There seems to be an abundant of information for ectomorphs on how build muscle and gain weight. But what about the endomorphs that really want to build muscle mass but still have a fair amount of fat to shift?
If you are an endomorphs who wants to build some muscle mass whilst remaining reasonably lean then this article is for you.
What is an endomorph?
The perfect endomorph may not exist and we are all a combination of the three body types i.e. ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Nevertheless if you do exhibit the majority of the following tendencies and characteristics, then the important advice discussed within this article is definitely for you:
- Are you pear shaped with wide hips and shoulders?
- Do you have a high % body fat?
- Do you have low amount of muscle mass?
- Do you have poor muscle definition?
- Do you get fatigued and tired easily?
- Do you have an insatiable appetite and tend to over eat?
- Do you find it difficult to lose the body weight?
So without a further ado, let’s get you stripping some of the unwanted fat and packing on some lean muscle mass.
Should you cut?
If you feel that you are carrying around too much body fat then it is probably best to begin with a cut.
The good news is that that you gain muscle and strength a lot easier than ectomorphs and this will be a positive catalyst for maintaining muscle mass whilst stripping off the fat.
The bad news is that you have to go through the process of cutting which is not much fun at all. To maintain a solid amount of muscle during the cut you should be looking at losing around 1.5-2 pounds of fat per week.
Key components of a fat loss diet for an endomorph
Is there such thing as a perfect diet? No unfortunately there is not and many of these fad diets really don’t work as they leave you feeling hungry and they focus on eliminating all foods that you enjoy.
You should be aiming for the following daily number of calories:
- Over 40’s consume a baseline of 2, 200 calories per day
- 20-30s begin your cut with 2500-2600 calories per day
- If you have an active job and a higher calorie maintenance then consume around 3000 calories per day
Adjusting your calorie intake
A key point to consider is that during the first 2 weeks of the cut there will be a reduction in bodyweight that has been caused by excessive water loss from decreasing your carb intake.
Therefore use week 3 as the baseline and use the following calorie adjustment ‘template’ to assess your total weight loss:
- 8 pounds or more lost – then boost calories by 500 and monitor your weight for 14 days and then adjust calories
- 5-7 pounds – then boost calories by 350 and monitor your weight for 14 days and then adjust calories
- 3-4 pounds or more lost – then boost calories by 200 and monitor your weight for 14 days and then adjust calories
- 1.5-2 pounds weight loss – don’t alter anything! This is spot on!
- 0-1 pounds of weight loss – then reduce calorie intake by 200 calories and monitor your weight for 14 days and then adjust calories
- 1-3 pound weight gain – then reduce calories intake by 350 calories and monitor your weight for 14 days and then adjust calories
You need to lose enough body fat until you reach a normal bodyweight. Or you can use the mirror to judge your weight loss and remember that it is difficult to look ripped up without a sufficient amount of muscle mass. The initial step is fat loss and then building up your muscle mass.
The role of the macros
Endomorphs are sensitive to carbs or more specifically to insulin and consuming too many carbs can cause an increase in belly fat and water retention.
It is recommended that endomorphs eat low GI carbs as this lowers the amount of circulating insulin and this can improves the fat burning potential within the body.
The following is advice for weight loss during the cut:
- Keep hydrated because water helps to deliver the nutrients in the body and flushes out any toxins
- Eat 30% of your total calories from healthy sources of protein such as lean meats and fish
- Add some healthy fats to you diet such as flaxseed and coconut oil as this will stop you from feeling hungry
- Eat green leafy vegetables such as kale, green beans and cabbage as these are good fillers during meal times
- Eat a small handful of complex carbs such as quinoa, sweet potatoes and brown rice after you have finished training. On your non-training day reduce you carb intake by 20%
- Eat smaller meals more often to avoid hunger and to sustain your energy levels
Endomorphs and Lean Bulking
For endomorphs to gain weight it must be precise, slow and steady. If weight gain is too rapid then it will probably be fat and if too slow then it will be stunting your muscle growth.
Remember that body weight changes not only with fat gain but with muscle gain also.
Building a bulking plan isn’t that much different from a cutting plan and you need to adjust your daily calorie target and make other adjustments depending on the weighing scales.
Follow this strategy:
Starting point of daily calorie intake
- Over 40’s – 2500 calories
- 30-39 years – 2750 calories
- 25-29 years – 3000 calories
- 20-24 years – 3250 calories
These are just baseline calories and adjustment should be made to allow for activity levels and a good piece of advice it not to fear increasing your total number of calories consumed.
The marcos also need to be adjusted and try to consume 40% from protein, 30% from carbs and 20% from healthy fats.
Adjusting your calorie intake
As with the cutting phase ignore the first 2 weeks. Therefore use week 3 as the baseline and use the following calorie adjustment ‘template’ to assess your total weight gain:
- 8 pounds or more gained – then reduce calories by 500 and monitor your weight for 28 days and then adjust calories
- 5-7 pounds gained – then decrease calories by 350 and monitor your weight for 28 days and then adjust calories
- 3-4 pounds gained – then decrease calories by 200 and monitor your weight for 28 days and then adjust calories
- 1-2 pounds gained – monitor weight gain before many any adjustments in 4 weeks
- 0 pounds gained – then increase calorie intake by 200 calories and monitor your weight for 28 days and then adjust calories
- 1-3 pound weight lost – then increase calories intake by 350 and monitor your weight for 28 days and then adjust calories