Bulking: Ectomorph Athlete
Ectomorph Athletes differ from the common bodybuilder because their resting state is lean with minor muscle tone. This makes it impossible for these types of athletes to gain any type of mass. Bodybuilders are envious of our metabolism, however being an ectomorph is not all its cracked up to be. While you can feast like a king whenever you want without having to worry about adding inches to your waistline, you will find the same to be true for adding those inches to your chest or arms. In this article, We are going to crack open the ectomorph athlete to explain the best bulking practices for ectomorphs and the best protein powders for ectomorphs. These results will shock you! Find out what the biggest mistake ectomorph athletes make!
What is an Ectomorph Athlete?
The ectomorph body type is the complete opposite spectrum of most individuals. The average person struggles to keep weight off, while ectomorphs struggle to keep any weight at all. Ectomorph Athletes noticeably spotted for their skinny physique, have a very high metabolism with low body fat percentage. They constantly complain of relentlessly eating with little to no weight gain.
Ectomorphs Need To Take A Different Approach
There is only a small percentage of lifters that are ectomorphs. When large companies market products targeted to bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes alike they are targeting the average athlete. The average athlete is NOT an Ectomorph making most supplements obsolete for us. There are companies that have muscle gainers, but what we need weight/mass gainers!
A perfect example of a product made for the average athlete and not an ectomorph is Whey Isolate Protein. Note, this product is an excellent way to increase protein intake while limiting the amount of calories. The process they use to create Whey Isolate Protein denatures proteins and stops the biologic activity of certain peptides. The end result is a high percent of clean protein with little calories attached. Now protein does play a key role in muscle protein synthesis; but for ectomorphs the main goal is to exponentially increase daily caloric intake.
The Biggest Mistake Ectomorph Athletes Make Is Not Focusing On Calories More Than Protein
Here’s an example of the average ectomorph athlete “I just can’t seem to break this plateau! I have tried everything from workouts to eating more protein per meal. I weigh 170 lbs and consume about 2500 calories a day with 300 grams of protein. No matter what I do i cannot seem to add any more mass or strength.”
The problem with the mentality that so many novice athletes get into is they believe protein is the nectar of the gains god. While protein an extremely key factor in muscle growth, retention, and strength. It should not be the only factor that athletes take into consideration, especially as an ectomorph athlete. Think back to our example, if it takes the athlete 2500 calories a day to maintain 170 lbs. It will take at least 4,000 calories a day to reach a weight of 190-200 lbs. Ectomorph’s hyperactive metabolism is blowing through those calories during training, the excess of calories allows for fat storage and thus a building block for muscle growth.
Do Ectomorphs Need Mass Gainer or Protein Powder?
No. No athlete needs supplements, with a proper workout regimen and a healthy supportive diet any body is achievable. But having a kick ass routine with a great diet, coupled with supplements will fast track your progress!
When athletes see or hear the word – protein – they instantly think, “alright this is where all the gains are made!”. While this is true in most situations being an ectomorph athlete we need to focus on increasing our daily caloric intake as opposed to our protein consumption. This is where Mass Gainer trumps Protein Powder.
Mass Gainer is a calorie packed protein shake. On average a mass gainer shake will contain 1,000+ calories by itself! Couple this with some of your favorite add ins such as peanut butter, almonds, banana, etc. and your shake alone is half of peoples normal diet! This type of spike in calories is exactly what ectomorph athletes need to take advantage of to increase gains! The great thing about consuming large amounts of calories in liquid state is that you don’t feel full for long. Mass Gainer Shakes allow you to consume around 2,000+ extra calories a day while still being able eat all your meals for the day!
So to answer the question, specifically for ectomorph athletes it is best to choose Mass Gainer over traditional protein powders. The best thing is though these mass gaining supplements are also full of protein. Serious Mass by Optimum Nutrition is 1250 Calories and 50 grams of protein!
Top Mass Gainers:
The Secret Ingredients to Maximize Gains
In this study creatine was added to a testing group’s protein shake. The results showed a 50% increase in muscle size after 8 weeks of consumption. This study isn’t the only one either. There has been countless years of research in creatine. Scientist today are noticing all it beneficial applications and may use it to conquer some major illnesses such as Alzheimers.
How does it Work:
When your muscles undergo lifting they require energy in the form of ATP. ATP allows for short burst of energy and are in limited supply, once they run out so does the work. However, Creatine assists in replenishing ATP allowing you to like longer and increase the Time-Under-Tension for your muscles. The increased TUT promotes muscle growth, strength and endurance. In addition, Creatine promotes protein synthesis and glycogen storage. This supplement is assisting you from the time you perform your first lift until your last bite of your meal.
The only negative comments creatine has received is stomach pains. Due to creatine pulling fluid into your muscles, your body becomes dehydrated leading to increased cramps and some mild stomach discomfort. Simply increase daily water intake to negate the negative side effects.
Which Creatine is Best?
Creatine is is a staple in most supplement shakes, it’s ability to grow and strengthen muscles is so effective it has become a basic essential. Which brand of creatine is the best? When shopping creatine there are so many flavors the choices can become daunting. However, one of the best versions of creatine to buy is monohydrate creatine (study), it is both inexpensive and effective. One of the best deals online is by Bulk Supplements (around 19$ per Kilogram). Quality creatine does not mean most expensive! You can purchase this staple supplement at any local vitamin shop.
Protein is possible one of the most important factors in muscle growth. Consistently consuming the proper amount of protein throughout your training regimen has been proven to be effective. Protein supplementation promotes muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.
Whey Protein is one of the best proteins to utilize. It is an excellent source of protein, easily digestible, full of BCAAs and amino acids. Many dietician and nutritionists consider whey protein to be a full food like yogurt or cheese. It’s even being researched for its anti-aging properties.
The best time to take Whey is anytime! Whether its pre, during or post workout whey’s incredible blend of amino acid increase muscle protein synthesis. Drinking a shake just prior to or during your training allows your muscles to start repairing instantly with the high level of amino acids. The best thing about pre-workout whey shakes is that you can easily add creatine to it to get really boost your gains!
Many company’s provide false titles for their supplements. However, one of the must trusted company’s providing whey protein currently is Optimum Nutrition. They provide quality supplements for an affordable price.
Being ectomorph athletes this boost in protein intake will make it easier for us to consume the necessary amount of protein to bulk. Since Whey Protein is essential for the ectomorph athlete being full of protein, calorie dense, easy to prepare/consume, not filling and inexpensive. There is no reason you should not boost your muscle growth with Whey Protein.
What is it?
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the bloodstream. It is 61% of the free intracellular amino acid pool making it the most abundant amino acid in muscle tissue,while BCAA’s only hold 8.45. Glutamine’s unique structure, containing two nitrogen side chains, allow it to be the primary transporter for nitrogen to the muscle cells. Why is this important? Nitrogen is a unique compound directly associated with amino acid (protein) status. The amount of nitrogen in the body and the bodies ability to efficiently consume/replenish it’s nitrogen storage is directly linked to the body’s muscle building potential. For example, when nitrogen intake is greater than the output, your body is in an optimal state for muscle growth.
How does it help?
Supplementing Glutamine into your diet promotes nitrogen retention. This is puts your body in the optimal state for muscle growth, as we explained above. The increase in nitrogen retention also prevents the loss of muscle protein. By boosting intracellular concentration of glutamine through supplementation within skeletal muscles, you are increasing the available nitrogen in your muscles. Allowing muscles to repair/grow faster after every training session.
Ever wonder what the secret was to some mass gainers that allow them to have so many complex carbs in one shake? The answer is Maltodextrin! This glucose polymer is a starch that closely mimics flour, except you can easily mix with water to consume. This supplement allows you to consume large amounts of pure carbs that are easily digestible. Meaning you can add another 1000+ calories to your diet without skipping any meals. This is a huge game changer for us ectomorph athletes!
The best part about Maltodextrin is that its cheap and it allows you to moderate you carb intake. Mix this supplement into your post workout shake and your body will quickly convert those carbs into muscle mass. You may be thinking “Wont all these extra carbs make fat?” The answer is no! Pure carbs are not easily stored as fat. In addition consuming large quantities of proteins, carbs, and calories post workout is very anabolic, meaning your body will invest all those building blocks into muscle gains!
How to Effectively Supplement as an Ectomorph Athlete
The best way to increase muscle mass is a combination of these supplements before and after your workout.
Preworkout: We recommend having a standard protein shake (20-30g of whey) with 5g of creatine and 3g of glutamine. This will give your body the protein, nitrogen and creatine it needs to start repairing muscles during your workout. Leading to a faster recovery time.
Postworkout: This is where you are going to carbo load to take advantage of your muscles being in a state of increased insulin sensitivity. The post workout shake consists of Mass Gainer (typically 2 heaping scoops) + 5g of Glutamine. If you purchase whey protein and maltodextrin to create your own mass gainer, your shake should consist of 30-80g of Whey Protein + 60-180g of maltodextrin + 5g of glutamine.
With these two drinks alone you will be consuming on average 50-110g of Protein and 1000+ calories. This is an ectomorph’s miracle. These easily digestible shakes allows us to drastically increase our daily calorie and protein intake without forcing us to skip meals!
As an ectomorph athlete I can attest to these methods. Prior to this knowledge I was seriously about to hang up the towel. No matter how hard I pushed in the gym I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Finally, I did some research and found some of the best ways for ectomorph athletes to bulk. It all boils down to a proper training regimen, diet and supplementation. The combination of these 3, although vastly different from normal athletes, has given me the ability to pack on muscle mass like never before!
I now take mass gainer, glutamine and creatine everyday before and after my workouts. Plus, these huge protein shakes don’t give me a sense of fullness for very long. Allowing me to consume my daily 3,000-4,000 calories.
Implement these strategies into your diet and reap the rewards! Proper supplementation is not a necessity. But speeding up the process and getting the results you want faster definitely could make it worth your while. Take into account that everyone has a different body meaning not all methods will work identically from person to person. Simply test it out for yourself and see where the optimal dosages are for your body!
Combine this with our Super Gains Guide and you will be increase your gains exponentially!