T Nation

Newbie To This Site (Not To Training)


Hi all,

I've been training a long while but haven't had a clean run with training until I started again this past 14 months or so.

In the years previous, I used to train but was always interupted with injuries and illness.

I've made some shit gains TBH and am desperately trying to feel ok within myself by packing on some size.

I suffer from bigorexia and at the moment, because of this, I don't have that much of a life.

I just want to be able to leave the house with a T-shirt on. at the moment that's not gonna happen.

so can anyone point me in the direction of any routines that work well for hard hard gaining ectomorph?


desperate dan.


Welcome to the site. My suspicions are that you are not as much of an ectomorph as you may think. I used to think the same thing till I came to this site and started really educating myself. I'm almost 40 lb heavier than I was when I started a few years ago.

Go to the Article library and look up everything by Chad Waterbury, Christian Thibaudeau, and Dave Tate.

But, if you're not used to lifting heavy (and by that I mean weights in the 1-4 rep range) and you're interested in the 10x3 routine, or something similar, my personal advice (from my own experiences) is to stay away from programs that call for 4 or less reps per set until you've conditioned your tendons/connective tissue for a month or more. If you've been going heavy (5-7) reps per set for a while, knock yourself out.


Oh yeah, the other thing is that you need to eat. And when you think you're full, eat some more. Then, when you can't fit any more in to you stomach, eat some more. See the pattern? Most "ectomorphs" simply aren't eating enough to sustain growth. Fix that, you'll see some growth, maybe at the cost of your six pack, maybe not.

What's your diet?


cheers mate

I am used to lifting heavy, that's the way I've always trained.

I always keep within the 2-8 rep range.

I've gained 50lbs or so in my time training but have gained some fat along the way.

just going to read your 2nd post now.


my diet is good and the best it's ever been.

6 meals a day, complex carbs, plenty of protein, simple carbs only post workout and good fats, no saturated fats.

I've been training a few years now and I'm just really desperate to find a routine that suits me and works well.

like I said in my previous, I have been using heavy weights and train with the heaviest weights I can lift and normally go to failiure.


Have you been clinically diagnosed with muscular dysmorphia, or is this a self-diagnosis?

What are your current measurements? 50lbs isn't usually something to scoff at. Where'd you start?



well, I've suffered from bigorexia since the age of 14 (I'm nearly 28) so it's been half my life.

It was a self dignosis but as soon as I became aware of such a condition it was so obvious it was something I was suffering from.

I'm obsessed with wanting to gain weight, good weight I mean. I used to go out in the hot summer with a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a hooded jumper just to hide my skinny appearance - try and imagine that.

I've not been able to go on holiday since I was 13 (abroad to hotter countries) because I'd have to wear shorts + t-shirts and even less than that.

I remember one time when I was going out on a night and the doorman wouldn't let me in becacse I wasn't dressed right, so my mate gave me a t-shirt to wear and even though I was totally smashed on the booze, I still felt very very self conscious and wanted to leave as soon as possible.

I don't even feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt in the house - my skinny arms repulse me and I hate looking at them.

it's affected my realtionships with girls too.

the amount of activities I've had to give up because of the condition is riddiculous and there's still things I can't do today and I feel as though time's running out (I really want to start playing for a soccer team but I can't because of bigorexia and the clocks ticking with me being 28)

I have been to see a pyschologist for this, depression and social anxiety and yes, he confirmed that it was body dysmorphic disorder - bigorexia is a form of that condition.

I've been reading up on some of the routines that chad has suggested on here and to me, I know I'll find it hard - I'm so used to training with the heaviest weights to failiure on most sets.

I get the feeling that after the workouts I won't feel as shattered as I should?!

can someone suggest a routine that would suit me best?

my stats are:

neck 15 inches
biceps 15ish inches - flexed 13.5 cold
weight 165lbs
body fat - between 15-20%


oh and my fore arms are about 11.25 inches.

the psycolohgists have tried to help but I only feel that gaining weight (especially on the shoulders and arms) will help me with the bigorexia.

although I have gained nearly 50lbs, I'm am still skinny - I still get called 'skinny'

If I gained another 20lbs of lean body weight, I know that I willbe feeling better if not cured. another inch or 2 on the arms and a wider appearance on the shoulders would go down so well. one can only hope.


This caught my eye and I HAD to chime in.

It is not GOOD to avoid and of your fat PUFA. MUFA, or sats. they all have there place. Sats in general have a Profound influence on hormone levels namely T levels.

You may rethink this. Do a google for more info and maybe this will help,

Fat Roundtable I&II

Hope that helps,


Something tells me you haven't done a whole lot of squatting if you're only listing upper body measurements. Squats and deadlifts are two lifts you absolutely must do if you want to get bigger. And don't go to failure on any lift. Failure training is a tool that should be used very sparingly if you even use it at all.

Blenders are a great way to increase your caloric intake.


when I say I avoid saturated fats, I mean I only take the good fats in large doses.

I do have saturated fats in my diet (I think it would be impossible not yo)

and yes, I do do squats and deadlifts.

can someone please suggest one of the routines on here for someone in my position?


Many of the routines here on the site are good. They only last a few weeks each anyways so switch it up and try a couple.

Also I wanted to say that you have to train frequently, train hard and eat a hell of alot and also sleep. Nobody mentions sleep that much but I will say that in my experience the more I slept the faster I improved.

I was a former scrawny boy myself hitting a low of 155lbs a few summers ago. I am about 185-190 now and as lean as ever. I hit near 200 while bulking and have cut down for the summer. Hard work, good diet and good lifestyle (sleep) has alowed me to put on 30-40 lbs in the last few years.

Good luck.


thanks alot mate and thanks to all who have contributed so far in this thread.

I sleep about 10 hours a night and eat 6 big meals a day, sometimes even more.

if anyone else wants to contribute to this thread then please do so.

I'm in desperate need of all the help I can get.

thanks again.