This calorie calculator is based on minimum cardiovascular exercise, approximately 3 weight training sessions per week and 20% more calories than normally. If you are an extreme hardgainer/ ectomorph and gain next to no weight despite eating a healthy and balanced diet, you can try the calorie booster option, which is 40% extra calories. However, start with 20% extra calories and if that fails increase your caloric intake. The goal is to healthily gain muscle, not a lot of fat. You can play with the macronutrient ratios to give you a better fit, by using the estimated calorie requirement obtained here and plugging it into the macronutrient calculator.
The calculator below computes the macronutrient ratios as follows:
Carbohydrates: 55% of total calorie intake
Protein: 1.1 grams per pound of total body weight
Fat: remainder of calories
HOW TO GAIN WEIGHT
You can add weight – not just fat – but muscle. Be careful to minimize any fat gain, as ectomorphs can often be skinny, but fat and flabby – aka skinny fat. While your weight may be low, you can still suffer with high body fat percentages (unbeknownst to anyone!). You have to work hard to get this body and will need to eat and exercise regularly – just as those who want to lose weight. The basic strategy is the same; your goals are merely different.
WEIGHT GAIN TIPS
- Since you “waste” more energy than other body types, you must also consume more calories than others.
- Ectomorphs tend to excel on high carbohydrate nutritional strategy. A range of between 55% – 60% of total calories from carbohydrates can work extremely well and helps to maximize tissue-building without significantly affecting fat accumulation.
- More calories do not equal more junk food. There are plenty of “skinny” people who die of a heart attack at an unusually young age due to very poor eating habits. Just because the fat doesn’t show, doesn’t mean its not showing up in your arteries.
- Your fat intake should consist of a limited amount of saturated fats (less 1/3). You should include fats such as nutritious calorie dense foods, containing healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts and seeds and unsaturated oils (e.g. olive). Peanut butter is fine!
- As an ectomorph you are prone to mood swings, dizziness and circulation problems if you do not eat frequently.
- You should eat little and often, this means eating approximately every 3 hours.
- Concerning snacks, you can consume shakes and supplement them with easily digestible protein powder (e.g. whey protein).
- You need to minimize cardiovascular activities to the minimum requirement, i.e. only for health benefits, which is about 20 minutes 3x per week.
- You do need to focus on weight training and give your body plenty of rest between workouts. Ectomorphs tend to need more time to recover than other body types. Listen to your body.
- Focus on compound exercises. Examples according to body part include:
Legs: Squat, Deadlifts, Lunges
Shoulders: Military Press, Hang Clean and Press, Arnold Press
Arms: Close-Grip Chin-Up (palms facing toward your face), Dips, Close-Grip Pushup, Twisting Dumbbell Curl
Chest: Push-Ups, Dips, Bench Press
Back: Chin-Ups, Pull-Downs, Deadlift, Row