Gaining Muscle Mass as an Ectomorph?

Ectomorphs are classified as skinny guys who can’t build muscle no matter what. They lift weights just as hard as anybody else and yet nothing happens. Welcome to the club!

Why is it so hard for ectomorphs to gain muscle?

1.Gaining muscle is hard for everybody

Gaining real contractile muscle tissue is hard for all people. The body does not want to add muscle just for the fun of it. It’s a problem that every bodybuilder faces, not just the ectos.

2.Short muscles, long tendons

Individuals who have short muscles and long tendons have a smaller growth potential because there isn’t that much muscle mass in the first place.


A good example would be the calves – a muscle group that ectomorphs usually struggle with due to long tendons and short muscle bellies.

3.Small, thin bones

Most ectomorphs are tall and thin people. Their bone structure is light compared to the “gifted” bodybuilders. People with smaller bones tend to have naturally smaller muscles too. Of course, this issue is more apparent in natural bodybuilding.

4.Training like a professional bodybuilder

If you are training like an IFBB pro, you are doomed to fail as a natural bodybuilder.

How should ectomorphs train?

There are no secret routines for ectomorphs. Obviously, if you are skinny, you should focus on gaining weight and getting stronger, but the process is the same for all types.

In general, stay away from long routines and invest in the essentials. Don’t do stupid exercises.  Also, avoid these bodybuilding mistakes.

How many calories?

Many ectomorphs think they are eating a lot when all they consume during the day is a snack and some strawberries. For most skinny people, about 2500-3000 kcal a day will be more than enough to gain weight.

Even if you are an ectomorph, avoid the ultra high-calorie diets such as GOMAD unless you want to become a fatso. You can’t build more muscle by overeating. The excess energy is always stored as body fat.

Are ectomorphs doomed?

Not really. Ectomorphs just have smaller frames. You can still build an aesthetic physique – just look at Denis Minin.

Should ectomorphs squat?

Of course, but not because they are ectos. There are no secret training methods for ectomorphs. If somebody is selling you specialized ecto programs, you are getting cooked.

The squat is a compound exercise that builds your legs and back. It also has a great carryover to other exercises such as the deadlift. If you can do it without pain, it’s advisable to squat.

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