Workout Tips

The Endomorph Dilemma

Easy gains can be a curse if you don’t take the appropriate steps. Here’s how to stave off the endomorph blues.

josh bryant thumbnail by CSCS, MFS, PES
mesomorph physique

Some people would kill to be classified as an endomorph. Endomorphs put on weight easy. For gaining muscle this sounds like a blessing but unfortunately weight gain, in this case, leads to the excessive accumulation of body fat, particularly around the midsection. Unless you take the proper action, that is.

Endomorphic Traits

Far from falling within the realm of physique artistry, Chris Farley is the classic endomorph. Endomorphs can be usually classified by soft and round bodies. Before weight training, their muscles are very underdeveloped. Endomorphs are identified by a very robust girth. Generally, the arms and legs of an endomorph are short in length, further exacerbating the look of squatty, short individual.

If this sounds like you, don’t fret. You’re not alone. And it’s not all grim, either.

Endomorph Challenges

The good news is endomorphs can pack on muscle fairly easily. The bad news is this body type is prone to excessive accumulation of body fat, especially in the form of a large “spare tire” in the midsection.

Endomorphs cannot afford to consume excessive carbohydrates, for the endomorph low carb diets will produce vastly superior results. Protein consumption should be more than 1 gram per pound of target bodyweight each day and with a fairly high dietary fat consumption. A great place to start nutritionally is consuming 10-12 calories per pound of bodyweight and adjust accordingly up or down, based on your appearance.

Protein consumption post-workout is great but while mesomorphs and endomorphs benefit from a protein/simple carbohydrate mix, endomorphs with excessive body fat do not. Therefore, carb introduction should be minimized post-workout.

Endomorph Training Tips

If you’re ready to look less like Farley and more like Franco (Columbu), then you need to plan your training right – in conjunction with the nutritional guidelines above.

  • Generally perform eight sets or more per bodypart. A higher proportion of work, relative to mesomorphs, will help you break down muscle and burn calories at a pace more conducive to slimming you out.
  • Majority of reps should be in the 8-15 range. This is a general prescription for hypertrophy. By adding more muscle, you make your body more metabolically active.
  • Recovery is faster than the mesomorph but slower than the ectomorph. If you feel ready to train a bodypart again, feel free. Training sore won’t hinder your body’s ability to benefit from workouts. More frequent training will actually help to nuke more calories per week.
  • Limit carb intake. Your body is likely to store a lot of your carbs as fat. So instead, reduce carb intake throughout the day, the exceptions being pre- and post-workout. Those servings should still be modest. Drastically reduce or eliminate carbs in the evening so that you start each day in something of a carb deficit, leaving your body to search for fuel elsewhere. You can compound this benefit by training in the morning.
  • Train with a mixture of steady state cardio and high-intensity intervals. Both have benefits that can help you tighten up. Steady-state helps to increase total intra-workout calorie burn and HIIT cranks up your post-workout metabolism. A ix of both will help increase results.

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