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The opposite of a hard-gainer would be an easy-gainer. Therefore, if a hard-gainer is typically what is described as an ectomorph, the easy-gainer would be labeled an endomorph.
BEST DIET PLAN FOR THE ENDOMORPH
The best diet plan for this body type is a diet that is timed perfectly. When setting up an off-season nutrition phase for the easy-gaining endomorph, I will use carbs around training or “peri-workout,” and that will include a pre-workout meal consisting of a lean protein and a complex carbohydrate. Next, carbohydrates will be used during training or “intra-workout,” and I will bypass post-workout carbs due to the intra-workout drink being sufficient to keep the endomorph anti-catabolic and not fully depleted. I prefer to use only a fast-digesting protein source such as whey isolate with 5–7g of L-leucine added. This will augment muscle protein synthesis (MPS) just fi ne and start the repair and growth process immediately.
FOOD SOURCES FOR THE EASY-GAINER
My preferred dietary fat source for this somatotype is organic, raw coconut oil/butter. Coconut oil is rich in MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) and is composed of caprylic, capric, and lauric acids. These fatty acids are less likely to be stored as body fat and instead are readily usable as an energy substrate. Even better, lauric acid (found in coconut oil) is like human breast milk, which has immune-boosting properties, and displays antimicrobial traits that kill of bacteria and viruses. My personal favorite is coconut butter—which includes the MCTs but also contains essential amino acids and minerals. This fat source tastes amazing and is ideal for the endomorph.
Next, I will allocate complex, fibrous carbs, such as steel-cut oats, yams, flourless bread, and a high-fiber cold cereal. I choose these specific carbs for the sole reason of satiety and balanced blood sugar levels from the added fiber. I know these individuals have ravenous appetites, and I use every defense possible to keep the nutrition protocol feasible and sustainable.
Protein sources come from whey powders, egg whites, omega-3 whole eggs, grass-fed lean beef, specific lean game meats, and wild caught fish.
As for weight-training style, I prefer my endomorphs to increase frequency of muscle groups and volume. Remember, resistance training, as in anaerobic stimulation, augments GLUT4 proteins in skeletal muscle, which increases muscle glucose transport. This benefit is paramount to people with poor insulin response and who are borderline diabetic.
Finally, I believe in implementing “mini diets” after several weeks of consistent eating in a slight or moderate caloric surplus to keep insulin sensitivity efficient. Bouts of minor calorie cutting are necessary to increase response to insulin signaling, and also to lower body-fat percentage.
PROS AND CONS FOR THE ENDOMORPHIC EASY-GAINER
SAMPLE OFF-SEASON MEAL PLAN FOR 200-POUND ENDOMORPH BODYBUILDER
MEAL 3 (PRE-WORKOUT)
MEAL 4 (POST-WORKOUT)