How Can Ectomorph Build Muscle?

ectomorph body type

There are a lot of classifications of types of bodies, but for some reason, definitions according to the classification of W. Sheldon have taken root in bodybuilding. There is even a doctrine of the constitution of man – constitutionology. According to this classification, three somatotypes are distinguished – ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

According to Sheldon himself, pure somatotypes practically do not occur in nature, and the totality of traits gives us 343 variants of somatotypes.

Am I ectomorph

Among the signs of ectomorphs, the predominance of the growth and length of the limbs over the transverse lines, a thin physique, low in fat, small muscles, and a high metabolic rate are highlighted.

A typical ectomorph is a person who has a low level of physical strength and volume before training. Typically, these kinds of people are tall and thin, with relatively low levels of subcutaneous fat and small, narrow bones.

ectomorph workout

Ectomorph is characterized by a relatively short upper body, long limbs, narrow feet and hands, a small body, and relatively narrow shoulders. Ectomorphs usually have long, slender muscles that hypertrophy very slowly.

Although the structure of their joints often serves as an obstacle to strength and energetic sports, they are nevertheless prone to excel in endurance exercises due to the typically increased proportion of slowly contracting muscle fibers.

By characterological characteristics, Sheldon classified ectomorphs as introverts, socially preoccupied individuals who have a penchant for intellectual labor.

What do “specialists” suggest

ectomorph athletes

Pseudoscientific sources state that when engaged in bodybuilding, an ectomorph should pay a minimum of attention to aerobic training, and build the entire training program on heavy basic exercises, in the form of a split. The rapid metabolism that occurs in them often complicates the process of weight gain if more traditional dietary programs are followed. The ectomorph diet should consist of high-calorie foods rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Ectomorph may adhere to less strict rules in nutrition, compared with other types of physique, since its metabolism is not prone to liposynthesis. Thus, for ectomorph, the amount eaten is more important than the composition of the products.

For some reason, ectomorph training has been singled out, and for such a request on the Internet, you will find hundreds of recommendations for short, strength training based on basic exercises or vice versa highly repetitive. But you will not find a single scientific study confirming these conclusions.

Specifications in ectomorph workout

an ectomorph body type

Why should workouts look different? Do the owners of this type of body have other mechanisms of muscle growth formed over the years of evolution, or is the distribution of muscle fibers somehow tied to the type of addition? Neither one nor the other. By the way, among the sprinter athletes, you can find ectomorphs who run out of 10 seconds at a hundred meters, as well as among bodybuilders (for example, Frank Zane).

If you read a recommendation from a blogger or expert to perform some special number of repetitions in the set, because you are thin or a certain number of sets based on the type of your body, then ask him: “Where does this exclusive information come from?” If this is a private opinion, then it is necessary to write this way, and not to spread an unscientific heresy at least until science revealed a relationship between the type of body and the nature of strength training. ⠀⠀⠀


Success in training depends on a large number of variables, and the dose-effect relationship between training variables is based on intensity and volume, and this is not related to the type of addition.

Additionally, see why “clean eating” is another dietological trash.

What is more, find out differences when training being enhanced and natural.