Can Ectomorphs Build Big Arms?

| by Truth Seeker |


The mad ecto is back again with yet another post filled with brutal honesty. Today, I’ll focus on arm size – one of the many topics that the muscle scholars have corrupted to maximally monetize hypertrophy.

Can ectomorphs build big arms? Technically, yes. Ectomorphs with long muscle bellies have the potential to sculpt a respectable set of biceps and triceps. Unfortunately, ectos who don’t meet those specifications will never fully fulfill that goal, at least not naturally, because there isn’t much muscle to grow in the first place.

Short Muscles Suck for Growth

A short biceps creates a very perceivable gap near the elbow joint. The more fingers that you can park there, the worse you have it. Many professors will spam you with weird exercises designed to fill the void, but you shouldn’t trust them because they have a monetary and physiological incentive to play with your anguished ecto soul.

They want you to be a believer in the fake world because the pyramid scheme works only when everyone is convinced that there’s a solution/hack for everything. Well, sometimes there isn’t one.

How common are long muscle bellies among ectos?

I don’t have statistical data other than my observations over the years, but I’ve seldom seen a pure ectomorph with long biceps. More often than not, ectomorphs have extra lengthy biceps tendons and long bones. The combination results in a poor foundation for further arm construction.

But the revelation extends further – even steroids cannot entirely revert this problem because they only amplify what’s already without changing one’s basic structure.

A good example would be the IFBB pro King Kamali. He has super short biceps making his arms look small even though he’s massive. The reason for that effect is the poor muscle to tendon ratio. At the end of the day, only muscle tissue can grow; tendons are forever.

Biceps Tears Tell It All

Ruptures of the arm flexors illustrate this point very vividly. When a guy tears a biceps, the shape and length of the muscle are rarely the same even after a surgery. In most cases, the muscle is shorter and consequently smaller than before.

Ultra-long tendons give you that post-surgery condition by default and limit the potential for growth exponentially. The main reason why men like Sergio Oliva and Larry Scott had such impressive arms was neither training nor nutrition – they had incredible insertions and were on gear. End of story. End of sentence. End of the universe.

But they told me that short biceps are good for the “peak”?

Shorter biceps “peak” more easily, but let’s be honest for a second – who cares about biceps peaks? What would you rather have? Full arms inserting straight into the elbow while looking solid and majestic in relaxed positions or short biceps that resemble some genetically modified apple when you flex them?

The sellers of hope rely on images of roided men in their prime (e.g., Albert Beckles) to illustrate what a man can achieve even if he has inferior insertions from a bodybuilding perspective. Ironically, most naïve ectos contemplating the examples with love lack the genetic makeup and the chemical support required to join the elite forces. The worship fuels a pipe dream.

How Should an Ectomorph Train His Arms?

I’ll tell you. Just buy my 10-page “book” “How to Become an Alpha Ecto” for USD 45 and you will discover how to transform into a gazelle on top of the food chain. Normally, the book is USD 95, but since I love you so much, I will make an exception for you. Hurry up! The offer is limited.

That’s a joke of course, but I did it to address a wrong belief that many ectos share as a result of persistent brainwashing stimulated by the muscle mafia.

The unenlightened ectomorphs think that someone out there, a hypertrophy prophet to be precise, has a miracle program that can address the specific struggles that Mr.ThinBones faces.

That miraculous blueprint does not exist because the main culprit (small bones and long tendons) cannot be “fixed” through any activity except for reincarnation.

Based on this axiom, an ectomorph can and should train his arms anyway he wants. That’s right. You can select a program according to your preferences while completely ignoring the fact that you are an ecto. Routines targeting ectomorphs specifically are doing it with a marketing perspective in mind.

What is “ectomorphism” really?

To avoid getting played by the sellers of hope of, one has to understand what an ectomorph really is. The shortest explanation is as follows – a man who has slim bones. That’s it. Nothing more nothing less. Ectomorphs are not some mythical creatures that demand special care and a 10-page scientific essay to be described. If your joints are smaller than average, you are an ectomorph and there’s that.

What are small bones?

In the graph below, you see the results of a research published in a technical report entitled: 1995 Matched Anthropometric Database of U.S. Marine Corps Personnel: Summary Statistics.

The conclusion is that 50% of the 4447 males who took part in the study have a wrist circumference smaller than 6.87 inches (17.45cm).

Note: A percentile means “percentages below”. Thus, the people who fall in the 99 percentile form the top 1%.

In this case, 6.87 inches is the cutoff point. Chances are that if your wrists are smaller than 6.87 inches, you are an ectomorph.

Personally, my wrists are very slim at around 6.25 inches. I just looked at my watch bracelet. I have to use the hole before the last one or else the timepiece slides around. This property coincides with the results from the study – 6.25-inch wrists were some of the smallest among the participants.

Who cares?

This is the part of the article where I am expected to tell you that you shouldn’t worry about similar issues…that you should be happy with what you have. But I am not going to do that or at least not in the anticipated manner.

Let’s be honest for a second. Would I like to have a thicker, manlier skeleton? The answer is yes. Saying otherwise is similar to choosing no boobs over medium, juicy boobs [the best kind].

I’ve been blessed with elite genetics overall, but they’re poor when it comes to natural muscular growth. And while a man should be thankful for the “extras” that he has received in life, a healthy acknowledgment of your weaknesses is necessary to acquire a realistic grasp of the mechanisms at place.

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  1. Brett

    Bro you writing a new article everyday, get a girlfriend bro ?

    On a serious note in a article done a few days ago another reader and me had the exact same upper arm and forearm measurements as well as the same wrist size. Genetics rule.

    Just a question when you put your fingers between your bicep incertion and elbow its supposed to be with wrists supinated right? Not pronated.

    Fitting two fingers + in is high insertions and 1 is low insertions, I assume.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Yes, supinated like the guy in the photo.

      Yes. No gf but writing keeps me busy from bad thoughts.

      Thanks for the support man.

      1. Rene

        Hello, brah.

        I also have small wrist 6,2 inch/16cm). My forearms are long and skinny, but I am not sure if I am an ectomorph.

        Most people tells me that i look like a Meso/endomorph type.

        The thing is, I gain fat pretty easy and when I do it, the first thing I feel, are my pants becoming tight on ass and legs.

        I have good genetics on calves(most people envy me)and it’s hard for me to have “chicken legs”, but my arms look small (even when i am fat as fuck)

        I am 174cm height. Perhaps you can tell me your opinion about my body type. If need more informations, I will provide that

      2. Andy

        Truth Seeker, my writ size is 15 cm on my right arm and 15.5 cm on my left. Whats the maximum arm size do you think I can get in inches?

  2. Glove

    I don´t think the problem is “the gap near the elbow joint”. Whether somebody have a peaky biceps or not. The problem is in the brain of those who even take attention of these absolutely unimportant matters.
    Brutal honesty? Life is brutal when my doctor tells me that I have cancer and will die in 6 weeks.
    Two words are important in this article: who cares?

    1. TheFinisher

      You don’t care because you’ve never had big arms.

        1. TheFinisher

          Fool? says Glove who does low volume. I love your stupid comments.

          1. Glove

            Fini, what happened today? Beaten up by a girl? Or did somebody take away your snack bread?

          2. TheFinisher

            Great comeback. So why didn’t you ever get big? was it your ‘genes? lol

  3. mattsk1

    Loaded carries seemed to be helped my arms. I remember I was soo anxious about getting late to class in highschool I would carry all my books for the day with me to class every day my whole time in high school. My arms were not huge but I worked the biceps peak. I have kept this shape of my arms as I got older and bigger. I also did alot of push ups and dips. I went to 135lb as a fresman to 165lb as a senior.

  4. Baron2Duke

    The database of US Marines that NattyOrNot cited is very interesting to illustrate one’s own potential for muscle gains:

    My ankle circumference is 8,86 inches (~55th percentile), while my wrist circumference is ‘only’ 6,69 inches (~30th percentile). I believe this stops my fairy-tale expectations to ever have truly massive guns, and confirms Natty’s article from a long time ago that one human being can have different muscle potential in lower and upper body.

    My biceps (12,41 inches) and thighs are both at only ~20th percentile (LoLz), but my ass is at 55th percentile and calves at 75th percentile (more LoLz). I have got compliments from girls for my legs, though. My upper body lags behind because I never did upper body work when younger, and already now my muscles are well-defined yet small. I believe to still have some potential for my arms and shoulders?

    What is even funnier is that my head measurements are mostly in a 5-10th percentile range (LoLz again), but my neck circumference is at ~40th. Good ol’ neck rolls on the floor and neck bridging makes obvious wonders.

  5. TheFinisher

    If you have a ‘gap’ then do NOT use preacher curls. Stick with concentration curls.

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