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Doug's Mass Building Routine for Ectomorphs

Average: 4.4 (328 votes)
4.4 5 328
Althought this routine is designed for a person who’s body type is described as Ectomorph; it can be also be used by all body types as a change their current workout.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
4
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

The ectomorph is the lucky body type that doesn’t carry much body fat, but are unlucky in that their body burns a lot of calories per day normally. In order to increase body weight, this type of person would need to increase calorie levels in stages until a pound in body weight is being added per week. The ectomorph's diet is crucial to increasing muscle tissue from their training. They should use a calorie level of 20-25 times their bodyweight in pounds as a starting position for calorie level. Example; a 140 lb lifter would use a starting calorie level of between 2800-3500 calories per day.

Meals should be split into 6-8 meals (including weight gainer drinks) per day, split into meals every 2.5 - 3 hours throughout the day. Protein intake should be 25%-30% of total calories; carbohydrates should be approx 50% of total calories; and fats at approx. 20%-25% of total calories. A meal or meal replacement shake should be taken before bed. Simple sugars should be limited or avoided totally.

Eat lower glycemic index foods such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain breads, yams, oats, sweet potatoes, whole grain foods. Supplement the diet with a good branded multivitamin and mineral. Essential fats should come from the following foods. Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils (safflower, corn, sunflower, cottonseed oil), fatty cold water fish (salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseeds, flax oil and walnuts.

Important Training Notes

  • Aerobic activity should be kept to a minimum.
  • Warm up with a cardio session for 5-10 minutes.
  • Stretch the worked muscles at the end of the workout.
  • Cool down when finished training with 5-10 minutes of cardio.
  • Use a repetition timing of 2-1-2 seconds.
  • Keep rest time between sets at 2 minutes.
  • Keep rest time between exercises at 3 minutes.
  • Keep workout time as short as possible.
  • Get at least 8 hours sleep per night.
  • Perform abdominal exercises on Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday.

Weekly Workout Schedule

Monday - Chest and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press or Smith Machine Bench Press 4 6 to 8
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 6 to 8
Dumbbell Flys 3 10
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 4 6 to 8
French Press 2 8 to 10
Tricep Dips 2 8 to 10
Tuesday - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Bent Over Dumbbell Row 4 6 to 8
Wide Grip Pull Up 4 To Failure **
Cable Reverse Grip Rows 4 8 to 10
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 4 6 to 8
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl 2 8 to 10
Concentration Curl 2 8 to 10
Notes
** Note: Add weight if more than 10 reps can be performed in a set

Wednesday - Rest Day

Thursday - Quads and Hamstrings
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 8 to 10
45 Degree Leg Press 3 6 to 8
Hack Squat 3 8 to 10
Hamstrings
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 3 6 to 8
Leg Curl 3 8 to 10
Friday - Shoulders and Calves
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Press 3 6 to 8
Seated Barbell Press 3 8 to 10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10 to 12
Barbell Shrug 4 8 to 10
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Calf Raise 3 12 to 15
Seated Calf Raise 3 6 to 8

Saturday and Sunday - Rest Days

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    Average: 4.4 (328 votes)
  • About The Author
    Doug is an ex-competitive bodybuilder with over 20 years fitness experience, specifically diet & nutrition, weight management and training techniques.
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Comments (740)

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Hanni
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 01:04

Is doing only compound exercises beneficial for a skinny guy.
Pls Guide me i wnt to gain mass and muscles.

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Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 09:44

A majority of compound exercises is beneficial for everyone.

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Hanni
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 17:17

Can You suggest me a good compound workout for every group of muscles.

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/16/2010 - 17:56

This workout has some of the best compound exercises you can perform.

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Hanni
Posted Mon, 05/17/2010 - 03:48

Which workout is better for a skinny guy like me..

Full Body or upper/lower body or split workout.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/17/2010 - 09:30

I recommend more of a full body approach, or upper/lower - AB type split.

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Brian
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 12:48

Squats: for legs, hips and glutes - also works the entire body

Deadlift: legs and back

Bench: chest, shoulders, triceps

then add: pull-ups, standing barbell shoulder presses and core exercises

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Ryan
Posted Wed, 07/14/2010 - 13:47

Is it beneficial for mesomorph too?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 07/14/2010 - 14:54

Hi Ryan,

This is a solid all around workout. Pretty much any muscle building workout would help you. I would pick the one that motivates you to train the most.

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garrett
Posted Wed, 06/22/2011 - 14:10

I noticed this workout did not include abs. Where would be a good place to add in an ab workout?

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WcH4zKM
Posted Sat, 09/28/2013 - 13:25

Do any ABS exercise at the end of workout

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Kyle
Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 00:52

in some ways yes and in some ways no.

Compound workouts are really good for small guys like you and me because they help you gain muscle and strength extremely fast. Try doing excersizes like powercleans, bench press, deadlifts, squats, barbell rows etc.

However it is also good to do isolating muscle workouts otherwise you probably wont end up being proportionate: you'll have a strong/big: chest, biceps, legs, lower back, and maybe some abs but you will have weak/small: shoulders, traps, upper back, calves etc.

thats what happened to me because i concentrated too hard on full body workouts.

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kickitall
Posted Sun, 09/08/2013 - 15:10

You mentioned Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Rows. Now just add Pullups and Shoulder Presses - both compound exercises - and you've got the entire body covered.

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Anthony
Posted Wed, 01/12/2011 - 13:31

if u want, follow this workout plan but just add weights to each of your workouts.. for example if ur using dumbells with 15 pounds on each hand do 3 sets of 10 then add another 5 to each dumbell and do another 3 sets and just keep adding till about lets say 25-30 when its probably gonna be too hard to do

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Abed
Posted Sun, 03/13/2011 - 23:25

Hi I read your comments I used to be skinny and now I'm 205lb mass muscle the key is you got take yor workout week by week which mean have program inside the gyym and most important take supplements and eat right I promise you you will gain weight just work hard thank you

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Christian Perez
Posted Thu, 11/03/2011 - 20:17

Hey, im 17, 5'8, and weigh 125 lbs. i want to pack on muscle for next year before i go to college. I have been reading a lot of articles online about workout programs for ectomorphs. Some articles say that ectomorphs should workout their a particular muscle group no more than once a week, while others say that ectomorphs should follow a 3 day Full body workout program. I am going to workout 3 times a week, but i am not sure whether or not to workout my muscles more than once a week

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brandon
Posted Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:46

Hey Steve. you said eat 30grams of protein every 2.5 to 3hrs. what would you recommend for that? Obviously cant sit around 6 x a day drinkin a shake for the protein supplement. so what do you think?

PS.. Im a truck driver so im not by my house all day to whip some homemade stuff up nor do i want to keep having to spend $$ at the drive thru to get it.. Is there a ok supplement for protein of 30grams to take that frequent that doesnt affect health?

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Steve
Posted Mon, 08/22/2011 - 17:15

Hi Brandon,

When I'm on the road I eat jerky and a LOT of pepper jack string cheese. The cheese is pretty inexpensive. Summer sausage also works well is you like that kind of food.

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Jesse
Posted Wed, 05/19/2010 - 22:17

Hey could you recommend substitutes for the exercises with machines?, I work out at home

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Steve
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 08:02

Could you provide us with more specific information. What machines do you have access to at home?

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Jesse
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 16:50

I don't have any machines the only equipment I have wud be some dumbbells, bench, barbell, I wud need some replacements for the Cablre Reverse Grip Rows,45 Degree Leg Press, Hack Squat, leg curl

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Steve
Posted Thu, 05/20/2010 - 18:04

Instead of cable rows you could do DB rows or t-bar rows. And you could do front squats to replace leg press. You could add lunges to replace hack squats.

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Jesse
Posted Fri, 05/21/2010 - 03:52

Ok cool thanks alot I really appreciate the fast response, ur very helpful

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Tommy
Posted Sun, 05/23/2010 - 15:25

I consider myself to be an ectomorph, but I have been lifting for several months now. I've transformed my body and added a lot of muscle. But now I've hit a wall and I'm having a hard time gaining weight again, do you think this workout will continue to help me add muscle and gain weight?

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Steve
Posted Sun, 05/23/2010 - 20:18

What was your starting weight and what do you weigh now? And how many daily calories are you eating, and what does your diet look like?

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james
Posted Wed, 05/11/2011 - 01:50

when you hit a plateau it is time to change your workout. doing the same exercies after more than a month or two can be counterproductive

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Tommy
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 01:15

I weighed about 120 before I started lifting, and now I weigh about 145. I'm 5'9" and have a small frame with narrow shoulders. I don't count calories, but I try to eat 3 meals a day (sometimes I don't have time for lunch b/c of my college class schedule) and have 2 protein shakes or snacks a day as well.

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Steve
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 08:56

I strongly recommend counting calories and eating more frequent protein meals. Also, check out these articles:

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/nutrition-for-beginners-part-I...

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/nutrition-for-beginners-part-I...

Counting calories is an essential necessity if you want to gain weight and muscle.

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Tommy
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 11:44

Okay, thanks for the articles, but do you think this particular workout can still be beneficial to me and help me add muscle and weight?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 11:19

Absolutely. Gaining muscle is all about persistence, progression, and a good diet.

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Johnson
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 19:06

I was also a skinny guy before (around 125 lbs) and after 2 mths trainning with Doug's 4 days split routine, together with protein powder, now around 140 lbs and gain some muscles.

for the last 6 mths i stick with doug's 4 days split routine, but in the recent 2-3 months, i found the progress was so so significant.

Should i replace my Doug's 4 days split routine with this one? and how long this routine can be performed (another few months then switch to other to stimulate growth?)

Thanks!

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Steve
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 10:45

Are you no longer gaining body weight, strength, or both?

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Johnson
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 19:55

I can lift up heavier weight, but for body weight and muscle, seems the growth is really stagnant.

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Steve
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 19:58

Increase your calorie intake by 500 calories per day and see if the scale moves after a week.

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Ronan
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:43

Hey, I'm 6'5 and weigh only 74.5kg as of today. My weight bounces up and down. The highest it's been is 78kg and this is the lowest I can remember now since I began weights almost a year ago. The weights I can lift are definitely getting heavier. But to the eye my muscle mass doent look to be getting bigger and obviously I'm not gaining weight. I know from the eating point of view I can eat good for a week then I eat hardly anything the next. Today I've started a new weight gain and I will take it like its law for the next few months. I also take whey protein after training or the next morning if I'm sore. Along with this I've been taking 17-T_Somatocri-MX for about a month. I feel it has definitely helped me if not just motivated me more.

So, can you give me tips on what i'm doing wrong/right and what i need to do. I go on holidays in 2 months and I'd really like the biggest change i can achieve between now and then.

Thanks

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Steve
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 12:18

First, you need to make sure you are eating enough protein. You want to eat at least 30 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours.

Second, you need to eat enough calories. if you are not adding weight, eating 500 more calories per day and watch the scale for a week. If you're still not gaining weight, add an additional 500 daily calories.

If you don't stay consistent with your diet you won't add muscle. Eating is just as important as training.

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Chad
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 15:21

Best thing i think there is to do to keep an eye on yourself to see if your getting bigger or not is to take a picture of yourself in the mirror once per month. Because you see yourself everyday you don't notice, but if you look back in pictures you'll see the difference. Plus it's also i good motivator.

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Mike
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:49

I find it very hard to gain weight. Im getting stronger but i dont seem to be getting bigger in appearance, how do i change this?

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Steve
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 12:15

First, you need to make sure you are eating enough protein. You want to eat at least 30 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours.

Second, you need to eat enough calories. if you are not adding weight, eating 500 more calories per day and watch the scale for a week. If you're still not gaining weight, add an additional 500 daily calories.

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chase
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 21:17

how long do you recommend using this workout? And what plan would you suggest after this?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:26

Hi Chase...I would stick to this plan as long as you are making progress. It's hard to say what plan should follow. You will learn quite a bit about your body over the next 3 to 6 months and that will help you decide what type of plan best appeals to you. Down the road feel free to PM me and I will help you find a good program to follow this.

http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/members/bendthebar.html

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Sean
Posted Wed, 06/09/2010 - 19:47

Hi steve you seem to very helpful throughout the forum. I would be very grateful for some advice I have been following a program by Sean Nalewanyj for several months and have not seen the gains expected, His program concentrates on lifting 1-2 sets and between 5-7 reps of 6-7 excercises per workout 3 times a week. Is this enough or do i need to be doing sets of 4.

Thank you
Sean
Ireland

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Steve
Posted Thu, 06/10/2010 - 07:55

Hi Sean,

Usually a lack of gains comes down to 2 questions:

1) Am I eating enough to gain weight? As a beginner you should be adding up to 2 pounds of weight each month during that first year.

2) Am I pushing for more reps/weight on every set? If you don't push for progression, you aren't giving your muscles the necessary nudge to grow.

Do you feel you have been lacking in these areas at all? Just trying to get a feel for where you are at and how I can help...

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Jake
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 22:10

Are you suppost to throw in some of your own workouts in each one? And also how long should this workout be used for?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:15

No. Perform the routine as outlined. And you can perform the routine as long as you are making quality gains.

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Anthony
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 09:04

Hi I im 138lbs and 6ft tall. I was wondering is it ok if I take creatine? also is Whey protein a good protein drink?

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Steve
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 10:37

Whey protein is the top protein drink. Casein is also very valuable, and can be used post-workout and in between meals. Whey is excellent first thing in the morning and post-workout, because is is rapidly digested. Casein is slow digesting which makes it better before sleep.

Creatine is an amazing supplement, so by all means take it. Just make sure you are training and eating to grow, and you will see some amazing results in strength and size.

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greg
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 00:30

hey Steve,
Im 25 yrs old 5'11" 130 lbs thanks for the all the good info. I cant wait to start. my only challenge is keeping up with the diet. do you have any suggestions?

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Steve
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 09:38

My best advice is to utilize calorie dense nutritious foods like whole milk, almonds and natural peanut butter to help you eat enough on a daily basis. Keep eating at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. If you find it difficult to gain weight, try to increase your calorie intake slightly each week.

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Anthony
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 08:38

Hi, I was wondering what is the best creatine to use ( for skinny people) and also how do I make a proper protein shake. Everytime I make one its either like water or like clay. Thanks!

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