If you have struggled for a while to gain muscle mass but are a skinny guy, a true ectomorph, here is an easy outline on how you can put on some weight using a combination of workouts, diet and

So maybe you have been training for several years.

Maybe you have been training for only a few months.

Either way you have found it tough to put on muscle or when you gain a few pounds, you lose the little progress you made.

I definitely understand.

I have been there in your shoes struggling to put on some decent size. After years of struggle the solution turned out to be easier than expected.

It all comes down to focus on these simple components.

Tip # 1: Choose The Right Exercises

If you go to a magazine stand or a bodybuilding website chances are you will find a typical workout of 4 exercises per body part.

Each exercise will break things down by 4 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Maybe you will read about using pyramid sets and super sets.

However, if you are not focusing on simple compound movements you will see the same results you have seen for years. No muscle gained.

Forget about doing 4 sets of dumbbell curls followed by some tricep extensions.

Forget about leg extensions followed by leg curls.

Single joint movements will not help you gain a significant amount of muscle.

Your training should be focused on composite movements: Bench press, shoulder press / military press, Squats, Deadlifts, Chin Ups / Pull Ups

Get a good bang for your buck and work on multiple muscles at the same time.

Now choose 3 compound movements and have your training revolve around those three exercises.

Ideally you want to work on both the upper body as well as your lower body on the same day if you are a beginner or if you want to simplify your workouts.

A combination like the following works well

  • Bench Press
  • Squats
  • Deadlifts

Or the following

  • Military Press
  • Chin Ups
  • Deadlifts

Follow this type of workout on a 3 days per week schedule and it will give you solid gains than a fancy bodybuilding workout.

Tip # 2: Slowly Add More Weight To Your Lifts

Now you can do the right exercises but if you are not lifting heavier over time then what good is this?

Do not be afraid to break a personal best and add 1 pound or 5 pounds on a set.

The only way your muscle will develop and grow is by forcing it to tolerate heavier loads. I am not advocating adding a 50 pounds overnight on an exercise. Simply add a bit more than you were able to once you have mastered a personal best.

When should you increase the weight?

Focus on a weight you can lift for 5 repetitions and 5 sets per exercise.

Try to do 5 to 8 repetitions.

Once you are able to complete 8 repetitions make sure you add some weight to that exercise.

It can be a small amount like 5 pounds or less. In fact, I recommend small progress in order to avoid getting an injury.

Every time you complete 8 repetitions, no matter if it happens quickly or takes longer than expected, add more weight.

It will be important to track your progress and your goals.

Write all of your sets, reps and weight lifted with each workout. The only way to see progress is by tracking and measuring it using a pen and paper or notepad.

Tip # 3: Eat Well And Eat Healthy

Maybe you have heard that you need to eat huge amounts of food and count calories.

That is not always ideal and it can be difficult, especially if you do not know how many calories are in a meal.

Simply make sure you eat your 3 meals with a good amount of protein and fats.

So foods like chicken, beef, fish, turkey, eggs and other lean meats should be in your diet.

Do not just eat anything that is loaded with fat and sugar. Use common sense and stay away from stuff that is not healthy like fried food.

Now do not be afraid to snack on foods like nuts, yogurt, granola bars and protein bars.

Remember that us skinny guys have fast metabolisms. We can eat more than the average person and not see a negative effect on our bodies.

Just make sure to keep training while keeping your eating good amounts of food.

Tip # 4: Rest & Recovery

This may be one of the easiest tips yet few of us follow it.

In order to gain muscle you need to rest and recover from your training.

Sleep is your best friend. Sleep at least 8 hours per day. Squeeze in a nap if you feel like. It is definitely encouraged.

Get massages or use foam rollers after a workout.

Do not overdo it when you train. Take rest days and take a week off every 12 weeks.

Muscle gains are not made in the gym.

Gains are made when you rest.