Is it possible for an Ectomorphic to build bulky muscle like the Professional body builders ?

Will they be able to build body and compete in body building competitions?

Should an ectomorph approach weight-lifting in a different way than someone with a different body type?

  • I have edited your question feel free to revert it.
    – Freakyuser
    Jan 19, 2014 at 15:29
  • Same here, I kind of expanded the question, my feelings won't be hurt too much if it is reverted. Jan 29, 2014 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


Somatotypes are bunk that were initially used as a psychology measurement.

There is no documented evidence that a person is an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph and unable to change. While certain characteristics like height are fixed, things like weight and muscle/fat ratios are dictated much more by the exercise a person performs and the diet they eat.

While it could be said that becoming a professional bodybuilder is something only few can do - much like any professional elite endevour - these bounds are not based on your "somatotype".

  • You're asserting that genetics has nothing to do with muscle/fat rations and exercising can make up for any presumed benefit? I cannot describe how much I disagree, from empirical information. Jan 21, 2014 at 15:57
  • @DanAndrews There is no evidence for somatotypes at a genetic level - its Grade A Broscience. That you look "ectomorphic" doesn't mean you can't look "mesomorhpic" or whatever. Thats just weight loss or gain.
    – user2861
    Jan 21, 2014 at 22:29
  • 1
    You know, I have to agree with @LegoStormtroopr. That people would fit snugly in one of three body type classifications seems like bunk. Magazine drivel. It's appealing to a person's sense of tidyness. Jan 29, 2014 at 17:39
  • @MrBoJangles I agree that it's not ... eh.. as simple as 3 body types. However to say the genetics has nothing to do with it is total bs - IMHO. See my answer below. Call it what you want, but don't say that it doesn't exist. Jan 30, 2014 at 1:59
  • @DanAndrews I didn't say genetics had nothing to do with it. I said "certain characteristics are fixed others are dictated much more by exercise" and not based on somatotype.
    – user2861
    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:59

I would hesitate comparing yourself to a professional bodybuilder unless you are planning to take anabolic steroids (which I don't recommend). I trained as a drug free bodybuilder for 20 years and was able to compete at a national level. I consider myself a mesomorph and had to work at adding competition mass. Keep in mind there's more to bodybuilding than just pure mass.

  • Which is why Frank Zane was my hero :) Jan 21, 2014 at 15:52

Yes and no. Yes ectomorphs can get big and compete and some have done quite well. King Kamali and Frank Zane come to mind. Mesomorphs will always do better as it is easier to gain muscle. However it has been my experience that endomorphs with a drive compete and do better. I am an ectomorph.

I understand that the types have been disregarded and there is no line to state where one begins and one ends. But we all know tall lanky people and round people and that there is a genetic disposition to look that way. Call it what you would like.

  • Can you cite any proof that Frank Zane was an ectomorph, or any evidence that somatotypes have any genetic component?
    – user2861
    Jan 30, 2014 at 2:59
  • I can say that they classified themselves as that. Jan 30, 2014 at 4:34
  • Let's define what I would consider the genetic aspect of Mesomorphs, they are people who generally gain muscle quicker than others. You know the type, it's the guy you work with that said that he never works out and drinks beer, yet, is muscular and has a 6 pack. Now why is that? Maybe it's because his body produces more testosterone than others. Maybe he has a myostatin deficiency. Either way, there are many people who fit into this "category". There are others which have similar characteristics but are different, there are enough of them to group them into categories. Jan 30, 2014 at 4:43
  • I will agree, that some of the work done on somatotypes is total trash, such as the cultural stereotypes based on samatotypes. Jan 30, 2014 at 4:44
  • I can classify myself as a fish, it doesn't mean I have gills though.
    – user2861
    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:34

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