Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph 2.0

“I’m very proud to let you know that your ectomorph program did work with me! I should have read your articles and spend more time on internet before doing any work out… three years of waste! I’m actually 6’3″ and weigh almost 84kg (185 lbs.), which is a 5kg (11 lbs.) increase after almost 2 months following your programs!!!

“A big thank you for your blog and articles!!! I was very skeptical before starting it, because I guess I had no idea on how my whole body works! Consequently, I have just bought your three first books on Amazon to know more about your program and research, I can’t wait to read them, but as I am living in Cape Town, it will take at least a month to get them!

“Merci for your work!!!

“It does to feel good to be in shape and to have a better understanding of my body.”



My Answer: I’m glad it worked well for you, Kevin. An 11 pound gain in weight for an ectomorph is always good. I know you’ll like the books, because they will give you some valuable insights as to what constitutes a good mass building program.


“I found your workout plan for ectomorphs a few months ago, and it has really worked wonders for me. I am not sure that I am a complete Ecto, but I am 6’4” and have always been somewhat of a hard gainer.

“After a few months following the plan in the article, I have seen tremendous results.

“I also just wanted to thank you for the helpful program. When I first found the article, I was a bit skeptical, and it took something of a leap of faith to switch from my 5-6 day a week super intense workout regimen, to the program you suggested. I am glad that I did. Also, the 3 day a week workout cycle is a lot more practical for my life schedule. Well, thanks a lot.”

Mike B.

My Answer: I’m glad you took a leap of faith, Mike. When I wrote the Hypertrophy Training for Ectomorph article, I knew I was addressing a major need among bodybuilding enthusiasts, but even I was surprised at the reader response to the article. Of all my articles, this one is the most popular. It just goes to show you that all things being equal, the best program is often the simplest.


Q: “Hi. I would like to know if there’s a 12 month Hypertrophy training for the Ectomorph program from your site. I appreciate your help. Thank you.

– B. Munoz

My Answer: The original Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph (HTE) program was designed for maximizing muscle growth for the ectomorph, for the guy who has a difficult time gaining muscle. It is meant for the novice lifter who wants a simple, easy to follow program.

I decided to give this program a revamp, since a lot people wanted to extend the program over a longer period of time. Although the original Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph workout takes care of intra-workout periodization (10-8-6-15), the program didn’t address periodization over a longer meso-cycle.

Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph 2.0 is a 12-week periodization program designed to help the ectomorph build muscle and strength over the long haul. If you experienced muscle growth from the original HTE program, then you will experience even more with HTE 2.0.

You can download the HTE 2.0 program at Gumroad.com:

Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph 2.0

13 thoughts on “Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph 2.0

Add yours

  1. Hi James,

    just bought the new HTE ebook after finding out about it.
    The original HTE program has given me the best gains of my life and I already own all of your other books so it was a no brainer I needed to get this immediately.

    Just a few quick questions on the program:

    – For workouts 3 and 4 the prescribed rest periods are much longer than for workouts 1 and 2. Does this mean one should use heavier weights during workouts 3 and 4 than during workouts 1 and 2?

    – Should one use the same or different exercises on different workout days when training the same muscle group? I.e. if I do bench presses for chest on day 1, should I do bench presses on day 2 and day 3 as well or should I rather use a different exercise on each day? In the original program it used always the same exercises.

    – In the pyramid scheme sets the warm ups are already “built in” but what about the 5×5 sets? Should the first 2 sets be performed with a lighter weight as warm up sets and then only the last three sets performed with the target weight or should all 5 sets be performed with the target weight and some additional warm up sets be performed before the 5 work sets?

    Thanks a lot in advance for any answers on these questions!


    1. Hi Dan,

      Glad you like the program! As far as heavier weights on workouts 3 and 4: YES.
      You will find that you’ll be lifting heavier on those days. Just adjust the weights to hit each target rep.

      You can rotate the exercises from workout to workout or do the same ones over and over. It depends on your goal. If you want to maximize muscle size, then rotate between 2-3 exercises for each body part. If you want to maximize strength on a handful of lifts but still get big, then do the same exercises over and over.

      With regards to warm-ups for the 5×5 workouts, do a couple of warm-up sets prior to 5×5. All 5 sets should be work sets.


  2. Hi James,
    Just found the Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph 2.0. Looks like a solid program for a 130 lb person like myself. My question is around rest times. You state that ectomorphs need longer rest times in the range of 2-3 minutes, but the workout calls for 1 minute rests between sets on the first 2 weeks. Why is that? Thanks!!
    John B.


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