The ectomorph body shape makes up a third of the male body figures with the information relating to the other two types also included on the body shape section of this website.
The ectomorph body shape refers to those who have a tall and skinny appearance. Ectomorphs are often described as having a flat chest and small shoulders as well as a very thin and slight frame.
Ectomophs have a very high metabolism and for this reason they struggle to gain weight, something which many endomorphs and mesomorphs are envious of as you can pretty much eat what you like (to a certain extent)
For further information on the ectomorph body shape please do not hesitate to read the rest of this article. Information relating to health concerns, diet and exercise has all be included in the individual sections below.
The main health issues associated with ectomorphs come with age. As metabolism slows down and exercise become less frequent it is then easier for ectomorphs to add weight. For some this may be easily controlled by their diet, for others however this can develop into a major health risk. A lifetime of eating and drinking what you like can catch up and for ectomorphs this is where the problem lies, how do you change the habit of a lifetime?
Although ectomorphs may not appear overweight in comparison to endomorphs, if their muscle to fat ratio is out of sync then they are prone to the same health risks. Excess fat on your body can put you at risk to blood pressure issues, heart disease and type two diabetes, regardless of your body type. Unlike the female body shapes male shapes can be a mixture of two, so in theory you can be a cross between an ectomorph and a mesomorph however it’s most likely you will be mainly one shape.
I hope I am making sense because when I first learned about male body shapes it took a while to sink in! I think mainly because I studied the female body shapes first. Anyway as a result of possible combinations you should realise your main shape and set your goals around your main shape, you main body shape will also become more apparent when you apply a custom diet and workout routine with in 6 weeks.
Food and Diet
Dieting for an ectomorph is as much about choosing which foods to eat as it is nutritional supplements. In comparison to mesomorphs and endomorphs, ectomorphs have something of a free reign; there is less chance of them gaining excess fat, simply because of their very fast metabolism.
Carbohydrates are important and their intake should be maximised to its optimum level, every given opportunity ectomorphs should be fuelling their body with carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates such as pasta, bananas, potatoes, beans and rice are ideal for everyday use, particularly outside of exercise periods. During exercise periods it is still important to stock up on carbohydrates, however so called simple carbohydrates are better for this time of day.
Sugary foods such as jam and apples as well as sports drinks should be consumed during exercise. These supply the body with a quick and short supply of energy. The other main nutrient that ectomorphs should look to load their body with is protein. Protein rich foods such as red meat, turkey, chicken, tuna, low fat cheese, green beans, eggs, nuts and seeds should become a part of any ectomorph’s regular diet.
An additional supply of protein should be added to the body after exercise, this comes in the form of a protein shake. Adding extra nutrients will maximise the body’s store of protein. Protein is used to help the body’s muscles increase in size and recover after exercise. A constant supply of protein, combined with the exercises listed below will help any ectomorph develop a body shape similar to that of a mesomorph.
Diet Plan Example
|Time Of Day||Food Options||Helpful Links|
|8am Breakfast||Muesli, Oatmeal (whole oats) or Weetabix + low fat milk 2 pieces of fruit|
|10am Snack||2 Boiled Eggs + 2 slices of wholegrain toast low fat margarine 2 pieces of fruit||How to cook eggs|
|12noon Lunch||Healthy sandwich wrap Tossed salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber Cottage cheese|
|3pm Snack||Protein shake Fruit||Protein shakes|
|6pm Dinner||Meat, 3 vegetables and jacket potato Protein bar||Healthy recipes|
|8pm Snack||Fruit & Nuts|
Fitness and Exercise
Ectomorph’s should aim to keep their cardiovascular exercise training to a minimum. Your body’s metabolism is already very high, meaning weight loss is relatively easy and does not need much assistance.
Exercise for an ectomorph should be tailored towards adding weight in the form of muscle mass, not losing it. At most an ectomorph should be part taking in cardiovascular exercise for a period of 30 minutes, three times a week. This could quite easily be a warm up activity before starting weight training, weight training is a very important part of your fitness routine it will help shape your body giving you the look you have always desired.
The key word ectomorphs should familiarize themselves with when weight training is intensity. Increasing the intensity of the exercises gets the best results, particular with the abdomen and lower body. Ectomorphs should be looking to perform exercises where they can control the intensity, i.e. add more weight. Squats, calf raises and abdominal crunches are perfect examples, if the exercise is too easy then try performing it with additional weight. If intensity is the key word for the lower body and abdomen then variety is the key word for the lower body.
Ectomorphs should be looking to use a mixture of free weights and weight resistance machines, targeting a range of upper body muscles along the way. For example, the bench press is ideal for targeting the pectoral (chest) muscles but so are dumbbell flys, use both if available. Simple alterations of push ups can also be beneficial, again adding variety. For a full list of push up variations click here.
|Week 1||Exercise||Time Frame|
|Monday||Upper body weight training||45 minutes|
|Thursday||Lower body weight training||45 minutes|
|Friday||HIIT routine||50 minutes|
|Sunday||Upper body weight training||45 minutes|
|Week 2||Exercise||Time Frame|
|Wednesday||Lower body weight training||45 minutes|
|Thursday||Football/soccer training||1 hour|
|Saturday||Upper body weight training||45 minutes|
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