The Ectomorph's Guide to Gaining Lean Mass
- 06-04-2008, 11:03 AM
The Ectomorph's Guide to Gaining Lean Mass
The Ectomorph’s Guide to Gaining Mass
Many people do not realize how hard it is for a true ectomorph to gain weight. Being a pure ectomorph myself, I have experienced these challenges first hand. Over the last year three months I have devoted all of my resources to gaining weight, and had stellar results. I have found some things that work and some that don’t. I have filtered out the ones that do not work and culminated a program for ectomorphs to gain mass. This is from my own experience and does work.
For the ectomorph diet is the most pivotal aspect of gaining weight. This holds true for any, but for the ectomorph it will be impossible to gain any sort of mass without sticking to a diet. The ecto diet should be extremely high in calories with no particular emphasis on one macro over the other. Carbs should be 50% of the diet, Proteins should be 30% of the diet, and Fats should make up 20% of the diet. A diet containing only 30% protein goes against many of the diets proposed in bodybuilding, but when calories are kept extremely high, protein will also be high.
For instance, I recommend that ectomorphs eat roughly 4500+ calories per day. If 50% of that is carbs that means that you will be consuming roughly 650 carbs per day, 400 grams of proteins, and 150 grams of fat. 400 grams of protein is quite a lot of protein under any circumstances. Protein should come from sources such as BEEF, fish, and chicken. Don’t be afraid to eat a double quarter pounder with cheese every now and again. Carbs should come from mainly high quality sources such as sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, fruit, etc. but a fair amount (about 30%) may come from fast carb sources such as white bread, chips, white pasta, etc.
Fats should also be 70% healthy fats and 30% from other sources. Healthy fats are nuts, fish, and oils like olive and grape seed.
Ectomorphs should eat every 2-3 hours, these should be full meals. One meal should be eaten directly before bed. A potent weight gaining shake that can be taken before sleep is as follows: 4 scoops protein mixture (whey, casein, soy), One table spoon extra virgin olive oil, and 8 ounces whole milk, optional: 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter.
Training for the ectomorph should be different than their meso or endo counterparts. Ectomorphs should workout no more than 4 times per week, with 3 being optimal. These workouts should be brief, but extremely intense. Growth occurs during the rest phase, so it would only make sense that ectomorphs need to rest more in order to speed growth. During the rest period actually rest. Do not waste calories on various aerobic activities, this will only slow growth. If you must do some cardio, constrict it to only once or twice per week, though my true recommendation is no cardio.
As far as exercises go, stick to the heavy compound movements for most of your time in your workouts.
Acceptable: SQUATS, DEADLIFTS, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Barbell Rows, Pull-ups, Barbell Curls, French Press, T-bar Rows, Standing Calf Raises, SLDL, etc.
Unacceptable: High rep adductor work while checking out the girls running on the treadmill, any product advertised on an infomercial, working out for four hours at a time, etc.
Machines have their place and can be very effective in building muscle, but most of the exercises you perform should be the free weight variety.
Ectomorphs must squat. This sounds simple, but for ectomorphs growth will be severely limited without heavy barbell squats. Squat until you feel as if you are going to die and you have probably done a good job. Deadlifts are the second most beneficial exercise for ectomorphs. These exercises not only cause the target areas to grow, but stimulate the entire body to grow.
Reps should be in the 6-10 range and weights should be as heavy as possible. As you progress throw in things such as rest pause, negatives, and static holds.
Supplementation does not play a very big role in the growth process, but it does play a role nonetheless. The following are supplements that I have found to get results in lean mass gain.
1. Creatine- Any form will be fine. Creatine stimulates weight gain via enhanced recovery, increased muscular function, and increased cell volume.
2. ZMA- Proven to raise free test in athletes (Brilla), also increases sleep quality.
3. AAKG (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate) - Increases vasodilation and nutrient flow to the muscles. Increases muscular pumps.
4. Protein Powder- This should really be in the food section because I don’t even consider it a supplement. This is a necessity.
The Human Factor
The human factor encompasses all of the previously mentioned areas. It is all up to the individual to grow. How much are you willing to sacrifice? You will find that the amount you are willing to sacrifice will be equal to the gains you make. If you are not gaining, it is probably not your genetics or a lack of supplements, it is most likely your own fault. Bodybuilding is more mental than anything else. Constantly have a mindset to improve and meet your goals and don’t let anyone else get in your way.
One must always keep learning about new ways to gain mass, to squeeze out every ounce of potential. Keep learning, working hard, and working smart and you will reach your goals whether you are an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph.
Last edited by eggplant21; 06-05-2008 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Gives more room for adjustment.
- 06-04-2008, 11:18 AM
- 06-05-2008, 12:48 PM
Some good concepts but too many rigid rules.
5500 calories is hardly universal. I'm ecto but even if I could get that many calories down, I would simply get fat. IMO it's best to start with a BMR calculator and get a baseline calorie requirement. Then make up a starting diet on with measure portions and calculated calories. Test drive for a couple weeks and adjust as needed.
Where did all the percentages come from?
Finally, like it or not, genetics will dictate one's ultimate potential.
06-05-2008, 02:02 PM
Thats dreadful advice, an ectommorph can certainly gain mass on less then 5,500 calories perday. WholeMilk?, quarter pounders? This is a great way to gain bodyfat for anything with a pulse for sure. Its not 1991 anymore you should retitle it an ectomorphs guide to getting gaining massive health problems.
06-05-2008, 02:06 PM
06-05-2008, 02:15 PM
06-05-2008, 02:22 PM
06-05-2008, 02:23 PM
06-05-2008, 02:36 PM
06-05-2008, 03:16 PM
I edited the cals slightly, its still high, but it allows for more adjustment from person to person.
06-05-2008, 03:36 PM
06-05-2008, 03:53 PM
06-05-2008, 05:12 PM
06-06-2008, 11:49 AM
06-06-2008, 11:51 AM
06-06-2008, 12:09 PM
So in a nutshell, a carb sensitive individual would have a greater propensity towards fat gain because of 'impaired' glucose uptake at the cellular level resulting in a greater percentage of surplus energy converted to FFAs and hence greater percentage of fat storage?
Sorry for going off track but this concept does not quite make sense to me. If two otherwise identical individuals except for their 'carb sensitivities' consume X amount of energy above maintenance in the form carbs. How can one store a disproportionate amount of bodyfat without having significant health issues? Also, since surplus protein is converted to glucose to be used as energy would it not lead to the same effects?
06-06-2008, 06:13 PM
EDIT: I meant for it to read, why would one have serious health issues if ..."
06-06-2008, 06:16 PM
Not hijacking here, but do you mean how could it also not lead to fat storage?Also, since surplus protein is converted to glucose to be used as energy would it not lead to the same effects?
06-06-2008, 06:18 PM
06-06-2008, 06:26 PM
06-06-2008, 06:35 PM
What I mean by that is it is not normal to balloon off of 2 carb meals a day, especially when they are not high calorie carbs...that's what I was saying.
I wasnt' saying I didn't have any issues, of course, i do because i can consume high carb meals, be them complex or simple carbs and not gain weight due to thyroid problems.
Yet, i consider his body not to use carbs efficiently either, if he's ballooning off of 2 carb meals, which are, as mentioned, not high calorie. I guess effectively may have been better...or over sensitive..
06-06-2008, 06:43 PM
The picture that Im seeing is one of a pseudo-diabetic. Someone who's body is reluctant to use glucose as energy but instead of it accumulating in the bloodstream, it converts a large portion of it to FFA for storage or to use as energy.
Kinda leads me think that the person's metabolism would tend to run towards being in ketosis even with carb consumption. At the extreme, having issues with ketoacidosis.
06-06-2008, 07:19 PM
06-07-2008, 08:54 PM
06-07-2008, 10:12 PM
Thx for the posts guys.
I have done some Googling and it seems that 'carb sensitive' is being used interchangably with 'insulin resistant.' I think this is highly innacurate.
Why? Two reasons.
Firstly, insulin resistance is affected by overall energy intake within a specific time period. That means that carbs, fats, proteins, and alchohols (all sources of energy) all affect insulin levels and sensitivities. Singling out carbs is unfair.
Secondly, the insulin 'sensitive' individual is considered to be the normal one - the one who efficiently uses glucose. An insulin 'insensitive' person is like a type 2 diabetic or person with syndrome-X (pre-diabetes). These people have an impaired ability to use/store energy and hence have trouble GAINING weight. They can be overweight to begin with and show symptoms if they continue eating at surplus energy levels or they could be a lean diabetic like myself who was never overweight.
I think the misinterpretion comes from the fact that the terminology often refers to (plasma) glucose in the bloodstream. Of course glucose is a carb so people start thinking of dietary carbohydrate not what is circulating in the bloodstream (which does not specifically have to come from dietary carbs).
What was originally proposed, that some individuals store a much larger proportion of energy intake as bodyfat when that energy is sourced from carbohydrate, is not the same as differing insulin sensitivity (or resistance - one is just the inverse of the other).
06-07-2008, 10:18 PM
As I alluded to earlier, a great number of metabolic processes can affect the metabolization of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, aside from Insulin.
06-07-2008, 10:19 PM
So going back to the OP and the objections to his carb recommendations, I still don't think there is any basis to single out carbs as the cause of fat gain. Either they are consuming too many calories (not counting, counting wrong, or cheating) or they are consuming carbs irresponsibly (e.g. one 1000 cal serving of dextrose vs. say, 10 x 100 cal apples spread throughout the day).
06-07-2008, 10:26 PM
However, where are the measurements? If something cannot be measured and empirically proven or all other alternate possibilities discounted why bother talking about it?
If a diet of X + Y + Z = W calories leads to unnacceptable fat gain then adjustment of any combination of X, Y, or Z so that W is less will suffice.
06-07-2008, 10:32 PM
06-07-2008, 10:49 PM
06-10-2008, 04:37 PM
06-10-2008, 06:40 PM
07-24-2008, 11:18 AM
So what if you are an Ecto (6'3" 205) and carb sensitive/insulin resistant as I am. I have always stuck to a diet of 60/30/10-50/30/20, but this is not a good idea if you are carb sensitive.
What are bulking options for the insulin resistant?
07-24-2008, 03:02 PM
i did a writeup vaguely similar
Gaining mass in a nutshell (a big nutshell)
i also am an extreme ecto - graduated HS around 135 lbs at 5'9" then had dropped to 117 when i joined the army a year later. i've been training seriously for two years, and am 181 lbs right now around 10% body fat.
08-03-2008, 10:29 PM
4000-4500 calories and training 4x week i just got fat. and those were 90% clean cals with a slice or two of pizza on sunday afternoons. i do better around 3000 with lots of sleep!!!
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