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Ectomorphs: Slow Twitch Muscles Tire Quickly?


Hey hope someone knows the answer to this question.
Why do I get tired quickly at the gym while others can keep going for ages?

I'm an ectomorph through and through; tall, skinny, good at endurance sports like running. So I would say I have a lot of slow twitch muscle.
I go to the gym with a mate whos a proper mesomorph; he's always been big and packs on muscle like crazy. He probably has a lot of fast twitch muscle.

My instincts would tell me that due to my slow twitch muscle I should be weaker than my friend but be able to lift weights all day, however I find that the opposite is true.

On our first set we can both do the same weight for the same number of reps to failure. However I get tired quickly, my reps drop quickly and I need long rest periods between lifting.
My friend can keep hitting the same muscle all day and still do heavy weights.

To give you an idea of what I mean my friend will do 6 sets of heavy bench, then 6 of incline bench and 6 of decline, then he'll finish off his tri's with some pulldowns. Myself, I do 4 sets of bench and I'm done, I can't even imagine working the same muscle twice in one gym session, they just stop working after one exercise.

Why is it that my endurance suited muscles have zero endurance when lifting heavy weights? I was thinking maybe it's due to the difference in working aerobically or anaerobically?

I'm so confused >_<


Throw out all those "twitch" fiber and body type ideas out of your mind. You gas out because. A. You aren't eating enough or B. Your stamina is poor.

It's probably both, post your diet.


How new are you?

I recall in my very first workouts getting sore for days from 3 sets of pushups. If this is the state you are in, yes, I can see why more than one exercise per body part seems like a lot. This shouldn't last long - but if you believe that this is naturally how you are supposed to be - you might take longer to progress than you need to.

Like everything else you get better at it the more you do it. You suck at it because you have never done it. You probably weren't very good at endurance activities either until you did them a lot.


your endurance in the weight room will improve as your work capacity increases.

eat more and be patient.


Endurance under heavy load =/= endurance in a sport like running. I'm sure that there is some carryover between all intense athletic activity, but the strain put on your muscles lifting weights is fundamentally different than that from running. Like everyone has said, you're gassing out because your work capacity is low. Whether it has something to do with your muscle composition is irrelevent, the way to fix it is to keep lifting weights.


Isn't it possible that he's simply stronger than you? Maybe because he's been lifting longer than you? And so he can do more reps and more sets than you right now?

I don't know the details, but honestly, I wouldn't dwell on it. Just keep lifting and you'll get stronger and bigger, and I'm sure you'll overcome this perceived "disadvantage" quite easily - it'll just take time.

If you are just starting, I wouldn't concern myself with what others can do, just focus on your own, personal gains.


Y'all both are beginners, don't worry about that shit. Just focus on getting stronger each workout over time.


I'll guess that he is lifting light compared his max and you are probably lifting heavy for yours. if you want to lift the weight more times, lighten your lifts.


Lifting heavy weights = using fast twitch muscles. If you are slow twitch dominant it doesnt matter how much slow twich muscle you have, you will not have much capacity to lift heavy weights.



Also slow twitch muscles can somewhat take on characteristics of fast twitch given proper stimulus, and the right hormone levels.

The body can change its composition and abilities fairly rapidly if you force it to do so. You might never be a competitive strongman or powerlifter, but that doesnt mean you cant throw up some reasonably impressive numbers and build a very athletic and powerful looking build.

Ive personally seen fairly nonathletic guys become athletes capable to a career athlete's college level performance.

Granted they were in their mid twenties and had chemical assistance to do so.

But still an impressive shift. You would barely recognize them seeing them today.


So if we can do the same weight for the same reps on our first set that doesn't neccesarily mean we are doing the same % of our 1RM?

I don't fully understand the difference between muscle types.
I've read the best way to train for an ectomorph is to use heavy weights, low reps? To me that seems like you'd be training mainly your fast twitch muscle, which for an ectomorph there isn't much of.

Is there a way I can use my slow twitch muscle to an advantage in the gym? By doing quicker sets or something?


Stop worrying about body type and different muscle fibers, just eat get enough sleep and push yourself, if you cant continue at the same weight on the next sets lower them.
Every new skinny guy labels themselve an ectomorph but give a 6'1 145 mesomorph a shitty diet and poor work ethic and he will label himself and ectomorph.