Ectomorph: Bicep Training

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    Hey guys, hoping to get some feedback on this.

    I'm an ectomorph, and I've been having a hard time gaining any size on my biceps, or increasing their strength. This has been frustrating me lately because other parts of my body have been responding really well to my new diet and routine. After inspecting my progress in the mirror, I've really noticed them lagging behind, compared to my thickening torso, they're looking really out of proportion.

    I currently split my routine into 3 days:

    ** Chest/Back/Abs **
    ** Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps and Forearms **
    ** Legs **

    My Arm workout day breaks down like this:

    Shoulders:
    Barbell Shoulder Press [90-105lbs]
    Lat Raises (focusing on rear and mid deltoids) [12-25lbs]
    Shrugs [60lbs]

    Biceps:
    Barbell Curl [55-60lbs]
    Dumbbell Curl [25-30lbs]

    Triceps:
    Close Grip Press [115lbs]
    Pull Down [47.5lbs] and/or Overhead Tricep Ext. [60lbs]

    Forearms:
    Wrist Curls [20lbs]

    I do 3 sets of 8 reps for each. What am I doing wrong? I'm assuming its something to do with my training. I don't think its related to my nutrition because other parts of my body have grown, and I've gained about 7lbs in the last 2 months.

    Any input would be really appreciated.
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    Nov 18, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    First, Mark, understand bodybuilding is about cosmetics.

    Second, understand that power lifting and bodybuilding are two different things. Powerlifting is where you can lift the heavy weight, and bodybuilding is where you LOOK like you can lift the heavy weight.

    For the moment, we'll assume you are bodybuilding.

    Basically, there are the following components.
    1. Genetics
    2. Calories
    3. Stimulation / Overload / Exercise
    4. Recovery / Rest.

    That's it. It's all science.

    That being said, how big are your wrists? You say you're an ecto, but, you don't look like it to me.

    At any rate, if you're wanting to get bigger, you have to eat. I'm talking about eating hard...until it hurts, and then, eating extra. If you're worried about your abs, you're in the wrong game.

    Second, recovery is essential. Although you're 25, you probably aren't eating, nor sleeping, enough to recover on the workouts you're on. I'd recommend that you do fewer parts per day, like so:
    1. Back / bis
    2. Chest / tris
    3. Quads
    4. Shoulders
    5. Hamstrings
    6. Arms (bis/tris)
    7. Day off.
    1. Back / bis
    2. ...

    Third, understand that size comes from increasing the fascia of the muscle, along with the fibers themselves, and doing it under load (local muscular endurance). I.e., if you wanta' be big (cosmetically) you need to get pumped up and expand that fascia. There are other ways to do it, called Pump and Pose, site injections, and so on, but, if you aren't using advanced training methods, you get in the gym, get pumped up, and get home, and eat and rest. PERIOD. It's all science.

    Increase this ability to perform under load by building all the systems (neurological, cardiovascular, muscle/skeletal) meaning...you work a wide range of reps from 5's to 25's. Anybody tells you not to lift below eight likely won't have good strength nor density, and anyone that tells you not to do high reps, won't have the vascularity / capillarization to support ongoing growth nor to have that sought after "look". Do a variety of reps.

    On back 5's (on occasion), but, mostly 8 to 20.
    On bis (6 on up to 30)
    On chest 5's (on occasion), but mostly 8 to 20, or even more on flies.
    On tris, (6 on up to 30)
    On quads (8 to 30)
    On shoulders 5's on occasion on up to 25.
    On hamstrings (8 to 30)
    On arms (8 to 25) (second time in the week)

    Get a stopwatch. Train at 45 second intervals on the high rep stuff, and up to 90 second intervals on the lower rep stuff. You may find you need more recovery time when doing legs. Work into it.

    Breathe properly.

    Never stretch a cold muscle. You should stretch during or after lifting.

    Do interval training 3 times a week, on the stairs without leaning. Go as fast as you can go for about 120 seconds. Rest 45 seconds. Do it again. Envision yourself running lines in football practice, or basketball practice, or hockey practice or running bleachers. This will burn more fat, and it will enhance your cardiac threshold. Decrease your step time as you get to the end of your cardio workout, and increase your rest time as you get to the end of your cardio workout. It'll be hard. It'll hurt. You'll get in great shape. You'll eat like a pig. Your heart will be tip-top. Days you aren't doing intervals, you can walk for 30 minutes. If you do mindless hours of cardio, you WILL NOT be successful. If you are doing your interval training properly, about 12 to 20 minutes will be all you'll need.

    Eat. and you keep eating.

    Do NOT workout if you feel crappy. Rest, recover, and grow, instead.

    Eat good solid food. Take a weight gainer like Serious Mass. Calories are your friends.

    You'll be growing in no time.

    If you don't eat; if you don't rest; if you don't train with variety; if you over-train....well, you WILL fail. Success is by design, and this is all science.

    Additionally, understand the guy on the cover of the magazine is likely doing some or all of the following.
    1. Great genes
    2. Good training
    3. Good lighting
    4. Dried out with diuretics (hard and vascular).
    5. Carbed up with insulin (fullness).
    6. Taking one or many anabolic steroids (recovery, leaner, muscle preservation, and adequate androgen, and an ability to train on a different, higher, plane.)
    7. Taking EPO for fullness and endurance.
    8. Taking T3/T4 for metabolic enhancement in addition to interval training.
    9. Has taken site injections to stretch the fascia of his weaker parts.

    You WILL NOT look like that model, even with your best training efforts, so you should come to accept that.

    In the meantime, blast your bis / tris, get 'em pumped up so you can hardly move 'em. Get home; you see food and you eat it. You get your butt to bed. You'll come right along, I assure you.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2008 12:56 AM GMT
    Chucky, it's great having you back. Such amazing advice!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 18, 2008 1:18 AM GMT


    I'm an ectomorph, and I've been having a hard time gaining any size on my biceps, or increasing their strength. This has been frustrating me lately because other parts of my body have been responding really well to my new diet and routine. After ins
    Lnd I've gained about 7lbs in the last 2 months.

    Any input would be really appreciated.

    I wear a 35-36 sleeve so i guess that makes me an ecomorph too. The hammer curls shown on here "Hammer curls 21 and "Seated Dumbell Hammer Curls" have given my biceps a needed wake up call. Your will feel the difference the first time you do them. P.S No need to get frustrated ....you are looking good.