The mainstream blue pill doctrine states as follows:
Ectomorphs have the metabolism of ruby-throated hummingbirds and have to consume 150, 000 calories every day to sustain themselves and build muscle. Those who don’t satisfy this rule are destined to remain tiny and don’t have the right to complain that the demon of atrophy persistently refuses to leave their body. Of course, that’s a misconception.
Just like everybody else, ectomorphs get fat when consuming more calories than they burn. And that caloric number is significantly lower than one may expect. The scholars who claim that ectos are virtually immune to lard accumulation are either unenlightened or allow pollutants in their teachings with an ulterior motive in mind. Surprisingly to some, it is relatively easy for an ectomorph to become a fatso.
Do ectomorphs have fast metabolisms?
Superficial data may lead people to the impression that all ectos are burning calories like crazy, but that isn’t always true.
When I was in high school people were envious of my ability to eat “whatever I want” without getting fat as I was skinny despite my diet consisting of wafers, croissants loaded with chocolate and whatever else was in the fridge.
Some thought that there was an ecto “trick to it”… that my genetics were keeping me slim despite the high consumption of junk food. The reality was vastly different and maybe even disappointing.
My average routine was: school -> skate -> go home -> study/no study. Throughout the day, I would contaminate my body with 2-3 wafers and a croissant. My only healthy meal would be in the evening at home. This corrupt diet plan painted me as someone who can eat bad foods without getting fat, but I wasn’t special.
I was skinny because my overall caloric intake was very low. A waffle here is around 250 calories. Three of those equal 750kcal. A croissant is around 350kcal. The total amounts to 1100kcal. My final meal at home would vary between 300kcal and 500kcal, leaving me with 1400 to 1600kcal for the day.
Once you have this information, it becomes apparent why I weighed 130-140lbs at the time. You would be hard-pressed to find an active teenager who can get fat on that many calories.
My slim ecto bone structure didn’t help much either. It further enhanced my drug addict look.
I know for a fact that many ectos are the same way. Most are just lighted boned individuals who don’t eat nearly as many calories as they think while creating the illusion that a caloric furnace in them is constantly working.
Do ectomorphs have low body fat?
No. Body fat is person-specific. An ectomorph can have a surprisingly high body fat while appearing exceptionally skinny, especially in clothes. I’ve lived through that too.
Shortly after I got into lifting, a woman measured my body fat during a health campaign. The display showed a number that stood with me to this day – 17% BF. Seeing those digits on the screen shocked me. I was naively expecting something silly like 5-7% because I didn’t know any better. I was skinny and thought that the device would show ultra-leanness, but it didn’t because I was skinny-fat – the worst of both worlds.
The same applies to many other ectomorphs. Not every ecto out there is a slim dude with a shredded set of six-pack abs. Skinny-skinny ectomorphs are significantly rarer than people think.
Should an ecto bulk up?
When an ectomorph reports his stats (e.g., 6’1”/185cm@ 140lbs/63.6kg), some gurus have a hard attack and command him to buy one of everything from the local McDonald’s. Nonetheless, bulking up is a mistake when you’re natural because it comes with fat gains that destroy your aesthetics and turn you into a skinny-fat caricature.
An ecto could benefit from a moderate caloric surplus, but full-blown bulking is the quickest road to becoming a fat gut brah. When you add the lagging arms, forearms and calves characterizing the average ecto, you compile a weird human potato that looks simultaneously fat and malnourished.
If you want to bulk up [gain weight], do it sensibly. I’d stay away from low IQ ideas like GOMAD (a gallon of milk a day). Similar hacks develop bad nutritional habits while making you fat and uncomfortable in the process.
Should an ectomorph count calories?
Counting calories helps, but it’s not mandatory to lose or gain weight. The only condition that matters is the presence of a caloric deficit or surplus depending on the goal.
Lyle McDonald’s simplified formula provides a good starting point for maintaining and losing weight:
Maintenance: 14-16 cal/lb or 30-35 cal/kg
Fat loss: 10-12 cal/lb or 22-26 cal/kg
E.g., If you are 150lbs, and you want to maintain your weight, start with 16×150 = 2400kcal.
If you want to lose weight, start with 12×150 = 1800kcal.
Of course, those calculations are just examples. Personal calibration is required as total energy expenditure depends on one’s activity levels.
Should I do more or less cardio?
The hypertrophy experts advise ectomorphs to drop endurance training and focus on lifting weights to save energy. While there’s some logic in this idea, the promotion of ecto specific training templates is sending the wrong message, namely that ectomorphs are people with different needs. That’s not the case. Ectomorphs are just humans with slimmer bones. Hence why the lifting advice pushed on ectomorphs is either a collection of principles that apply to all lifters or a marketing approach based on malignant source code.
If you want to do cardio, do it even if you are an ecto. However, it’s worth noting that cardio is inferior to dieting when “shreds” are the goal as it doesn’t burn that many calories.
Should ectomorphs eat carbs?
A while back I read that “ectomorphs respond well to carbohydrates”, and therefore, we should “eat them freely”. Of course, this is nonsense. Lots of carbs make you bloated and provide too many calories per portion without ever fully satisfying your hunger.
Ectomorphs respond to carbs the way other people do. We do not have secret carb slicers that negate the negative effects of sugar.
As before, it’s better to adjust your plan according to universal guidelines rather than ecto specific rumors.
Should ectos take weight gainers?
Apart from a few situations outside of this article’s scope, supplements are not adding anything of value to the table.
Gainers are some of the most illogical bodybuilding products on the planet. The cheap ones are mostly sugar whereas the expensive versions are a poor economic investment because for the same price you can buy a ton of real food packed with nutrients.