TOPIC: How Can One Overcome Genetic Disadvantages?
Not everyone is born with a bodybuilder's genetics. Many people have to combat very tough genetic disadvantages.
What is the difference between an ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph's diet, way of training, and supplementation?
Bonus Question: Which body type do you have? What are some of your genetic advantages? Disadvantages?
Show off your knowledge to the world!
- 1. ho_124
- 2. mivi320
- 3. acespade21
- 3. RippedJordanian
- 1st place - 75 in store credit.
- 2nd place - 50 in store credit.
- 3rd place - 25 in store credit.
1st Place - ho_124
Like any sport some people are just naturally more gifted than others. It's not that that they have been training hard it's just that they have the genetics to do that sport very well. People who aren't naturally gifted in something usually have to practice harder because they don't have the genetics like some people do to make it come naturally.
The same thing is for bodybuilding, there are some people who could eat pizza and burgers everyday and still gain some freaky mass and be ripped. There are also some people who just remain skinny no matter what they eat or how much they train or some just gain fat like you wouldn't believe and end up with hardly any muscle definition.
As you might have heard there are three classes of body types which are the Mesomorph, Ectomorph and the Endomorph. In short the Ectomorph doesn't put on muscle very easily and fat either and is therefore skinny, the Endomorph puts on fat easily but also muscle as well.
The one that everyone wishes they were is the Mesomorph, which is like the best of both worlds who puts on muscle easier and gains just a little bit of fat.
However no one is exactly one body type, there are mixes, for example you can be a little bit of a Mesomorph and an Ectomorph. So you have to find out what kind of body type you are in order to maximize your diet and training. Unless you are a pure Mesomorph with Godlike genetics, you will have disadvantages stacked against you, and you will have to tweak your diet, training and maybe even your supplementation to overcome these challenges.
Remember just because you're an Ectomorph doesn't mean you will never be muscular and just because you're an Endomorph doesn't mean you won't be a fat slob your whole life.
If you use that as an excuse well then of course you will remain skinny or fat, because if you think about it, if you train hard and diet well its not possible that you won't gain anything unless your one of those people who quit after a month or two because they aren't seeing amazing results.
One of the most important things in overcoming your genetic disadvantages is sticking with something over a long period of time which doesn't mean on and off for a few months.
What is the difference between an ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph's diet, way of training, and supplementation?
An Ectomorph is a kind of body type that will generally have a tough time gaining weight whether it be muscle or fat. Most of them are thin and have little muscle giving them a frail appearance. Ectomorph's are also not very athletic and don't have as much stamina as a Mesomorph, but with training that will change.
When we think of Ectomorph we usually think to the extreme and we have all seen that really small guy who just eats junk all day and all night but doesn't gain a pound and looks like skin and bones. However, that's not the case with every Ectomorph, there are certain degrees, for example if someone eats junk over a long period of time they will gain fat but just not as much.
One key fact with the Ectomorph is that muscular growth is slower and fat gain is very minimal. This means your gains will be cleaner since the body of an Ectomorph metabolizes everything very fast so fat gain is minimal. So if your afraid you won't gain muscle if your training you will, because what do you think your body uses all the nutrients in your body for?
Do you think it just leaves your muscle damaged? No, your body builds your muscles back stronger and bigger because it is under stress and needs to adapt to it, so therefore you will gain muscle if you stick to training and dieting. It's not like your muscles are staying the same, it just needs longer to build. Just like how someone who is not gifted at basketball needs to train harder to beat someone who is gifted at basketball.
Training for an Ectomorph should be done hard and heavy but in a controlled rate. Your training should be watched very closely because like I said above Ectomorph's usually aren't athletic and if your just starting and you go hard and heavy you will probably just overtrain.
We all see it in the gyms we go to, those super small guys thinking about gaining mass and go hard and heavy on their first day but just quit a week or two later because they burnout and it's too stressful for them.
Trust me this happens all the time and you don't want it to happen to you. If you're a small guy wanting to train you have to do an introductory program to introduce you to weights or I can guarantee if you just start lifting heavy you will burnout mentally, physically, and overtrain.
After you have been introduced into weights for at least a month and a half to two months and have gotten your stamina up you can start going heavy and gradually get more intense. I'm sure half of the people who read this won't listen and just go and burn themselves out but remember this is the most important part of starting to lift.
Once you have done your introduction to weights and are ready to start heavy here's what your training should look like:
Workouts: Workouts should first of all be one hour or less or you will run a high risk of overtraining if you go over one hour.
Sets: You shouldn't do too many sets per body part in hopes of gaining muscle faster, one of the first problems is that you might overtrain.
In terms of sets per body part there is something called the point of diminishing returns. Basically this means that after the first few sets you will get good benefits out of them.
But if you keep doing more you will get less benefit for each set you do. So basically for something like arms, chest, back, legs, and shoulders you won't want to go over 12 sets, and even 12 sets is pushing it. A better set range is about 9 sets which is basically the point where sets after that become diminishing in return.
Exercises: Now that you have the number of sets your doing you have to choose your exercises. Choosing exercises that work all the parts of a body part is essential. For example if you only work two heads of the tricep or chest it won't develop as well and you will have to spend more time trying to bring that lagging part up to par. And since muscular gains come slower, it will just back everything up.
Basically you want three sets per exercise so if you have nine sets you will have three exercises. Having different exercises is important because one exercise might work different parts of a specific muscle for optimal growth. Also if you do one exercise for nine sets you muscles will just adapt to that exercise and gains won't come as fast.
Reps: Repetition range should be at from 6-12 reps to promote muscular growth (Hypertrophy). Going over twelve reps will just mean your doing endurance training and you won't gain that much muscle at all (There are some exceptions but few) and going under six reps means you will be training for maximal strength meaning very little muscular gain.
The point isn't to be a power lifter or an endurance runner so stick at 6-12 repetitions.
Rest: Rest between sets should be from 30 seconds to 1 minute which is actually the rest time in between sets for hypertrophy. To prove this quickly a power lifter rests from 2-3 minutes just to prevent muscular gain. Plus resting too long will just push your workout over one hour.
Compound Exercises: Use compound exercises - These are the muscle builders that will promote hypertrophy more than isolation exercise. So basically the bulk of your exercises should be compound exercises. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have isolation exercises, because for some parts there are no good compound exercises like biceps.
One-arm rows aren't going to give you freaky mass on your biceps.
The three best compound movements are the deadlift, squat, and the bench press. Of course the variations of these are almost just as good except for maybe the deadlift because there are only like 2-3 variations.
Techniques: You might want to try some advanced techniques for stressing the muscle even more, but again you have to be very careful to use them in moderation so that you don't overtrain. Some techniques you should try are rest pause training, drop sets, super sets, burns, forced reps and cheating.
I'm not going to go into the details but don't use these on every single set or you will burn out for sure, and don't jump into these right off the bat.
Diet is essential for an Ectomorph to grow. If you don't pay attention to your diet I can almost guarantee you will hardly gain any weight. The main goal of this diet is to gain some muscle. A bulking diet should be used to put on as much muscle as possible. And since Ectomorph's metabolize things very fast they can eat above their calorie maintenance level by a lot.
The traditional 500 over the level shouldn't be used. As a matter of fact going even 1000 calories over the maintenance level wouldn't hurt. This is where you have to gauge how much of an Ectomorph you are. If you are pure Ectomorph then you should eat 1000 calories over your maintenance level. But if you are moderately an Ectomorph around 750 wouldn't hurt.
All these calories will be used to repair and make your muscles grow rather than gain fat since an Ectomorph's body metabolizes everything very fast. Now that we now how much to eat there are other things you should know like:
Meal Frequency: Meals should be eaten every 1 hour and thirty minutes to two hours. Keeping a constant flow of nutrients in the body is essential for gaining mass because if your body has nothing to build muscle with then you won't go anywhere. You should be eating at least six meals a day to ensure your getting enough nutrients for your body to grow.
Protein, Carb, & Fat Ratios: You should be eating just a little more protein than usual but it's not essential that you do. A good protein, carb and fat ratio is 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats in terms of percentage of calories. Remember you can alter this if you want to suit your own needs.
A deficiency of any of these will result in your body not being in an anabolic state and therefore your muscle building ability will be impaired.
Eat Slow Absorbing Things: Eating slow absorbing carbs and proteins is important to gaining muscle. First of all fat gain isn't the issue so I'm not even going to touch base on it, but aside from that eating fast absorbing carbs and protein all the time will leave your body depleted of nutrients since an Ectomorph metabolizes things fast.
Slow absorbing things will stay inside the small intestine longer for long lasting absorption. If you just eat whey and simple sugars then your body will use it so fast and have nothing to build muscle with.
First of all I want to stress supplementation does help but too many people think it's more important than diet. Basically if you have time to eat your six natural nutritious meals you should only be taking at the max 2-3 supplements.
A lot of people will probably be like "You're crazy" but it's true, you want to stay as natural as possible. All these man made things aren't as nutritious as natural products. You never want to rely on supplements because chances are if its man made its not good for you.
In one of Daniel Gastelu's seminars he said "If man made it, don't eat it", which is very true. You shouldn't focus your time on supplements to take because compared to diet, its nothing.
1. Whey Protein:
This is a good supplement for after a workout since your body needs nutrients fast to stop muscle breakdown and promote muscle synthesis. Taking fast absorbing whey protein ensures that your body will get the nutrients it needs fast in order to maximize muscle growth.
You don't want to take this during the day however because it's fast absorbing and will be metabolized in about 30-45 minutes leaving your body nothing to build muscle with.
My number one choice would obviously be Optimum 100% whey protein hands down. It's the best because it has additional things like BCAA.
Creatine is something that you might want to consider which helps increase lean muscle mass. This is something you should take 15 minutes before your workout and put in your post workout shake.
I would choose a creatine like Higher Power.
3. Weight Gainers, MRP's, & Bars:
These are something that will just help you get your calories in. Only use these if you're an on the go person who is very busy. If you have time you should always go natural over man made. These man made things aren't very nutritious like natural products such as vegetables, fruits and oats.
People sometimes become dependant on weight gainers, MRPs and bars which is something you never want to do. These thing's should be eaten in moderation because it will do your body more harm than good since they aren't nearly as good as real food, many people eat way too many bars and MRP's and weight gainer.
The best MRP for me would be EAS Myoplex Deluxe (New Formula). It has slow absorbing carbs and protein so it doesn't spike insulin and leave your body depleted of nutrients fast. It also has a ton of vitamins and minerals which come in handy.
I don't know much about weight gainers but if I were to choose one right now I would probably choose Prolab N-large2 or Cytosport's Cytogainer. I have heard from some people Prolab 2 N large is a good supplement but I have never used it.
Although I haven't tried this, I strongly believe and will eventually try mixing grinded oats with VPX Micellean MRP (since it is high in fiber and contains a good protein blend).
An Endomorph is basically someone who has trouble losing fat but gains fat and muscle easily. They are characterized by flabby and rounded muscles and have a mushy look to them. Basically Endomorph's biggest challenge is dropping the weight. Once that has been accomplished with a careful diet the fat can be kept off and the muscle will come at a steady pace.
Don't think of an Endomorph as a lard machine that just puts on fat 24/7 for no reason, the only thing is that if you give your body a reason to gain fat then it will.
If you eat fatty meals and too much over your calorie maintenance level, then you will gain fat. The good news for an endomorph is that they have wide powerful frames under all that fat and can gain muscle easily, the only thing that has to be watched is the fat.
Need To Drop The Fat: Training for an Endomorph should be focused on dropping the pounds so cardio should be done. However if you have an Endomorph body type and have already dropped the pounds then cardio isn't needed. But right now I'm assuming that all Endomorph's right now are trying to drop the pounds which is true for most Endomorph's since obesity rates in North America are sky rocketing.
Training is optional when the main goal is trying to drop a lot of weight. The biggest thing is cardio and most of your training regimen will consist of cardio exercise. The thing with weight lifting is that there are too many rests and it can't be done frequently enough to help you drop weight where as in cardio it can be done almost every day.
I recommend you do some weight training so your body will get the benefits from it but mostly you should concentrate on cardio. And plus while cutting fat your muscle gains will be very little because it's impossible to gain muscle and lose weight at the same time (Although there are some very rare exceptions).
Basically you want to build up your cardio starting at about 3 times a week for 20-30 minute sessions. Ideally you want to bump it from 4-6 times a week for 30 minutes to 1 hour with the goal in mind to drop as much weight as possible. Remember gradual buildup is the key, you don't want to jump into cardio too fast or you will burn out.
If you decide to do weight lifting along with cardio then keep in mind you won't be gaining any muscle. So it would be best if you did it about 3-4x a week and maybe even did circuit training to burn more calories.
You can also lift weights while cutting away the fats to ease yourself into weights you will be ready to lift heavy when you cut away all that fat. Remember cardio is key for cutting, not weight lifting.
Need To Gain Muscle: If you're an Endomorph who has already dropped the fat and your looking to gain some muscle you might want to try bulking with the 500 calories over your maintenance level rule. But I want to point out that this might not work for you because some Endomorphs can gain quite a bit of fat.
If you're scared then go only 250 over so your gains will be cleaner. You have to assess how much fat you will gain and tweak your calorie needs according to that.
When combined with training, diet is like 95% of losing weight. If you do not eat under your calorie maintenance level then you will never be able to drop the pounds. If you keep eating like crap while training then all that training will be in vain because you won't shed an ounce.
Basically you want to eat below your calorie maintenance level so your body has to burn fat to make up for the energy deficit. Now that you know how much you have to eat its time to concentrate on other aspects of your diet. When cutting you should also:
Eat At Least Six Meals A Day: This might seem surprising but eating this many meals actually prevents fat gain because when you don't feed your body frequently your body stores fat for protection against starvation.
Drink Water: Drinking water ensures your liver won't have to help your kidneys pick up some slack resulting in slower metabolism and fat gain. It also helps transport the flow of nutrients and flush out waste.
Eat Less Carbs: Now I want to be clear about this, when I say lower your carbs. I don't mean go Atkins style and just eat one piece of bread for your carbs, I mean eat less carbs so that your body looks at your fat to burn for energy.
If you go on Atkins you will yo-yo your fat and its very unhealthy for your body to gain and lose weight all the time. If you go Atkins style then you will probably have no energy to do your training, Atkins is for fat people who just sit in the office all day and hardly use any energy and that's not going to be you.
Eat More Protein: Eating more protein ensures that your muscle won't be burned for energy when your eating less carbs. Although you will have muscle loss when dropping the pounds, you want to keep as much muscle as you can so when you cut you have some muscle mass.
EFA: Get your essential fatty acids since omega 3-6-9 are the only ones your body cant synthesize. Eating a good amount of these have loads of benefits including fat loss.
Slow Absorbing Carbs: Eat slow absorbing carbs unless after a workout or a cardio session. During the day in your meals if you eat fast absorbing carbs your insulin will spike and you will gain fat because your body stores glucose as fat if it has no other way of getting the blood sugar level down.
Especially if you have a slow metabolism like many Endomorphs do, your body won't metabolize the sugar fast at all which means you will gain a lot of fat if you keep spiking your insulin.
Good Sources Of Slow Absorbing Carbs Are:
- Vegetables and fruits (Salads are good).
- Whole wheat bread, bagels, cereal that isn't loaded with sugar, and whole wheat pasta (No white bread because it has low nutritional value).
- Sweet potatoes and white potatoes.
- Brown rice (Not white rice, it has low nutritional value and spikes insulin).
- Oatmeal and grains.
Again like I said above supplements aren't everything as some people believe. Probably everyone I go to school think that supplements are key in gaining muscle or whatever their goal may be and they eat fries and burgers. Supplements do help in the case of dropping fat but mainly its your diet and getting your calories under your maintenance level.
If you don't do that and eat unhealthy all the supplements in the world won't help you drop pounds. And again I want to stress supplements should never be relied on or else it will do you more harm than good, natural foods have the best nutritional value.
1. Fat Burners:
I have never used a fat burner and I don't believe in using them but some people insist on using fat burners to help them lose fat.
This would be good if you are looking for that extra bit to help you drop weight but again don't rely on this and let your diet slip.
If I were to choose a fat burner I would choose the most popular one right now which is Lipo 6. Again I don't use fat burners so your going to have to make the decision yourself.
2. Omega 3-6-9 Supplements & Oils:
These are not only essential for their benefits but they also assist in burning fat. Most people have trouble getting their EFA's because not everyone can eat fish or foods with oils in them everyday, so this is a great alternative. Try to oils over capsules and pills.
The number one oil hands down is total EFA oil which has omega 3-6-9 in oil form. That's basically all the fats you need because all the other fats can be synthesized from that.
A Mesomorph is like the best of both worlds from the Ectomorph and Endomorph. This body type builds muscle quickly and can also lose fat quickly and doesn't gain as much fat but still does. This body type is muscular and athletic with broad shoulders and has a bold look to it.
This is the body type everyone wishes they could be, but unfortunately few are this body type. Basically for a Mesomorph you have the advantage over dropping fat and gaining muscle which is why if you want to gain muscle bulking and cutting works so effectively. Since bulking does add some fat to a Mesomorph, which is usually enough to be noticed, they have to cut it away and since they drop pounds faster it works good.
This is where I want to point something out. All those rules like eating 500 calories over your maintenance level are aimed towards Mesomorphs. If you're an Endomorph or an Ectomorph of course you have to tweak this. I want to stress that you have to determine what body type you are and decide how your diet plan and workout plan should be to suit your own needs.
With a Mesomorph there really aren't any challenges unless your not totally Mesomorph and are a blend of lets say an Ectomorph and a Mesomorph, which is where you have to alter your own program to suit your needs. But for a pure Mesomorph there aren't many challenges at all if your plan is to gain muscle.
Basically your genetic makeup suits bodybuilding very well and all you have to do is design a good workout program and diet plan to follow closely. Remember just because you're a Mesomorph doesn't mean you should pig out or you probably will gain fat because your not like an Ectomorph.
It also means you can slack off because you believe you can build lots of muscle just by lifting on and off. And it doesn't mean that you can build muscle like nothing, it still takes time like everything.
Training should be hard and heavy since the Mesomorph's body is made for that type of thing. But again if you're a beginner and a Mesomorph and have had no experience with weights you will want to do a 1-2 month introductory program to get you aquatinted with weights because if you dive right in you probably will burnout mentally and physically.
But if you are a Mesomorph and have already been lifting weights for a while there isn't much else to do unless you don't know what your doing. Basically I'm assuming that most people looking at this are looking to gain some muscle which is why you're on BB.com.
Basically if you're a Mesomorph you want to go as hard and heavy as possible while being careful not to overtrain which a lot of people do because they think their God. Again you should be smart and apply all those rules like:
- Keep workouts under 1 hour.
- 9-12 sets max per body part and less for parts like wrists, traps, and calves.
- Rest in between sets 30 seconds to 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Using a good training split.
- Compound exercises.
- Rep range between 6-12 for muscular growth.
- Use advanced techniques like burns, drop sets, rest pause training, forced sets, strip sets, super sets, and cheating to exhaust your muscles even more for maximal gains.
Basically there isn't much else to say because there isn't really any specific thing you have to overcome unlike an Endomorph and Ectomorph but just be careful to overtrain, that's probably the only thing that will stop you.
Again there isn't really any major challenges you have to overcome like trying to gain muscle or drop fat because a Mesomorph does that relatively easily considering the person is putting a lot of effort and time into it. If your looking to gain muscle then you have to do bulking and since Mesomorphs gain muscle easy it should be no problem.
I'm not going into detail about how to bulk but here are a few guidelines:
- Eat 6 meals a day or more, one meal every 1.5-2 hours.
- Get a good protein-carb-fat ratio like 40%-40%-20% or however you want.
- Get about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
- Drink lots of water.
- Eat slow absorbing carbs.
- Get 500 calories or more or less depending on how much fat you gain above your calorie maintenance level.
Basically your using supplements here to give you the extra boost in gaining muscle and again not relying on supplements like some people make the mistake of doing! You shouldn't need to take any complicated supplements just the basic ones to give you a boost in your performance.
1. Whey Protein:
Everyone uses this to help post recovery after a workout and it will give a Mesomorph the extra edge if he/she uses this after a workout.
Again my number one choice is optimum 100% whey protein.
This is just another basic supplement that will help you gain lean mass and give you more energy to spend on explosive movements.
My number one choice would probably be higher power creatine.
3. EFA Supplements:
All three groups can benefit from them.
These are good in helping maintain good levels of hormones in particular testosterone which will help in muscle building. It also has loads of other benefits.
4. Multi Vitamin:
All three of the groups would benefit from this. Probably the best is Now Adam.
Which Body Type Do You Have? What Are Some Of Your Genetic Advantages? Disadvantages?
I wasn't genetically born to have an advantage in bodybuilding. I am not completely ectomorph but I do lean towards the side of ectomorph. I have a body type that is somewhere between Ectomorph and Mesomorph. For example I'm not the biggest guy out there but I'm pretty athletic and I'm not super scrawny or have long lanky arms like a lot of Ectomorphs.
I don't have a huge problem in trying to gain muscle and I gain it at a medium rate not to fast or slow. Some of the advantages I have since I'm a little bit of an Ectomorph is that I don't gain that much fat at all or virtually no fat at all.
For example, before I started getting serious about training and about my diet I used to eat horribly and unhealthy and I wouldn't gain a pound. Even when everyone gained pounds over the Christmas I didn't even gain a pound. But now that I don't eat that way anymore, I don't really have to worry about my weight jumping up on me.
Some of the disadvantages I have though are that I don't gain muscle as fast as others. If I really wanted to be a bodybuilder, my gains wouldn't be nearly close to half of the muscle Ronnie Coleman has because my muscular gains come at a medium to slow rate but not extremely slow.
Another disadvantage that I have is that I don't have the most bold looking chest that some people have since my ancestors aren't really that big at all. As a matter of fact, I'm probably the biggest and tallest of them all. But I do have somewhat muscular legs partly because my dad does too.
2nd Place - mivi320
At some point or another, you're more than likely to meet someone with amazing genetics for bodybuilding. Broad shoulders, striated pectoral muscles, ripped arms, they had the whole package.
For the most part, these genetic freaks don't meticulously watch their diets, come nowhere near training with gut wrenching intensity, and even party into the wee hours of the morning frequently - failing to get enough sleep. But somehow, these genetic marvels manage to look amazing 365 days of the year.
Too bad these genetic marvels are very rare. Most recreational bodybuilders and weightlifters tend to have average genetics, and must work harder than the weightlifter with "god like genetics" to get that dream physique.
In order to be successful in bodybuilding, it is imperative to recognize your strong points and weaknesses - always focusing on improving the weaknesses and maintaining the strong points. Doing so will create a complete, symmetrical, well proportioned physique!
Different Body Types
A simple solution to overcoming genetic disadvantages is to know your body type. There are three basic body types: Mesomorph, Ectomorphs, and Endomorphs.
Believe it or not, training and eating accordingly to your body type will enable you to overcome genetic disadvantages and be successful in the sport of bodybuilding.
Mesomorphs are typically prone to excellent gains in muscle mass. Mesomorphs are generally fit and have an athletic appearance, but should obviously train and diet to maximize gains in muscle mass.
How Should A Mesomorph Train?
Due to the fact that mesomorphs are extremely "gifted," they can typically train harder, longer, and more intensely without overtraining than their counterparts.
Training with moderate to heavy weights with short rest periods would be very optimal for a Mesomorph, as moderate to heavy workloads with shorter rest periods tend to induce the most hypertrophy.
Although Mesomorphs can train longer than Ectomorphs and Endomorphs, training over 75 minutes in one workout would simply be too much, and ultimately lead to overtraining.
What Should A Mesomorph's Diet Be Like?
Mesopmorphs can get away with eating some not so "bodybuilding friendly" foods occasionally, but for maximum muscle gains Mesomorphs should eat a protein rich diet - chock full of wholesome foods.
Mesomorphs have a special genetic make up which allows them to splurge or eat an excess of calories and not gain an ounce of adipose tissue. In fact, Mesomorphs should regularly plan "refeeds" where a surplus of food is eaten - as this will allow for some new gains in lean body mass (LBM) and can even result in the loss of some fat tissue, due to their enhanced leptin sensitivity.
Enhanced leptin signaling leads to increased energy expenditure, greater thermogenesis, and lipolysis (burning of fat) increased insulin sensitivity, and great retention of muscle mass!
In short, by "refeeding" on a surplus of wholesome calories, leptin signaling is increased. This results in the accumulation of more lean body mass (LBM) and an overall decrease in fat tissue! Whoever said gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously isn't possible?
What Should A Mesomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
For Mesomorph's to fully maximize their potential, effective (yet basic) supplementation is vital. Since Mesomorphs are predisposed to generating new lean body mass and losing fat tissue easily, advanced supplementation is not needed. The "basics" will suffice:
Whey protein is an important part in a bodybuilder's arsenal of supplements. Not only is it convenient, but it also has a high concentration of BCAA, is absorbed by the muscles quickly, and even improves your immune system!
My favorite whey protein powder is PrimaForce Substance WPI because of it's high quality ingredients and delicious taste! The juicy watermelon flavor is unreal, and reminds me of candy!
Creatine is also important for bodybuilders, as it improves strength, muscle fullness, and increases energy production in muscle cells.
My favorite creatine product is Higher Power Micronized Creatine, as it is a basic creatine product that will guarantee amazing gains in strength and muscle fullness!
Multivitamins are also important for bodybuilders, as even the smallest deficiency in a particular vitamin or mineral can hinder your performance.
My favorite multivitamin is NOW Adam Multivitamin, as it contains all the essential vitamins and minerals plus Saw Palmetto, Ginko, and ZMA!
Ectomorphs have a very hard time acquiring new muscle mass, and are typically classified as "hard gainers." Small muscles, low body fat, lankiness, long legs and arms, and narrow shoulders are all characteristics of an Ectomorph.
How Should An Ectomorph Train?
Ectomorphs will respond best to training that focuses on heavy weights and low reps. Max-OT is a great program for Ectomorphs to build a good base frame - as it focuses on increasing not only size, but strength as well. Max-OT focuses on training in the 4-6 rep range, low total volume, and 2-3 minutes rest between sets which in turn allows the individual to train very intensely!
Unlike Mesomorphs, Ectomorphs should train no longer than 45-60 minutes in a given workout - as this will most likely lead to overtraining. Ectomorphs don't have a special genetic make up like Mesomorphs do that allow them to train for a longer period of time.
Due to the fact that Ectomorphs already have a low body fat percentage, cardiovascular training is completely out of the picture. Ectomorphs should have a main focus on gaining as much lean body mass as possible, and excessive cardiovascular training is simply setting one's self up for failure.
What Should An Ectomorph's Diet Be Like?
Ectomorphs should eat a diet rich in overall calories (preferably 700-800 calories over maintenance) as their metabolisms are extremely fast. A protein rich diet is very crucial for Ectomorphs to progress in this sport. Calorie dense foods such as peanut butter, oatmeal, olive oil, steak, eggs, and milk should all be incorporated into an Ectomorph's diet for optimal results!
It is also imperative for Ectomorphs to eat very frequently - preferably a meal every 2 hours. This will create an anabolic environment and guarantee the muscle cells have enough nutrients to properly rebuild and grow!
What Should An Ectomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
Ectomorphs should obviously stick with the "basics" which were discussed previously (whey protein, creatine, multivitamin). Although there is no supplement for a proper diet, dedication, and proper recovery, Ectomorphs will benefit from more "advanced" supplements to aid in the building of new muscle mass!
These "advanced" supplements include:
Nitric Oxide Products:
Nitric Oxide increases blood flow to the muscles which will deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus increasing the size of the muscle when subject to stress (training). Nitric Oxide also enhances recovery - allowing you to recovery more quickly from your workouts!
My favorite Nitric Oxide product is a tie between Controlled Labs White Blood and BSN NO-Explode, which won "Muscle builder of the year" and "Nitric Oxide product of the year" in Bodybuilding.com's supplement awards!
Due to the fact that Ectomorphs require a large surplus of calories, they may find it extremely difficult to eat 6-7 meals daily. That is where weight gainers come into play.cytogainer
Weight gainers allow the individual to get in ample amount of calories without the bloat or stomach distress!
My favorite weight gainer by far is CytoSport Gainer as it is full of calories (620 calories per serving) and rich in protein! Plus, the flavor selection is tremendous with flavors varying from Banana Creme to Rocky Road!
BCAA (branched chain amino acids) play a key role in maintaining and building muscle tissue. They are easily absorbed by the body and are basically the building blocks of protein! BCAA also improves recovery and enhances endurance drastically!
My favorite BCAA product is SciVation Xtend, as it contains BCAA plus Citrulline Malate and Glutamine - which work hand and hand in improving recovery and building muscle!
Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE):
Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) is s creatine monohydrate with an ester attached. It is more easily absorbed by the body than creatine monohydrate, which allows for better results.
My favorite CEE product is by far SNS Creatine E2, as it has superior absorption and bioavailability. Expect a large gain in muscle mass, strength, and increased recovery while taking this product!
Endomorphs are typically inclined to carrying more body fat than their counterparts. Endomorphs generally have a wide, yet strong bone type - which is very beneficial in the sport of bodybuilding!
How Should An Endomorph Train?
Endomorphs should focus on increasing their metabolism through their training. A routine that focuses on circuit training, drop sets, supersets, and tri-sets are all great training tactics that will increase the Endomorph's metabolism.
Short rest periods (45-60 seconds) with moderate weights will increase the heart rate, resulting in a greater breakdown of fat tissue!
Cardiovascular training is very important for Endomorphs, as they are prone to storing and carrying excess body fat. By implementing cardio into your regimen, expect an increase in metabolism, a greater feeling of well being, an increase in fat reduction, and increased endurance!
What Should An Endomorph's Diet Be Like?
Endomorphs should eat several small meals (6-8 meals) throughout the day, which will rev up the metabolism and prevent fat storage. Sticking to a diet rich in protein and consisting of a moderate amount of carbohydrates and protein will retain muscle mass, and allow for the burning of adipose tissue.
What Should An Endomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
Since Endomorphs carry a bit of extra body fat, the use of fat burners and non stimulant fat loss products is recommended. Whey protein, creatine, multivitamins, and BCAA products are also recommended as they will allow for muscle retention!
The best fat loss products for Endomorphs:
Sesamin decreases fat mass and has several effects on fatty acid oxidation and adipogenic gene expression. It is a potent nutrient partitioning agent.
Avant Labs Sesathin is my favorite sesamin product, as it contains the most sesamin per serving (500mg) than any other sesamin product!
Not only does green tea have anti-oxidant properties, but it also has several fat burning properties as well! Endomorphs will benefit tremendously from green tea products as it increases energy expenditure, decreases appetite, and allows for maximum fat burning!
My favorite green tea product by far is PrimaForce Lean Green, as it contains over 90% polyphenols, 70% catechins and 50% EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), unlike any other green tea product!
Which Body Type Do You Have?
I have a Mesomorph body type, as I can easily gain muscle mass yet lose fat rather quickly. I have always had good posture, an athletic build, and have been very symmetrical - all characteristics of a mesomorphic build.
What Are Some Of Your Genetic Advantages? Disadvantages?
All the men in my family have had a barrel chests and barnyard backs, and I am very thankful for that gene as it is clearly my genetic advantage. My front deltoids are also another one of my big genetic advantages, as all the men in my family had boulder shoulders as well.
My genetic disadvantage is my whole lower body. All the men in my family have massive upper bodies, but sticks for legs.
It's weird because my lower body is my strongpoint in terms of strength, but when it comes to muscle mass, my lower body is actually quite sad. But that's not going to stop me from pushing myself in the squat rack on leg day, as blaming genetics is the easy way out!
Anything is possible through hard work, dedication, and will power.
Live to the fullest,
3rd Place - acespade21
In general, there are three different "body types" so to speak. While everyone is a mix of all three, one is usually predominant over the others. Knowing which body type you have can help you to better establish and reach your individual goals. Let's look at the differences between the three types.
Mesomorphs are often called "gifted" because their genetics allow them to rapidly gain muscle and lose fat. They have athletic builds that are usually symmetric, hard, and rectangular. They also have good posture. Famous Mesomorphs include Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Ronnie Coleman, Jay Cutler, etc.
What Should A Mesomorph's Diet Be Like?
A mesomorph should be sure to get enough protein in their diet. Two grams of protein per kilogram of body mass is a good rule to go by. A mesomorph should eat lean protein from sources such as chicken, lean beef, fish, egg whites, and protein powders. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are also important to help keep testosterone levels up.
As for carbs, a mesomorph should eat low glycemic carbohydrates with the exception of immediately after a workout, when high glycemic carbs are a must.
What Should A Mesomorph's Training Be Like?
A Mesomorph should train explosively and with heavy weights. High intensity is an important factor. This can be obtained by super sets, compound sets, drop sets, and giant sets. Proper rest, recovery, and variety keep the body guessing and lead to significant gains.
As for cardiovascular exercise, a mesomorph should do 2-3 cardio sessions a week that last between 20 and 30 minutes. Interval training can also be added in to keep workouts from becoming too lengthy and boring. This will help keep a lean figure without losing important muscle mass.
What Should A Mesomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
A Mesomorph's supplementation can be the icing on the cake to help provide beneficial results. Protein Powders can help provide enough protein to reach the goal of getting 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass. Creatine is also another supplement that can increase strength, and size.
Creatine Ethyl Ester products such as BSN's CellMass are very popular. Nitric Oxide products can help increase the size of blood vessels to speed up the absorption of nutrients beneficial to muscle gains. BSN Nitrix is such a product.
Ectomorphs are known as "hard gainers." They are characterized by a low body fat %, long limbs, and small muscles. Small shoulders, a flat chest, and a "pencil-neck" characterize ectomorphs. Famous Ectomorphs include Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, and about 99% of all pro basketball players.
What Should An Ectomorph's Diet Be Like?
An Ectomorph needs to eat complete, frequent, healthy meals and snacks. Five to seven meals a day is optimal. Because Ectomorphs have a high metabolism, muscle gains can only be reached by getting a higher amount of calories.
What Should An Ectomorph's Training Be Like?
Training with heavy weights is usually optimal for ectomorphs. Doing so "deeply" stimulates the muscles and causes heavy gains in muscle mass. Including the three power lifts in this type of training is important. Also, taking 2-3 minute rests between sets is crucial because it helps your muscles recover between heavy sets.
What Should An Ectomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
Due to an ectomorph's high metabolism problem, weight gainers can help increase one's caloric intake. Optimum nutrition's new Pro Weight Gainer is a good one. An ectomorph should also take creatine ethyl ester, which can help bring water into the muscles to provide for heavy gains in mass.
Getting a multivitamin is also important to provide the proper vitamins and minerals to function properly. Universal Nutrition's Animal Pak is a great multi-vitamin.
An endomorph is generally accompanied by a higher body fat %. These are the people that were picked on and called "tubby" as little kids. An endomorph generally has a round physique, a soft body, underdeveloped muscles, and short limbs. Endomorphs have a hard time losing fat, but gain muscle mass relatively easily.
Famous Endomorphs include Roseanne, Jack Black, John Goodman, and Dr.Phil. Japanese sumo-wrestlers are perfect examples of endomorphs.
What Should An Endomorph's Diet Be Like?
Endomorphs, like everyone else, need to eat smaller, more frequent meals to keep metabolism high. 5-6 meals a day are sufficient. Meal replacement shakes and bars can help obtain these goals. Slimfast and South Beach Diet are both notable meal replacements.
What Should An Endomorph's Training Be Like?
While training, an endomorph should focus on increasing its metabolism. Circuit training, super sets, giant sets, compound sets, or other similar ways of training are effective. However, an endomorph needs to focus on using a lighter weight, but for more repetitions. This increases the fat burning process in the body.
For endomorphs, cardio sessions need to be longer and more often. Four to five sessions per week lasting 30-40 mins (including warm-ups and cool-downs) should be sufficient. Although sleep isn't considered training, it should an important part of an endomorph's lifestyle.
Getting enough sleep (8-10 hours per night) has been shown to increase levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and decrease levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes fat gain and muscle loss.
What Should An Endomorph's Supplementation Be Like?
Besides getting an adequate amount of protein through protein powders (2 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass might be too much protein for an endomorph), Fat burners are great supplements to help endomorphs shed fat.
Products like Metabolic Thyrolean by Prolab and Guggulbolic by Syntrax are good examples. A simpler, cheaper substitute would be green tea extract, which has been shown to increase metabolism and stop dieters from regaining weight after going on a diet.
What Type Of Build Do You Have?
I have mostly an ectomorph body type. I'm tall (6'3") and have a hard time gaining weight. It's because of my body type that I've decided to take up weight lifting and try to get a bigger, stronger frame.
What Are Some Of Your Genetic Advantages/Disadvantages?
An ectomorph, I naturally have a high metabolism and have a low body fat %. This is an advantage because I don't gain a lot of health-threatening fat. I also enjoy my height, as being tall has everyday advantages over being short.
However, I have a very hard time gaining muscle mass. This is a disadvantage because it stops me from having the build I want. I have been taking weight gainers and creatine ethyl ester to try and gain muscle mass, and they've helped a little.
3rd Place - RippedJordanian
Many of us read Bodybuilding.com articles daily. I have to say, I have never seen a more information packed website that is FREE! However, terms you will always come across are endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. This article should give you a better idea about what they mean.
But first, let's look at genetics. Genetics are many would-be bodybuilders' excuse to stop lifting. Lack of results is always blamed on genetics, even though these people haven't reached their genetic potential. Genetics do play a role in bodybuilding, but not as much as most people like to think. There are also solutions to these genetic problems.
If you are the type of person without very broad shoulders, you might think it's the end of the world, but its not! Its all about symmetry and illusion in the sport of bodybuilding. A person with short shoulders should slim down his waist and put more work on his shoulders, giving them a training day by themselves. You may have slight genetic disadvantage, but its no reason to throw in the towel and give up.
The terms ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph describe a person's genetic characteristics, more specifically, the body's ability to lose fat and gain muscle. These traits run in the family and there is little one can do about them. If you are not sure which body type you are, follow this link to a quiz which will help you:
Here is a description about all 3 and how each should be training and eating:
Ectomorphs are thin, scrawny body types with almost no visible fat and only small amounts of lean muscle. They are skinny, delicate bodied individuals who have trouble gaining lean muscle weight and maintaining it, but they have relatively no fat on their bodies and do not need to go through a cutting phase.
Ectomorph Training Guide:
Ectomorphs should use lower reps, about 6-8, and heavy weight. They should space workouts at least 48 hours apart, and should limit outside activity other than lifting.
Ectomorphs should concentrate on compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and chin-ups. This will help build mass by working several muscle groups at once and allowing enough rest for the muscle to repair completely.
Ectomorph Eating Guide:
Ectomorphs should be eating several meals a day (6-8 meals). They should also be eating more on each meal, and should have a higher carbs : protein intake ratio.
Ectomorphs can also eat more fat, and should eat more caloric dense foods. This will give the body the calories it needs to rebuild muscle and put on mass. Food ratio should be 40:40:20 for protein carbohydrates and fat and fat can exceed that and so can carbs.
Ectomorph Supplement Guide:
If an ectomorph wants to use supplements, they should use whey protein powder, multivitamins, creatine, glutamine, amino acids/BCAA's and a weight gainer such as After Max which includes carbohydrates. An ectomorph needs all the help he can get in the realm of muscle gain because ectomorphs body does not gain muscle easily.
Mesomorphs are the genetically gifted individuals. They find it easy to gain muscle mass and easy to loose weight. They gain mass and definition at the same time, and they also can miss a workout or eat a little extra here and there while not having an effect on their body.
Mesomorphs Training Guide:
Mesomorphs should use moderate weights with moderate reps (8-10) while maintaining some aerobics on off days. Mesomorphs should generally mix between isolation and compound exercises to get a perfect balance of mass and definition.
Mesomorphs Eating Guide:
Mesomorphs should be eating less carbs and more proteins than ectomorphs, but still have a moderate amount of carbs in their diet. Mesomorphs should have about 20% fat, 40% protein, and 40% carbs. Keep protein intake between 1 to 1.6 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Mesomorphs Supplement Guide:
If a mesomorph wants to use supplements, he should use multivitamins, whey protein powder, and glutamine, with creatine as an optional supplement, as well as a weight gainer instead of the protein powder. Amino Acids/BCAA's are also optional. Mesomorphs need fewer supplements because they put on muscle mass quickly.
Endomorphs can gain muscle mass very easily, but have much trouble loosing fat. They gain mass easily but the definition is difficult because of the fat and water layer between the skin and the muscles. Endomorphs need to follow a strict diet, but missing a workout or 2 every month will not make a difference.
Endomorphs Training Guide:
Endomorphs should be training with moderate to low reps and moderate to high weight. Endomorphs can train max 5 days a week and are not overworked very quickly. Endomorphs can position 2 workouts back to back but not more than that, because rest period is needed.
Endomorphs need to focus on both compound and isolation exercises for a lot of mass and much needed definition. Begin bulking before cutting if you're a beginner because it will be easier to gain mass with a low metabolism and easier to lose fat with a high metabolism after your bulking phase.
Endomorphs Eating Guide:
Endomorphs should eat 7 meals a day minimum to speed up their metabolism. Endomorphs should have only 5% fat in their diet maximum and eat 65% protein and 30% carbs. Cutting phase should involve no 2 carb meals back to back to allow the body to burn fat.
It is important for endomorphs to plan out a cheat day every week or a small cheat meal every 2 or 3 days to keep morale high and to encourage following your diet and eating a cheat meal as a reward. Some people will loose willpower if they follow a too strict diet.
Tips for increasing your metabolism are drinking green tea every morning, and not eating anything before sleep.
Endomorphs Supplement Guide:
Supplements should only be whey protein powder and multivitamins, with optional glutamine, amino acids/BCAA's and creatine. Endomorphs gain muscle mass easily, and a weight gainer will only cause fat. Endomorphs do not need supplements. Natural is always better. Weight loss supplements could include green tea extract and a fat burner.
Differences Between Each Body Type:
- Will always have a low body fat percentage.
- Will never need to go through a cutting phase.
- Easily gains definition.
- Can eat whatever they want.
- Will always have trouble gaining lean muscle mass.
- Needs to eat so much to get minimal results.
- Should use a post workout caloric and protein shake for maximum results.
- Has a small bone structure.
- Will always have a relatively low body fat percentage.
- Has a muscular build even as a beginner.
- Will easily gain lean muscle mass.
- Easily gains definition.
- Can miss a workout or eat junk once in a while without negative effect.
- Has a large bone structure.
- Gains muscle mass very easily.
- Already has a muscular build as a beginning.
- Has a large bone structure.
- Will not lose muscle mass and might even gain when cutting.
- Gains fat easily.
- Needs to go through a cutting phase constantly to maintain body fat percentage.
- Must do some cardio even when bulking.
- Must follow a strict diet.
That pretty much sums it up for advantages and disadvantages of each body type, and how to eat and train for each.
Whey Protein Powder:
A fast digesting quick acting supplement containing whey protein found in milk. Flavored and most effective post workout.
Usually in the form of tablets or pills, they contain essential multivitamins and minerals both trace minerals and quantity minerals needed and used by the muscles to maximize muscle gain. You won't gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks on this, but its very important and for general health and muscular mass maximization.
The most abundant amino acid found in the body, glutamine is mostly found in the brain and muscles. Glutamine helps keep the body in an anabolic (muscle building) state and help prevent muscle loss post work out. Also strengthens the immune system.
Glutamine may cause the body to rely on it and stop producing its own since glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, (the body can produce its own, but this is usually not enough), try cycling glutamine or taking less dosage, or using it only during cutting phases where it is most effective.
Creatine Monohydrate/Creatine Ethyl Ester:
Both these supplements are forms of creatine. Creatine is a group of 3 amino acids which are abundant in the muscles and will fill the muscle with water, keeping it anabolic, making it bigger, and giving you extra strength which remains after you stop supplementing.
Creatine is found naturally in the body and used in nail and hair cells in the human body, as well as the muscles. Creatine monohydrate may cause temporary digestive problems and is less safe than creatine ethyl ester, which is completely absorbed into the muscles and will provide faster gains and only the need to take milligram amounts.
Creatine can cause problems and muscle cramps if the user doesn't drink enough water, and creatine is not very safe for teens under 16. It may cause liver or kidney damage if taken in overdose and not absorbed.
A Weight Gainer is basically a protein powder with some calories in the form of sugar and carbohydrates, this will help ectomorphs get the calories and carbohydrates they need quickly post workout and throughout the day. Not for Endomorphs!
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and BCAA's are special types of amino acids called branch chained amino acids which are even more important in the buildup of muscle and for providing energy. They can be taken by anyone, but studies have shown that they may cause the body to rely on these amino acids and stop producing its own. Use sparingly.
For more supplement information go to this link.
I consider myself between a mesomorph and an endomorph. I have quite a lot of body fat, not enough to be considered obese, but its not like I have a set of chiseled abs. I can gain mass easily, I can also gain fat, but to a lesser extent.
My advantages are that I gain permanent muscle mass without having to eat too much, my disadvantage is that I'm fat. I regard this however, not as a genetic disorder, but accumulated fat over the years. I'm positive that if I loose this fat (which I'm in the process of doing now) it won't come back again.
I have always been strong, and that's one of the qualities of a mesomorph. In conclusion, I feel I am more of a mesomorph than an ectomorph and I am grateful for it.