What is an Ectomorph?
The Ectomorph body type is leaner than the other two body types (Mesomorph & Endomorph) and generally has to work hard for every bit of muscle and strength gains. The ectomorph can be described as a ‘hard’ gainer, exhibiting the following characteristics: a flat chest, fragile with small wrists, thin, small, sloping shoulders, think neck, long limbs, and small calves. If this is you though don't worry. The upside is you generally don't have to worry too much about adding body fat & your smaller joints aid well the look and asthetics of muscle mass once you do add some bulk. Ectomorphs have difficulty gaining mass. They can be frustrated by the lack of gains, despite training consistently.
Ectomorph Training Tips
- Use moderate weight which you can push 6-12 reps per set. Use 2-3 exercises for each muscle group, with 3-4 sets. Use basic compound movements (ie. exercises working over more than just one joint) and keep your training routine simple. The ectomorph, has to train just enough to stimulate growth.
- Keep Your Sets Low. The ectomorph has a limited capacity for stress, so ensure that you do not overtrain with too many sets of too many different exercises. Limit your sets to 4-5 of one exercise for each body part.
- Pyramid Your Reps. The ectomorph responds better to a pyramid of reps instead of a constant rep scheme. The ectomorph can't handle too much stress and the same rep range will overwork that particular motor unit. Pyramid training allows the ecto to tap into increasingly larger motor units from set to set without overworking them. Warm up with higher reps before tackling heavier weights. Rest Long Between Sets
- To tackle heavy weights, the ectomorph must rest longer than normal between sets. Aim for three to five minutes between sets. This allows the nervous system to fully recover from the previous set, for you to be fully charged to lift heavy on the next set. These high rest periods and lower reps elicit an increase of testosterone into your bloodstream.
- Train briefly, intensely and frequently. An ectomorph cannot handle high volume workouts, so his volume should be spread across the week. Three times a week is optimal.
The 10-8-6-15 Rep Program is Useful For Ectomorphs
- Perform 10 reps on an exercise, rest. Perform 8 reps, rest. Perform 6 reps, rest. Finally, perform a flushing set of 15 reps, and that is all for that exercise and for that body part.
- Rest 3 minutes between these sets. Incorporate the following exercises into your programme: Squats, Bench Press, V-Bar Pulldown, Lateral Raise, Dumbbell Curls and Close-Grip Bench Press.
Muscle Building For The Ectomorph
For ectomorphs, simplicity and consistency are key to achieving your goals. Ensure that you are training three times a week, using the 10-8-6-15 pyramid principle, with adequate rest and you will be well on you way to pushing your stubborn body to add muscle.