Ectomorph weight gain meal plan

How to Eat and Train for an Ectomorph Body Type

Do you look more like a marathon runner than a swimmer? Would you describe yourself as long and lean, willowy or wiry? Is it difficult for you to put on muscle mass? If you said, “yes” to any of these questions, then you most likely have an ectomorph body type.

Physical Characteristics

Models who grace the covers and pages of most fashion magazine tend to have an ectomorph body type. In addition to being tall, they have a thin build, long limbs, small joints and thin bones. Many are flat chested and don’t have much junk in the trunk. Although they appear skinny, they can actually have higher body fat than one might expect. Ectomorphs have a difficult time putting on muscle mass because their metabolism has a tendency to run higher than other body types. In the fitness world, we would refer to them as “hard gainers.” Famous female ectomorphs include Kate Moss, Natalie Portman, Taylor Swift, Kate Middleton and Cameron Diaz. Famous male ectomorphs include Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper and Toby McGuire.

Diet and Metabolism

Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism, which is both a blessing and a curse. A high metabolism makes is easy to get lean, and it can seem as if they can eat whatever they want and not gain weight. However, with age, their metabolisms will slow down, primarily due to low muscle mass, which can result in an unhealthy gain in body fat.

The best diet for an ectomorph is one that is higher in carbohydrates and calories. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of calories should come from carbs, 25 percent from protein and 25 percent from fat.

Additional Nutrition Tips

  • Eat every two to four hours.
  • Add at least 500 calories if you want to gain weight or muscle.
  • Choose warm foods over cold foods (better for digestion).
  • Best starchy carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and potatoes.
  • Best fruit choices include bananas, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, avocado and peaches.
  • Best vegetable choices include broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beets and carrots, especially cooked in coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter).
  • Nutrient dense snacks include nuts and seeds, as well as nut butters.

The key is to still eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients. Just because you have an ectomorph body type, doesn’t mean you should use that as an excuse to eat everything, including junk food.

Pre- and Post-workout Nutrition

About 30 to 60 minutes before a workout, make sure to eat or drink a fast-digesting carbohydrate and some protein, such as fruit or toast with almond butter and jam. These nutrients will help keep you energized throughout your workout. And don’t forget to stay hydrated before and during your workout. If your exercise lasts less than 60 minutes, hydrate with water. If it’s longer than 60 minutes, consider adding a fast-digesting carb (gel, blocks, or beverage) to keep your energy level up.

Your post-workout meal should be consumed 30 to 60 minutes after your workout. The ideal post-workout meal includes a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein to help quickly replenish your glycogen stores and repair and build muscle fibers. Here’s an example of a great post-workout meal from our breakfast cookbook, No Excuses! 50 Healthy Ways to ROCK Breakfast!

Nutty and Fruity Amaranth Hot Cereal

(Makes 1 serving)

  • 1/3 cup amaranth
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot and add the amaranth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed. Stir in the rice milk, cranberries, nuts and chia seeds. Pour into a bowl and serve.

Fitness Goals

Ectomorphs are at a disadvantage when it comes to building muscle and sculpting the body. The goal of toning, sculpting and creating curves on a small, thin frame can be achieved with a dedicated training and nutrition program. All ectomorphs, whether his or her goal is to be a body builder or achieve a healthy, lean and strong body, can benefit from a solid, consistent weight-training program.


Ectomorphs tend to excel in endurance-type activities, so it’s not surprising that many prefer cardio training over weight lifting. The key to stimulate muscle growth is to do the minimal amount of cardio required for general health. Three times a week for 30 minutes is recommended.

Weight Training

To build muscle mass, increase strength and sculpt the body, a simple weight-training routine using heavy weights is critical for the ectomorph. The focus should be on using heavier weights and completing three to five sets of approximately eight to 12 reps for each muscle group.

Weight Training Weekly Workout for Ectomorph: Heavy weight, pyramid rep scheme

Day 1 – Chest/Triceps

Incline dumbbell press, 12, 10, 10, 8

Dumbbell flyes flat bench 3 x 12

Overhead extensions 12, 10, 10, 8

Dips 3 x 12

Day 2 – Back/Biceps

Wide-grip pull-ups 12, 10, 10, 8

Bent-over dumbbell rows 12, 10, 10, 8

Seated barbell curls 12, 10, 10, 8

Alternate dumbbell curls 3 x 12

Day 3 – Legs/Shoulders

Leg press 12, 10, 10, 8

Lying leg curls 12, 10, 10, 8

Barbell squats 3 x 12

Deadlifts 3 x 12

Walking lunges 3 x 12 each leg (total 24)

Military press 12, 10, 10, 8

Rear delt flyes 3 x 12

Lateral raise 3 x 12

Day 4 Rest/Slow Steady-state Cardio

Day 5 – Total-body Superset

Push-ups 3 x 12 with close grip lat. pulldown 3 x 12

Skull crushers 3 x 12 with standing biceps curls 3 x 12

Arnolds (shoulder press) 3 x 12 with step-ups 3 x 12 each leg

Days 6 and 7 Rest/Slow Steady-state Cardio

Ectomorph Diet | Weight gaining meal plan

D​ream about gaining extra pounds and muscle mass? Probably, you have a special body – ectomorph. In other words, you are hard gainer.

Such people require a special meal plan, such as Emily Ratajkowski diet. As a rule, it is difficult for them to gain weight and muscles. But this article will help ectomorphs to maintain stable weight.

Would you like to know about the special ectomorph diet?

We’ve prepared some useful information on how ectomorphs can get the perfect shape and stay healthy. Surely, this diet is not only food but hard exercising too.

Bodybuilding ectomorph diet

Relying on Reece Mander‘s article on, our fitness experts developed a special ectomorph meal plan:

Meal 1: Directly after waking up

  • 1-2 servings of BCAA
  • 1 banana, peach or apricot

Meal 2: Breakfast

  • 100 g of oatmeal (dry)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 4 cooked or fried eggs
  • 1 serving of vitamin-mineral complex
  • 0.5 servings of creatine

Meal 3: Lunch

  • 150 g of cereal, pasta or potatoes
  • 250 g of beef
  • salad of fresh vegetables and olive oil

Meal 4: 2 hours before training

  • 100 g of rice
  • 200 g of chicken or turkey
  • salad of fresh vegetables and olive oil

Meal 5: Before training

  • 1-2 servings of BCAAs
  • 1 serving of pre-training complex
  • 1 serving of pre-training complex

Meal 6: During workout 1-2 portions of BCAA

  • 1 serving of pre-training complex

Meal 7: Immediately after training

  • 1-2 servings of gainer or whey protein

Meal 8: First Dinner

  • 100 g of cereal, pasta or potatoes
  • 200 g of chicken or turkey
  • salad of fresh vegetables and olive oil

Meal 9: Second dinner

  • 250 g of fish
  • salad of fresh vegetables and olive oil

Meal 10: Before the bedtime

  • 200 grams of cottage cheese or a portion of casein
  • 50 grams of nuts

According to, it is not necessary to follow this ectomorph nutrition plan thoroughly.

You can always add, remove or replace something. The main thing is to eat healthy food, consistently keep the daily calorie content, work hard in the gym and do not forget about recovery.

1. Breakfast – 7:00 am

  • 100 g of oatmeal and a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 large banana
  • 3 large scrambled eggs and 30 g hard cheese
  • 0.5 servings of creatine
  • 0.5 servings of creatine

2. Morning snack – 9:30 am

  • 2 cups of whole milk with a portion of whey protein isolate
  • 30 grams of almonds
  • Total: 563 kcal, 46 g of protein.

3. Lunch 12:00 am

  • 100 g of quinoa or rice with sauce for taste
  • 250 g chicken breast
  • 100 g broccoli
  • Total: 541 kcal, 57 g of protein.

4. Daily snack 2:30 pm

  • 2 cups whole milk with a portion of whey protein isolate
  • 30 g of almonds
  • Total: 563 kcal, 46 g of protein.

5. Dinner 5:30 pm

  • Dinner is the meal after working out. So, choose products instinctively. Just note, it should be about 1000 calories, a lot of vegetables and complex carbohydrates, and at least 30 grams of protein. It’s required to push muscles growing after exercising

6. Evening snack 8:00 pm

  • A cup of whole milk with a serving of whey protein isolate
  • 60 g of dark chocolate
  • Total: of 557 kcal, 34 g of protein.

The first meal – 6:30 am

  • 100 g of oatmeal
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 50 g of raisins and 5 g of olive oil

The second meal – 10:00 am

  • 150 g of chicken breast
  • 100 g of grilled vegetables
  • 15 ml of olive oil

The third meal, before training – 3:00 pm

  • 100 g of pasta (dry weight)
  • 150 grams of chicken breast

The fourth meal – one hour before workout

  • Cocktail with 50 grams of gainer

The fifth meal – 6:00 pm

  • 70 grams of rice
  • 100g of chicken breast

The sixth meal – 10:30 pm

  • 130 g of cottage cheese
  • 10g of olive oil

According to this daily menu, you can get: Protein – 134 g – 530 kcal, fat – 72 g -650 kcal, carbohydrates – 360 g -1440 kcal.

Totally it’s about 2600 kcal. If this quantity is not enough for you to gain muscle mass you should add another 20% to all products, that is, about 520 kcal.

The personal level of calories

Mindvalley writes on her

Each body is individual and for each one, you need to select the right calorie level. The specific diet is ideal for one ectomorph, but the other can acquire the fat mass due to the large ratio of carbohydrates.

  • Remember about vegetables and fruit.

In some cases, you can replace the meat with Ulisses Jr protein additives. It’s better for them twice a day in between meals. And the most important, do not stick to this ectomorph diet completely. You may replace and vary the ingredients.

  • Oatmeal, soft cottage cheese toast, peanut butter, eggs, and bananas are great for breakfast.

You can have the usual meal for lunch and dinner. Do not forget about the vegetables. You always can include some useful but high-calorie products.

Let’s take an almond for a sample. 100 grams of peeled almonds contain about 600 kilocalories, and whole almonds contain even more.

A couple of handfuls almonds a day will add about 1,000 calories to your ectomorph diet without feeling bloated. This is a huge amount of healthy calories for a relatively small amount of food.

150 grams of almond contains 30 grams of protein and is also rich in iron and calcium. The most solid meal comes after exercising. If you need extra calories, eat them at this time.

Meal plan for ectomorph to gain weight

On her blog, Issa overviews 3 crucial types of nutrients in the required food:

They are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Proteins have animal and vegetarian origin. Both types are important and necessary for people. Concerning carbohydrates, they are simple and complex ones.

Give preference to complex carbohydrates. They are the fuel of the body. The healthy fats have to be on the menu too. Ectomorphs’ diet should contain 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 20% fat.

  • The main part of the diet includes carbohydrates. Note that 1 gram of carbohydrate is equal to 4.1 calories. To gain muscle mass, ectomorphs may require from 6 to 9 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.
  • The second value for ectomorph is protein. One gram of protein is equal to 4.1 calories. Muscle growth is impossible without protein. Protein intake is about 2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. Try to divide the daily protein evenly. Consume them every 2.5-3 hours. In this case, you will constantly maintain protein synthesis.
  • Fat is the third in the bulking diet plan for ectomorphs. About 1 gram per 1 kg of body weight will be great. One gram of fat contains 9 calories. This amount is useful to manage the hormonal, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

The privilege of healthy products

As already mentioned, about 90% of the diet for the ectomorph should consist of healthy products. It’s true, that they can eat much more compared to the other types.

But junk food can bring unsuspected results. Instead of desired muscles, you can obtain only unnecessary fat.

Really, they have the risk to become skinny fat. In other words, they still could look thin in clothes. But the mess in food and lack of corrects training creat only flabby and fatty body.

Hollywood weight loss alkaline diet is an optimal variant if you want to improve your body and skin eating healthy. So, let’s devote some time to investigate what is the ectomorph diet plan for men and women.

Proteins in ectomorph diet

The main sources of animal proteins are chicken, turkey, beef, fish, egg whites, dairy products, and seafood. For your consideration some helpful tips to choose the right protein-rich foods.

  • Red meat must be present in the diet. Time to time you can replace the beef with pork. But, try to choose the least fatty pieces.
  • Easily vary red and white fish. Both are rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. The same applies to seafood.
  • Include dairy products in your diet. They have rather good amino acid composition. It is better to buy milk, kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese and hard cheese with a less percentage of fat content. However, so-called light or zero fat products will bring no benefits.

Vegetable proteins

If you are ectomorph and vegetarian:

Then it’s more difficult to gain the muscles. The experts connect this matter with the origin of proteins. There is a variety of Vegetable proteins. They are also useful for people.

But, there are differences between animal and veg proteins. The main one is the different amino acids content.

  • Plant proteins are completely different in structure

They contain more amino acids than animal ones. However, our body does not absorb only 22 essential amino acids, the others are removed from the body.

People digest about 30-50% of vegetable protein and 50-98% of animal ones. Some irreplaceable amino acids are not produced by our body. We get them from food only. Plants almost do not have them.

These vegetable proteins are covered with a hard shell, which complicates their digestion. Soya has the highest content of proteins. Sometimes it is also called a meat replacer. Soy contains 40-50 grams of protein per 100 grams. I would say that these proteins are also necessary for us.

It’s fact that besides proteins, they also supply us carbohydrates, vitamins, and macro microelements. The best source of vegetable protein: Legumes (soybeans, peas, beans. Lentils), nuts and seeds. Each of these products has its own unique amino acid composition. So the combination of different plants in brings the balance in your diet.

These plants are low in fat, do not have cholesterol. They are rich in carbohydrates that serve us as an energy source, rich in vitamins and mineral elements.

Carbohydrates in ectomorph diet

It’s no sense to research carbohydrates from the point of view of chemistry and biology. Complicated explanations and long formulas will give us no idea. Carbohydrates are a common name for very important macronutrient which is the main source of energy for our body.

Carbohydrates mainly consist of fiber, starch, and sugar.

They are divided into simple and complex ones. Simple carbohydrates or monosaccharides have a high glycemic index. Complex carbohydrates or polysaccharides have a low glycemic index.

Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the body. It gives a strong insulin jump, which processes them into fat. Because of their structure, the body needs more time to break down complex carbohydrates.

Without a high level of insulin, they give us energy for 3 -5 hours. The simple carbohydrates are all types of sugars, glucose, fructose, and sucrose, syrups, juice concentrations.

The optimal and inexpensive sources of complex carbohydrates are buckwheat, rice, durum wheat pasta, oatmeal, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits. Pay attention to the products with a low glycemic index. It helps to avoid strong insulin secretion. Otherwise, you risk to gain excess fat and harm your pancreas.

Select the minimally processed cereals. Brown rice is basmati rice or more beneficial compared to the white one. There is no special limit to the vegetables. They are rich in vitamins and fiber which improve the digestion. You need to be more careful with fruits. Many of them are very rich in sugar.

As the example:

One banana contains up to 30 grams of sugar. It is better to eat simple carbohydrates when the body needs fast energy, namely after waking up, before, during and after working out.

Fat in ectomorph diet

Some time ago bodybuilding diet was concentrated on large portions of proteins and carbohydrates. They advise a strong limit of fats. Recent studies proved that it was a mistake. Fats play a big role in a new way of nutrition.


It is stated on that the fats are strong catalysts for muscle growth and make them not only stronger and larger but also more relief. For example, the popular ketogenic diet is a low-carb meal plan with the advantage of fat.

Therefore everybody should know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats are harmful to health. They can cause obesity and increase the level of “bad” cholesterol. This is one of the reasons for cardiovascular system diseases and atherosclerosis. Read about how to lower cholesterol levels to avoid health problems. Unsaturated fats bring benefits.

They reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, normalize cellular metabolism, and minimize the risk of atherosclerosis. Saturated fats are animal originated. Trans fats are also dangerous Try to avoid them at all.

Our muscles get microtrauma after hard training. Accordingly, they need special material to treat these small wounds. It’s known now, that saturated fats perform this role.

These useful fats help to keep the calcium in the joints and bones of the athletes. The lack of fats is the risk of injuries, sprains, and breaks. Calcium and some vitamins are not digested without fat. They are the best fuel for our hearts.

Some harmful substances appeared in the body within and after strength training. Saturated fats neutralize them, protect our liver from toxins, strengthen the immune system and have antimicrobial properties. They allow our hormone system to work stable.

Egg yolks, vegetable oils, nuts, avocados, peanut paste are the product with a high range of useful fat.

8 main assistants in muscles gaining

  • Chicken breast – the main source of protein
  • Eggs – a balanced set of essential amino acids
  • Oatmeal – the focal energy supplier
  • Fish – the store of Omega-3
  • Nuts – release the tiredness
  • Cottage cheese – lovely night protein
  • Water – 80% of muscles
  • Vegetables and fruit – vitamins and fiber

How to gain weight fast?

As we already know ectomorphs need about 3000 calories per day to reach muscles goal. Sports nutrition is an additional source to get all required carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins and microelements.

Ectomorphs should pay attention to the products that develop anabolic processes and prevent catabolic ones. The market offers a huge amount of different products and additives assisting the athletes to shape the body. The main types are proteins, gainers, complexes of vitamins and amino acids.

There are two main types of proteins to gain muscles and weight. They are whey protein and casein.

  • Casein is a kind of milk protein. Taking into account its digestion use it before going to bed. Small quantity feeds the body during the whole night.
  • Whey protein is the other kind of dairy protein. In other words, it is a whey protein concentrate. It’s obtained from milk whey.

Eva Andressa whey protein have a great impact on the human body. Compare to casein whey products are digested easier. The technologies offer products of different concentrations. The level of protein varies from 34 to 80%.

And the whey protein isolate has 85 %. The hydrolyzed derivatives have 90% of protein.

Therefore athletes with lactose intolerance can use this supplement. Depending on your budget you can apply any type of whey proteins in the ectomorph diet. It blocks catabolism, so take it after a workout.

  • Gainers

Gainer is a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates. Mostly you dilute the powders with milk or juice. You can buy ready-made gainers or make them by yourselves. Here are some options.

  • Mix in a blender 200-300 ml of milk, 4 raw eggs, and 1 banana.
  • Blend 100 g of cottage cheese, banana, nuts, 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
  • Mix 200-300 ml of milk, 40 g of oatmeal, berries to your taste, add some honey.

Create your own recipes:

The ratio is 1 to 3. Add milk or juice. It should be approx 20 grams of protein per serving. Use gainers before and after exercising, as well as between the main meals.

  • BCAA amino acids

ВСАА – branched chained amino acids include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are 3 essential amino acids, which are also found in our usual food (fish, meat, peanuts, eggs). The best time for BCAA or complex amino acids is after waking up, before, during, after workup and before bedtime.

However, the daily dosage of amino acids should about 30 grams.

This schedule gives the energy and One more amino acid as glutamine is perfect to use with BCAA. It’s great for immunity. BCAAs boost the production of leptin. These acids impact fat burning, which is important for gaining weight.

The key benefits of BCAAs

  • Increase protein synthesis;
  • Reduce catabolic processes in the body
  • Improve the breakdown of fats
  • Accelerate recovery after workouts
  • Stimulate insulin production
  • Creatine

They consider it rather effective for ectomorphs. The most common is creatine monohydrate. Creatine helps to increase strength and endurance, keeps enough water in the muscle fiber. It’s is enough to use about 5 grams a day.

Split this amount into several small doses. It’s easy to mix creatine with a gainer or protein, otherwise, use it separately. The supplement gives strength and extra value for the training process.

  • Vitamin and mineral complex

These complexes support and maintain immunity and metabolism. It’s a great preventive measure.

  • Omega-3

These are useful unsaturated fatty acids. They are involved in many body processes including the structural one. Omega-3 components form new cell membranes, boost the brain functions and prevent inflammation.

They are participants of the fat burning process. Flaxseed, nuts contain unsaturated fats. But fish is the best sources of Omega 3. It’s worth to purchase capsules with high-purity fish oil.

  • Pre-training complexes

These powder preparations are advisable for ectomorph athletes. These combinations effect workout motivation. They also increase blood filling in the working muscles. They accumulate energy, increase concentration a fat burning effect due to a slight body temperature increasing.

Many pre-training complexes contain various stimulating substances (DMAA, DMHA, ephedrine, etc.). So, be careful with them to avoid overtraining and spending too many calories.

Therefore, it is better to choose complexes with less stimulator. 100 mg of caffeine is more than enough. Arginine, agmatine or yohimbine are also good for this body type. Due to their components, manufacturers don’t propose these drugs under 18 years.

Ectomorphs should pay attention to:

The nutrients that decrease catabolic but boost anabolic processes and are fast digested. Special nutrition and additives are beneficial for the ectomorph. You will see the tangible results combining the diet, sports nutrition and workout routines.

Top 6 bulking recipes

Rice cake

Rice cake is for those days when the time is really important! It takes not more than 2 minutes to cook a large amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This is a very simple recipe that is perfect for any hardgainer, especially for those who know nothing about cooking.


  • 4 rice cakes
  • 1 spoon of vanilla casein
  • 1 tbsp of almond oil
  • ½ cup of almond milk


  • Mix casein, almond oil and almond milk in a bowl into a thick paste. Spread on rice cakes. Enjoy your meal.

Chocolate yam cakes

This recipe is a great dessert after a tasty dinner. You have the chance to charge your muscles before bedtime. This is a great option for a snack as well.

  • 1 tbsp of chocolate casein
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp of cocoa powder without sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp of milled flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp of walnuts chopped
  • Peel the yams and cut them into small pieces. Fill in half of a large saucepan or bowl with water.
  • Add sliced yams to the boiled water and cook for 20-25 minutes. Preheat the oven up to 180° C. Sprinkle a baking tray with cooking spray.
  • Drain and mash the boiled yam in the bowl. Add casein, baking soda, cocoa powder, and mash again. Put in coconut oil, eggs, egg whites, flax seeds, and walnuts to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Spread the mixture on a baking sheet, evenly distributing it. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before eating.

Oat protein bars with chocolate and nuts

  • 3 cups of oats
  • ½ tbsp of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • ½ tsp of almond extract
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder without sugar
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of walnuts
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla casein
  • Mix casein and oatmeal in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil in a pan with low heating.
  • Add cocoa powder and coconut sugar. Put vanilla extract and almond milk to the pan. Stir well.
  • Then add walnuts and peanut butter to the pan. Put in the melted mixture to the bowl with oatmeal and casein.
  • Carefully mix. Spread the mixture on baking paper and cool. The bars are ready.

Protein granola with cream

Granola is a high-calorie breakfast cereal, It often is served with seeds and nuts to enrich the fat. This recipe is a great day start for any hardgainer or who need fast calories.

  • 2 cups of granola
  • 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt
  • 220 g almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of casein
  • Add Greek yogurt, casein and almond milk to a bowl. Stir until a uniform creamy consistency is formed.
  • Pour the granola in a separate bowl and enjoy! Note: You can add manuka honey and flaxseed for extra healthy fats and natural carbohydrates.

High-calorie smoothies

High-calorie smoothies or shakes are the easiest and fastest way to get a large number of nutrients. If you are limited in time this quick recipe is the strike.

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 banana
  • 230 g almond milk
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp of natural almond oil
  • 1 tbsp of flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon of whey protein
  • Add all ingredients to the blender and mix for 30-40 seconds.
  • Take your favorite glass and enjoy.
  • You can change the berries.

Protein pancakes with vanilla and blueberry

Protein pancakes should be in the diet of any skinny person who wants to gain weight. They are not only delicious but also contain high-quality calories.

  • 2 cups oat
  • 5 egg whites
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 1 spoon of casein protein
  • Put all ingredients into the blender and mix for 20-30 seconds.
  • Oil the pan and heat to medium temperature. Gently pour the mixture into the pan by the spoon.
  • Fry each side of the pancake about 4-5 minutes. It depends on the thickness. Note. You can serve them with natural almond butter. It will bring extra taste and calories of healthy fats.

How do these recipes help ectomorphs?

All these recipes are rich in calories, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and, of course, protein. However, they are especially loaded by carbohydrates. Hardgainers are more sensitive to insulin compared to other people. It helps to utilize glucose and convert it into muscle glycogen.

So, these snacks supply complex carbohydrates with protein. It prevents muscle from destroying during and after an intensive workout.

Ectomorph body type features

  • long limbs with thin bones
  • relatively short body
  • narrow shoulders and hips
  • elongated wrists, palms, fingers, ankles, feet
  • narrow chest
  • small muscle mass
  • long face a high forehead and a thin nose
  • usually thin hair
  • low body fat content
  • the ability for fast weight loss
  • high metabolism

Due to their phenomena overweight is not gained throughout life, even if a person eats enough. Ectomorph’s body shapes are often seen on the pages of fashion magazines:

The narrow bones, long limbs, and flexible body allow them to become famous supermodels, ballet dancers, and basketball players.

The list of ectomorphs among the celebrities

  • Brad Pitt
  • Bruce Lee
  • Bradley Cooper
  • Chris Rock
  • Tobey Maguire
  • Edward Norton

Ectomorphs among female celebrities

  • Angelina Jolie
  • Kate Moss
  • Gisele Bündchen
  • Nadya Auerman
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Thandie Newton
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Whitney Houston
  • Calista Flockhart

Highlights of weight gain for the ectomorph

Kris Gunnars points out on some main general tips to gain the weight for ectomorph body type. It’s important to know and follow them to get success.

  • 1. Keep the limit in the gym

When it comes to workouts the common mistake is long and frequent exercising.

The optimal period to spend in the gym is 3-4 times per week for 45 minutes workout. Especially at the beginning, it will bring the best possible results. The fact is that mainly muscles are growing after exercising when you recovery or sleep.


Ectomorphs’should start with basic exercises to develop strengths. The concentration is directed to deadlifts, squats, pull downs, rows, etc. It will encourage the muscles building. Do not be a fan of cardio at this stage. Gradually enrich your lessons by isolated exercised and heavier load.

  • 2. Count calories

You think that hard calculations with calories are not your business. Ectomorphs are lucky to eat what they want. Truly to say, it’s wrong position. If they consume less required amount they will never bulk the weight and muscles.

Too many calories will bring undesirable effects too. So, be patient and keep the rule to count your daily calories schedule. Tracing calories is an easy but helpful mode to be sure you use enough calories to reach the results.

  • 3. Enough sleep

Sound and long sleep will help to gain success. The target is eight hours night sleeping. The muscles need full value the recovery. It is the key factor for their growth.

  • 4. Select the right calorie food

Choose the food with high calorie dense. It’s better to eat less quantity but get enough calories. Low-calorie products are not for ectomorphs. The days starting with oatmeal will bring energy. Prioritize nuts, avocadoes, dried fruits, meat, and fish.

  • 5. Meals schedule

To get the aim you should eat less but more often. It helps to avoid the feeling of hunger. Split your daily calorie demand into 6-8 meals. The body will be fed regularly. Keep the balance of proteins, carbs, and fats.

It’s worth to eat less but more often. It helps to avoid the feeling of hunger. Split your daily calorie demand into 6-8 meals. The body will be fed regularly. Keep the balance of proteins, carbs, and fats.

  • 6. Shakes assistance

Open the benefits of shakes. You can complete or enrich your daily calorie goal with shakes. Include them into the menu blending different ingredients. The variety is wide. Of course, it’s possible to buy ready-made gainers or shakes.

You are guaranteed extra 500+ calories. The only caution, these cocktails have too much sugar.

Their result is very short in time. It means that you will be hungry very soon. Cook your own receipts to manage what you put into each shake. Do not forget about natural weight gainers as yogurts, cottage cheese, oatmeal, flaxseeds, nut butter, coconut oil. Just switch on your fantasy

  • 7. Control the activity

Those who want to bulk the mass and shape the muscles have to limit their extra activity. As usual, ectomorphs are restless, to some extend nervous people. It’s difficult for them to sit in one place for a long time.

They could do different movements by hands, fingers, and feet constantly. Very often a kind of extra activity is the habit for them. The advice is to reduce speed. It can be a booster to achieve the weight goal faster.

How much daily calories does ectomorph require?

We’ve already known that diet plan for an ectomorph to gain muscle needs to have much more calories compared to the other body types. This quantity is absolutely individual.

Everybody can use the following formula to calculate your daily calorie consumption. In this formula, 60 calories are the best indicator for ectomorphs and hard gainers. Mesomorphs should use around 45, in endomorphs 40 and less.

60 calories x the weight in kg x daily activity level = daily calories

Activity level calculation

It is important to define your level of activity correctly. Take this value for 1 if you are an office worker and mostly seat during the day. If you work hard physically 1.5 is your indicator. The higher your activity range l, the more nutrients you need to recover and grow.

The below estimation if you prefer to do it in pounds.

Get the weight in pounds and multiply it by 18-20. So, the person of 160 lb will require 3200 calories = 160×20 to succeed in weight and muscles growing. Of course, it depends on the activity. If there are no results within one-two weeks, add approx 500 extra calories.

For sure, the ectomorph diet plan for men will be more essential in calories compare to ectomorph women diet.

The way from ectomorph to mesomorph

We believe you’ve got the ectomorph diet vision and advice helpful. Keep them in mind, add your own tips from the practice. Just to note that main criteria for diet plan for an ectomorph to gain weight is plenty of healthy calories.

The most solid meal comes after exercise. You can always add some useful ingredients to the dishes. Create your own recipes with useful for ectomorphs products.

The crucial in building muscle for ectomorphs is consistency food assortment. Meals and workout routines in mutual cooperation will lead you to the target weight and body shape of your dream.

It can be hard to figure out what the best diet for ectomorphs is. When you search for the healthiest diets, you’ll find diets that are designed to help people lose weight. And that makes sense. After all, at least in the United States, the CDC estimates that only 1.9% of people are underweight. Wanting to gain weight is quite rare.

The reason the CDC cares about this stuff is because so many people are running into health problems from being overweight. As a result, most people need to adopt various diets to help them lose weight. This has become the standard recommendation for improving health: choose a diet that helps you lose weight.

In fact, the very term “dieting” implies that we should be restricting foods and calories to help us eat less. But what if we’re trying to gain weight? Do ectomorphs need an anti-diet?

Yes. We do.

I had coffee a few weeks back with a good friend of mine from Montreal. I had just finished a couple months of the Bony to Beastly program, and I’d put on 20ish pounds of muscle since she last saw me. She was wowed by my progress and told me I looked a Hell of a lot stronger. My physical health was obviously not a problem, but she was worried that I was headed down the road to obsession. She knows that I barely train 3 hours per week, so there’s obviously no obsessive behaviour there. But she also knows that I’m extremely fascinated by the role that nutrition plays with fat loss, health and building muscle—especially for us ectomorphs. So, despite the fact that we had just finished pouring rum into our coffees, she was concerned that I was developing an obsession with eating healthy foods and only healthy foods.

The interesting thing is that eating healthy and only healthy foods can actually hinder your results. Many people struggle to build muscle, lose fat, love life, and accomplish their goals because they place too much emphasis on “healthy” eating.

The true secret to becoming superhuman isn’t to eat superfoods, it’s to eat “Clark Kent” foods—everyday bulking foods that will give you superhuman results.

Underweight Ectomorph to Obsessed Bodybuilder?

I used to suffer from what I now call “apparent anorexia”, where I would dream of being more muscular but often have strangers wondering “does this guy have an eating disorder?” I was 6’2 and 130 pounds, with a body that made starving female runway models jealous. Damn ectomorph genetics. In fact, my dad was in the same skinny boat at my age, despite infamously being able to finish several entrees at a time at restaurants.

Our diets may not have been the best, but we weren’t intentionally making ourselves thin—quite the opposite. This is an example of me having no idea what I was doing nutritionally, and quite obviously it wasn’t working out for me.

Now, 60 pounds of muscle heavier and with my “genetics” soundly defeated, I’ve been accused of something a little bit more flattering: orthorexia. “Orthorexia” is an unhealthy obsession with eating only extremely healthy foods.

The accusation raises a very interesting point, even though I consider my interest in nutrition quite psychologically healthy. I mean, I’ve never enjoyed what I eat more than now, and I neither crave nor avoid going out for a few beers and some suicide wings with friends. I’m also extremely happy with my physique, even as I push myself for health and strength improvements.

In fact, if you had to classify me as either a clean or dirty bulker, I’d probably fall more on the dirty side of things.

This isn’t always the case with nutrition-loving guys though, and many dudes perpetually follow extremely strict and limited diets consisting of supplements and superfoods. Does this give them results? Of course. Does it give them the best results, though? No. In fact, most people following the popular diet trends run into nutrient deficiencies.

The Problem with Restrictive Diets

Part of the reason they run into deficiencies is simply because they’re consuming fewer calories. Eating fewer calories means that fewer nutrients are coming in overall, which makes it more likely that you won’t get enough of them (study).

But this is where things get wild. Health-conscious people who are on restrictive diets have the highest chance of suffering from nutrient deficiencies, even when comparing them against the general population. In fact, nutrient deficiencies are common among athletes and bodybuilders (study, study, study, study, study). The people who pay the most attention to their diets are suffering for it.

The reason for this is pretty obvious when you give these diets a look-over. Eating a “clean” bodybuilding diet, for example, is kind of a weird way to eat. It’s usually based around just a few foods: skinless chicken breast, egg whites, lean cuts of steak, olive oil, fish oil, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, brown rice, tuna, oats, protein powder and creatine.

I mean, if you’re cutting out dairy, potatoes, fruits, egg yolks, fatty meat, and so on, it’s no surprise that you’re going to run into some problems. You can’t pick a list of twelve “clean” foods, eat them day in and day out and expect them to add up to a balanced diet.

Most cultures have found a way of meeting their nutritional needs, and over time these practices become cultural traditions. Mexicans can’t just go Paleo and cut out beans, Northern Europeans can’t just cut out dairy because it’s an animal product, Americans can’t just cut out fruits because of the carbs/fructose, and us Canadians can’t just cut out polar bear steaks because of the saturated fat.

If you deprive it of a food group that’s commonly consumed in your culture (grains, dairy, breakfast, carbs, sugars, beaver tails, etc) you leave a nutritional hole that needs to be plugged. I’m not saying you’re stuck eating brussels sprouts even if you hate them. These holes can be plugged. If you need to (or want to) avoid a certain type of food that’s okay. I’m just saying that you need to be mindful of it.

One issue is that restrictive diets are very very common nowadays. You’ve probably heard a lot about vegan diets, ketogenic diets, intermittent fasting, and needing to eat every 2-3 hours. You’ve also probably heard a lot about acai berries, flax, pomegranates, red wine, goji berries, broccoli, spinach, coconut oil, chick peas, blueberries, turmeric and garlic.

The interesting thing is that despite all the hype, in order to look like Superman you shouldn’t be restricting evil foods, eating “superfoods,” and following trendy diets. Instead, you should be eating Clark Kent foods—staple foods.

Trendy Diets Do Work,
When the Fundamentals Are Also Handled.

If you eat a plant-based diet that focuses on whole unprocessed foods (and supplement with leucine) you can build a ton of muscle. Similarly, if you follow a meat-rich paleo diet, you can also achieve an incredible physique. Eating nine times a day works. Eating two square meals can work too, assuming you take in the same quantity and quality of nutrition. If you find that your lifestyle or moral code meshes well with a certain doctrine then great—you can probably make it work wonders for you. Most diet fads do work, at least in part, but probably not for the reason you think they do.

Don’t suffer any delusions though. Whether you eat three meals a day or twelve, you’ll get comparable results if the foods you’re eating are the same. Plant-based pea protein blends are an awesome source of protein, but so is steak. There are many valid ways to get in the macronutrients you need to accomplish your goals.

“Superfoods” Are Incredibly Healthy,
When Incorporated Into a Balanced Diet.

Blueberries are fiercely rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, broccoli has fat and toxin fighting properties, flax is a great source of polyunsaturated fats, and turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. If you love these foods then fantastic—eat plenty of them. Knowing about them and their benefits is great. I love trying out weird superfoods, and many of them taste fantastic.

Blueberries rock, but so do apples and oranges—everyday Clark Kent foods. Chick peas are great, but so are yams. Don’t place too much emphasis on superfoods or super supplements, because that’s not how a superhuman body is built. Chances are they won’t produce a noticeable difference in your results unless you figure out a great overall approach to eating.

Consider this study, where blueberries are being examined for their superfood-like phytochemical and antioxidant levels. The premise is that blueberries might be able to improve strength training recovery times, thus allowing you to build muscle more quickly. One group of study participants was given 2.2 pounds of blueberries between workouts, while the control group was given 2.2 pounds of regular fruits (bananas, apple juice, etc). Both were in the form of fruit smoothies, and neither group knew which type of smoothie they were drinking. The result? Eating 2.2 pounds of Blueberries sliiightly improved muscle recovery versus the control group.

Now check out this study, where participants started strength training and eating at a calorie surplus. The first group, who didn’t alter their diets at all, gained 3 pounds of muscle in 8 weeks just from the strength training. Pretty good. The second group, who consumed an extra 356g carbs and 106g protein powder, gained over 6 pounds of lean mass. More than double the muscle gains! The third group, who consumed an extra 438g carbs and just 24g protein powder, gained 7.5 pounds of lean mass!

These weren’t fancy carbs—just simple sugar and starch powders. A potato, fruit or bagel would have had the same effect. Interestingly enough, eating more bananas and potatoes, it seems, result in more muscle gains than even consuming protein powders.

The moral of the story? Superfoods can make the tiniest of differences, so if you’re looking to gain 1.1 pounds of muscle instead of 1 pound of muscle this week then go for it. How do you double your gains? Eat large amounts of staple foods. (Easier said than done, I know.) The problem is that people fall hook line and sinker for supplement ads and novel dieting strategies, when the simple truth is that a rock solid training program and whole hearty foods is where the real results are built.

The “Anti-Diet” for Ectomorphs

If you’re trying to bulk up, build muscle, gain strength, and improve your health, that’s probably going to require that you lift weights and change your diet. And when it comes to your diet, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t learn about nutrition. In fact you absolutely should.

If you don’t have the physique that you want, obviously some things need to change. If you’re a naturally skinny guy like me, then you might even need to change your lifestyle quite a bit. What I’m saying is that you don’t need to adopt any kind of extreme diet.

We help our members build a bulking diet that suits their preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Our members in Texas are eating quite different from our members in Latin America, who eat a very different diet from our members in India. And that’s okay. You can bulk up on a wide variety of foods. If you’re reading this from halfway across the world, rest assured that your local foods will be perfectly fine for bulking up. You don’t need to import your foods from Los Angeles because some fitness blogger there is in love with grass-fed beef or whatever the new fad is.

A good ectomorph bulking “diet” should be built around the foods that you enjoy. Within reason, of course. We can’t build your muscles entirely out of McDonalds and Pop Tarts, no. But we can build them out of hamburgers and chicken parmesan. You may want to eat a side of green beans with your burgers to make your diet a bit more balanced, but there’s no need to eat a restrictive diet.

Skinny guys trying to build muscle and gain weight are the last guys who should be restricting foods for no reason. All this restrictive stuff is really more so for people trying to avoid foods that are easy to overeat. We’re trying to overeat, and we’re intentionally consuming a lot of calories. We’ve got a lot of room in our diets for the things that we love, even if they aren’t technically “clean” foods.

Even dessert can help. When it comes to eating enough food to build impressive amount of muscle, us skinny guys often struggle. That’s one of our biggest struggles. It’s a complicated issue, too. There are a lot of reasons why it’s so hard for ectomorphs to gain weight. Processed foods and desserts offer us an easy way to get more calories in. So long as we’re also getting the nutrients that we need to be healthy and build muscle from other foods, well, a dessert will sure help us hit our calorie goals.

We aren’t taking a casual approach to our bulking diets because we don’t care about results. Rest assured, our goal is to help you build muscle as quickly as humanly possible. We use this approach because this how you get results.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with superfoods and supplements. It’s fascinating, but it becomes so easy to forget the bigger picture.

Consider this example. Lots of struggling ectomorphs are tempted to take the popular supplement branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) after hearing about its muscle-building properties. BCAAs are a low-calorie way of getting leucine, primarily, which is fantastic for building muscle. What’s another way to get BCAAs? Drinking milk, eating meat, or frying up some eggs. A decent sized steak has 13-15g of BCAAs in it. That’s 2-3 scoops of fancy BCAA powder in every steak.

And not only are these whole foods a better way for your body to absorb the BCAAs, they’re also packed full of other muscle-building and healthful nutrients—and they’re full of calories!

The photo up above is of a steak cooked up with some onions and garlic, and served alongside a half-loaf of buttery bread and some broccoli. 950 calories. You could order something similar at a restaurant, or serve yourself up a dish like this at Thanksgiving.

It’s a pretty normal meal. But if you were trying to sell it in a supplement store you could say that the starches in the bread are reloading our muscle and liver glycogen stores, the fancy amino acids in the steak are boosting muscle-protein synthesis, the broccoli is proprietary blend of phytonutrients that will improve your performance, and the butter has monounsaturated fat and dietary cholesterol in it, which are great for testosterone production.

You have a cupboard full of foods that can rival the very best muscle-building supplements on the market.

Tips for Bulking on an Anti-Diet

  1. Eat a balanced diet that isn’t overly low or high in protein. Moderate protein intake stimulates the most muscle growth in ectomorphs.
  2. Eat plenty of carbohydrates, especially after training. Yams, brown rice, pasta, whole grain bread, potatoes, bananas. This is anabolic fuel for us ectomorphs.
  3. Eat irresponsibly large amounts of fruits and vegetables. Carrots, apples, pineapples, cherries, berries, oranges, sea cucumbers—whatever you want. All fruits and vegetables are healthy in their own way, and a variety is best. If your appetite or stomach are a limiting factor though, as they often are for us skinny dudes, you may find it helpful to stick to the ones that are high in calories though.
  4. Eat plenty of healthy fats. Nuts, butter, fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, eggs, cheese, full fat yogurt.
  5. Don’t base your diet around processed foods, but don’t be scared of it either. It’s cool if your dessert has flour and sugar in it.
  6. Eat the right amount of food, but don’t stress about your schedule. You need to eat enough calories to gain weight, but don’t worry about how many meals it takes you.
  7. Supplements can help, but they’re a cherry on top of the cake, so treat them as such—put the bulk of your bulking focus on regular foods.
  8. Enjoy a drink now and then. It won’t do you any harm, and it may even help.
  9. Consider drinking more milk (or smoothies, or protein shakes). Liquid calories tend to be easier on the appetite.
  10. If you enjoy eating superfoods don’t let me stop you! They do rock.
  11. Base your diet around your personal preferences and personal convictions. You can build muscle on a vegan diet. You can build muscle on a Paleo diet. You can build muscle in India, China, Greece, Mexico, etc.
  12. Eat a diet that helps you to eat more calories. This may mean following the opposite advice that you see in most fitness magazines and on most blogs, since most of them are talking about foods that make it easier to lose weight.

A good rule of thumb is to get around 80% of your calories from whole foods. And then when it comes to choosing which whole foods to eat, choose a wide variety of foods that you actually want to eat. If you can do that, you’re going to have a good chance of avoiding nutrient deficiencies. You’ll also have a much easier time bulking up.

Ectomorph Diet & Workout Guide

Do you eat, eat and eat, but it never goes anywhere?

Why can’t you seem to put on muscle fast enough?

If this sounds like you, then your body type is most likely an ‘ectomorph’.

Hallmarks of this physique are long thin limbs, narrow shoulders, fast metabolism, low body fat, and narrow hips and glutes. Very different than your naturally larger endomorph or mesomorph with a symmetrical physique.

While others may envy your lightning-fast metabolism and slender frame, you may view your ectomorph ‘blessing’ as a curse!

If you’ve failed every attempt to put on lean muscle, it’s time to try a different line of attack using a training and nutrition plan that is suited to your unique body shape.

How to Train if You’re an Ectomorph

The foundation of ectomorph training should aim to improve testosterone (your muscle building hormone) production, as this is likely to help you maximize your gains made from each and every workout.

To do this, research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found using compound multi-jointed exercises (such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses) in a workout that lasts no more than 55 minutes is the best strategy for maximizing testosterone and muscle building.

In the below workout, you’ll do 3-5 workouts a week, repeating sessions for the body part you want the most growth.

Rest 2-4 minutes between sets to give yourself enough recovery time.

Oh, and avoid any kind of cardio. After all, calories are extremely precious commodities for hard gainers and you can’t afford to burn excess via cardio.

Sample Ectomorph Workout Plan

Day 1: Chest/Triceps

Incline barbell presses: 5×5 reps

Incline smith machine presses: 4×8-10 reps

Incline cable flyes: 4×10-12 reps

Fly machine: 4×8-10 reps

Low cable flyes: 4×15 reps

Skull crushers: 4×8-10 reps

Tricep rope extensions: 4×10-12 reps

Reverse-grip bench presses: 4×6-8 reps

Day 2: Back/Biceps

Lat pulldowns: 4×8-10 reps

Seated cable rows: 4×8-10 reps

Hammer strength row machines: 4×10-12 reps

Pulldowns w/ v-bar attachment: 4×10-12 reps

DB rows: 4×12-15 reps

Barbell curls:4×6-8 reps

Wide grip cable curls: 4×8-10 reps

Preacher curls: 4×8-10 reps

Spider curls: 4×10-12 reps

Day 3: Shoulders

Seated smith machine presses: 4×8-10 reps

Arnold presses: 4×12-15 reps

Seated DB lateral raises: 4×12-15 reps

Cable lateral raises: 4×12-15 reps

Wide grip upright rows: 3×10 reps

Rear delt machine flyes: 4×12-15 reps

Face pulls: 4×12-15 reps

Day 4: Legs

Barbell back squats: 5×6-8 reps

Leg presses: 4×8-10 reps

Hamstring curls: 4×10-12 reps

RDL’s on Smith machine: 4×8-10 reps

Calf raises: 4×15-20 reps

Kettlebell swings: 4×20 reps

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Legs

Barbell back squats: 5×6-8 reps

Leg presses: 4×8-10 reps

Hamstring curls: 4×10-12 reps

RDL’s on smith machine: 4×8-10 reps

Calf raises: 4×15-20 reps

Kettle bell swings: 4×20 reps

Supplements for an Ectomorph Body Type

These supplements will help you add lean size to your ectomorph frame.

Gainer Supplement

When it comes to lean gains, the name of the game is calorie intake.

But fueling up with crappy food isn’t the answer.

You want to fuel up with clean sources of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The problem though is there is only so much food you can eat in a day.

Gainer supplements can help you hit your macronutrient numbers in an efficient (and tasty) way. Just remember: always look at labels to ensure you’re getting the highest quality ingredients in your gainer.

Creatine Monohydrate

This supplement has a proven pedigree of more muscle, strength, and endurance, making the perfect partner for the ectomorph.

Creatine monohydrate is a well-studied, foundational muscle-building ingredient that supports energy production to enhance muscular power, endurance and growth through replenishing the body’s ATP levels. It’s extremely useful for strength-building workouts like you’ll be focusing on!


Pre-workouts are often used for energy and focus. But with the variety available, you can find one that emphasizes lean muscle growth with ingredients for power, strength, and pumps.

If you don’t already understand pre-workouts, check out this helpful guide!

Ectomorph Nutrition

The majority of meals listed below are meant to elicit gains. However, we encourage you to use a calorie calculator to determine your exact portions and macronutrient breakdown. Also, feel free to swap certain foods based on your preferences.

Sample Ectomorph Meal Plan

Meal One: Smoothie with oats, bran cereal, milk, egg whites, almond butter, natural peanut butter, natural honey, whey protein

Meal Two: Grilled chicken, whole-wheat pasta, side of almonds

Meal Three: Spinach leaves, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives, raisins, sunflower seeds, grilled chicken.

Meal Four, Pre-Workout: Mixed fruit smoothie, wheat bread, sliced turkey, spinach, tomato

Meal Five, Post-Workout: Mass gainer, natural peanut butter

Meal Six: Steak, brown rice, almonds

Meal Seven: Natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, beef jerky, milk, serving of casein

Ectomorph /ˈektəˌmôrf/ n. – any dude who tries to “eat big and lift big” but ends up looking more like Napoleon Dynamite than Thor. See also: manorexic. In a world that keeps getting fatter, it’s not easy being an ectomorph. When everyone around you can’t seem to keep the weight off, you have trouble keeping weight on. Your girlfriend looks at you with envy because you can pound a cheeseburger and fries without adding an inch to your waist, but the same fate seems to curse you when trying to add an inch to your arms. The fact is, ectomorphs have trouble adding fat and muscle. Commonly referred to in the gym as “hard-gainers,” they are thyroid dominant, their sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive, and Oprah would do anything for their carb tolerance and metabolic rate. Their natural state is skinny and lightly muscled, which is perfectly fine if you’re into that sort of thing. But often, ectomorphs were bullied in the third grade and ergo would like to add some lean muscle to their frame. That’s when things get tricky. If you are an ectomorph and you are trying to add lean body mass, you need to take some of the rules that apply to weight-loss and turn them on their head.

Take Advantage of Carbs

A much higher percentage of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates. The nice thing about carbs is that we can eat boat-loads of them without getting full. Use that to your advantage by eating a generous serving of carbs at every meal. Starchy, unprocessed, whole grain carbs will help you feel and look your best—opt for sweet potatoes over white bread. Drink simple carbs during your workout. If anyone should be drinking calories, it’s the ectomorph. You’ll feel energized and have more to give, especially towards the end of a grueling workout. Don’t get in the habit of drinking sugary carbs all day, however. Outside of your workout window (from the start of your workout until about an hour after your last lift), keep your carbs unprocessed, starchy, and whole, as mentioned above.

Don’t Skimp on Protein

Also have a post workout protein shake. That’s right, in addition to a carb drink during the workout, you should have a protein shake immediately after your workout. Post workout protein does wonders for recovery and allows your hard work in the gym to pay off. Adding some carbs to your shake (berries, honey, almond milk) is a way to sneak in some extra calories and make your shake delightfully delicious. Push your calorie intake until you start gaining mass. You want to do the exact opposite of someone trying to lose weight. Add about 500 calories to your diet and see if your weight starts to increase. If it doesn’t, try reducing your non-resistance exercise (any cardio-based exercise). Still no weight-gain? Add another 500 calories to your diet. Repeat until the scale starts to move.

Pace Yourself

You need to eat every two to four hours. Because your metabolic rate is so fast, you need to constantly be fueling your engine. If you want to get bigger, eating needs to become your job. Endomorphs (naturally broad and “thick-boned”) also need to eat often but for exactly the opposite reasons. For endomorphs it helps with control, for ectomorphs it helps with excess.

All About Balance

Protein requirements are still important. Like all good eaters, you should be eating protein with every meal. That means eggs for breakfast, mid-morning nuts (which are mostly fat, but contain protein), chicken for lunch, a post workout protein shake, and steak for dinner. Mmm. Manhood. Fruits and vegetables are still important. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are in these foods that are absolutely essential for you to grow and be healthy. Don’t allow ectomorphia to be an excuse to eat crap. A healthy diet always includes plants also with every meal. Ultimately, getting bigger is not an easy task for the ectomorph. Most of the information out there is about weight loss. Some of those rules need to be broken and some of those rules still apply. But a smart nutrition plan will make all of the difference when going from she-man to He-Man.

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Best diet for Ectomorph body type

The main task that an ectomorph—or, Ecto—needs to look after is to promote muscle gain. An Ecto is that typical skinny girl who can eat all day and her super fast metabolism burns through it all like wildfire. Generally, ectos have a smaller build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually she is long limbed and narrow shouldered. Think Deepika Padukone or Kalki Kochlin; Abhishek Bachchan or Farhan Akhtar. Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight.
What is the best diet for an ectomorph?
An ectomorph needs to increase an intake of calories in her diet with a balanced body building diet plan to gain muscle. As a true-blue ectomorph, she needs to include 1,000 calories or as a moderate, 750 calories wouldn’t be too shabby over your maintenance levels. You need not worry whether intake of such huge amount of calories increases the amount of fat levels in your body. In fact, these calories help ectos in the fast growth of muscles and repair them as they have high metabolic rates.
What is an ectomorph meal plan look like?
Breakfast – Banana and seasonal berries smoothie (348 calories) or French Toast Total Calories (315 calories)
Midmorning Snack – A handful of dried fruits and nuts (350 calories)
Lunch – Red meat stews (300 calories) with a side portion of stir-fried vegetables (122 calories)
Evening Snack – Banana and seasonal berries smoothie (197 calories)
Dinner – Brown rice (332 calories) accompanied by a sweet and sour chicken dish (237 calories).
Pros of an Ectomorph Diet
• Ectomorphs never have to watch their calorie-intake
• They have a fast metabolism
• This body type is genetically blessed with superior aerobic capacity.
• Can lose fat very quickly
Cons of an Ectomorph Diet
• Ectomorphs are hard gainers because they have low muscle-building potential and it is difficult for them to put on lean muscle mass.
• Narrower shoulders
• Smaller bone structure
• Fast metabolism equals burning off calories like a bush fire.
How does it work (out) for an Ecto?
Since ectos have a fast metabolism, they need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Cardio can be cut back as gaining weight is difficult enough. Dietician Shweta Prasad recommends supplements. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them. “So don’t skip meals for any reason and you will need to eat a lot more than normal,” cautions Prasad. “If and whenever necessary, avoid junk and fried food. Eat meals for every one hour, 30 minutes (at least six meals a day) as the key is to have more calories than you burn. Protein, carbs and fat ratio in terms of percentage of calories can be 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fats. Intake of complex carbohydrates like pasta, rice, grain bread, and dried fruits can help you gain maximum results. Drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated and get enough rest—which is necessary—to gain the perfect weight and muscle strength,” she concludes.

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Bulking For Ectomorphs: Nutritional Requirements Including Sample Diet!

Are you fed up with winter after winter of bulking, only to look in the mirror as the spring months approach, to find the same skinny body you started with at the beginning of your ‘bulk’? If the answer is yes then this article may be able to help! As I hear you gasp at the thought you won’t be skinny forever, try to compose yourself for what I am about to tell you, for it is not complex.

The fundamentals behind gaining weight are simple. Eat more calories than your body burns off.

Nothing new there then. But for us ectomorphs who already seem to be eating the world three times over, this can be tricky. If you don’t regularly supply your body with more calories than we need, it simply will not grow. Think of your body as a house being built from bricks. Your food is the bricks you need to build the house, your body. If you don’t provide your body with the building blocks it needs, i.e. calories, simply cannot grow! Try building a house with no bricks! Yeah right!

Now that we have discovered we need to eat, eat and eat some more, we cannot however, drive straight down to KFC and order 6 family buckets. No my friends, if only life was that simple. We need to eat the right amount of macro-nutrients for the body to turn them into bulging Arnold sized muscles… or something similar!

There are three main macronutrient profiles we need to concern ourselves with.


Now, carbohydrates have been targeted by the media and nutrition ‘experts’ as the route of all evil. Not for an ectomorph! Carbohydrates are your best friend. You need to realise however, that not all carbohydrates are created equally.

Carbohydrates come under two main headings, fast and slow releasing carbohydrates. Fast acting carbs, such as white rice, white bread, sweets, sugar, dextrose, etc. are broken down quickly by the body. Once you ingest these fast carbs your liver secretes a hormone called insulin. This spike in insulin is produced by your body for glucose metabolism. Put simply, it had to use these carbohydrates. If you’re at rest and you have ingested glucose not needed by your body, it is stored as fat.

However, taken at the right time, directly after your workout in liquid form, the insulin spike can fuel your muscles into accelerated anabolic recovery phase. This is good. As ectomorphs, building muscle is hard. We need to use every opportunity to create muscle and enhance recovery, so we may train again quicker.

Complex carbohydrates on the other hand, are harder for the body to breakdown. They give us a slower release of glucose when broken down and don’t spike insulin. This slow release of carbohydrates is good for building muscle, as we are constantly supplying the body with the building blocks it needs, to stay in a muscle building, or anabolic stage.

Unlike most of the world who seem to be running away from carbohydrates, you will need to consume large quantities in order to meet your required calorie intake. Remember, you are trying to bulk. You need to eat eat eat. And when you’re finished, eat some more. Stick to complex carbs such as brown rice, brown pasta, wholemeal bagels, yams and sweet potatoes.

Your exact intake of carbs will depend on your bodyweight but as a rule of thumb, take your bodyweight and eat between 2 and 2.5 grams of carbs per lb of bodyweight. Remember that carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram.

Also, to keep your body guessing add in a day of super high carbohydrates just to trick your body so it doesn’t get used to the amount of food you are ingesting. Tricking the body will keep it growing.


Protein is quite simply your most important macro-nutrient. Protein is the building block for the body. It is very important for bodybuilders who are looking to add lean mass. You will need to stick to lean sources of protein if you want to create lean muscle.

Sure you can eat that whole sirloin steak, including the 10cm slab of fat attached to it, but don’t complain if you gain a lot of fat and no muscle. Stick to lean protein sources. Turkey, chicken, fish, lean steak and mince, eggs and of course, protein shakes.

Aim to cram down around 1.5g of protein per lbs of bodyweight.


Fats are often overlooked for ectomorphs and I had even fallen victim to the ‘all fat is bad’ trend before I learned the truth. Fats play a very important role in the body. They lubricate cells within the body, keep skin and hair soft and supple but most important for ectomorphs, they regulate testosterone levels! Without testosterone you might as well pack up and go home. No muscle bound freak ever built muscle without testosterone. Now that we know why they are important, what is the best way to go about getting them? Whoa, steady there don’t rush for the nearest bottle of oil.

Know first that fats like carbohydrates are not created equal. Food high in saturated fat needs to be avoided at all costs as they clog arteries, increase cholesterol and increase your risk of heart related problems. The fats you are looking for are high in omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9. Excellent examples are oily fish, avocados, flaxseed oil, nuts or eggs. A mixture of all of these would be the best way to go about it. To our bulking advantage, fats have 9 calories per 1g. Excellent for us ectomorphs, more penny for you buck!

It is also important to eat lots of fresh fruit and veg. In the UK the government recommends we eat 5 portions of fresh fruit or vegetables a day. Seeing as you will be eating more than the standard portion of 3 meals a day, I would recommend you try to double that. Fruits and vegetables are essentially carbohydrates so add them to your total. They also provide anti-oxidants to keep you fit and healthy.

The Diet

Now I have outlined the macronutrients you need I feel that following a diet composed of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat. This may look odd but remember, you are a ectomorph your nutritional requirements are not the same as the average bodybuilder. In order to determine exactly how many calories you need, you can also try to take your weight in lbs and multiply it by 17 to 20. For example, a 174 lb man would do the calculation of:

  • 174 lb X 17 = 2958 calories per day for a bulk.

Broken down roughly into 370g of Carbohydrates, 220g of Protein and 67g of Fat.

These figures will depends on you activity level during the day but they can be used as a starting point. If after a week you have gained no weight, increase your calories by 600 or 700.

Here is a sample diet including some supplements. The supplements are exactly that, items which supplement your diet. Remember, you need to eat to grow big. Used effectively they can help but by no means are they the be all and end all of gaining muscle.

Meal 1 Protein Shake 1 Oats 1 serving Flaxseed Oil 1 serving Meal 2 Scrambled Eggs 4-6 Bagel 1 Oat Bran 1 bowl Apple 1 Meal 3 Chicken 1 serving Couscous 1 serving Asparagus Large portion Pear 1 Prunes 1 handful Meal 4 Sweet Potato 1 large Tuna 1 tin Almonds 1 handful Banana 1 Pre-workout Protein Powder 20 g Glutamine 5 g Oats 1 serving Post-workout Protein Powder 20 g Creatine 5 g Glutamine 5 g Dextrose 25 g Meal 6 Halibut 1 serving Couscous 1 serving Asparagus Large portion Pear 1 Prunes 1 handful Before Bed Cottage Cheese 1 serving Banana 1 Protein Shake 1 Flaxseed Oil 10 g

This diet is just a sample of what has worked best for me. Feel free to change any of the meals round to meet your own macronutrient profiles. Make sure however, your post and pre-workout supplements remain the same.

I recommend you write down everything you eat. This can be difficult at first especially finding the calories in a large potato or a portion of rice but has an excellent food database that can help. This method gives you a base from which you can add and remove calories from your diet, based on your needs.


And there you have it! Basic nutrition for a successful off season Ectomorph bulk!

7 Beneficial Weight Gain Tips – Must Know Ectomorph Diet Rules

Tired of being called the ‘skinny guy’? Always feel like you’re the weakest in the gym? Being an ectomorph, for many, is just as bad as being an endomorph who’s overweight.

Try as you might, you just can’t seem to put on weight – fat or muscle­ – and frustration sets in on a continual basis.

An ectomorph is described as someone who is naturally quite thin and has a metabolism that runs along at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, when you eat more, it just runs faster.

If you have this particular body type, you need to approach weight gain and muscle building differently than the average individual. Since your body doesn’t act in an ‘average’ way, you can’t use the same approach.

Let’s look at seven ectomorph-specific weight gain tips that you need to know and abide by.

Tip #1: Do Less In The Gym

Contrary to what you might think, you should actually do less in the gym if you hope to gain weight. Far too many naturally thin people think that they need to be in the gym six days a week for at least an hour a day.

After all, since they are so thin, this must mean they need to do more to build muscle, right?

Wrong. The problem with this thinking is that it fails to realise that, as a skinny person, you just don’t have the same recovery system that the average person does. Remember, muscle is built when you are resting. In the gym, you are actually breaking your muscle tissue down.

So the more time you spend in the gym and the less time you spend resting, the less time you are giving yourself to build that muscle mass.

An ectomorph should limit his gym sessions to 3-4 per week, staying in the gym for 45 minutes or so per session. That’s all that’s needed to see optimal results.

As you plan these sessions, be sure to focus more on compound movements and exercises, and less on the isolation work that you might be doing right now. You will get more of a hormonal response from the larger compound moves like squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, bench press and rows, which will in turn help you build muscle faster.

If you’re too busy doing bicep curls, lateral raises, and leg extensions in the gym to focus on those above mentioned moves, your program is far less effective than it could be.

Tip #2: Track Those Calories

As an ectomorph, you might be putting yourself on a ‘see-food’ diet. Basically, if you see it, you eat it. In other words, you don’t worry about tracking calories. Tracking calories is for those looking for weight loss, you may think.

Wrong. It’s just as important for you to track calories as it is for someone who hopes to lose weight. Why? If you don’t track calories, you have no way of knowing for sure how many you are getting in.

Most naturally thin people tend to overestimate the number of calories they’re consuming, meaning they’re not eating nearly as much as they think they are.

In order to see results, an ectomorph needs learn how to increase their calorie intake. If they aren’t seeing results, it usually comes down to one simple reason: they aren’t eating more calories than they are using.

Tracking calories is a simple and effective way of ensuring you are eating enough calories to see results.

Tip #3: Prioritise Sleep

The next tip is to prioritise sleep. If you try and get by with six or seven hours of sleep, this could seriously be hindering your success.

Sleep is when your body goes into deep recovery mode and when you can be sure that you are recovering and building muscle. Sleep is also when your body releases growth hormones, which is a key to jumpstarting the rate that you are burning fat.

Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep a night. If building muscle is important to you, you need to find a way to incorporate this into your routine.

Tip #4: Ditch Food With A Low Calorie Density

As an ectomorph, you will want to avoid foods with a low calorie density.

What do we mean by that? Basically, avoid food that you need to eat a lot of in order to make any significant calorie gains.

A great example of food with a high calorie density is cooked oatmeal. A small serving will give you a big boost of energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer. A quarter cup of oatmeal will contain approximately 80 calories. Since your stomach can only hold so much food, so you will want to focus on getting the best ‘bang for your buck’, so to speak.

Some great calorie-dense foods include:

  • Nuts and nut butter
  • Whey protein powder
  • Bagels
  • Dried fruit
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Grass-fed beef

Tip #5: Eat Every Few Hours

Eating little and often is a great way to ensure your body constantly has the fuel it requires.

If you have to eat 4000+ calories per day (which is not uncommon for most ectomorphs), it’s far easier to get these calories in by dividing them up into 6-8 meals over the course of the day compared to 3 large, 1000+ calorie meals.

Your stomach simply won’t handle that much food that well and you’ll be left feeling sluggish for much of the day.

By fueling your body on a continuous basis and eating 400-500 calories per meal, you will keep your energy levels at a consistent level.

Make sure that each meal you eat contains a good levels of lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to make it as balanced as possible.

Tip #6: Make Good Use Of Shakes

Another great way to get your calorie intake up is to make good use of shakes. These are convenient and quick options that will help you hit your daily calorie target. Blending together ingredients means you can up the calorie intake per serving.

Try adding in more calorie dense items into a ‘weight gain’ shake, such as nut butter, coconut oil, flaxseeds, avocado, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or ground up oatmeal.

Do steer clear of commercially prepared weight gainers however. While these may seem like a good idea, as many have 500+ calories per scoop, they are often loaded with sugar and are only going to provide your body with empty calories. They will leave you feeling hungry again quite quickly and won’t give you the nutrition that you need.

Prepare your own so that you can control exactly what goes into each shake.

Tip #7: Watch Your Extra Activity

Finally, the last tip to remember is to watch your extra activity level. Those who are ectomorphs tend to be rather fidgety in nature, meaning try as they might, they just can’t sit still.

They may find that they tend to pace around often, jiggle their foot, or are constantly doing other activities throughout the day because they are so restless.

If this is you, it’s time to focus on slowing down. All this extra activity is going to dramatically increase your total daily calorie burn, meaning you will need to eat even more food than you already do to gain weight.

All this extra activity is actually a prominent reason in explaining why many ectomorphs have that particular body type.

If you can relax and slow down a bit, you might come to find that you will achieve your weight gain goals a little easier.

This will take you some time to get rid of this habit as it’s something that’s been ingrained in you. But, if you can look at your overall daily schedule and try and find ways to relax and take it easy more often, you’ll soon get used to it.

So there you have some of the best tips for any ectomorph who is trying to build muscle to know and remember. It’s vital that you make some adjustments to how you are living, exercising and eating or you will not see the desired results.

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What is an ectomorph?
The ectomorph is one of the three most common body types (somatotypes), characterized by a “thin frame” and difficulty to gain muscle mass as well as fat. People that belong to this somatotype are usually skinny, lean and have a high metabolic rate.

When exposed to a constant unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle, ectomorphs can actually gain some weight, which will most probably be belly fat, while their arms and legs will stay unusually thin.

Characteristics of the ectomorph body
Studies have shown that when strength training, the ectomorph body produces low levels of myogenin (a member of a large family of proteins related by sequence homology, the helix-loop-helix (HLH) proteins. It is essential for the development of functional skeletal muscle.), which limits their capacity to build muscle mass.

In addition to the low muscle mass, the myogenin deficiency limits the energy reserves to the muscles and does not allow the ectomorph to train intensive and hard enough. This means that there is not enough stimulus for the muscles to grow.

The good part about being an ectomorph
As mentioned before, ectomorphs have a really hard time putting some meat on their frame. This opens an opportunity for the ectomorph to eat more liberally, including junk food. Because of the fast metabolism, mos of the weight they put on them will be lean muscle rather than fat.

A fit and shredded body is an easy goal for the ectomorph; The effort they need to put in to create a visible six pack is really small. Most of the professional models belong to this somatotype.

Training errors that ectomorphs make
– Too much cardio – if you are an ecto, you need to forget about long cardio sessions – ectomorphs are already skinny and lean enough, that too much cardio will only make things worse.

– Too many weight lifting sessions. Two to three weight lifting sessions a week are just enough for an ecto to make some progress. A bit more than this, and they will start losing weight again, by not allowing the muscles to recuperate.

– Not sleeping enough

How can ectomorphs gain muscle
Most of the training should revolve around the big basic moves: squats, bench press, shoulder press, deadlift, chin ups. Cut the isolation exercises as they do not provide enough stimulus for muscle growth.

Compound exercises performed with moderate to heavy weights and repetitions in the range of 5-8, will activate multiple joints and the larger muscle groups, which causes the body to produce testosterone and other anabolic hormones, important for gaining quality muscle.

Ectomorph Diet
Ectomorphs don’t have to count the calories. They can usually eat pretty liberally and eat as much as possible. This, however, doesn’t mean that ectos can turn exclusively to junk food or overeat on sweets. Remember to stick to a healthy diet, containing protein from lean meats, low fat dairy, eggs and fish as well as complex carbs.

The amount of protein consumed per day should be in the range of 1 – 1.5 grams per LB of body weight. The amount of carbs should be anywhere around 2 grams per LB up to 4 grams per LB of body weight.

Muscle building supplements
1. Protein shakes – they are essential of you want to get all your protein on a daily basis, but you are not able to eat enough foods. You can combine whey, egg and casein throughout the day. The post-workout shake should be whey because of the faster absorption, the shake before sleep can be either egg or casein.

2. Take BCAA before exercise, they will provide the body with more energy and sustain anabolic process.

3. Add 10 grams of creatine a day, which not only increases the volume of the muscle cells, but also improves energy processes.

To sum it up : The basic rules on training/nutrition for ectomorphs

– short but intense training up to three times a week,
– focus on the basic exercises,
– eat at least 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of carbs per LB of body weight per day.

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