Heavy Partials for the Easy-Hardgainer

Hi James,

Just got through reading 3 of your books. I purchased them after reading an article of yours on the bodybuilding.com website, which was the Hypertrophy Training for Ectomorphs, and thought you sounded like you knew what you were talking about because a lot of the things you mention are definitely how I feel in the gym. Things like not being able to handle too many sets or hitting each muscle group 3 times per week instead of the once per week, etc.

I myself am 6 foot 8 inches tall and have a slim build. I have always wanted to look bigger and muscular, but it's not easy when you have long thin muscles, I guess. But over the past 8 months I have put on around 20 pounds, mostly size but a bit of fat to due to the amount I had to eat. I've done this sticking to mainly basic exercises and just pushing myself harder in the gym. Also working on my squats, because it's a little harder for someone my height, but just realising that it's a great overall mass gaining exercise.

I believe in hitting muscles more than once a week, and having no more than a 2-3 day split as to hit the muscles at least twice a week. I've been doing a 2 day split of 6 exercises, 1 exercise per muscle group, 3 muscle groups per day, 4 sets each, 6 days a week.

I find it hard to train heavy with 3 minute rest periods for 45 minutes, which is what it takes to complete my 12 sets per workout. I lose energy, or my body just doesn't like lifting heavy for long?

I think I'm more fast twitch, using the calculation provided in one of your books. I think I move pretty quick for a tall guy, and a lot of people have said this. I do have a sporting background, so I'm pretty sure I would favour the fast twitch side of the scale.

My question I guess is, do you have any advice for someone of my height? And what would be a good next step after the ectomorph training program?

Thank you for your time and advice if in fact you do get the time to read and reply to this. I look forward to more of your books and articles.

Thanks again,

My Answer- Well you've given me 3 very important clues:

1) You're tall.
2) You're fast-twitch.
3) Your hormones don't match your fast-twitch makeup.

You fit the easy-hardgainer mentioned in Tactics and Strategies. You have a limited amount of T, so you can't fully exploit the growth potential of your fast-twitch muscle fibers. This means that you need to train with a low number of sets at heavy weight, low reps. 3-4 sets of 4-8 reps is a good range for you.

Given that you are quite tall, this adds another dimension to your training. You should incorporate a lot of partial movements and some barbell movements with chains. I devote a whole chapter to partial movements in Tactics and Strategies. Incorporate rack pulls and half presses in the power rack.

So to sum up: heavy partials to hit the fast-twitch muscles on your tall lanky frame.
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