Hardgainer Muscle Building Workout Routine

This routine although 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 routine.

Workout Summary

Main Goal: Build Muscle
Workout Type: Split
Training Level: Intermediate
Days Per Week: 4
Equipment Required: Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, Machines

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


Day 1- Chest and Triceps

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
Close Grip Bench Press 4 6 to 8
French Press 2 8 to 10
Tricep Dips 2 8 to 10

Day 2- Back and Biceps

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
Standing Barbell Curl 4 6 to 8
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Curl 2 8 to 10
Concentration Curl 2 8 to 10
** Note: Add weight if more than 10 reps can be performed in a set.

Day 3- Rest Day

Day 4- Quads and Hamstrings

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 8 to 10
45 Degree Leg Press 3 6 to 8
Hack Squat 3 8 to 10
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 3 6 to 8
Leg Curl 3 8 to 10

Day 5- Shoulders and Calves

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
Standing Calf Raise 3 12 to 15
Seated Calf Raise 3 6 to 8

Day 6 and Day 7- Rest Days


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