The sad thing about ectomorph bodybuilding is that building muscle is a serious chore. This, like life, has a flip side to it. If done correctly, an ectomorph can have pizza, build muscle and retain a six pack!
The study of somatotypes or different body shapes, isn’t new. Some of us are thin and lanky, others are athletic and muscular and further still, some are short and stocky. The endomorph is your lean and lanky guy or girl. Usual traits for an endomorph are thin joints, little muscle mass and hardly any fat. They are the skinny people who just can’t seem to put on weight, no matter how hard they try. If you belong to this body type, read on.
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Like everything else, ectomorphs also have to have certain goals. Do you want to pack on a few pounds i.e. muscle gain? Or do you want to lose a bit of fat? Most ectomorph’s aren’t concerned with fat loss so I am primarily going to focus on muscle building as the training and nutrition for the ectomorph is quite unique.
- Fat Loss for ectomorphs
There are some odd souls however, who would want to lose fat. For them, just eat normally. Don’t change the amount of calories or portions or anything of that sort. Just change the macronutrients. Up your protein intake and proportionately reduce your carb intake. You will lose weight. Now isn’t that one of the shortest and sweetest ectomorph bodybuilding tips you’ve heard?
- Muscle building for ectomorphs
Now this is where it gets tough. Because the ectomorph’s body is wired to have a crazy metabolism, the energy to just sustain the body often comes from muscle mass. This isn’t to say that the objective to gain muscle as an ectomorph is a lost one. Quite the contrary! The ectomorph’s body is hard-wired for the perfect nutrient partitioning, which in simpler terms just means that most of the nutrients go to the muscle, which brings me to the most important point to build muscle.
As an ectomorph, you need to eat enough calories. This is perhaps a simple rule, but often neglected or done half heartedly. You need to ensure you are in a surplus of calories, meaning you eat more than your body burns, everyday. If this means you have to have more cheat meals, by all all means go for it. Consider yourself lucky. You can still have pizza and stay relatively lean!
- Training for ectomorphs
An ectomorph bodybuilding routine is literally the most fun you guys will have, because training for the ectomorph doesn’t need 5 different variations for the same body part. Your goal is still to build the most amount of muscle, so the best bang for your buck you will get by indulging in full body movements like the bench press, clean and jerk, squat, the overhead press and the deadlift.
Compound movements are needed for the simple reason that they affect more areas. A leg press will only, for example, build the quadriceps and hamstrings as opposed to the squat, which will build your lats, lower back, forearms, traps, rear delts, core, abs, not to mention the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes as well! Now that’s what I call a bang-for-your-buck exercise! Conclusively, the answer to ‘what’s the best workout for an ectomorph?’ is basically a mixture of the compound exercises listed above.
- Nutrition for ectomorphs
The gym is the fun part. Dieting down, or the ectomorph bodybuilding diet and thus consuming a constant barrage of food, is challenging. Realistically speaking you should aim for 5-6 meals in a day, spaced out every 3 hours. Again this doesn’t mean that you’ll be having 5-6 meals of boiled chicken breast and broccoli. Play around with your macros and who knows. You might even find a way to fit a cupcake in! Again the important thing to stress here is that the amount of calories needed per day, is going to make or break your muscle and/or weight gain. Bulking for ectomorphs seems like an impossible notion, only because it is mostly done incorrectly.
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- Supplementation for ectomorphs
So now that you understand why it is important to constantly intake food, you should also realistically realize it’s difficult, especially for office going folks, to have 6 solid meals. The flexibility of a mass gainer or a weight gainer shake not only introduces liquid meals, which are easier to digest, but can also quench your sweet cravings. Besides a mass gainer, another star addition to the ectomorph workout plans is creatine. Creatine will not only cause you to get stronger, but you will also look fuller because of the water that your muscle cells retain. Do remember this that any supplement will only give you an edge. You have got to do the work yourself.