Since the ectomorph, or hardgainer, struggles to gain weight and muscle mass, their diet and nutrition plan needs to take a different approach to the bog-standard stuff you see in most of the magazines which is really not designed with the ectomorph in mind.
The secret to successful bodybuilding for ectomorphs is in controlling their high metabolic rate through correct nutrition and meal planning and focusing on increasing their protein intake in order to see sustained muscle growth.
Below are 3 diet and nutrition factors that will get you on the road to success of bodybuilding for ectomorphs.
Increase Your Daily Calories
This may come as something of a surprise to you, since I'll bet you already think you eat a lot already, right? You're probably the largest eater amongst your friends, and can eat pretty much anything you want without putting on weight. While this may make some folks jealous, you find it frustrating since you really want some extra weight and muscle mass.
Well, the fact is that you are either still not eating enough, your meal times are irregular, or you are eating the wrong the kinds of foods (or a combination of all 3).
Successful bodybuilding for ectomorphs is all about getting a huge number calories into your system every day … this will help to ensure your metabolism stays consistent, but more importantly keeps regular supplies of nutrients and energy flowing to your muscle tissue which will enable them grow much faster.
As a daily calorie goal, multiply your current body weight in pounds by 24. This will give you a rough estimate of the amount of calories you should be consuming in order to see sustained muscle growth and weight gain.
Increase Your Meal Frequency
Increasing meal frequency is also vitally important. Splitting your meals into 6 per day instead of the usual 3 will again enable your metabolism to stay level and help you to reach your daily calorie goals.
It also ensures that your muscles are adequately prepared and refreshed before and after your ectomorph bodybuilding workouts.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Muscles themselves are protein. So it makes sense to increase your daily protein intake in order to increase your muscle size and quality.
As a rule of thumb, a bodybuilding for ectomorphs diet should aim to consume around 1 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be aiming to get around 150 – 225 grams of protein per day. As much as possible should come from natural sources and nutritious food.
There is so much talk about protein powders and shakes these days, that one could be forgiven for thinking that the only way to succeed is to choose the right powder.
However, successful bodybuilding for ectomorphs can be achieved by not actually using any protein supplements whateversoever. This is more difficult since you will have to consume more foods that are naturally high in protein, like nuts, beans, lean meats, and eggs, but it can be done.
Protein powders are there in order to "supplement" your daily diet, and make protein consumption easier and more convenient. If you do choose to use protein powders to gain muscle mass, I would recommend that you use a natural protein like 100% Whey and opt for a protein isolate rather than a protein concentrate . Isolates have a higher protein content than concentrates, around 90-95% as opposed to 75-80%.