|BodybuildingPro.com Guide to Ectomorph
BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Advanced Training Tips BodybuildingPro.com Guide to Ectomorph
for the Ectomorph
Sometimes putting on size is hard to do. The body type which is
classed as having the hardest time putting on muscle mass is the
body type known as "the ectomorph" (or thoracic). To begin this
article, let's review the definition of the ectomorph:
Ectomorph: The ectomorph is the extreme somatotype. An
ectomorph is characterized smalls bones and very little muscle
mass. An ectomorph will have a very steep angle in his or her
thorax, and the ribs are closer together. Ectomorphs are generally
better endurance athletes than bodybuilders by nature, and may
excel in cross country running. That is not to say an ectomorph
cannot take part in bodybuilding. It is very possible to achieve great gains in mass and strength regardless of being an ectomorph.
If you don't already notice, it is the hardest, absolutely most
difficult task for the ectomorph to gain muscle size, when compared
to the endomorph or mesomorph body types. However, once the muscle
mass has been developed, no matter how long the struggle to get to
that level, the results are sometimes much more impressive than
other body types. Thanks to the small frame structure of the
ectomorph, less muscle tends to look like more. Some classic, and
very huge bodybuilders in the past have been known to be ectomorph.
Frank Zane for one, and even Arnold Schwarzenneger at one point in
his life. Although once he became an adult, he realized that he has the frame and joint structure of an ectomorph with the ability to gain muscle mass of a mesomorph, making him an ecto-mesomorph. Below, several training and nutrition tips are listed
which should help the ectomorph to put on muscle mass and quickly
and effectively as possible:
Stick with Basic Movements, and Lift Heavy!
The ectomorph will need to lift heavy weights and stick with basic
movements for each body part to achieve the greatest amount of
muscular development and growth hormone release. The table below
illustrates a list of body parts and the basic exercises which
should be performed for each
Muscle Group Specific Exercises
- Stiff Legged Deadlifts
- Donkey Calf Raises
- Dumbbell or Barbell Incline Bench Press
- Barbell Rows
- T-Bar Rows
- Dumbbell Presses or Military Press
- Barbell Curls
- Seated Incline Curls
- Close Grip Bench Press
- Skull Crushers
Rest Between Sets
Rest between sets for the ectomorph should be increased to a level
slightly higher than their mesomorphic or endormorphic
counterparts. Intensity is very important in all training, and
there are two great ways to accomplish this, as illustrated
(1) Training with heavier weights with longer rest periods between
sets. (2) Training with shorter rest periods, but with lighter
Because intensity is so important for the ectomorph, longer rest
periods and heavier weights lifted during each set would be the way
to go, as described in number (1) above.
Rest Between Workouts
Ectomorphs should allow a minimum of 72 hours between training the
same body part. Also, ectomorphs should decide for themselves if
they have rested enough before working the same body part again. If
you feel sore, do not workout the sore body part that day. Wait
until you are fully recovered before hitting the same body
Ectomorphs should get around 8 hours of sleep per night. Because
the metabolism of the ectomorph is so fast, many calories will be
burned during those hours sleeping, and it is important not to
sleep to long, as the body will need to get those calories
somewhere for energy, and will begin to take them from muscle
tissue if no other source is available.
EATING - Probably the Most Important Thing for the
Ectomorph Nutrition is probably the most important part of training
for anyone, ectomorphs included. Ectomorphs need to learn how to
eat the right kinds of food, but most importantly, they need to
learn how to eat enough, and during the right intervals. Ectomorphs
need to eat a lot. Simple enough right? You would be surprised just
how few ectomorphs eat enough to gain the muscle mass they are
looking for. You should structure your meal plan in the way listed
(1) Eat six small meals per day. (2) Eat 1 - 1.5 grams of protein
per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 150
pounds, you would want to eat 150 - 225 grams of protein per day.
(3) Keep protein intake to no more than 25% of your total daily
intake or calories. (4) Have a protein or weight gain shake 90
minutes before bedtime. (5) Calories directly from carbohydrates
should make up approximately 50 - 60% of your total daily intake.
(6) Keep your fat intake to no more than 20% of your total daily caloric intake.
So as you can see from above, it may be slightly more difficult
for the ectomorph to gain muscle mass than his or her mesomorphic
or endomorphic counterparts, but with a lot of hard and smart
training, and the appropriate emphasis on diet, you will be able to
see some great gains very quickly. Good luck!
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