Training the Feminine Figure

This is not actually Diana you pervs!

Q: Hello, I am a 29 year old Asian female, and I would like to try your ectomorph program. I am petite and toned, and would like to add more muscle to my physique.

Thank you, 

My Answer: The Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph will add some size to you, but keep in mind the exercises highlighted in the program were meant for male lifters. As a woman you may have different physique goals. Hard to say what your goals may be, since you didn't mention them. You mentioned adding more muscle mass, but what muscles do you need to build and for what reason?

In Tactics and Strategies there is a chapter on strength training for women. I mention three body types, and how to train and diet according to your body type: A, T or O. Since you're petite, then you probably have either an A or T body type. If you have an A body type, then you're pear-shaped and need to develop upper body mass. If you have a T body type, then you need to develop lower body mass. Either way, give the Hypertrophy Training for the Ectomorph program a try, as it will develop overall muscle mass.

Q: James, Are dumbbell flyes good for lat training? It's a tough one for me, but I want to get better at doing them. Any pointers to get stronger in doing flyes? 


My Answer: If you mean dumbbell rear flyes, then I would say it's an OK back exercise. It'll hit the mid-back muscles, but it won't hit the lats. The problem I have with bent over flyes is that your nerve force is split between raising the dumbbells and bending over. You're doing 2 different things and not very well. You end up not building much muscle at all.

I would ditch that exercise. It's not worth the effort. Substitute side lying rear flyes instead. I describe this exercise in detail in Strength and Physique: High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth.

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