An Ectomorph’s Bulk

How to train effectively for a bulk if you're an ectomorph.

Being an ectomorph is a tough life. Not only do you find it hard to pack on any serious weight but you have the hardest time to maintain the weight that you do add to your slender frame. Imagine how hard it can be to effectively bulk then during the winter months and add any weight worth mentioning.

Well we'll look at how you can best train to ensure you keep some good bulking weight over the coming months and alongside our previous diet assessment you should find that you make some great progress. Do not fear my thinner friends! We are here to help you try and achieve the best bulking phase you've ever had!

Strength training

There should be a focus on heavy compound movements when you're training as the big lifts and simple moves will help to add some serious mass to your biggest muscle groups. There should also be a focus on a simple pull and push technique for lifts and your exercises. Your regime should be a fairly simple three or four day split as not to overdo the process of calorie burning given your body type’s ability to burn these far too quickly.

Try to incorporate a day of rest between your training days as the moves you'll be performing will have a big impact on your core muscle groups and the feeding times between training days will help you to build your frame and your muscle mass.

Stick to free weights where you can and keep your lifts heavy as possible to maintain your physical peak when lifting. The key here is to lift at near maximum of your max lift in most sets so that you're aiming to add some great bulk to your frame in all lifts and really break and repair your biggest muscle groups like your chest, shoulders arms and legs.

It might be a shock to your system initially but without this focus on your training and the types of lifts you're doing then you won't see much of an improvement over time.


Being an ectomorph means you burn calories far too easily and so performing cardio training as part of your routine shouldn't too high on your list of priorities I'm afraid. You should only be looking to include any kind of cardiovascular training at a minimum level where it benefits your overall health levels and it isn't being performed at a level where it's going to impact your efforts to gain weight by burning off the hard earned weight you've gained over the last few weeks.

Free weights over machines

The important thing to remember when you take on any form of training regime whilst being an ectomorph is to focus on the free weights. Using machines whilst training as an ectomorph means you're potentially lifting less weight and producing more repetitions at nowhere near your maximum lift level. This is dangerous because you will probably be burning important calories for your body on lighter sets you don't have to do.

Using the free weights will mean that you are lifting near your maximum level at every rep range and set amount meaning you are working efficiently and smartly. So forget the machines and stick to the dumbbells!

These are the staples of any ectomorph’s training regime and they should be the key ideas you stick to when deciding to try to bulk if you struggle to add weight to your frame. If you get your diet right, you'll be on the right road to a successful bulk but if you get the training right too then the sky is your limit during a Winter bulking phase! You should always look to refresh your training methods where you can and make sure to focus on what is best for your own body type.

Never follow a plan that isn't tapered to you and you only otherwise you'll be wasting your own time in the gym and in the kitchen. So much of training and especially bulking is all about trial and error but you need to nail down exactly what works for you and stick to your findings especially if they have good results for you. Following these specific ideas should see you on the correct path towards gaining some good bulk and adding to your frame efficiently so get out there and smash it!

Written by:

Taeo Robinson

Taeo Robinson

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