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Growth of an ectomorph

Discussion in 'Media Threads' started by Ectomorphic, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Left picture: Before - October 19, 2006. 133lbs.
    Right picture: After - April 4, 2007. 163lbs.

    The pic on the left was the story of my life up until last October. Tall, really skinny, bones poking out, no muscle, no fat. I was the classic "eat like a 10 year old living alone with a credit card but never gaining any weight" story. So I spent the first part of last year reading up on and researching how to gain weight. My research led me to many thoughts and ideas and plans and places; everything from eating science to lifting programs.

    So last October I started putting it all to use. The first pic is from a little over a week after I started. The second picture is about 6 months later. My goal is to be around 180lbs after cutting, so I'd say I'm probably less than halfway towards that (still some weight to gain, then cut). Original goal was 170, but in light of my progress so far I've revised it.

    So I've gained about 30 pounds so far. I was SO unbelievably stoked when I stepped on the scale after a couple of weeks and saw that the needle was the highest that it's ever been in my life, clearly telling me that something was actually working! It got me really fired up and motivated to keep going. 6 months later, so far so good!

    It may not be apparent from the pictures, but measurements are indeed up. 1¼-1½ inches for the smaller parts, and 2+ inches for the larger parts. For example, upper arm flexed was 11in. when I started, and they are 13in. now, though it doesn't seem as such from the picture.

    Anyways, I can see where I've gained a bit of fat, but it doesn't seem to be as much as I had been thinking it was. One place in particular is the abdominal area. In the first pic you can make out a bit of a few abs, but in the second you really can't. When I look at myself and when I look in the mirror, I can see where I've lost definition in some areas, but I'd say it's well worth it so far. :D

    I'm very happy with my progress so far, since for so many years I thought gaining weight was just a dream and a myth. Although I do have some weight to gain still, I've been curious about cutting, particularly from the perspective of my body type. I have naturally low fat and it tends to stay that way. So I've wondered if the workout part of cutting (I'm fine with diet) would be slightly different for someone like me? You know, like how lifting routines are different for skinny SOBs looking to gain weight?

    Well anyways, yeah, here's me so far. Normally I wouldn't do this sort of thing (the sharing), but I needed to show people who would actually be in the know about this stuff and be interested, since the friends and family I've showed it too basically only said "Cool" and didn't know one thing from another ;)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Good work. Can really see a big difference in the upper pecs and traps especially. Arms have thickened out too. Well done :tucool: Doesn't look like you've gained much fat at all either.
     
  3. George

    George Senior Member

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    Way to go, man. Keep at it! I like how your collarbone has gone from sticking out to being totally obscured. :)
     
  4. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Thanks, that's where I noticed it the most too! When I was first comparing the two pictures, the "after" one reminded me of when Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in Spider-man wakes up the next morning after having been bitten, where he's looking in the mirror and going "Whoa..." :lol:


    That was the very first thing I noticed! My collarbone always bugged me by how much it stuck out. The "after" pic was the first time I conciously realized that I really couldn't see it anymore. There's actually some meat there now. :D
     
  5. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Where are pictures? Am I only one who can't see them?
     
  6. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Dunno :(? They are attachments on the forum itself, so they should be showing. I see them.
     
  7. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I see them now. my fault I assume slowness in system.

    BIG CHANGE!
     
  8. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    Great progress. You could probably make it to 180# without a problem at this rate and cut back to a very muscular 170#. Always like to see great gains made by a fellow ecto.:tucool:
     
  9. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Ah yeah, well it happens sometimes. But thanks. When I emailed the pictures to my mom, I could hear her bouncing off the walls through the phone. :lol:


    Thanks! It is nice to see gains made by fellow ectomorphs. Which is why aside from John Stone and Anthony Ellis, you are also one of my motivators. When I see your pics and how you've progressed and what you've reached, I think "Hey, he was a skinny guy like me. If he can do it and look good, I can do that too." Not only do you look good in general, but you look good especially for 53. So many people are unnecessarily overweight or otherwise out of shape at that age, that it's really nice to see people taking care of themselves and actively trying to stay healthy in good shape. :tu:
     
  10. vesuvio

    vesuvio Well-Known Member

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    I'm very impressed with your gains for that amount of time. You're kind of similar to my situation, only I've taken a lot longer to get there. I'd post some pics myself, but I gained way too much fat- another thing that's impressive about yours.... nice job man
     
  11. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Thanks. But I suppose I can chalk up the not-a-lot-of-fat-gain to the genetics of being an ectomorph. My calories have ranged from 2800-3400 (depending on how much I've weighed), and it's consistenly been about 23% fat (33% protein and 44% carbohydrates), and I haven't done any cardio or other fat reducing exercises or activities. So although muscle and mass gain is a lot of work and dedication, my body's seeming aversion to fat is something I should probably be thankful for. I swear, it seems like my body is on a permanent cutting cycle or something, despite me working towards mass gain.
     
  12. carguy

    carguy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, ecto. I've noticed the same thing about people my age. I will give you one piece of advice. You talk about your aversion to gain fat. That will probably be the case for another 10 years. But at 35, my body started to change. I started gaining fat around my waist and muscle loss started. Granted, I was not working out at the time which would have helped. But as you age, you'll have to do more cardio and watch the calories and keep up the weight training. I didn't see the inside of a gym until I was 51, but you are getting a nice, early start. Keep up your hard work and you should be able to maintain your great physique for life.
     
  13. nawzyah

    nawzyah Active Member

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    Great progress! It's too bad your family members aren't more enthusiastic about it considering how much hard work and time you had invested. Anyway, I have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind taking the time to answer.

    You mentioned your caloric intake ranged from 2800-3400. Did you start at 2800 calories at 132 lbs? Do you mind sharing an average day's worth of food log? Lastly, what was your routine and workout frequency like?

    Keep it up! :tu:
     
  14. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    Thanks. :)

    Yeah it was around 2800 or so when I started, at 132. at 163-164, it's at around 3400 now.

    When I started, a typical day was like this:

    Code:
    Meal 1: 1 cup Kashi GoLean, 1 cup milk
            Protein shake: 2 scoops EAS "100% Whey Protein" mixed with 16oz. 1% milk
    
    Meal 2: Sandwich using various kinds of wheat bread depending on taste and nutrients
            1 piece sargento cheddar
            1 piece sargento provolone
            2 slices of some kind of turkey meat (butterball I think?)
    
    Meal 3: 6-8oz. chicken breast, George Foreman Grill
            1oz. almonds
    
    Meal 4: 1 cup macaroni pasta noodles
            1 cup Ragu spaghetti sauce, the one with the meat in it
    
    Meal 5: same as meal 1
    
    On workout days, the shake in meal 1 was moved to right after workout. I mainly used the Kashi cereal because I lifted that straight from John's food logs.


    Nowadays, a typical day is 3200-3400 calories and looks like this:

    Code:
    Meal 1: 1/2 cup (when measured dry) Quaker Oats, the ones in that cardboard cylinder container
            1 banana
    
    Meal 2: Similar to meal 2 above, except always using 100% whole wheat bread and changing out the cheese flavor depending on mood (but always those Sargento packs) and using 6 pieces really thinly sliced (says shaved on the package) turkey breast, Buddig brand
    
    PWO: shake as above
    
    Meal 3: 6-8oz. chicken breast as above
           1 oz. almonds
           1 baked russet potato
    
    Meal 4: same as meal 2
    
    Meal 5: peanut butter and banana sandwich of 100% whole wheat bread
            probably a bit more than 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (chunky!) split between both pieces of bread (its a pretty thin layer)
            1 banana
    
    meal 6: 1/2 cup (when measured dry) Quaker Oats
             shake as above
    
    That's workout days. On non workout days the PWO shake is moved to meal 1, and meal 3 uses one 3oz. can tuna (all I can bear) instead of chicken, since chicken was getting way too expensive for my budget to eat everyday.

    I know there's improvements to be made. For example, most certainly the meal 2 and 4 sandwich would be axed for something else, but I'm defending my peanut butter and banana sandwich to the death! And I'm sure some would say less shakes, even though it's only 2 and I'm still getting 2200 calories or so from real food. But I do think this is quite an improvement from the old diet.

    For the first two months I was doing body part splits, 3 days a week. Something like legs on 1 day (squats, leg press, hamstring curl, seated calf raise, and calf press using leg press machine), chest and arms on another day (flat bench, incline bench, 1 armed dumbbell curl, overhead tricep extension), and back and shoulders on the third day (barbell bent over row, lat pull down machine (but worked upper back I think?), weighted 45° hyperextension (favorite back exercise), military press, lateral raises.

    Since January I've been doing full body routines, and still 3 days a week. I do barbell flat bench, barbell conventional deadlift, standing barbell bicep curl (with that wavy bar), tricep pull down (at the moment. I did the overhead tricep extensions before), hamstring curl, military press (again, with that little wavy barbell thing) and I alternate days between the 2 calf exercises. This is just a list, they're not actually done in this order during the workout.

    I know there's improvements to be made there too. For example, I would LOVE to do squats, but I had this knee pain building up for a couple of months, to a point where it got to be a searing pain and too unbearable to do squats with. It's not just squats either, but every exercise that loads the quads, like leg press and leg extension. So I've not been doing any direct quad work and just waiting for my knees to hopefully get better. Also, many would probably ditch the hamstring machine curl for some barbell work, but I haven't found that to be useful for me. I guess I need to work on mentally focusing on using the hamstrings for that. I suppose I could probably ditch the calf exercises, but I dunno if I should, with all the chicken legged guys at the gym. Some would probably also get rid of the direct bicep and tricep work, but I love doing them and my arms respond well to them. I just wish my knees would heal up already, I'm itching to do squats again.

    So all in all, not perfect. Definite improvements to be made, but I'm doing good so far, I think.

    One thing I WOULD like to add to my diet though, is some lean red meat. But I don't know what to get. My two requirements are that it be that softer meat that doesn't necessarily fall apart like a pot roast, but you know what I mean? I hate having to knaw through my meat and chew each piece for 10 years before it's suitable to swallow. I @#%*$#& HATE THAT. So I like those meats that are nice and soft when prepared. Also, I need something relatively flat, because I love my George Foreman Grill :p
     

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