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Hey all, again. First off, I got to say, the response I've been getting from a lot of you guys is amazing. I've gotten about a hundred or so e-mails from people who I've apparently helped and inspired and that's quite the crazy feeling. So in light of that, I've decided that a nice training article for my fellow endos is in order.
This is just a beginning, as I'm currently planning on a huge training guide covering everything from diet to supplements designed with the endo in mind. All right, on to the meat of things.
One of the biggest misconceptions I hear about training for the endomorph is that a higher rep range is necessary, since burning calories is the name of the game. That's bullsh*t, for lack of a better term. The only concern you should have in mind is stimulating your muscles in the best manner possible.
Whether this means HIT or High Volume depends on what you find that works for you. Experiment, try everything. What works for one won't necessarily work for another. The rep range means nothing in terms of calorie-burning.
Mike Mentzer Is The King Of The Hit Method
However, the huge thing is rest time between sets. It's here that you can keep your heart-rate up and end up getting a good amount of calories burned. I found that fat started to drop off my body quickly when I shortened my rest time between sets to under 30 seconds. This will take some getting used to, and at first you may have to drop the weights you use a bit, but it will definitely help in the fat-burning department.
So, keeping this in mind, HIT or high volume will both work equally well. But if you aren't sweating like crazy at the end of your workout, you rested too much. It's as simple as that.
If you're an ecto, that may not be as much of an issue, but when every calorie burnt counts, you need to pay as much attention to what happens between sets as you do to what happens during them. As for intensity and whatnot, that will be covered later.
Obviously a must for endos. For the most part, at any rate. It's not necessary to go at cardio for hours on end for two simple reasons:
- You don't want your body to cannibalize very much muscle tissue
- Even after you're done with cardio, your metabolism will still be up
Now, that said, the next issue is what type of cardio to use. If you walk into the gym you'll probably be swamped with Stairmasters, bikes, treadmills, rowing machines, nordic tracks, elliptical runners, etc. From personal experience, I've found the Stairmaster to be the best idea if you need to burn calories and burn them fast.
Bikes and running can get you burning around 700 cals/hr, elliptical can go up to 1000. On the Stairmaster, though, it's not difficult to be burning off upwards of 1300 cals/hr.
However, a key point to this is that doing straight high-intensity cardio is not a great idea. Interval training has been shown to be far superior, and it is in this light that if your gym has the option, set the terrain style to random, rather than manual or hill. I do know this from personal experience, that this will not only help you last longer, but will also aid in the oxidizing of fat.
BF% must also be taken into consideration. At a high BF%, the majority of what is burned will indeed be fat, so going for longer periods of time (60 minutes or so) isn't a bad idea. The less BF you have on your body (I personally am around 14-15%, bulking), the less your body will stand for before digesting muscle for fuel. Aim for 30-45 minutes, 3 times per week.
The forgotten link. For the endo, diet is easily the most important part of the equation in terms of fat-burning. Sugars, for the most part, have no place in your diet. Sugars in dairy products are all right, as well as some simple sugars post workout (I myself enjoy some no sugar added ice cream after dinner occasionally, where the only sugar in it comes from the milk).
Keep carbohydrates complex, protein high, and fats unsaturated and moderate. You will notice that your bulking diet may look like an ecto's cutting diet, but remember that your body won't allow for 7,000 cals a day.
This is not to say that you should go hungry, ever. Eating every three hours is the most important thing for you to do. Get enough protein per day, this isn't an option. 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight is a good number to aim for. For someone my weight (180 lbs roughly), this is nearly 225 gms of protein. That's quite difficult to get in a day, but it's what I need to do.
Aim for 2g of carbs per lb per day. For me, this is 360 gm. 60gm of fat or so per day is optimal. Add the calories of those three together and you've got around 3000 cals. A perfect number for the bulking endo. If cutting is your goal, up the protein to around 250-300 grams per day, up the fat to around 100, and drop the carbs to less than 50. That's a quick low-carb diet for you, and it'll work.
And of course, everyone wants to know what supplements to take. As their name suggests, and as the more experienced bodybuilders constantly say, they are intended to supplement only. Do not rely on supplements to do the work for you.
Now, as for what would be a good idea to have; glutamine, creatine, and protein are the best and the most basic. For your before bed meal, I suggest Cytosport's Muscle Milk. Gives you a fair amount of essential fats and a good amount of protein, which happens to be of the blended variety, making it a good nighttime formula.
As for fat-burners, they are not required, but can be very helpful for the frustrated endo. There are hundreds of thermo products out there, but I happen to like Animal Cuts the best. It's by far the most complete, offering more than your average ECA like Betalean and what have you. Should you have problems with ephedra, however, Betalean HP variety is your best bet. Beyond that is just bonus.
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Until next time,