Ever looked at that lanky kid in class who’d gobble up everyone’s tiffin during recess and wondered “You lucky ass”. Ever felt like that unlucky, hopeless chap who’d gain weight, no matter how much you try?
If these continue to bother you, this article is for you.
To start with, I want to say that some of us are just born unlucky. All bodies weren’t created equal. Should you be hopeless about it? HELL NO. While the path you’d walk might be a little longer than others, you’ll see light on the other side.
Again, a reality check as to how tough it is going to be for you- what you’re trying to do here is to outsmart the genes you’re blessed(or maybe not) with. So, before I even start, I want to tell you all that it will be tough, but not unachievable.
The idea that human body types are genetically pre-set into one of three camps is nothing new. Plato mentions it in The Republic, which was written around 380 BC, and 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche referred to the idea in The Antichrist years before the American psychologist William Sheldon popularised three broad categories of body in the 1940s. Our bodies can be divided into three distinct types-
1. The Ectomorph
2. The Endomorph
3. The Mesomorph
The Ectomorphs are the first category of the ‘unlucky ones’. Some of us are lanky no matter how much we try. While on the bright side, you’re that “Lucky ass” I spoke about in the first line of this post, the dark side is that you find it extremely difficult to gain weight and it bothers you. You’re body type is that of a marathon runner- lean, but short on muscle.
Training: Might just be sad news but you need to incorporate weight training in your daily routine. Heavy compound movements like bench press, squats, and deadlifts for 8-12 repetitions will be your guiding light. Another sad news is that you need to ditch the treadmill. Well, there is no rocket science in here. Excessive Cardio can be harmful for you. Does that mean you need to stop cardio completely? Well, on the good side, you can always incorporate a 5 minute light jog before you start your workouts, and you can try the High-Intensity-Interval-Training for around 15 minutes, once a week. But, that is it. Nothing more than that.
I’m posting an example of the type of workouts you should be doing throughout the week-
Nutrition: Now comes the most important part. To gain weight, there are some points to remember. Firstly, increase the number of meals you intake. Your diet should be high in carbohydrates, protein and fat. Secondly, your breakfast should be extremely heavy. For example, I personally believe that a smoothie made up of milk, peanut butter(2 tbsp), 1.5-2 cups of oats, bananas, protein powder(if you have it) or some sort of flavouring agent like chocolate powder for flavour makes an amazing breakfast.
Some mass gaining foods are chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, oats, vegetables, whole grains, starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, white rice, fats like almonds, peanuts, peanut butter.
Try to consume some sort of carbohydrate like boiled, salted potatoes, and some protein (egg whites or whey protein) after your workouts.
So, EAAAAAAT AND TRAIN AND YOU’LL NEVER BE THE SAME AND
The Endomorphs, or as I would like to call them the second category of the ‘unlucky ones’ are the ones whose bodies love storing fat, especially in the lower body. They are adept at gaining weight like it is the easiest job in the world. If you have trouble shifting weight, the chances are you’re an endomorph, characterised by a relatively high amount of stored fat, a wide waist and a large bone structure.
The good news is that, evolutionarily speaking, you’re a badass: when food was scarce, natural selection favoured humans with fat-storing metabolisms.
The bad news is that, now sofas and milkshakes are readily available, those genes are scuppering you. Some experts suggest heredity factors might account for as much as 70% of your body mass index (BMI).
The endomorph is the hardest body type to have in terms of managing your weight and overall fitness, but to get a more balanced physique, you should focus on developing your shoulders and stripping away excess fat from your lower body. A low- to medium-intensity cardio plan will help you shift fat, as will a 1,750-calorie-a-day diet that’s high in fibres.
Training: A fat loss plan is what an endomorph should follow. Firstly, stop spending hours on the treadmill to lose weight. Ditch the traditional method of slow, steady-state cardio. HIIT cardio along with the hypertrophy style of training should be what you should be looking forward to be doing.
Hypertrophy training involves the use of heavy weight and repetitions as high as 20 in each set. You should incorporate supersets (two/more exercises back to back without rest) , giant sets(4 or more exercises back to back), running sprints, swimming, cycling, crossfit, or any sort of cardio that gets your body killing those fat cells.
Pro tip: Try to focus more on training your shoulders. As stupid as it may sound, broad shoulders create an illusion of a well-built physique.
Pro Tip #2: Doing thousands of crunches will not burn the fat in your abdominal area. So focus on overall body fat loss.
Here are some examples of fat-loss programs-
Copy paste the URL and check it out!
Firstly, increase your number of meals you intake. That does not mean you eat whatever you like to. Your meals incorporate complex carbohydrates like brown rice, multi-grain bread, loads of green vegetables and fruits, fibres like oats, and foods that are high in protein like cottage cheese, lean chicken, red meat, eggs, pulses. You should also try to consume some sort of Omega 3 fatty acids like peanuts, almonds, avocado etc.
Pro tip: Avoid simple carbohydrates like wheat, sugar or starchy carbohydrates like potatoes at all costs.
Pro tip #2: Try to have something every two hours. This helps in enhancing the rate of metabolism and aids in fat-loss.
They are the ones blessed with great genes.
You have the body type that finds it easiest to add new muscle and you don’t tend to store much body fat. Mesomorphs tend to take their naturally athletic builds for granted, which can result in diluted workouts and poor diets. Keeping in peak physical condition is often tempered by a scattered approach to eating and training.
The key here is to make the most of your body shape. That means following a progressive plan that will make you stronger and more athletic by increasing your power without getting too bulky. To fuel your workouts, you’ll need around 2,500 calories a day, getting plenty of wholegrains but limiting your total fat intake.
What Mesomorphs Might Be Doing Wrong?
They refuse to push their bodies beyond limits. They do not train as hard as they are capable of.
Training: Mesomorphs do not generally require training tips. But, time your workouts and try to be faster than the last training session. Agility training is also effective.
Nutrition: Although the usual caveats apply, the good news is that your body will respond well to whatever healthy food you put into it. You can eat a moderate amount of carbs, with a moderate portion of protein. A basic guideline for mesomorphs to follow would be to consume meals that are 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% lean protein and 30% healthy fats. So, for example, a plate that contained vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, grilled chicken and olive oil on wholegrain bread would represent a staple dish for this body type.
So, the next time something like “OMG I CAN’T DEAL WITH MY BODY” bothers you, don’t just blame it on luck, blame it on science, buckle up, set out on a journey. I promise that you will get there.
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References: coachmag.uk, bodybuilding.com