Do you struggle to put on muscle and gain size?
Do you feel small and weak walking down the street?
Are you embarrassed to take your shirt off in public due to a lack of muscle?
Are you able to eat anything and everything, yet never really put on an ounce of weight?
Congratulations my friend, you’re a bonafide ectomorph, a.k.a. hard gainer.What is an Ectomorph?
An ectomorph is one of the three classic body types (endomorph and mesomorph being the others) that’s characterized by:
•Flat (possibly sunken in) chest
•Long, thin limbs
•Little body fat
•Narrow shoulders, hips, and glutes
Ectomorphs have a raging metabolism and far and away their biggest struggle is trying to gain weight and put on slabs of lean muscle. This is why ectomorphs are so frequently termed “hard gainers.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, having a fast metabolism is great if you’re trying to burn fat and get lean, but having the caloric requirements of Phil Heath is less than ideal when you don’t have the muscle mass to match it.
The good news is, is that being an ectomorph isn’t a death sentence. Quite the opposite in fact. You can build muscle and get that quintessential v-taper you’ve always wanted, you’re just going to have to make a few tweaks to your nutrition plan.
So, if you’re tired of being skinny, weak, and feeling inferior to the bigger bros bounding around the gym, then stick around and learn about the perfect diet you need to eat to end your days of being an ectomorph!Ectomorph Diet Guidelines
Eat A LOT of Calories
You know that you have a fast metabolism, so, it goes without saying that in order to gain any kind of weight, you’re going to have to eat a lot. Many guys that classify themselves as a hardgainer or ectomorph really suffer from not eating enough calories each day.
No matter how fast your metabolism is, if you’re not consciously eating the right number of calories, you have exactly ZERO chance of gaining muscle (and therefore weight).
So, how do you make certain you’re eating “a lot” of food?
Use a calorie counting app.
There are hundreds of options available for your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Find one and use it, starting NOW. Even if you don’t feel like the most technologically savvy individual out there, you can easily track your daily diet with paper and pen. If it was good enough for Arnold to use, it’s damn well good enough for you to use too!Start by recording every morsel of food you eat during the day and calculate how many calories that is. If you’ve been eating that amount for a long time and still not gaining any weight, add in another 300-500 calories, and that should at the very least start you on the track to ending your days as an ectomorph.
One of the most common reasons ectomorphs and hardgainers cite when describing the difficulties that come with gaining weight is a lack of hunger. Simply put, some skinny folks simply don’t feel hunger during the day or they get full very easily.
While this is great if you’re an endomorph trying to lose body fat, it’s terrible if you’re trying to gain muscle. The solution to this ectomorph woe is to eat more frequently throughout the day.
Rather than try to cram in the 3500+ calories you need each day into three large meals, spread it out across 5, 6, or even 7 smaller meals if need be. Eating smaller portions more frequently can help you get in the calories you need to gain weight while avoiding the “overly full” sensation that’s plagued you previously.Eat Calorie Dense Foods
If you’re an ectomorph, now is not the time to be consuming a lot of fat free, low carb, low calorie foods. Those foods are the exact ones you need to be avoiding at all costs when shopping at the grocery store. You need calories and you need a lot of them, so don’t make things more difficult by gorging on a bunch of low calorie fare.
Yes, foods like broccoli, spinach, and kale are wonderful and essential to any muscle-building diet, but you don’t need to be having 5 servings of them at each meal during the day. Fruits and vegetables are necessary, but they’re also filling due to their high fiber and water content. Consuming bowlfuls of these throughout the day only hinders your quest to consume enough calories.
Don’t be mistaken, you still need these foods, so get your 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, but pick some of the more calorie dense ones such as bananas or potatoes. Additional high calorie foods that should be a mainstay of your daily diet include:
•Beef (go for the ribeye)
•Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
•Whey protein powder
•Full fat milk and yogurt
Eating 3500-4000 calories isn’t easy, even for the seasoned eaters out there. Scarfing down platefuls of chicken and rice get tiresome, boring, and laborious after awhile. Plus, consuming all of those calories from whole foods can lead to some uncomfortable stomach feelings.
To help you hit your calorie quota for the day, try incorporating weight gainer shakes during the day. Drinking your calories is a lot easier, and less filling, than eating the same amount of calories from whole foods.
There’s endless options when looking to purchase a weight gainer, and there are some really great ones pre-made that don’t cost an arm and a leg. But, if you’re more the DIY type, here’s a homebrew recipe you can use to make your very own mass gaining shake:
•2 cups whole milk
•½ cup dry oats
•1 scoop protein powder
•1-2 tablespoons peanut butter
Toss it all in a blender, hit frappe’, and then chug.Have a Daily “Cheat”
The fifth and final tip to structuring the ultimate mass gaining diet for an ectomorph is to have a daily cheat. You probably think we’re crazy for recommending this, as “cheat” foods are notoriously viewed as “unhealthy.”
The reality is, cheat foods, junk foods, whatever you want to call them pack a lot of calories and aren’t that filling. Classic examples are french fries, cookies, candy bars, and ice cream.
So long as you’re getting the majority of your calories from nutrient-dense, whole food sources, a daily dessert isn’t going to hurt your gains one bit. In fact, it’ll probably help you get in the extra 100-300 calories you need to finally breakthrough your sticking point with regards to your weight.
So, what does a mass gaining diet look like for the consummate ectomorph?
Here’s an example of one day of eating for the ectomorph looking to gain muscle and strength:
– 2 glasses whole milk
– 2 eggs cooked in butter
– 1 cup oatmeal
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter (mixed into oatmeal)
– 6 oz ground beef
– 1 cup rice
– 1 oz cheese
– 2 servings broccoli
Pre Workout Shake
Post Workout Shake
– 1 scoop whey protein powder
– 1 large banana
– 1 cup milk
– 8oz salmon cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Large baked sweet potato
– Sauteed spinach
– 1 serving cottage cheese
– 1 cup berries
So, you’ve struggled your whole life with being an ectomorph, so what?
Just because you’ve been that way thus far, doesn’t mean you have to keep being that way going forward.
Don’t be mistaken, it’s going to take a lot of work and time to get rid of your old habits as they’ve been ingrained in you for years most likely. But, when there’s a will there’s a way. If you’ve decided once and for all to break out of your ectomorph shell and start on the road to building muscle, congratulations!
We’ve laid out some of the best tips for any ectomorph looking to get in shape. Take the advice offered here and use it to make the necessary adjustments to your daily lifestyle so you can start making gains and make that skinny, weak guy a distant memory!