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  1. #1
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    Ectomorph's and Low Testosterone?

    I have always questioned why ectomorphic bodybuilders have such a hard time putting on quality mass. I was not able to find any studies directly linking low testosterone to an ectomorphic structure. I realize each ectomorph's genetics are different, but why do they all share common traits (according to the literature) such as:

    - Nervousness
    - Low strength and mass gains
    - Less facial and body hair in many (young appearance)


    Is it just that their metabolic pathyways are different? Is it because they are neurologically designed in the zygote? Is it as simple as a small bone structure's inability to carry much mass? Curiosity has gotten the best of me, I am hoping one of you can answer this for me.
    Last edited by Khemist; 03-18-2006 at 01:48 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Majors's Avatar
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    i have never really thought of it being that i am an endo- mesomorph...i think this would be interesting to know as well

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  3. #3
    Banned Khemist's Avatar
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    Here is a little something I found:

    http://www.nspainc.com/journal5.htm

    "For example, someone that is an ectomorph (thin framed) with a high level of neurological efficiency will likely be someone who is much stronger than he or she appears to be. Although he/she will not have a large amount of muscle tissue, they will be able to recruit more muscle fibers in a given muscle(s) than someone who may have more muscle mass but has a lower neurological efficiency. This person, however, will likely never develop very large muscles regardless of their training protocol because their somatotype won’t permit it. On the other hand, someone with high levels of testosterone will typically be a mesomorph because testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for muscle growth"
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  4. #4
    Registered User Charged's Avatar
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    Frank Zane was an ectomorph so was vince gironda both had outstanding physique's
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Charged
    Frank Zane was an ectomorph so was vince gironda both had outstanding physique's
    I knew someone would say this. I of course realize this, my point is that those guys worked out for several years if not a decade or more to attain that size in addition to "anabolic helpers".

    It is obvious even by natural bodybuilding ectomorph's that a great physique can be attained, but my question is why does it take more effort? Why do the gains come more slowly and why do ectomorphs normally have characteristics of a lower testosterone level?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Majors's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Khemist
    Here is a little something I found:

    http://www.nspainc.com/journal5.htm

    "For example, someone that is an ectomorph (thin framed) with a high level of neurological efficiency will likely be someone who is much stronger than he or she appears to be. Although he/she will not have a large amount of muscle tissue, they will be able to recruit more muscle fibers in a given muscle(s) than someone who may have more muscle mass but has a lower neurological efficiency. This person, however, will likely never develop very large muscles regardless of their training protocol because their somatotype won’t permit it. On the other hand, someone with high levels of testosterone will typically be a mesomorph because testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for muscle growth"
    cool find i would love to do actual research on this, maybe once i get my masters and everything i can do research like this for the bbing community
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  7. #7
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    Arnold was in ecto in his ealier years. More like an ecto-meso
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  8. #8
    Registered User Majors's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JuicyCop2
    Arnold was in ecto in his ealier years. More like an ecto-meso
    not really his bones are to big to be considered a ecto, shoulders to wide, hips to big he is really a true mesomorph
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  9. #9
    War against genetics chan_ho_nam's Avatar
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    So was Flex believe it or not...which would explain why he'd always look his best around the 230-240 range, but when he tried to play the mass game his physique just wasn't the same.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Calfmaster's Avatar
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    I personally have given this subject any many others (regarding the monomorphs) alot of thought.

    I have decided on a simple idea, the idea that there is only 3 types of bodys is incorrect to a large degree. I am also not in agreement with the idea that there is an "ecto-meso" or "meso-endo". I have decided there is 4 clear groups.

    Basically you have endomorphs and mesomorphs, but not one but two ecto groups. Ecto1 is someone who would fit the classic description, lower test, very very thin, worries alot, can't eat to much with out getting full, very hard to make muscle gains.
    Then you have the new group, Ecto2. Now ecto2 is the kind we have seen in the pro ranks. An Ecto2 has the same size bones as ecto1 but naturally isn't as thin (holds weight better), and can get fat. Now they are still ecto.. meaning they wouldn't put on fat as quick as a meso or endo, but unlike an ecto1 lots of junk food will eventually equal= fat gain. Also the other feature of an ecto2 is that they tend to have 1 key body part that grows as fast, or faster then a meso. Most commonly it's legs, why I have no idea. How ever it isn't always legs, back is common and although the rarest, arms (my friend is this one of these). unlike ecto1's ecto2's tend to have a great large chest and respond well to the bench press.
    So now for the neg, delts. An ecto2 (or ecto1) will never have large delts with out the help of steriods. Now this why I feel arnold may have actually not have been a mesomorph, as he clearly fits the ecto2. Even in his best shape arnolds delts were never very wide, yet his chest and back were amazing (ecto2 traits). Also for those of you who have seen arnolds offseason photos, with out the help of steriods arnold's shoulder mass would get even smaller, making him fit this description even more so.
    Another very very good example of an ecto2 is dave draper who had a great chest, amazing arms (this was his key) but very small delts (also his legs didn't grow very quickly either).
    Also tom platz who's key group was legs (also to prove he was apart of this look for some of his starting photos, great chest)
    I have attached some photos of ecto2's

    Ok so to get back to the low test idea. I will have to agree, ecto1's deff have less test, but ecto2's don't and almost define the avg test level.
    On a side note I have heard that alot of endomorphs tend to have higher estrogen levels, which would explain the excessive holding of water, fat gains and strong emotions. So I can see it very possible that each group in the monomorphs represents a different set of genetic hormone levels
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  11. #11
    War against genetics chan_ho_nam's Avatar
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    Very interesting post...good read.
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    I seem to completely fit in the ecto2 category, my legs grow so quickly i can see difference in every new workout, everything else, well.. not really that fast
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    This thread is rediculous. Ectomorphs arent carrying as much muscle because they have less test....

    Ectos dont carry as much muscle because they have smaller bones and higher thyroid output. Ones natural muscle needs are determined by there bone size, someone with larger bones needs larger muscles. Combine this with higher thyroid causing greater catabolism (which is why ectos need to eat so much) and thats why ectos are smaller. While testosterone plays an important role in muscle developement I would say ones natural thyroid output is even more important. A staunch ecto on steroids still is likely to gain less muscle then a purebread meso if there calorie intake is the same.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by Guardian
    This thread is rediculous. Ectomorphs arent carrying as much muscle because they have less test....

    Ectos dont carry as much muscle because they have smaller bones and higher thyroid output. Ones natural muscle needs are determined by there bone size, someone with larger bones needs larger muscles. Combine this with higher thyroid causing greater catabolism (which is why ectos need to eat so much) and thats why ectos are smaller. While testosterone plays an important role in muscle developement I would say ones natural thyroid output is even more important. A staunch ecto on steroids still is likely to gain less muscle then a purebread meso if there calorie intake is the same.
    Do you have sources? I have myself as a source that this may not be the case. I am a definite "ecto2" (which is a good theory I might add and makes sense). My thyroid output is actually completely average as are most people's thyroid t4 levels. Small bones does play a factor but then you see natural and pro bodybuilders with smaller bones and joints who are massive. But...if you have some good research sources then I will shut up
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    Banned Khemist's Avatar
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    Now this to me is a true ectomorph, shoulders the same width as the hips, a small chest and thin long arms.




    Kind of reminds me of E.T.
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    Originally Posted by Khemist
    - Nervousness
    - Low strength and mass gains
    - Less facial and body hair in many (young appearance)
    I guess I'm not an actual ectomorph...I'm laid back and hairy lol...and its hard to gauge whether its hard or easy to put on mass and gain strength, everyone thinks they're a hardgainer
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    i dont see how people keep putting arny in to the ecto category as much as people want to beleive it it just is not gonna happen his hips are way to wide and so are his shoulders (scapula) at best arnold had a 36 inch waist (billed as 34) so sorry but that is classic meso all the way and we dont know what arny would have looked like as a teen being he started ASA at 15 and for the average man his build in off season was stupendous
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    Originally Posted by Calfmaster
    I personally have given this subject any many others (regarding the monomorphs) alot of thought.

    I have decided on a simple idea, the idea that there is only 3 types of bodys is incorrect to a large degree. I am also not in agreement with the idea that there is an "ecto-meso" or "meso-endo". I have decided there is 4 clear groups.
    That post was so hot its still sizzling.....amazingly argued....nice work....I would definately say Arnie was an ecto2...yes, in his off-season photos you'd sometimes see some massive size drop, esp around the shoulders and even the upper chest...this definately proved he had some ecto in him.....then again, history shows us that he could pump up and blow out like no one else - he was a pure magician in this regard...of course, with a ton of roids even an ecto-type build (ie ecto2) can go down in history as the greatest...

    George
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    You can speculate all you like about this but I don't think it will get you anywhere, look for facts if you have them, otherwise its a dog chasing its tail.

    This is where it stems from;


    William Herbert Sheldon (1899-1977) was an American psychologist and numismatist. Sheldon distinguished himself in both fields; in psychology, Sheldon pioneered the use of anthropometry in the development of his categories of somatotypes, and in numismatics, Sheldon authored Penny Whimsy, the first work to extensively catalog the varieties of early American large cents. He also developed the "Sheldon scale" that graded coins on a numeric basis from 1 to 70 [1].

    Through the use of many photographs and measurements of nude figures (many Ivy League students), Sheldon assigned people into three categories of body types in the 1940s: endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic. He also assigned personality traits to the body types as well. Endomorphics had fat, soft, and round body types, and their personality was described as relaxed, fond of eating, and sociable. Mesomorphics were muscular, rectangular, strong, and personality-wise were filled with energy, courage, and assertive tendencies. Ectomorphics were thin, long, fragile, as well as brainy, artistic, and introverted; they would think about life, rather than consuming it or acting on it.

    Sheldon's star has dimmed somewhat in recent years. By and large, most psychologists no longer accept the validity of somatotype theory [2], and later revelations that Sheldon used his access to the American Numismatic Society's large cent collection to engage in theft [3] have called his role in numismatic history into question. Nonetheless, his "Sheldon scale" for coin grading is still standard today among American numismatists.


    Wikipedia.


    I hear all the time "I have a really fast metabolic rate, I can't gain weight!" I look at their diet and see 3000-4000 calories coming from mainly carbs and protein with like 20% fat. I think "OF course you can't gain weight!"

    I've seen slim people actually tested and shown to have slow metabolism despite ranting its really fast, first hand. Turns out they don't eat as much as they think and to add they are also a lot more active than they think.

    I've also seen fat 'endos' slim down so much they become anorexic 'ectos'.

    To end, people have mentioned Flex as being an Ecto, but I have read an interview where he said he is a true endo, saying he doesn't need to eat much at all to maintain his weight.

    So how good are people at judging themselves? - notoriously bad I would say, and often fishing for excuses.
    Last edited by Hercule; 03-19-2006 at 08:04 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by Hercule
    You can speculate all you like about this but I don't think it will get you anywhere, look for facts if you have them, otherwise its a dog chasing its tail.

    This is where it stems from;


    William Herbert Sheldon (1899-1977) was an American psychologist and numismatist. Sheldon distinguished himself in both fields; in psychology, Sheldon pioneered the use of anthropometry in the development of his categories of somatotypes, and in numismatics, Sheldon authored Penny Whimsy, the first work to extensively catalog the varieties of early American large cents. He also developed the "Sheldon scale" that graded coins on a numeric basis from 1 to 70 [1].

    Through the use of many photographs and measurements of nude figures (many Ivy League students), Sheldon assigned people into three categories of body types in the 1940s: endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic. He also assigned personality traits to the body types as well. Endomorphics had fat, soft, and round body types, and their personality was described as relaxed, fond of eating, and sociable. Mesomorphics were muscular, rectangular, strong, and personality-wise were filled with energy, courage, and assertive tendencies. Ectomorphics were thin, long, fragile, as well as brainy, artistic, and introverted; they would think about life, rather than consuming it or acting on it.

    Sheldon's star has dimmed somewhat in recent years. By and large, most psychologists no longer accept the validity of somatotype theory [2], and later revelations that Sheldon used his access to the American Numismatic Society's large cent collection to engage in theft [3] have called his role in numismatic history into question. Nonetheless, his "Sheldon scale" for coin grading is still standard today among American numismatists.


    Wikipedia.


    I hear all the time "I have a really fast metabolic rate, I can't gain weight!" I look at their diet and see 3000-4000 calories coming from mainly carbs and protein with like 20% fat. I think "OF course you can't gain weight!"

    I've seen slim people actually tested and shown to have slow metabolism despite ranting its really fast, first hand. Turns out they don't eat as much as they think and to add they are also a lot more active than they think.

    I've also seen fat 'endos' slim down so much they become anorexic 'ectos'.

    To end, people have mentioned Flex as being an Ecto, but I have read an interview where he said he is a true endo, saying he doesn't need to eat much at all to maintain his weight.

    So how good are people at judging themselves? - notoriously bad I would say, and often fishing for excuses.
    you're absolutly right for some reason people think skinny=ecto, fat=endo, and muscle=meso....all any of these categories has to do with is bone stucture and met.
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    Yeah I just want to clear up the fact that you can't change your soma-type, you're born with it. Only things that change are muscle mass and bodyfat %. Fat ecto are often confused with endo, or ecto's with decent muscle mass are confused with mesomorphs.

    Also you're almost always a combination of all three. Like you'd have very little endo, mainly ecto and some meso.
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    once an ectomorph, always an ectomorph.
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    I would say somotypes can change over time. At 16 my shoulders were the same width as my hips, now I have a pretty damn good taper.

    There is a process known as ossification, this causes bones to grow denser and often times larger in diamter and even change in shape. There are numerous reasons for ossification but one of them is excercise and muscle stress on the bone. People that work out for many years are likely to develope more dense and wider bones. An ecto could thus over many years increase his bone size and become more mesomorphic.

    The second major indicator of body type being thyroid levels also changes with age and can be influenced by supplements, diet, and even steroids. This is why some people as kids are skinny and end up fat or why some were fat as a kid and end up thinner when older.
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    Good posts everyone. I am still wondering if the personality traits and character traits hold true. They seem to have some validity because many ectomorph's I have seen are rather quiet, introverted and smart.

    Yet, at the same time I see ectomorph's (mostly) like myself who can be rather aggressive. I have also had friends who are very mesomoprhically built but who are the shyest, most laid back people you would ever meet.

    Overall I suppose if the somatypes were put into a diagram it would be triangular with each somatype at the points of the triangle. Each person would have a specific point within this triangle having traits of endo/meso and ecto. Someone like myself would more likely fall towards the ectomorphic part of the triangle but with some endomorphic traits like holding fat fairly easily and mesomorphic traits like relatively broad shoulders and thick traps.
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    what about beating off alot? will that lower testosterone thus slowing muscle growth?
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    Lower t levels and no muscle are you guys insanse. Most bodybuilders have low t levels because of all the steroids they take. They can't sexually perform. Look at those skinny as 150 lb pornstars are you telling me these guys have low t levels.
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    I'm an ecto, but have med/high test levels. But I'm 25, so not sure how much that counts.
    Below are test results for a Diesel Test trial I did last year showing testosterone/free .

    This is PRE Diesel Test New Forumla.
    Testosterone 23 nmol/L or 663ng/dl (5.0-25.0)
    Free Testosterone 70 pmol/L (60.0-130.0)

    This is AFTER Diesel Test new Formula. (28 days of use)
    Testosterone 28 nmol/L or 806.4ng/dl (5.25.0 is ref range)
    Free Testosterone 125 pmol/L (60.0-130.0 is ref range)
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    Originally Posted by belaglazov
    Lower t levels and no muscle are you guys insanse. Most bodybuilders have low t levels because of all the steroids they take. They can't sexually perform. .

    are you as stupid as you sound?
    I don't reply to PM's for sources. Read it again. I don't reply to PM's for sources. But I will forward it to a Mod.
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    Originally Posted by Guardian
    I would say somotypes can change over time. At 16 my shoulders were the same width as my hips, now I have a pretty damn good taper.
    I'm sorry.. you can't have an opinion on this. The guy that came up with the soma-types defind it as something you are born with and cannot change during life. Obviously your body changes as you grow up.. we all resemble endomorphs at the age of 0 to 2, but trust me, not all of us are. Frank Zane had and probably still has, a taper supperior to yours, even though he was largely ectomorphic.
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  30. #30
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    A true Ecto here...

    I have all the charachteristics of a true Ecto, skinny, unable to put on weight of any kind, very little body hair, little facial hair and nervousness. Not too mention I am short so I am basically built like a Jr High School kid....lol

    With that being said I had bloodwork done last year and the doctor said my test levels were very high for my age which was 26 at the time.

    My point is the testostorone theory I think is very debatable....
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