An ectomorph has the body type that is most often seen in the pages of fashion magazines. They are slim boned, long limbed, lithe and have very little body fat and little muscle.
Ectomorphs tend to have fragile, delicately built bodies and find it difficult to gain weight or add muscle. Supermodels and basketball players most commonly fall into this group.
- Small joints/ boned
- Long arms and legs
- Linear physique – “ruler body shape”
- Small shoulders
- Lightly muscled
- Small chest and buttocks
- Low body fat (without exercising or following low calorie diets)
- Can eat anything they like without weight gain
- Fast and efficient metabolism
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Difficulty in gaining muscle mass
MALE examples include:
- Brad Pitt
- Bruce Lee
- Bradley Cooper
- Chris Rock
- Toby Maguire
- Edward Norton
FEMALE examples with ectomorphic characteristics, include:
- Kate Moss
- Gisele Bündchen
- Nadja Auermann
- Audrey Hepburn
- Thandie Newton
- Cameron Diaz
- Whitney Houston
- Calista Flockhardt
Click here for images of some famous ectomorphs.
Although ectomorphs tend to be highly regarded, one must remember that they have problems of their own. Ectomorphs tend to lack shape because of their low muscle mass. Female ectomorphs may complain of looking boyish, wishing they had more curves. Male ectomorphs struggle to increase their muscle mass and may complain of looking wiry. Furthermore, while ectomorphs appear to be skinny, this does not necessarily mean they have a healthy body fat percentage. Ectomorphs tend to lack muscle mass and therefore may need to keep their weight lower than endomorphs or mesomorphs. Furthermore, some ectomorphs want and struggle to gain weight – muscle and some fat.
With age, even the super-fast metabolism of the ectomorph slows down and as a result, they often gain weight, since they are not used to exercising or watching their calorie intake. However, this is an opportunity for male ectomorphs to gain muscle and female ectomorphs who want more curves to get them. Brad Pitt for example, has become much less ectomorphic over the last few years, as has Kate Moss.
Ectomorph Workout & Nutrition Plan
Ectomorphs may be underweight, but over-fat and thus be carrying too much body fat and not enough lean mass (muscle). Ectomorphs can benefit, as much as the other two body groups, from body fat (composition) measurements. Even ectomorphs can’t get away without exercise if it is a toned, fit body they are after.
When it comes to diet for ectomorphs, include nutrient and calorie dense foods for snacks and meals, such as nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and vegetables if you want to increase shape and increase your muscle mass. Also, some ectomorphs may want to try a weight gain diet.
If you are struggling to gain weight, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. People suffering with hyperthyroidism for example, experience weight loss, are unable to gain weight and tend to be hyperactive and fidgety.