Congratulations! You have decided to change either your lanky ectomorph body type by gaining weight and building muscle. Follow these three steps to see improvement in no time.
First, develop your training plan. Your plan should include a warm up with stretching exercises, strength training with resistance exercises to stimulate muscle growth, compound exercises to work all muscle groups and aerobic activity to increase oxygen and reduce heart rate. You will want to add weights and then progressively increase the weight as your body adjusts to the load.
Tip: Start a journal and write down how you feel, what works and does not work, and the level of intensity in each workout.
Second, develop a diet plan that emphasizes healthy foods to help you gain weight and build muscle. Those foods should be nutrient rich. Your body needs both calories and nutrition to sustain and grow. Helpful foods for gaining weight and building muscle are proteins, especially lean red meats, poultry and salmon and complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta, oats, nuts and seeds. You should choose different ratios based on the level of your training. A seasoned athlete can process more carbs effectively than someone who has just begun working out.
Eat both pre and post workout for best results. This may be included or in addition to the recommended six meals per day. Be sure to be consistent yet creative in your menu selections.
Tip: Remember that journal? Record your meals and how you feel after them or how well your workout went. Your journal can help you adjust your diet to help you gain weight and build muscle efficiently.
Third, get plenty of rest. We have such busy schedules that we often forget this important step, but it is important to rest during your workout – allow a minute between reps. It is important to rest between workouts. The timing and frequency is different for different levels of training. And most important get plenty of sleep. It takes eight to ten hours each night to build muscle.
Tip: That journal is still your friend. Record your sleep habits and then adjust them as needed to feel your best as you gain weight and build muscle.