Body 6 min read

Ectomorph Workout – Is It Really All About The Gains?

by Mindvalley February 1, 2019

Do you look in the mirror and see a slim, long-limbed figure? If so, you’re most likely an ectomorph.

Because of their genetics, ectomorphs usually have a hard time gaining muscle. If you’ve been eating all kinds of foods and exercising vigorously without seeing the results you want, you may need to optimize your routine.

An effective ectomorph workout regime coupled with the right foods will help you get on top.

This article will give you an insight into what you can do to achieve your body goals as an ectomorph.

What Is The Best Workout For An Ectomorph?


The goal of a good workout for an ectomorph should be to increase testosterone, as this is the hormone that supports muscle growth. Weight training is perfect for this.

Multi-jointed exercises like bench presses and dead-lifts are your best bet. Each workout shouldn’t last more than an hour, and you need to ensure enough recovery time between sessions.

With the right nutrition plan, this will yield the results you’re looking for.

Compound, multi-joint lifts should be your starting point. Isolation exercises can be added as well, like pilates or single-joint lifts.

After you’ve got some experience under your belt, consider replacing weight training with full-body workouts that incorporate a number of compound muscle exercises, such as clean and jerks and kettle bell swings.

Keep in mind that cardio is never a top priority for ectomorphs. Due to the high metabolism of most ectomorphs, cardio should really be more of an afterthought, with an added emphasis on weight training.

lean body

How Often Should Ectomorphs Workout?


When it comes to weight training workouts, ectomorphs should aim to workout 3-4 times a week.

More isn’t always better. In fact, when you’re starting out, consistency is what’s most important.

Working out too hard or too often isn’t beneficial. You can actually diminish your weight-training abilities, not to mention the risk of serious injury by over-exertion.

You should also make sure to give yourself a few minutes of rest between reps. This helps with muscle repair, so don’t go all-in while hitting the gym.

When it comes to cardio, it’s best to engage in something low impact, like walking, or cycling.

You don’t need to spend an hour running on the treadmill. Finishing up your strength training with a simple 10-20 minutes of light cardio is ideal.

Can An Ectomorph Gain Muscle?

It’s up to you to make your life great. There’s no shortcut, there’s no knight in shining armor that’s gonna come to your rescue.

It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication, but ectomorphs are definitely able to gain the muscle mass they’re looking for.

What’s most important is staying motivated throughout the process so that you’re able to create the healthy life you seek to build.

How to set up proper eating habits

Aside from developing the right workout strategy, you also need to pay close attention to your nutrition. Ectomorphs need to maintain a very specific diet if they want to fuel their body for muscle gain.

When it comes to calorie intake, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, you can simply make sure to consume more calories than you spend. You can calculate this by taking a look at the average calorie loss of each workout you’re doing, and adding the calories you lose passively throughout the day.

As far as calorie composition goes, ectomorphs need a lot of carbs. Around half of your daily calorie intake should come from carbs, and the other 50% should be equally divided between protein and fats.

You should also aim to eat every 2-4 hours. Frequent meals will ensure energy balance and help support your weight training.

Proper pre- and post-workout nutrition is also hugely important. Make sure to eat 30-60 minutes before and after each workout session.

After you’re done, have a meal with a carb/protein ratio of 4:1, as this will help you build muscle fiber.

ectomorph metabolism

Can Ectomorphs Get Big?


Some people assume that because ectomorphs have such a lean, sculpted physique that it’s difficult for them to gain bulky muscle.

But with rigorous training and nutrition, weight and muscle gain is well within your reach.

It should also be mentioned that as ectomorphs age (as is the case with all body types!), their metabolism slows down.

As you get older, weight gain becomes increasingly easy. But there’s a big difference between healthy weight gain and unhealthy weight gain.

Famous ectomorphs Kate Moss and Brad Pitt have become less ectomorphic as they’ve grown older. This is a great example of how the body ages, regardless of body type.

That’s why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so important. It’s never too late to begin living the life and body of your dreams.

Final thoughts

By developing a rigorous workout routine and eating the right foods, ectomorphs can use their genetic gifts to their advantage and build the healthy lifestyle they seek. Exercise is important but an appropriate ectomorph diet also plays an integral role.

It’s important not to expect results overnight. Focus on long-term gratification, and remember that each step in this journey is a step towards a better, more wholesome life.

The longer you stick with it, the more ingrained it will become. And you’ll continue to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for many years to come.


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Do you have any muscle building tips for your fellow ectomorphs? Share them in the comments below.

by Mindvalley
Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun. We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us. We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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