This is the ultimate guide for the ectomorph that wishes to gain weight and muscle. Male or females can use this article. If the reader has any questions feel free to text the author @ 732-901-9600.
Personal Experience Being An Ectomorph
This guide to muscle and weight gaining for ectomorphs is written by a person that knows a lot about this subject because I am an ectomorph. Nothing beats first-hand experience when it comes to teaching or educating people on a particular topic.
I feel as an ectomorph that I am better qualified to talk about this subject than a person with endomorph or mesomorph body type. For the record, I am 6 feet tall and weigh 175. I was born in 1973 and resided in New Jersey, started lifting when I was 17. I was tall and skinny so I wanted to put on muscle mass to help my self-esteem. But I quickly learned that putting on muscle mass was difficult.
While some of my friends made quick gains, my gains came slow and small. Because of that, I started to educate myself on how to gain muscle mass and weight. The magazine Muscle Media 2000 was a great source of bodybuilding, diet, supplement, and anabolic steroid information during that time. I soon learned that my body shape was an ectomorph, and I was able to adjust my training. It wasn’t too long before I was making gains. By the time I graduated from Rider University, I could deadlift 405lbs for ten reps. After college, I was able to maintain my muscle mass and strength for years after that.
My years after college was spent creating Proteinfactory.com. The world’s first company to customize protein powder. I have spent the last 20 years increasing my knowledge of supplements. I’m an expert in dietary supplements and formulating them for sports nutrition purposes. I am also an expert in the Code of Federal Regulations for Dietary Supplements 111’s.
What Is An Ectomorph
An ectomorph is a specific type of body shape that a man or woman can have. The ectomorph body type is thin and long. When I explain what an ectomorph is to someone over the phone where a visual cannot be used, I rely on this scenario.
Think of a football team. The wide receivers are your ectomorphs, while the running backs and linebackers are your mesomorphs. Mesomorphs have an easy time gaining muscle and losing body fat. They have the ideal muscular and defined physique. The offensive linemen are the endomorphs. Usually overweight, bulking, no definition, and big thighs.
Ectomorphs have an easy time losing weight but a difficult time gaining weight. Getting cut and vascular is not a problem.
Advantage Of Being An Ectomorph
- Eating many calories without weight gain
- Easy to get a six-pack
- Easy to get vascular and defined
- Deadlifting comes easy
- Leg Press comes easy
- Arm development is somewhat easy
- high endurance
Disadvantages of Being An Ectomorph
- Muscle gains are difficult
- The bench press is difficult due to the length of arms
- Barbell squats are difficult due to the length of legs
- Lifting movements are larger and require more effort
Note: When I use the adjective “difficult,” it means that exercise requires a greater overall movement compared to other exercises. For example, a 6 foot 4 person will have much more area to squat over and length of time compared to a person that is 5 foot 2. The shorter person can execute a squat in 2 seconds versus a taller person that can perform the squat in 4 seconds because their legs are longer, and they are taller.
How Do You Know If You Are An Ectomorph
To know if you are an ectomorph, one can analyze themselves in the mirror. If you are tall and thin, with long limb and narrow shoulders, you’re an ectomorph. If you have a six-pack without even trying, and a lousy bench press, you are an ectomorph.
There is no scientific research or studies that this author is aware of that relates to muscle protein synthesis and body type. It would make a great study to see if an ectomorph needed more protein than an endomorph. Or certain types of food work better for certain body types. Therefore these suggestions are just theory and my experience.
Gaining Muscle Mass
Most of the time, an ectomorph wants to gain weight. Therefore calories should be consumed at a high rate. I prefer eating clean. Some ectomorph mass gaining diets are called “dirty bulk,” which essentially means that you eat whatever one wished. I am not a big fat of that. Ectomorphs should strive to eat clean. Here is a list of foods that ectomorphs should consume.
- beef jerky
- whole eggs
- plant protein
- dietary oils like flax, hemp, and fish
Foods & Ingredients To Avoid
- artificial sweeteners like Splenda, neotame, acesulfame K, and aspartame
- artificial colors (red, yellow 5, and blue 40)
- soy and soy lecithin(can raise estrogen)
- fried foods
- hydrogenate oils
- nitrates (commonly found in processed meats and jerky)
- Processed carbohydrates like white bread and maltodextrin.
Caffeine is one of the biggest no-no’s for ectomorphs whose goals are to gain muscle mass and weight. Caffeine is a drug that, when consumed, increases cortisol. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone. There is a big difference between catabolic vs anabolic. Catabolic hormones promote fat gain and muscle loss, which is the exact opposite of what an ectomorph’s goal is. The goal of an ectomorph is to be anabolic. Anabolic means muscle building. Therefore, to avoid this catabolic response, caffeine should not be consumed. Caffeine is commonly found in pre-workout supplements, energy drinks, and coffee.
Ectomorph Diet Hacks
As an ectomorph, in order to increase muscle mass, you need calories. There are several “hack” foods that can the ectomorph increase his/her calories during the day.
One of these foods is nut butters. Anything like peanut butter, almond, cashew, and many more. The key to the nut butters is that they contain fat, and fat yield more than double the number of calories that protein and carbs do. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of companies that sell nut butters. I suggest trying to go organic, but if not, no biggie, make sure it does not contain artificial ingredients. Always go with plain nut butters when you can.
Ice Cream, Yes, Ice Cream
I use ice cream as my secret weapon. However, not just any ice cream, but ice cream that is made up of ONLY these ingredients.
Milk, Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Egg Yolks, Vanilla Flavor and Vanilla Bean Specks.
The ingredients above are for an ice brand called Blue Bunny ice cream. It contains minimal ingredients, but all the components that an ectomorph wants. Milk is a great source of protein, and egg yolks, a great source of fat.
The only thing else it contains is sugar and flavoring.
500 Calories Sandwich.
First, get some high protein bread
28 grams of protein
Then add some high protein peanut butter.
20 grams of protein
Then add some whey crisps.
Boom, you have yourself a 500 plus high protein sandwich.
Ectomorph Weight Gain Elixir
One of the easiest ways to increase your calories is to get a blender then start tossing in food. Drinking calories if fast and easy. And believe it or not, most of the time it is less expensive.
How To Make The Shake
Get a blender
Add the liquid.
One wants a liquid that contains fat but at the same time, tastes halfway decent. One of the best choices is whole milk. However, many people have problems drinking whole milk because of lactose. Nobody wants terrible gastrointestinal pains all day long. That being said, nut milk and fruit milk come in handy. Lately, I have been using banana milk. But a lot of times, I use almond and a blend of nut milk. Just make sure to stay away from soy milk.
Add Your Protein Powders.
Here is a list of protein powders to use
- Muscle Shake
- German or Wisconsin Whey Protein Isolate
- Micellar Casein
One can use any of these. Put in about 30 grams. Use this protein calculator if you are unsure of how many grams of protein you should have per day.
Add Your Fat
This is a crucial step because it increases the caloric intake drastically. Here are the fats you can add. For each one of these add 3-4 tablespoons. I would try not to go over six tbs total for the oils. But slowing work your way up.
- Hemp Oil. Great source of at but only use if you are making vegetable type drinks, then it works awesome. Add 3-4 tbs. This will give you over 500 calories.
- Flax Oil. 3-4 tbs
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
Note about MCT oil. MCT oil will give most people gastrointestinal problems. I don’t particularly like MCT oil because it lacks nutrients. It has been a fad supplement lately, but MCT oil is not that good of a product. If you want to use it, use only one tbs. If one uses more, you’ll probably be on the toilet.
Add Fruit and Veggies Of Choice
This is a no brainer, and any of these will due. Get creative. If you are not creative, just add some bananas.
Add Ice Cream
I made a recommendation for ice cream above. That is the only kind you should add. Granted, if you find one similar to the minimal ingredients, that is fine as well. But do not start adding ice cream with a thousand different ingredients and artificial sweeteners and colors.
Add Raw Honey
Raw honey is a superfood and contains the nutrients needed for post-workout recovery except for protein. But it is mandatory that you buy RAW honey. Do not buy processed honey from the grocery store because it will not contain the boatload of nutrients that RAW unprocessed honey does. Feel free to add 2-4 tbs.
Creapure Creatine Monohydrate. 1 tsp only once per day.
Try to drink this shake twice a day, along with your regular meals and training.
Ectomorph Workout and Workout Plan
One thing that must be understood is that there are no secret workout plans that will result in steroid-like gains. There are hundreds of so-called bodybuilding experts that try to sell you their bodybuilding workout plans and ectomorph diet schemes. Thousands on Instagram! However, they ALL work! Why? Because they all involve resistance training. The bottom line is resistance training works! It does not matter if youre training one body part once a day or three times a week. It doesn’t matter if you are doing upper body one day and lower body the next. If you train old school, new school, free weights, machines, bodyweight, TRX bands, or group fitness. It does not matter if you’re doing the Richard Simmons workout videotapes from the 80s!
Did you ever wonder WHY there are so many people and so-called training experts selling programs? Because they all stop working. Therefore you have to buy one after the other hoping that this “new” whatever you just bought works. But the only thing that worked was the person that sold it to you’s marketing!! There is no magic all-powerful bodybuilding workout plan. One does not need to buy anything to know how to train. Granted, using correct form is needed, but once you accomplish that, then it is a matter of how frequent you train and with what intensity.
If you do not know how to workout I would suggest buying Dr. Colkers Book called Extreme Muscle Enhancement. It is available on Amazon.com
All of these work:
- Free weights
- TRX band
- Body Weight
It is merely a matter of how often you do it and with what intensity.
One can find some studies that relate to reps and different types of exercises. But eventually, everything stops working, and one must try something else. Everyone hits a plateau, and that is it. It is not like one can continually increase muscle mass because one cannot.
Best Muscle Building Supplements For Ectomorphs
The best supplements for ectomorphs are no different than any typical person looking to increase muscle mass. From the professional athlete to the female wanted to be thicker.
The first is creatine, but one must consume the brand Creapure. Creapure is the highest quality creatine on Earth. Creatine is one of the only supplements proven to increase muscle mass significantly.
To make creatine work better, a person can raise their insulin levels using food and protein powders and then combine creatine with it. For example, a primitive, simple method is to add creatine to Gatorade or Powerade. The glucose and the other sugars in these drinks will cause a rapid spike in insulin levels in the body, creating an anabolic condition in the body and help shuttle the creatine to the muscles. The only drawback is that this spike in insulin will help create more fat cells in the body and will make fat burning more difficult. Therefore I do not recommend this approach. Instead, use natural foods and ingredients like raw honey, protein powder, and grain carbs.
As far as the best supplements for ectomorphs, there is only one, Creapure creatine. After that, all your money should be spent on quality protein powder and food. Forget the testosterone boosters, pre workouts, BCAA’s, magic weight gain pills, or anything else. One will set themselves up for disappointment. Training often and increased quality of food is the key for ectomorphs to gain weight, muscle, and strength.
Mass gainers and weight gainers are marketed to ectomorphs with the promise of helping them gain weight. These products have been around for decades, and they do not work. Most of the mass gainers being sold by supplement companies are nothing more than cheap carbs like maltodextrin, fructose, and dextrose. Then they consist of whey protein concentrate and sometimes even soy protein powder. Then what the supplement company does is make the serving size 100 grams, which is nearly impossible to drink. And if one does drink this much powder, they get massive gastrointestinal problems. Therefore avoid common mass gainers and weight gainers. I have also written an article on mass gainers and weight gainers.
Ectomorph’s and Females
There is absolutely no difference between a female ectomorph and a male ectomorph. Both need to follow this guide to see results. However, the one exception and disadvantage to females is testosterone levels. Females obviously have lower testosterone than males making it harder for them to gain muscle and easier for them to gain fat. Therefore training and diet are even more important. In addition, females should stay away from foods and supp[lements that could increase estrogen.
Things Female Ectomorphs Should Avoid
- soy food and soy protein (found in protein bars, baked goods, drinks, and protein powders)
- Caffeine. Increases cortisol, a very powerful catabolic hormone.
- Phytosterols. Typically found in supplements and plants
How Many Calories Should An Ectomorph Consume
Technically more than they expend per day. This will cause an increase in weight. However, counting calories, in my opinion, is a waste of time and not realistic to the average person that works a job and has a family. Instead, success comes from simply making sure when meals are consumed; they are consumed to contained quality foods and avoiding the food and ingredients that I have mentioned above.
In conclusion, being an ectomorph ain’t that bad. It has its advantages and disadvantages. Being an ectomorph one must conclude that getting massively huge just ain’t going to happen. Ectomorphs typically need to train much harder and much longer to see results. Building massive quads and calves are nearly impossible, but getting ripped and shredded is totally attainable. Embrace what your genetics are and you’ll be able to fine-tune your body into something special.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.