 06:35 PM
It takes time, even after 5 years, it takes time. Being 6'3 you have to realise that if you put on ten pounds it doesn't look as impressive as a 5'5 guy putting on 10 pounds. You don't have to shoot for steroids right away, you could look into stuff like epi or havoc. If I were you I would keep going till 220-230, decide then.
11-12-2008, 06:41 PM
When you say you take in loads of calories does that mean you count them by measuring out your meals? If not then that is the first place to start. Being tall you will have a relatively high base metabolism and eating according to appetite is not a good way to ensure that you provide a sufficient energy surplus required for anabolism.
As far as looks go, yes an ecto can look muscular. I don't think they can achieve that wide-as-tall look that short stocky frames can achieve. However, I don't think that that is necessarily a bad thing either.
11-12-2008, 06:41 PM
11-12-2008, 06:42 PM
You should have no problems putting on mass at your size bro. You just simply need to eat more. There's no excuse for not gaining weight-- the problem is putting on the right kind of weight. That's coming from an ecto and former 150 lber.
11-12-2008, 06:44 PM
YES!!!! please don't give up. it takes time. look into a compound workout to do three days a week. like MWF. something like...
4 sets of 8 on monday, 4 sets of 10 on wednesday, 4 sets of 6 on friday, and on friday you add 5 lbs to your set. do this with a carb surplus (you'd probably need 5k if you're an ecto), and you'll gain 2 pounds per month for a year. when you first start this workout, go light, because this workout will beat you down. oh, and do them as supersets - two exercises back to back, 30 second break max. 35 minutes is the maximum time to do this workout, 30 minutes is ideal.
i did a similar workout to the above, and it took me from 5'9" and 126 to 170 in two years.
any workout that you can't go up by 5 lbs, switch out for a similar move.
squats to front squats
deads to sumo deads or suitcase deads
chins for pull ups
you get the idea. compound moves = most mass. for an ecto, thats your bread and butter.
if you haven't read : Gaining mass in a nutshell (a big nutshell) , please do, as it does help adjust any dietary concerns you may have. DO NOT GIVE UP!!!
11-12-2008, 07:44 PM
11-12-2008, 09:48 PM
ectomorph=undereater.. eat more and then eat soem more intill you almost cannot stand it. push yourself to that point. and in addition learn what foods to eat. and lift heavy, sleep good
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11-12-2008, 09:58 PM
11-12-2008, 10:22 PM
11-12-2008, 10:30 PM
11-12-2008, 11:22 PM
per meal for 6 meals a day. Also with PLENTY of veggies and fruit and of course lots of water.
Supps will include:
flaxseed oil capsules
creatine monohydrate (looking into kre-alkalyn atm...I hear its quite effective when taken with a banana)
And thank you suncloud for your advice. I will be looking into a program. I'm not sure that 3 times a week is enough though...
11-12-2008, 11:29 PM
can you do me a favor, and post what your workout currently consists of, by day, order of exercise, and sets/reps? i would be more than happy to help an AM'er out, as far as offering suggestions as to why your workout may not be challenging you enough.
EDIT : also a recovery time estimate, like legs 3 days, etc would help greatly.
11-12-2008, 11:34 PM
I'm thinking of switching to a less advanced routine however as I am beginning to feel like this program is overtraining. I must say I LOVE the drag curls though.
11-12-2008, 11:59 PM
so this is what you're doing :
Decline low cable crossover (touch hands at waistline) 8 X 8
Bench press to neck 8 X 8
Incline Dumbbell Press (palms facing each other) 8 X 8
Wide Grip V-Bar Dips 8 X 8
Drag Curl 8 X 8
Preacher curl (top of bench at low pec line) 8 X 8
Incline Dumbbell Curl 8 X 8
Zottman Curl 8 X 8
Barbell Wrist Curl 8 X 8
Dumbbell Side Lateral raise seated 8 X 8
Wide Grip upright row 8 X 8
Front to back barbell shoulder press 8 X 8
Dumbbell bent over rear deltoid lateral 8 X 8
Kneeling rope extension 8 X 8
Lying Tricep Extension 8 X 8
2 Dumbbell Tricep Kickback 8 X 8
Sternum Chin up 8 X 8
High bench two dumbbell rowing 8 X 8
Low cable row with 18" high pulley 8 X 8
Medium Grip Lat Pulldown to Chest 8 X 8
Double Crunch (pull in knees and elbows together at same time) 8 X 8
Weighted Crunch 8 X 8
Lying Bent Knee Leg Raises 8 X 8
Front Squat 8 X 8
Hack machine squat 8 X 8
Sissy Squat 8 X 8
Leg Extension 8 X 8
Supine Leg Curl 8 X 8
Seated leg Curl machine 8 X 8
Calves Standing Calf raise 8 X 20
Seated Calf raise 8 X 20
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ____________________________
i very rarely say this, but you could very well be overtraining. some of this workout i really like (exercise wise), others leave a little to be desired (tricep mass exercises don't exist, etc). also, i'm not terribly in favor of training back after a shoulder day. also, compound moves first - always for mass. if i were to rewrite this for you (keep in mind that workout is a fairly advanced one - executioner bench is not a beginners movement), i would consider the following :
Chest : 4x8-12 is mass, figure the reps out that work best for your body
Wide Grip V-Bar Dips (keep your chest forward, legs back)
Incline Dumbbell Press (palms facing each other)
Decline low cable crossover (touch hands at waistline)
Preacher curl (top of bench at low pec line)
Pinwheel curls (or reverse grip preachers)
Barbell Wrist Curl
Wide Grip upright row
Dumbbell Side Lateral raise seated
Dumbbell bent over rear deltoid lateral
Close Grip Bench
Weighted Dips (keep your body upright for these)
Reverse grip tricep pushdown
Hack machine squat
Supine Leg Curl
Straight Legged Deadlifts (your hams will give out before your back)
Calves Standing Calf raise
Seated Calf raise
Sternum Chin up
Low cable row with 18" high pulley
Medium Grip Lat Pulldown to Chest
Double Crunch (pull in knees and elbows together at same time)
Lying Bent Knee Leg Raises
that's my 2 cents. honestly, the lack of deadlifts is probably whats keeping you from growing (yes, its that important), as well as you might be on the brink of overtraining. hopefully that helps point you in the right direction.
guys, please critique what i've done, and possible other ideas here for our brotha.
11-13-2008, 12:16 AM
11-13-2008, 12:39 AM
11-13-2008, 03:46 AM
I gotta go with a more traditional workout than an 8x8, it is said that maximum growth occurs in no more than 4-5 sets, most often in the fourth set, as that should be your max work set. 8x8 is more to get definition and keep size, but not add much, I use similar workout when I am leaning out for a comp in order to striate the muscle and also keep as much mass as possible without losing, i really have no hope to gain any mass when I lean out. heavy compound lifts is really where the money is, I will usually try to hit my two rep max once every 8days or so in all compound exercises, also i throw my muscles for a loop almost every workout, say I do just regular flat bench as my heavy set on chest one chest workout, the next I will do incline with chains on the bar for resistance, or I will do decline negatives till i wanna puke, be creative and ensure that you are working the desired muscle group. my girlfriend sometimes gets irritated that I spend so much time thinking of different ways to shock my muscles, she'd rather see more effort put towards her, but it is an addiction, change some stuff up and i bet you will see some great results. and remember looking into the near future is sometimes disappointing, look 2-3 even four years down the road, it has taken me 3 to put on 20 pounds of muscle naturally. but it was well worth it now looking back. good luck
11-13-2008, 03:53 AM
Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
You will grow physically, spiritually, and mentally your entire life, this is not a easily won battle.
Focus on the positives and keep building and moving closer to your goals, dont give up. Youve got the rest of your life to think about what you have that is already great and build from there, hey your tall and skinny but your alive, healthy and loved im sure. So go to the fridge grab some food and have a glass of cold water that you didnt have to walk to a stream to get and think it can always be worse.
Now get your hands dirty, make your life and body how you would like it.
11-13-2008, 05:24 AM
11-13-2008, 05:24 AM
11-13-2008, 06:39 AM
smeaton, ectomorph doesnt equal undereater. its a scientific fact that we have bodytypes. Undereater in this sport maybe but even if an ecto over eats they are still ecto.
its not easy esp being an ecto. if you want to give up then you dont have the patience anyway and you dont deserve to have muscle given to you. Everyone has their battles you have to figure out with time and smart experimentation what works for you. Ecto is not neccassarily a bad thing.
Definately dont use any steroids either. Up your calories and change your training routine.....add some smart choices as far as supplements go and get good rest. Stay dedicated and be rewarded with hard work in the end. Dont give up
11-13-2008, 02:02 PM
I have the same story as you man.
I’m 6’5” and started lifting around 15 and did not see the same results as all the munchkins would get. At 18-19, I was just as frustrated. Everyone grows in different ways, but when I was in my early 20s (21-23) I started filling out and put on a lot of lean weight. You might be going through the same thing. Even though you have been working out for five years, you’re still young enough that your body might not have fully grown. I gained over 20 pounds after 21, just from ‘growing up.’
11-13-2008, 02:11 PM
It is a different issue altogether if the OP's problem is that he cannot add any more muscle regardless of a weight increase on the scale.
11-13-2008, 02:49 PM
11-13-2008, 06:14 PM
That is still 4050 calories a day. For a guy that is ecto, that probably is not enough to make significant gains. Being an ectomorph myself, I know where you are coming from. A couple years ago I was 5'10 and 135lb. It took awhile but I got up to 155-160 eating 4000-4500 calories/day.
I recently just did a havoc cycle and now I'm up to 177. My hands, wrists (6") and frame are all always going to be small but the added muscle defintely helps.
Obviously I'm not trying to get you to take a steroid. But I figure if I had to eat around 4500 to gain significantly at 5'10 and 135, then maybe you should look into throwing in a lot more food.
11-13-2008, 06:45 PM
too get big ectomorph means undereater. Im an ecto and I weigh 240 lbs. In high school before I ever touched a weight I was 150. at 6ft2 that is skinny. senior year i took an elctive weight lifting class and only did chest basically and gained. I was still a twig. 165 maybe. I ate about 1000 calories per day and skateboard for three hoursd per day most days.
Since Ive gone up to 4k I gained. eat your ass off and then eat some more. the reason your not gaining is your not eating enough. Dante Trudel is a former ecto graduated hs at 6ft and 140lbs..Im also a former ecto now I look damn big when i walk in anywhere. (esp with my dress shoes that I'm about 6ft4 with)
simple as that..eat more. esp prortein get in 2 lbs of protein per bodyweight when training heavy and intense youll see the difference.
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11-13-2008, 08:14 PM
“Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life"- John 6:68
WHAT has science offered?
11-13-2008, 08:53 PM
Consider a few things that you younger guys are forgetting - not intended to minimize some of your successes - some guys just grow late.
When I hear a guy tell me he was 16 or 17 and 140lbs and by the time he was 20 he "put on" 60lb from "his hard work, diet and discipline" I always kind of giggle. I've seen kids put on 60lbs over a year or two after they graduated HS doing absolutely nothing.
A best friend whom we called "the skinny guinie" was a skinny little kid of 5'7" and 145lbs soaking wet at 18 yo. By the time he hit 21 he was 6'0" and 220.
Now lifting will keep you fit but you are not done growing you'll just keep growing with or without lifting. Like I said I'm not minimizing, but I wouldn't be so fast to take credit either
DaveWalton - consider NOT lifting like a bodybuilder for a year. Instead train as a power lifter or Olympic lifter - and eat.
11-13-2008, 09:06 PM
ohh... a powerlifter idea. now that's a really good idea!
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