How many Calories
Are you eating enough calories? So many ectomorphs get this wrong, they think they can follow the same diet plan their buddies in the gym are following and that’s why they are not seeing weight gain.
The ectomorph has to eat more per pound of body weight than the average guy. There is some debate on the exact number but here is a good place to start.
The skinny guy should multiply each pound of body-weight by 20-24. So if you weigh 150 lbs. times 20 equals 3,000 calories a day.
This is where you should start, and if you don’t see weight gain at this level than start adding 150 calories a week until you do.
The other part of this equation is the diet break-down. Now most people would limit the carbohydrate intake so the diet based on percentages of calories a day would be 45% protein 30% carbs and 25% fat. Because the average guy is scared that carbohydrates will put on body fat.
The ectomorph doesn’t have to worry about that because of a high metabolic rate. So for the ectomorph I would start with a 40% protein 40% carbs and 20% fat. This should aid in packing on weight and muscle.
You can always make adjustments to this as you see how your body responds.
How much sleep is right
Too many weight lifters under estimate the importance of rest and sleep. They put so much concentration on their training they end up hurting their gains because of lack of rest.
When you are sleeping your system releases natural growth hormones that help build and repair muscle fibers that get broken down during your workout.
Without this very important process that only happens when resting, the less you rest the less you gain.
Of course the other side of the coin is too much sleep. Because an ectomorph has such a high metabolism, it makes it more difficult to gain weight and muscle. Getting a solid 8-10 hours is sufficient rest to help your gains.
Once you start to go over this amount, you risk hurting your gains.
Remember you need to eat a lot of calories a day and you need to eat often. When we are sleeping we are not eating. If you sleep too long your body will start needing fuel to survive, remember that fast metabolic rate?
While you are over sleeping, that is more than 10 hours your body is looking for energy to keep going and muscle mass is what it is going after.
So you have to maintain a healthy balance between calorie intake and resting to make sure you are getting the optimal muscle building process.
Full body workout
Something that happens far too often for ectomorphs is following a workout that just doesn’t address the needs of a skinny guy.
The ectomorph will not benefit from a workout you find most bodybuilders doing these days. It’s not their fault they just don’t know any better.
They go to the gym and follow what ever workout their buddies are doing. They see their friends packing on muscle each week and they can’t figure out why when they look in the mirror after months of training they see the same body they had when they started.
This is what makes most skinny guys give up, they believe that they just can’t gain muscle, end of story.
But it is just a matter of using the right exercises in combination with the right amount of reps and sets. You see, an ectomorph body type responds to compound exercises and a full body workout.
Compound exercises allow you to get the most joints and muscle groups to work at the time. An example of a compound exercise is the squat. Think of all the joints and muscles involved when doing a squat.
You have your hips, knees, and ankles involved, and at the same time your quads, glutes, back, hamstrings, and core are involved, and that is not even counting all the small stabilizing muscles that are connected.These are the types of exercises that an ectomorph thrives on. When you do a full body routine with compound exercises you will start to see muscle gain.
Less is More
What do we mean by less is more? Well this is a very important point to understand if you are a skinny guy. Because just like the skinny guy who is doing the wrong exercises by following his buddies he is also working out as long as they do.
The problem is the ectomorph frame is not designed for a lot of stress. Your buddies might be putting in 2 or more hours during a workout and they might be doing this 4-5 times a week.
This is a disaster for the skinny guy. Because your frame and bone structure is smaller and frailer the amount of stress this type of workout will put on your body will assist in hurting not helping in any kind of muscle gain.
That’s why for the skinny guy less is more. Your body will thrive on a 45 minute routine doing a full body workout with compound exercises like stated above 3 times a week.
Your rest periods between sets should also be longer than the average guy. If you have only been resting for 30 seconds between sets while trying to keep up with your buddies you have probably noticed that you can’t keep up with the rep level.
Rest longer and make sure you are getting between 7-10 reps on each exercise for 3-4 sets.
Forget about what your friends are doing and don’t think of it as some kind of competition. You have to come to terms with your body type, when you do and start working out according to your body type you will quickly see gains.
And isn’t that really what you want. And think of it this way, how great is going to be when you are gaining muscle quickly and working out half as much as your friends. Soon they are going to becoming to you for advice on muscle building, and working out how sweet is that?