"Go eat a sandwich!"
This was a phrase I and many other people heard or still hear on a consistent basis from those who one don't understand that it's not as easy for everyone to gain weight, two that being skinny is a serious insecurity for many people, especially guys, & hearing ones "short comings" being brought to the forefront isn't necessarily a confidence booster, & last understanding that simply "eating a sandwich isn't going to rectify the situation. Don't get me wrong I do understand where they are coming from. To the person that doesn't have an issue with gaining weight (mesomorphs & endomophs), the life of an ectomorph is something completely foreign to them, but that art of bodybuilding is just that, AN ART. With that in mind, there are many mediums to art, and different procedures, routines, and practices that should be done to get the most out of your platform, and the same holds true with our bodies. Bodybuilding is the practice of focusing your attention on specific body groups and executing motions paired with progressively heavier weight to begin and continue body sculpting.
The Life of an Ectomorph
Now the journey ahead for an ectomorph isn't going to be a walk through the park. You wont' wake up everyday and want to push yourself to grow because it takes a lot of discipline and focus, but the reward and the chistled physique will be worth it. I have to make sure I say that as a precursor because if you are going to go into this journey without being prepared expecting to win, then you're in for a rude awakening, but if you buckle down and plant in your mind that you're going to make it and grow even if you don't feel like then you're on the right path. I would highly suggest reading our past blog The Body Type Prototypeto first determine if you're actually an ectomorph or simply a mesomorph who needs to learn how to eat properly, and yes, that is a really thing! The core to structures of building muscle as a ectomorph are:
Collect those calories
Getting your weight up
Focusing on compound exercises
Collect Those Calories
We've heard this over and over again, in order to build muscles, we have to pack on some weight to convert into muscle before we even think about sculpting. You should focus on foods that are both high in calories are also high in protein. I've heard people say, and I've even told this lie to myself time and time again saying, "I eat!", but in reality, if you're not eating at least 5-6 meals a day, you're not really doing anything. A good rule of thumb is to have 3 full meals a day which should be comprised of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but also add two additional snacks in between to give you that calorie and protein boost.
Don't Cut Back on the Protein
This one sounds like a no brainer, but when you're learning this new skill, it can be difficult to find a rhythm but be sure not to skip out on your protein intake. Protein is the necessary "food" for your muscle to repair and build. With your focused workouts, you're tearing your muscle to rebuild them bigger and stronger, and with this process, equipping your body with the necessary poultry, eggs, fish, protein powder supplement, and other non meats that are jam packed with protein, you'd be on your way. Just be sure that with every meal that a third of your plate is taking up by a heaping serving of protein.
Stop StressingThe Small Stuff
Most people who are reading this are either looking to gain muscle, or knows someone who has been complaining your ear off about why they can never get to the muscle mass that they want, & for that mentality if I have just one phrase to say to you, "JUST CHILL OUT!". I know that that's easier said than done, but when you think about it, you are what you think about, and if you're waking up every morning and laying down every night ramming your brain on why you're not getting the muscle that you want, that's definitely not going to increase and enhance the process. When you stress out about every little thing, it's not the best way to set the some for healthy muscle growth. When you're allowing yourself to become stressed and constantly measuring your muscle growth, you are releasing cortisol into your body which both slows down growth, and also adds fat cells to your midsection.
Getting Those Weights Up
We focus a great deal on nutrition, because without the right fuel to drive you to the gains you want to see, there's no way you'll ever get to your level, however, it's also important to add weight training to your regimen, but train heavy and correctly. When you're properly strength training, it'll stimulate your appetite which will give you that extra push to reach your daily calorie count. From this, your body is able to section off the nutrients so that the protein that you eat will be fed to your newly formed muscles and not to your fat cells. "The primary training factor in muscle building is HIGH MUSCULAR TENSION. In other words, we choose exercises and weights that put tension on certain muscles to build them. Muscle fibers placed under mechanical tension grow bigger by thickening up, absorbing amino acids and storing carbohydrates in the form of glycogen."--www.muscleandstrength.com