Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph

Q: "I have been doing the pyramid workout for a bit now. I haven't been doing the 10-8-6-15 the whole time. I have been doing it for a month or so now, but I have been changing it up from 10-8-6-8 to 10-8-6-6, which I am currently doing.

"I have been trying to go for about 3200 calories a day. I have gained some weight but not a lot. I look a bit more defined, but not a lot also. Also I have been switching up the exercises every two weeks or so but keep some core ones.

"My question is should I continue to do this till I put on some more weight? I went from 132 to 137, till I get to about 140 or so. Or should I change it now? I'm not sure about the 5x5, because I can't find anything about it or what exercises to do. Should I try something like:

Monday - Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Abs
Wednesday - Legs, Back, Abs
Friday- Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Abs
Next Monday - Legs, Backs, Abs

-N. Ponte

My Answer: Yes, change the program. 5x5 is fine. It's simple: just plug in the exercises you want to do for each body part. But if you want every detail spelled out for you, then just follow the 5x5 program I have outlined in the 3-5 Power Periodization Program.

Q: I am a 30 year old ectomorph trying to gain weight (muscle). Your book (good read) contains the article on lifting for ectomorphs. I have tried every workout under the sun and have gained some muscle but not a ton. I have been lifting for about 10 years and would say I am definitely an intermediate if not advanced weight lifter. If doing the ‘lifting for ectomorphs’ routine first, when is the right time to go to the main workout in your book (T-Boost, etc)? When is the right time to say the ectomorph routine is not working? 

Thanks for your time.

My Answer: The right time to transition from the 10-8-6-15 program to the SPV2 program is when you are no longer making any gains in size and strength. Be warned: switching from the 10-8-6-15 program to the SPV2 program is like switching from a tricycle to a Ninja motorcycle: you better hang on, because you're in for one hell of a ride. Most people don't push themselves in training. The SPV2 program will push you to your limits.

Q: "Thanks for the workout on Bodybuilding.com for LEO's. Are the first 2 weeks a 4 day workout? You listed 4 workouts: should they be rotated on a daily basis?"


My Answer: Yep, you rotate through all 4 workouts throughout the week.

Q: "My name is Henry, and I am your classic hardgainer. I've been following the 10-8-6-15 routine, and it is finally time for a new one. I've been reading on your site about the 5x5 routine with a two day split, and it looks like what I need, but can you elaborate on that training regimen, say providing a sample week? Your articles are great as always James and any help at all is appreciated, Thanks!"

My Answer: The 5x5 program is pretty straightforward, Jacob. Plug in your exercises to these parameters: 5 sets of 5 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets. Choose one exercise per body part. Follow a 2 day split, hitting each muscle group twice a week.
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