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Old 09-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
Eric Preston
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HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Hey guys! (and gals)

So, let me lay it out... I think I'm an ectomorph. I'd like to pack on more muscle, but without going through the bulk/cut stage. I want to simply add lean muscle mass and I'm not sure the best way to do it.

About me:

6'1", 160#, narrow shoulders (I wear a 38R), "bird" chest (I'd like to change this if possible)

I've been doing crossfit for just over 5 months. I began going 5 days a week, which I cut back to 3 (occasionally 4) in order to incorporate rest days. However, I'm currently considering ramping up to a consistent 4 days a week with the occasional 5.

Diet (in order throughout a typical workout day):
1. protein shake (1/2 scoop casein + 1/2 scoop whey)
2. sandwich (3oz turkey, 3oz chicken, 2 slices whole wheat bread, lettuce) + fruit or veg (grapes/apples or carrots)
3. protein shake (1/2 scoop casein + 1/2 scoop whey + 5mg creatine)
WORKOUT (occasional caffeine/BCAA/water drink during workout)
4. protein shake (1 scoop whey)
5. protein (steak, chicken, or pork), salad (light dressing), glass of red wine, sometimes a starch (I prefer sweet potatoes)
6. protein shake (1 scoop casein)

I've been doing this routine for almost 5 months now... I've gotten fairly shredded and I'm definitely in the best shape of my life. Do you think I've reached the max my body will allow? I want to continue to progress... I want to "fill out" more. Suggestions?
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
Jeff Enge
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

No, 160 lbs is not the most your body will allow, guaranteed. It might be where your body is comfortable at at the moment, but you can change that.

There's no reason you should need 4 protein shakes to get enough protein in. Switch some of those for real food, because I really don't see enough of that in there. You need more of everything (what does your calorie intake look like? Even if those shakes are with whole milk, it can't be a lot. I'd venture to say you need to almost double intake), but you need to balance your macros a lot better, I see little carbs and little to no fat. If you aren't getting enough of some combination of those, your body is going to use the protein as energy and not in making muscle.

What does "doing CrossFit" mean? If it doesn't have a large component of lifting heavy things via squats, deadlifts, press, bench or other compound barbell movements, for load, in a structured set and rep scheme, not for time in a MetCon, then that would be the first thing to consider.

A year and a half ago, I was a scrawny 6'2" 165. Now, while still wanting 10 or so more pounds, I am much happier and waaaay stronger at 190. And I didn't start putting on much until I stopped being CF-MetCon crazy and started more seriously strength training. And eating more.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
Paulo Santos
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Drop the protein shakes and eat real food. You want to do what is called a slow bulk, where you eat approximately 250 calories over your maintenance. Ideally you should also be doing a solid strength program to put on muscle. If your boxes programming does that, then you re good.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:48 AM   #4
John L. Mclaughlin
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

More healthy carbs, more healthy fats( polyunsaturateds and mono's-in that order of importance) , less protein shakes. Lift heavy, and stay away from heavy cardio. Take it from me, I know what intensive cardio does to your body. Doing intensive cardio, i went from a soft 180( with the mindset that i needed to lose weight) to 154. AT my height, which was about 6'3 at the time( I'm 6'4 now), that was skinny. 5 months later, CrossFit and weighlifting have got me int 170s( i tend to fluctuate). I'm taller than you, but still heavier than you. Man, if only I had started with CF and weighlifting.

P.S I am going to get a helluva alot of flack for this- many CrossFit WODs will not build alot of mass. Sure, you'll get lean and shredded, but i think you want to be lean, shredded, and bigger.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
John L. Mclaughlin
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Also( should have put this is my post), you might not be pure ecto. I'm a meso-ecto. I have medium size shoulders and chest( I'm not broad, but broadish), a thinnish waist( 30-31") and long legs.Have a broadish back, but gets narrow at the bottom. If you have ever met a pure ecto, you would no. My friend is all ecto. He has probably a 13 inch shoulder to shoulder span, and a child sized waste. And he's 6'1. Google the body types, and determine what you are.

Last edited by John L. Mclaughlin : 09-23-2013 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
John L. Mclaughlin
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Enge View Post
No, 160 lbs is not the most your body will allow, guaranteed. It might be where your body is comfortable at at the moment, but you can change that.

There's no reason you should need 4 protein shakes to get enough protein in. Switch some of those for real food, because I really don't see enough of that in there. You need more of everything (what does your calorie intake look like? Even if those shakes are with whole milk, it can't be a lot. I'd venture to say you need to almost double intake), but you need to balance your macros a lot better, I see little carbs and little to no fat. If you aren't getting enough of some combination of those, your body is going to use the protein as energy and not in making muscle.

What does "doing CrossFit" mean? If it doesn't have a large component of lifting heavy things via squats, deadlifts, press, bench or other compound barbell movements, for load, in a structured set and rep scheme, not for time in a MetCon, then that would be the first thing to consider.

A year and a half ago, I was a scrawny 6'2" 165. Now, while still wanting 10 or so more pounds, I am much happier and waaaay stronger at 190. And I didn't start putting on much until I stopped being CF-MetCon crazy and started more seriously strength training. And eating more.
Your last paragraph says it all
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
Paulo Santos
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John L. Mclaughlin View Post
P.S I am going to get a helluva alot of flack for this- many CrossFit WODs will not build alot of mass. Sure, you'll get lean and shredded, but i think you want to be lean, shredded, and bigger.
Actually you won't get any flack. You are correct.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
Chris Mason
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Preston View Post
Hey guys! (and gals)

So, let me lay it out... I think I'm an ectomorph. I'd like to pack on more muscle, but without going through the bulk/cut stage. I want to simply add lean muscle mass and I'm not sure the best way to do it.

About me:

6'1", 160#, narrow shoulders (I wear a 38R), "bird" chest (I'd like to change this if possible)

I've been doing crossfit for just over 5 months. I began going 5 days a week, which I cut back to 3 (occasionally 4) in order to incorporate rest days. However, I'm currently considering ramping up to a consistent 4 days a week with the occasional 5.

Diet (in order throughout a typical workout day):
1. protein shake (1/2 scoop casein + 1/2 scoop whey)
2. sandwich (3oz turkey, 3oz chicken, 2 slices whole wheat bread, lettuce) + fruit or veg (grapes/apples or carrots)
3. protein shake (1/2 scoop casein + 1/2 scoop whey + 5mg creatine)
WORKOUT (occasional caffeine/BCAA/water drink during workout)
4. protein shake (1 scoop whey)
5. protein (steak, chicken, or pork), salad (light dressing), glass of red wine, sometimes a starch (I prefer sweet potatoes)
6. protein shake (1 scoop casein)

I've been doing this routine for almost 5 months now... I've gotten fairly shredded and I'm definitely in the best shape of my life. Do you think I've reached the max my body will allow? I want to continue to progress... I want to "fill out" more. Suggestions?
Do you want the truth, or are you like 99% of the population who only wants to hear what they want to hear?

The truth is the fact you can so accurately lay out your daily food intake is the very reason you are so darn skinny. Anyone who is an ectomorph should not been even remotely so concerned about what they are eating.

You should also tailor your training to your goal of gaining lean mass. Standard CrossFit is not the prescription for that ailment. I would focus on a hypertrophy inducing strength training program and augment it with CF WODs.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #9
Chris Mason
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

And you DO realize you are probably not even eating 2k cals per day????
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:15 PM   #10
Brad Allen Jones
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Re: HELP! How to get bigger as ectomorph!!!

True ectomorphs are pretty rare. Eat more. Lift heavier things.
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