Once you have evaluated your body type you can finally make some game-changing decisions. Usually, anybody that has Ectomorph ‘in them’ would find it hard to gain any sort of muscle.
Doesn’t matter if we are talking about a pure form or, an alleged, combined form. Endomorphs and mesomorphs gain muscle relatively easy, without much effort when compared to ectomorphs, this is especially true for mesomorphs, you know who you are, you lucky SOBs.
The first and logical thing that we need to consider is the anabolic to catabolic ratio. Catabolic meaning losing and breaking down muscle and anabolic meaning gaining and developing muscle.
As an ectomorph you would lean towards the more ‘self destructive’ catabolic state, due to your heightened metabolic rate. In order for you to correspondingly set up your diet and supplementation you have to aim for ways in which you can reduce your catabolic state and promote your metabolic state.
The times when your body is at its peak points of catabolism is early in the morning (this is understandable considering that early in the morning your body is running on very low levels of glycogen in your blood stream because you have not consumed any sort of carbohydrate during your 7-9 hour sleep + 1-3 hours before your sleep leaving you at a 8-12 hour window where you have not consumed anything containing carbohydrates) as well as during and after your workout (you have depleted your glycogen levels due to the physically tensing workout you just went through).
Diet: You need to make sure that you are consuming enough carbohydrates to properly fuel your training expectations and your overall metabolic hunger, this comes especially true for anybody who is either a pure ectomorph or a combination where ectomorph is involved.
Enough protein to fuel muscle reconstruction during your recuperation period – I would usually recommend about 1.5 – 2 grams of protein per bodyweight in kilograms and 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight in pounds depending on your working intensity and overall lifestyle.
Make sure that you spread out your protein consumption evenly and do not overindulge on protein in specific meals – your body will not be capable of taking bigger loads of protein at once consuming what it can and rendering the rest as a secondary source of energy and storing it for later uses (body fat). I would recommend 5-7 meals a day, depending on your work-life regiment.
Fats of course are equally important and should be consumed no matter what body type you are. Fats are a good way to boost your overall testosterone production as well as your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production.
A proper diet consisting of polyunsaturate and monounsaturated fats rich of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids will also provide you with a lot of health benefits and help you maintain a healthy low body fat percentage, as well as regulate insulin levels.
Speaking of HGH, Testosterone and Insulin – those are your muscle building hormones.
The better the levels of these babies, the better muscle hypotrophy you are going to achieve. I am an advocate of the idea that the main drivers of muscle development are in fact our hormones, fact.
This is why Steroids, which increase your testosterone and HGH levels, make people grow so large.
Insulin promotes protein synthesis, which in turn increases your muscle growth. Insulin is also associated with maintaining muscle glycogen levels, which means that you will have more powerful workouts and lower levels of catabolism through your day.
Insulin is activated through carbohydrate consumption, meaning that every time you eat a carb your body releases insulin. However, excess insulin production can lead to storage of body fat and overall hinder your health.
What you need to do is to “manipulate” your insulin through a proper carbohydrate consumption strategy – involves you eating carbs at the right time of the day. This would usually be at peak catabolic levels – early in the morning, before your workout and after your workout.
Your HGH levels are shown to be at their highest during sleep, late at night. The problem with HGH is that it does not cope with Insulin, or in other words if you want to have good levels of HGH late at night you must make sure that you do not consume or at least consume low levels of carbohydrates.
I would recommend consuming carbohydrates about 2-3 hours before going to bed giving you an opportunity to fully reap the muscle growth effect you will get from heightened levels of HGH.
Supplementation: you need to follow the same rule of thumb as you did with your diet when it comes to supplementation – using supplements to decrease catabolism and increase metabolism.
I have already written an article about supplementation where I explain everything in more debt so go check it out.
BCAA, Whey Protein, Creatine, Fish oil and Vitamins is the best place to go when it comes to increasing muscle hypotrophy. BCAA early in the morning (your breakfast, especially if it is something healthy and rich in complex carbohydrates, will take about 2-4 hours to break down by your body, meaning that you will increase catabolism and decrease metabolism), before your workout so you can maintain good energy levels during your workout and minimize catabolism during your workout.
Whey protein after your workout, some people may prefer taking BCAA as whey protein still takes about 20-30 minutes to be absorbed. I would recommend taking whey protein as it still contains BCAAs as well as the fact that you can increase the amount of protein that you take after your workout because your muscles are pretty much expunged at that point. Late at night, no carbs, focusing attention at fats and protein so consuming fish oil and vitamins and minerals to promote proper muscle recuperation.