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Grow Ectomorph, Grow!

Ectomorphs don't usually have great strength or endurance. They are the

By: Ryan Mclane

Okay, you may think that the title sounds like some sort of Pokemon commercial. But I say that with all seriousness. I am an Ectomorph. I dedicated this article to helping Ectomorphs grow muscle. You could probably assume that, because I didn't write any articles dealing with Endomorph or Mesomorphs. Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph are all body types. You could be categorized as any one of the three. How do I know what I am, and how do I train to my body type? Well, right now, all I am focusing on is Ectomorph, but I plan to write about all of them in the future. If you want to know right now, read below. If you aren't an Ectomorph, I will show you where to go. Here are the different body types and how to recognize them:

Ectomorph: Short upper body, long arms/legs, long/narrow feet and hands, very little fat, narrow chest and shoulders, long, thin muscles. Ectomorphs are very hard gainers. I will get into that later.

Endomorph: "Soft Looking", usually not ripped at all. Round face, short neck, wide hips, heavy fat storage.

Mesomorph: Large chest, long torso, solid muscle structure, and great strength. Mesomorphs are lucky, because they easily convert food into muscle.

At first, I had no clue what I was, but ask your family if you fit into those categories, and they could tell you about yourself, because it is easier for them to recognize. If you aren't an Ectomorph, there are a few other pages on body type. Cynthia Oosting has one, and if you scroll to the bottom of the page, they will have a list of 3 similar articles.

You are not necessarily just an Ectomorph. In fact, you are a combination of both. If you have more qualities in Ectomorph and Mesomorph than you do in Ectomorph, than you are an Ecto-Mesomorph. The way I do it, I take and I mark down all the categories up there that fit my body. It might look something like this:

Ectomorph: //////
Endomorph: //
Mesomorph: /

That way you find out what combination you have. But mostly all of the professional bodybuilders are a combination of _____-Mesomorph, because they can gain easily because they are pro-trainers now.

More About Ectomorphs:
Ectomorphs don't usually have great strength or endurance. They are the "Skinny" kids, or the "Twerps". If you have continued this article and you realize that this is you, don't be discouraged at all! Many famous bodybuilders, like Frank Zane, and Flex Wheeler are Ectomorphic. Don't think that because you are Ectomorphic, your hopes on ever winning a Mr. Olympia are shattered. An Ectomorph has as much chance of winning as anyone else does, he/she just has to work harder. The main way an Ectomorph should train should be very heavy and he should focus on gaining muscle mass, not tone! Do a lot of power movements. EAT! That is the most important thing for an Ectomorph to do. Take in more calories than you are used to. Don't just pig out on empty-calorie foods, like potato chips, etc. I mean, you can if you want to put on some weight, but you should focus on heavy foods, like meats, etc. Just to warn you, before you read on; you will have to work hard, and the training I will give you will feel crazy at first. Do you know what I have to say to that? Suck it up, and don't be a pansy! I'm sick of hearing, "I don't want to overtrain!" because that is loser talk. Call me a psycho if you want, but if I am ever sore the next day, I take it as a sign that I didn't eat enough the day before, so be ready!

EATING:
Ahhh… Eating is something that I love to do. Most Ectomorphs are born skinny, and therefore they don't eat much. That or they have a very fast metabolism. If you fit into one of those categories, which, if you are skinny, you would have to, you need to eat more. I try to pack on 2-300 grams of protein a day. 75 grams in the morning, 75 at lunch, 17 for snack, 100 for dinner, and whatever extra after that. I eat just about anything in sight. You have to Eat to Grow. I don't care how many supplements you take, if you don't eat, you won't grow (at least from my experience). I took the serving size of creatine every day for a few weeks, then gave up because I didn't make any, let me say again, ANY, gains at all. I didn't eat enough protein, and all I focused on was supplementing. Then I started to just eat till I was ready to puke, and when I settled down a little, I ate some more. I paid no attention to fat, because you are an Ectomorph, and you will just lose it back later. Eat, Eat, and Eat!

The importance of eating is very underrated. Nowadays, teens just want to take supplements, etc. to get very good results. In my mind, eating is much more important than supplementing. I asked a bodybuilder what he thought about creatine one time, and he said, "I don't". I said, "So you don't take it?" Then he said, "I eat my food, I don't drink it." All that bodybuilder really takes is vitamins. All his other nutrients come from food. He eats steak 3 times a day, because it has creatine in it. You see, you have to eat to get big, and not everybody knows that.

Cottage Cheese- There is a Great supply of protein, a ton in every serving.
Eggs- Best Protein (In food, not powder) that your body can use. I think your body uses like 94% of its protein. I know it is in the 90%, though.
Protein Powder- I would suggest buying Whey Protein, because you can use more of whey than you can of egg protein. They sell it here at Bodybuilding.com.
Yogurt/Dairy Products- most any yogurt, milk, cheeses, or any dairy product for that matter contains high protein counts.
Meat/Nuts- Meats, like Steak, fish poultry, etc. Also nuts, and peanut butter.
Anything With Carbs-Carbs are essential, because that is what your body burns off first, and if that is what your body is burning, then you can hold in all the protein and fats. I like to eat fruit, because of the sugar content. Bananas, grapes, etc. I heard that bananas help you bulk up, because of certain vitamins in them, but I am not sure.

Homemade Weight Gainer:
This is a weight gainer shake I use to bulk up.

16 oz. Milk (any kind)
3 oz. Corn oil
5 oz. Water
15 tbsp. Protein Powder (3/4 cup)
4 eggs (I put them in raw, but I am taking a chance of getting Salmonella. I would not suggest doing this if you are worried about your health. I would suggest cooking them, then dealing with egg choppings in your drink. Though I am going to start cooking my eggs, because I was just being stupid when I didn't. And don't go watch Rocky and think that it's safe, either.)
6 tsp. Lecithin granules (My protein powder has these in it. I have the EAS Simply WHEY kind.) Flavoring (I just put in some chocolate syrup, because my protein powder has chocolate flavoring.)

This has about 68-70 grams of protein in it, and a lot of calories. It is great for putting on weight!

When you eat this, I usually don't have room for much more food. I usually eat a bowl of cottage cheese, a yogurt, and a banana or two after one of these. The food goes straight to your stomach, and fills you up right away.

When you figure out how to put on weight, the next step of course, is training!

Training:
Training is the next most important thing in my eyes. If you don't eat, your training is a total waste. I usually train to no higher than 7 or 8 reps and I do a few power exercises in my workout. Believe me, my muscles did not grow at all, unless I did some sort of mass training program. I have made a list of good mass training programs for a specific body part:

  • Chest: Heavy Barbell Bench Presses- 3x 6, 4, 4 reps
  • Back: Deadlifts- 3x 6, 4, 4 reps
  • Shoulders: Heavy Upright Rows, and Power Clean and Presses- 3x 6, 4, 4 reps
  • Arms: Standing Triceps Presses- 3x 6, 4, 4 reps
  • Legs: SQUATS! The main exercise in bodybuilding. These are essential even for your leg workout.
    To do them with power, do heavy squats 3x for 6, 4, 4 reps. these don't replace normal squats in your workout.
This helps to build mass in areas where Ectomorphs are skinny, which would be mostly all areas! It seems through my experience that my legs are the fastest growing and strengthening muscle group in my body. I'm telling you, it's from all those squats!

The main exercises are all that matters while building mass in an Ectomorph (until you get more advanced, when you build a couple of inches onto those arms). I suggest the following:

Chest Day:
Bench Presses (Flat, Incline, Decline)
Flyes (Flat, Incline Decline)
Pullovers (For Serratus)

Back:
Chins
Pull downs
Rows (Barbell, Dumbbell, and 1 arm dumbbell)
Deadlifts
Hyperextensions
Good Mornings

Legs:
Squats (All Variations)
Leg Press
Leg Curl/Extension
Lunges
Deadlifts (SL and Regular)

Arms:
Curls (all variations)
Triceps Kickbacks
Triceps Presses
Triceps Extensions
Dips

Shoulders/Traps:
Upright Rows
Military Press
Clean and Press
Shrugs (Dumbbell, Barbell)
Arnold Presses
Dumbbell Presses
Front Raises, Lateral Raises, and Rear Lateral Raises.

Make sure to do all the variations to these, like for instance, the bench press. Do incline, decline, and flat bench presses to really pack on slabs of muscle.

The amount you train doesn't matter. Well, to a certain degree. If you train 4 time a week, and another does 5, it doesn't make a difference, really. To get the most out of your workout, focus on every rep, and lift very intensely! That is what makes you sweat. Feel the burn.

Don't do any cardio/Aerobic activity, either. This causes you to burn calories that you need to help gain weight. Try not to do too much, because Ectomorphs don't usually have a problem losing weight. That's bad, because that hard earned weight will slip right out from under you.

Ectomorph Abdominal Training:
I made a special section in this article for abdominal training for the Ectomorph. If you want to know about training your abs, you could read my article, "Abs done right". The way an Ectomorph should train abs is different from the way an Endomorph should train them, and a Mesomorph, etc. The abs are a muscle group, like all the others, and an Ectomorph should train them like one. An Ectomorph should build mass in the abdominal area to get them to fit in with the rest of their body. But, sometimes I see skinny kids that obviously don't work out heavy, but they have a six-pack because they are so skinny. That is good, because it fits in with their body. Are you catching what I am saying here? If I had Huge, bulging muscles all over my body, and then a flat waistline, with my abs not really bulging at all, it would look kind of silly. You want those curves on each ab muscle to be deep and ripped. If you are overweight, and have massive muscles, like Nasser El Sonbaty, you don't really want to build mass, you want to build definition, right. But nobody wants big abs, but they do want noticeable abs. So, for an Ectomorph, I would do a lot of weighted abs training. Again, if you need help with training your abs, go to my abs page, or go to Big Cat's, "Training the midsection".

Supplementing:
Another fascinating subject. What should I supplement with? I'm skinny, and I want big muscles. It seems so easy, buy muscle gainers. Well, I think you should supplement. Supplementing helps build muscles, etc. If you have a problem with your body, there is a supplement for you. I have made a list of good supplements, etc. for a teen Ectomorph to take.

Creatine- how could I say no? Creatine is probably the most popular supplement on the market today. I don't take much Creatine, however. In my mind, it is sort of like cheating. Don't send me hate mail, because that's just my opinion. If you want to take Creatine, it is a good supplement to take. It is safe, effective, but tastes gritty when you drink it. If you want easy muscle gain, Creatine is the supplement for you.

Methoxy Products- these are great supplements. Methoxy and Ecdysterone are probably up with, if not more effective than Creatine. I take small amounts of Methoxy Factor HP. It seems to help a little bit, but I don't take the full servings, so it would probably help you if you wanted to take it.

Glutamine- a very good supplement to take, it improves your immune system, and speeds up your metabolism. It's been said to help you keep the muscle you have gained, and not lose it while trying to lose weight, but try it out yourself.

Protein Powder- Probably My favorite Supplement. I can get an easy 20-40 grams of protein per drink I have. It is an all around, safe, effective way to bulk up and gain muscle. Try to stick with 100% whey protein, as it has a very useable amount of protein.

Multivitamin/Multimineral- this is a very effective and vital supplement to take. When you sweat, you sweat off Vitamins and Minerals, and these replenish them for you. When you see a Centrum commercial, it says, "From A to Zinc", and that is pretty true. They contain just about every vitamin/mineral you can think of. Most important of Vitamins/Minerals to take, in my mind, are:

Vitamins A, E, C, B complex- they are just Vital to have as a bodybuilder. A and E are powerful antioxidants, C can be found in orange juice, and is a powerful antioxidant, and it helps in a lot of major health concerns, and B complex is a mixture of a lot of different Vitamins (from what I have seen).

Zinc- Zinc is one of the best minerals to take. It improves your protein synthesis, and helps in the following conditions:

Acrodermatitis enteropathica
Celiac disease (for deficiency)
Common cold/sore throat (as lozenges)
Diarrhea (prevention in malnourished children)
Infertility (male) (for deficiency)
Minor injuries (for deficiency)
Night blindness (for deficiency)
Wilson's disease
Wound healing (oral and topical)
Anorexia nervosa
Cold sores (topical)
Crohn's disease
HIV support
Infection
Injuries (minor) (topical for skin wounds)
Liver cirrhosis (for deficiency)
Peptic ulcer
Sinus congestion (due to common cold)
Acne
Pregnancy support
Athletic performance
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (PBH)
Cystic fibrosis
Dermatitis Herpetiformis (for deficiency)
Diarrhea
Down's syndrome
Ear infections (recurrent)
Gastritis
Gestational Hypertension
Hypoglycemia
Hypothyroidism
Immune function
Macular degeneration
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Osteoporosis
Preeclampsia
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sickle cell anemia

Zinc has a negative side effect with somewhat of a positive outcome. Zinc reduces your body's ability to utilize copper. If you have pretty good health, I would supplement with copper as well as Zinc. Since it interferes with copper utilization, it helps in Wilson's Disease.

*All the information about Vitamin C and Zinc came from GNC's Website, www.gnc.com.

Those are probably the most important supplements for a teen to take. There are many other things to take for easy protein, like protein bars, meal replacement powders, and Myoplex shakes. A lot of good sources for those supplements/minerals/Vitamins are meat, fish, poultry, fowl, and dairy.

Losing the weight:
Okay, so you want to look good during the summer, showing off that six-pack. Well, losing the weight shouldn't be that hard, since Ectomorphs naturally don't carry that amount of fat as Endomorphs. Mesomorphs don't really gain much weight, as they turn their food into muscle very easily. I would not recommend losing more than 2-2.5 lbs. of fat per week. Look at my "Abs done Right" page for more info.

Okay, so let's go over the fundamentals of building a great body for an Ectomorph.

  • (1) EAT- Eating is the most important thing for an Ectomorph, as they gain muscle the hardest.
  • (2) Train Heavy- Heavy training helps Build mass onto those skinny little arms of yours, and
  • (3) Supplement wisely- Don't take supplements that don't help you, because you are just wasting your money.
Thank you and I hope that helped,

Grow Ectomorph, Grow!

Back To Ryan Mclane's Main Page

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