Ectomorphs are naturally thin and find it hard to gain muscle. To find out which body type you are, check out my previous blog post here. These guidelines are similar to my how to get skinny legs guidelines for ectomorphs, so check that out if you haven’t already.
You are probably already quite lean with little body fat so your goal is to maintain your weight while building lean muscle to get tone, definition and shape. Alternatively, you may be skinny fat which means you are skinny but have a higher percentage of body fat. If this is the case, you may need to reduce your body fat, but you will still need to build lean muscle mass to get definition.
Here is your how to get a flat stomach nutrition and workout guideline.
One misconception about ectomorphs is that because they are naturally skinny, they can eat whatever they want. Sure, they might be able to get away with eating junk food and not gain weight. It would be very difficult for them to become overweight. But if they ate a lot of junk food, they would most likely gain fat. So whilst they can be a bit more lenient with diet, they still need to make sure they’re consuming healthy foods so that they don’t become skinny fat.
In order to gain lean muscle without gaining fat, ectomorphs will need to eat slightly above their maintenance levels. By slight, I mean around 100-200 calories more. Once you have fuelled your body with enough calories to build muscle, anything you eat on top of this will be stored as fat.
Eating 6 smaller meals per day is recommended for your body type, but isn’t 100% necessary, as long as you’re consuming the correct calorie intake. If you ate 4 larger meals and still got the right amount of calories, this is fine.
You should also eat more on workout days and less on rest days, but make sure that your average weekly calorie intake remains the same. For example, if you have worked out that you need 1500 calories per day, consume 1800 calories on workout days and 1200 calories on rest days. Therefore you are still consuming an average of 1500 calories per day (roughly).
As you naturally have a high metabolic rate, you burn through glucose (carbohydrates) quickly. Your best strategy is to consume a diet relatively high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats. A good macronutrient split is 40-50% carbohydrates, 30-35% protein and 20-25% fat.
Carbs should make up the bulk of your diet. Try to eat unprocessed, whole grain carbs at every meal, such as oats, sweet potato, brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread. Fruit is great too!
Here is an example of a daily diet for your body type. I have based the calorie and macronutrient intakes on a female aged between 18-30 years, who is taller, weighs 60kgs and exercises at a moderate to high intensity. If you weigh more than this or exercise vigorously, you may need to eat more than this. If you weigh less than this or exercise less, you may need to eat less than this. To calculate your ideal daily calorie intake, check out my previous blog post here.
As I mentioned earlier, you may already very lean or have some extra body fat. If you are skinny fat or want to reduce your body fat, then you should do some type of cardio. If you already have a low body fat percentage, then you can get away with no or minimal cardio.
Here are some key guidelines:
Your resistance training should consist of whole body workouts. Your workouts will vary depending on the type of look you would like to achieve. If you want to look really fit and toned, then your weights should be moderately heavy and your reps moderate to high. HIIT training should also be a part of your program so aim for 2 of your resistance sessions to be HIIT.
If you want a leaner look, you should do lighter resistance circuits, such as those in my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program. Have a read of this blog post for some free Skinny Legs eBook workouts. You could also try workouts similar to that of the Victoria’s Secret models – read about their workouts here) or pilates / yoga style workouts.
As I mentioned above, you only need to do regular cardio if you have excess body fat. If you’re already skinny and have a low body fat percentage, cardio is not necessary, but it is great for keeping you fit and healthy!
Aim for no more than 3 cardio sessions per week and cardio days should be separate to weight training days. Low to moderate intensity cardio works best for fat loss (find out more here). Power walking and jogging are great, but make sure you’re doing cardio you enjoy. If you hate jogging, and enjoy boxing or cycling, then do what you like!
You need to do exercises targeting your abdominal muscles to have ab definition. If you are already lean, it shouldn’t take you too long to start seeing ab definition – lucky you! If you do have extra body fat, you won’t be able to see your ab definition until you have reached a certain body fat percentage.
Check out my favourite ab exercises here. I will be posting more specific ab workouts in the coming weeks also.
Aim for 1-2 rest days per week. Everyone needs to have at least one rest day to allow your body to recover. However, rest will be extra important for you. Lifting heavy weights will fatigue your muscles and central nervous system, so it is absolutely vital that you take rest days and allow 48 hours between weight sessions.
Your body will gain muscle and strength very slowly so don’t be disheartened if you are not noticing any gains quickly. This will be hard work for your body! Also, you will not build muscle like the other two body types, so don’t worry about getting bulky. One other thing â€“ if there is any exercise that doesn’t feel right for your body or joints, then avoid these to prevent injury.
I have provided how to get a flat stomach nutrition and workout guidelines for each body type. If you are not an ectomorph, then refer to the nutrition and workout guidelines for the mesomorph and endomorph.
If you are still unsure of your body type, you can take my Body Type Quiz :)
If you are a combined ectomorph/mesomorph, then I recommend you follow the mesomorph guidelines. If you are a combined endomorph/mesomorph, then I recommend you follow the endomorph guidelines.
Remember that these are a guide only, and everyone’s bodies will be different and respond differently to exercise.
If I have suggested something that doesn’t seem to be working for you, then change it! If you’re gaining more muscle than you would like, then reduce your weights and increase your cardio. It’s your body, so do what makes you look and feel your best! Overall though, I hope that I have been able to provide some information to help! xx