ectomorph womanIf you naturally have low levels of fat and muscle, you are probably classified as an ectomorph body type.

While that might sound like some type of space alien, along with endomorph and mesomorph, it is one of the three most common human body types found on men and women.

The endomorphic body is a thin, slim build, long limbs and small joints. These are the people that are called naturally skinny. While they benefit from a natural ability to keep away fat, they have a hard time building muscle.


That is why an effective guide to building muscle for ectomorphs has to begin and end with that type of person’s physiological makeup. How tough is it for most ectomorphs to quickly build muscle mass?

They are known as “hardgainers” in the bodybuilding industry. That is because it is hard for them to gain muscle mass. But if you are an ectomorph, simply follow the muscle building guide below and you will give yourself the best chance at building strength and muscle, without collecting fat.

Try and limit your cardio training, cut back drastically on isolation exercises, and stop adding volume when you don’t see the results that you want. You simply cannot train like the physically gifted mesomorph, or the fat-collecting endomorph.

Limited Recovery Ability

Your body was designed with a very limited recovery capacity. This means that your workout efforts must be focused and fast. If you simply begin to work out more because you want to see better results, you will actually be combating your muscle building efforts.

Focus on exercises that attack the largest number of muscle fibers in your body simultaneously. Squats are great for this.

Because you already have a tendency to develop a ripped and shredded, fat-free look, you want to focus on high weight and low repetitions. That is the recipe for building bulk, which delivers the most noticeable muscle improvements on those people with an ectomorphic body.

As mentioned above, try to cut back on the amount of cardio training you do. Keeping in mind that you have a limited recovery ability, suppose you are attempting to bulk up with heavy weights four times a week.

If you are adding three days of cardio, you are actually removing a lot of the gains you are making. Those seven workout sessions are not giving your body much time to recover.

Lunges with weight work all of the muscles of your lower body at once, and are a great exercise for ectomorphs trying to build muscle. Push-ups also target several muscle groups, your triceps, your core, your shoulders and your chest, when done properly.

Follow these muscle building tips for ectomorphs, and they will not be calling you skinny for long.
Image by Evan Bench, Creative Commons 2.0 License