Ectomorph: This is a term used to describe individuals (men and women) with naturally skinny body types who were probably always thin and underweight their entire lives and seems to have no idea of how to gain weight.
Even, an ectomorph is a person that usually pisses off overweight individuals, because we make it look like we can eat to our satisfaction and never gain weight. That’s not a true statement, but it appears just like that because of our skinny genetics.
What I mean above about an ectomorph is that:
An ectomorph is skinny naturally, though not skinny (lean) naturally (there is a great difference between the two).
Seems almost not possible to gain weight or muscle mass no matter the type of diet or workout they use.
Does any (or all) of these things describe you? If so, you are an ectomorph! And now that you know the reason behind you naturally skinny and have such a hard time gaining weight and building muscle, it’s high time we start getting to the solution. Let’s begin with the most important aspect of all your diet.
But the problem facing an ectomorph is never to eat enough calories even when they think they do. Although this is sometimes just the result of some lean(skinny) individuals (men and women) who have an appetite of small birds, it is mainly because some calories that an ectomorph need to consume to gain weight are more than what they had thought.
It is straightforward. Consume (eat) more calories! Do not give a shit how many calories you eat or how you feel full, and how it already seems to eat enough. The simple fact is if you do not gain weight, it simply means you do not eat enough calories.
These are people with elongated structure and narrow hips and shoulders, regardless of their height. Most often these are people with thin to normall bone thickness. In order not to fall into misunderstandings, please consider that the best predictor of what your body type is to look at your photos from your teeenage years prior being 18 years old.
Ectomorphs also rarely have a problem with body fat. Their metabolism is fast and efficient enough, not to allow it. However, what they often encounter is the difficulty to increase muscle mass, because they are usually tall and thin, sometimes quite underweight. In fact, the main reason that makes the ectomorph enter the gym is to increase weight. Their bone structure includes thin bones, small joints and small waist and hips. In their muscles, slow muscle fibers prevail, which are better for endurance rather than strength and mass. They have increased production of thyroid and stress hormones, which is due to their murderously fast metabolism.
Most ectomorphs have no problem with carbohydrates and can consume them in large quantities, without affecting in any way. They say that no matter what they eat and exercise they can not increase muscle mass. They justify themselves with being hard-gainers and soon after they quit. But as endomorphs can handle fat with proper methodology and enough perseverance so is the ectomorph able to gain muscles with adjusted exercise and nutrition strategy. Indeed, it will be a slow process, so they must be patient and not waste time with regimes that are not for them.
Ectomorph, amongst all, is prone to hyperactivity, which further increases the great energy expense. So at first he must reduce his locomotor activity if possible, be calm and relax the nervous system, reduce stress and sleep enough.
Ectomorphs can be different subtypes. Normally they are mixture of different bodytypes as one is predominent – the ectomorph type. The different ectomorph types are:
In this article you can see all 3 different body types. Once you know your main body type you can easily find your sub type from the following article.
The absolute ectomorphs are tall and thin (bony) men and women with narrow shoulders and hips. They have a low body fat percentage and underdeveloped muscles. Nowadays, due to widely available high-calorie food, this type can be confused with other types ectomorphs, especially if you analyze a person who trains. Additional factors to this body type are thinner bones and elongated facial features, long thin fingers and narrow palms.
The ectomorph is also often confused in the training approach, considering that if he trains more and more often he will achieve better results. Ironically, it is exactly the opposite – training should be short and intense in order not to create large energy expense and not to secrete too many stress hormones. Training should be up to 1 hour and not more than 4 hours per week. Mixed movements are suitable – like squats, deadlifts, military press, bench press lifting and other exercises with high intensity with 5 to 8 reps in the series.
If you want to gain mass, cardio workouts are taboo for the pure ectomorph. Only at a larger endomorphic component and the accumulation of fat more than desired it may be added 2 to 3 sessions a week for 15-25 minutes, which should be pursued as separate training (it’s best to do so morning). The same applies if the purpose of ectomorph is to reduce the fat to a minimum, although, at first he may try only with a diet without a cardio workout, which he can start if the diet does not bring him the desired results. The difficulty for him will be not to clear the fat but to keep the hard gained muscles. If he succeeds, he will present a highly textured and proportionate physics as the three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane.
Gaining muscle mass is needed in both sexes. The best option is a weight training with duration of 45 to 50 min without any aerobic workouts. Three to four trainings per week are the optimal training plan for absolute ectomorphs. During the week, the trainings should be scheduled every other day (Monday Wednesday, Friday, Sunday for example). Allow at least three minutes of rest between sets and exercises initially.
To gain mass ectomorphs need a lot of calories and they must comply one basic rule: never miss a meal. Skipping meals is their biggest mistake, for them, it is better to miss a workout than eating! The most important meal is the post-training meal. It must include fast enough carbohydrates and easily assimilable source of protein to stop the increased catabolic processes.
The ectomorph may gain mass and decrease fat levels with high-carbohydrate diet. For the typical representative of this body type good percentage distribution of calories from macro-ingredients includes 55-60% carbohydrates, 25-30% protein and 15-20% fat. Some ectomorphs think they have to slow down their metabolism, but it will not lead them to more clean muscles. They just need to overcome the big calorie balance.
If there is any higher endomorphs component, which is expressed in reduced insulin sensitivity, the carbohydrate may be reduced to 40% or less. These are the so-called skinny-fat (slim with fats) type that combines high ectomorphic and endomorphic components.
This type of ectomorphs can not afford to train without dieting. Most of them are characterized by low blood sugar and sometimes low blood pressure. They are less sensitive to insulin and have difficulties gaining fats. Cortisol affects them very badly. Absolute Ectomorphs must have at least four main meals a day. During the other time of the day they dan add protein and calorie drinks and snacks to their diet. It is recommended to use fast digestible protein source in the first half of the day – meat, whey protein and slow digestible protein sources for the last two meals – egg, casein, but not soy, because it contains estrogens.
Recommended diet for Absolute Ectomorphs:
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