The ectomorph tends to be tall and skinny with small joints and a small waist. Ectomorphs are naturally lean and usually never have trouble with excess body fat during their entire lives. Many ectomorphs can maintain extremely low body fat while doing no cardiovascular exercise whatsoever. Ectomorphs have overly efficient metabolisms. In other words, they "waste" excess calories as body heat, so they can often eat whatever they want without gaining fat. The downside is that ectomorphs also have a very difficult time gaining muscle.
Ectomorphs usually stay close to the same body weight within a fairly narrow range. If they have any weight fluctuations, it's usually in the direction of losing weight, especially if meals are skipped or caloric intake is too low. When an ectomorph increases their activity level, they will usually drop body weight and body fat very rapidly -sometimes too quickly. Excessive cardio is usually counterproductive.
Many ectomorphs begin bodybuilding to fill out their skinny frames. Although ectomorphs will seldom, if ever, develop the massive muscle thickness of the pure mesomorph, with persistence and hard work, most can overcome their body type and build impressive physiques showing excellent muscular definition. However, ectomorphs will usually lose most of the muscle they gained if they quit training or if they allow their calories to drop too low for too long. Without proper ectomorph training and nutrition, they will eventually slide back towards the level of leanness where their body is most comfortable. It takes lifelong commitment for an ectomorph to keep the muscle and body weight up.
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Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980’s, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.