Ahh, to be a mesomorph. Mesomorphs are able to add muscle mass and lose body fat more rapidly than either of the other somatotypes heavy endomorphs and skinny ectomorphs. Still, such physical blessings still require special attention to detail, lest they be squandered. At the very least, there are things that mesos are overlooking that could help maximize results. When you think mesomorph, think Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Table of Contents. Chapter 1 —Introduction. Chapter 4 —Insulin and Fat Oxidation. Chapter 5 —Carbohydrate, Calorie, and Insulin Management. Chapter 7 —Weight Training Program for Mesomorphs. Chapter 9 —Putting Everything Together. Chapter 10 —High Performance Food List. Chapter 1. When it comes to gaining muscle, mesomorphs have an advantage over ectomorphs and endomorphs. The simplistic distinction between the three different phenotypes when it comes to body composition changes is:.
Mesomorphs tend to have the ability to gain and lose weight rather easily when following a well designed diet because mesomorphs te nd to have a naturally muscular build and good insulin sensitivity. Some bodybuilders feel that they need to eat everythi ng in sight to gain weight while bulking. I do not agree with that approac h. When a bodybuilder eats a hypercaloric diet, th eir goal is not just to gain weight, which could be both fat and lean mass, but rather to gain LEAN MASS.
The strategies outlined in this book will help mesomorphs gain lean mass, not fat mass. Many of the strategies in this book are th e same as in my Bulking for Endomorphs book as these strategies will keep fat gains down while adding muscle, though there will be some additional strategies geared sp ecifically towards mesomorphs.
Chapter 2. There is a clear visible physical distinction between the three phenotypes, but what is not visible and often ignored is the biochemical and metabolic differences between the three phenotypes.
Mesomorphs tend to be in the middle when it comes to metabolic rate. While ectomorphs struggle to gain weight and en domorphs have troubl e gaining too much weight specifically fat:muscle ratio , mesomo rphs seem to have the best of both worlds; they can gain muscle with limited fat gains.
Mesomorphs naturally have more muscle than ectomorphs and have better insulin se nsitivity than endomo rphs, which makes it easier for them to gain more muscle and less fat when eating a hypercaloric diet. In order to create a diet that allows an mseomorph to maximize lean mass gains while keeping fat gains to a minimum, one must understand the metabolic reasons that cause mesomorphs to gain fat. As stated in the introduction, these metabolic causes of fat gain were discussed in my Bulking for E ndomorphs book, but will be re-examined here.
There are some differences in my recomme ndations for mesomorphs vs. Chapter 3. Insulin secretion causes the uptake of amino acids, free fatty acids, and especially glucose to be increased. When one ingests car bohydrates, their blood glucose le vel, also referred to as their blood sugar level, is elevated, which causes insulin to be secreted. When insulin is secreted, the breakdown of stored nutrients g lycolysis, lipolysis etc.
It w ould be counterproductive to breakdown stored glycogen to obtain glucose when glucose has just been ingested and is now in the bloodstream. This fact is important because wh en insulin is secreted, fat breakdown and oxidation is turned off! Therefore when one wants to increase fat oxidation to its fullest, insulin secretion needs to be limited. Individuals have differing insulin sensitivities based mainly on their diet, activity level, and genetic factors.
In most cases, an ectomorph and me somorph are more insulin sensitive than endomorphs; this is one of the primary factors that allows ectomorphs and mesomorphs to gain muscle with less fa t than an endomorph. A mesomor ph will need to secrete less insulin to shuttle a given amount of glucose in to cells and therefore fat oxidation will be not be halted for as long as it would be if they had poor insulin sens itivity. Therefore, by paying more attention to insuli n secretion, a mesomorph can k eep gains lean.
This is not to say that insulin is bad because it is not , but by controlling its secretion, mesomorphs can gain less fat when bulking. The body does not like it when glucose is floating around in the blood stream so after a meal the body increases the uptake and oxidation of gluc ose to get rid of it. Over time, consistently elevated blood glucose levels can lead to cells b ecoming insensitive to insulin or insulin resistant, meaning more insu lin must be secreted to return blood glucose levels to normal and therefore fat oxidation is blunted for longer which will be discussed in Chapter 4.
Consistently el evated blood glucose levels can lead to a state of insulin resistance. Before we continue, I want to point out why there is great emphasis placed on muscle glycogen levels. Building new muscle pr oteins and adding inches to your arms is not a priority to the body. The body will not crea te new muscle proteins when it senses it is in need of energy. If muscle glycogen levels are depleted, the body must replete glycogen stores in addition to increasing protein synthesis, both of which require energy and nut rients.
Therefore, when gaining muscle is. This is an isolated examination of muscle growth because there are many other factors besides glycoge n stores that govern whether one gains muscle or not. Insulin promotes glucose uptake through the synthesis and tr anslocation of the GLUT-4 glucose transporter, found on skeletal and cardiac muscle ce lls and adipocytes. There are other glucose transporters, but the GLUT-4 transporter is our primary concern. Enzymes are protein molecules that catal yze speed up metabolic reactions.
In the case of glucose uptake, there are two we will examine: hexokinase and glucokinase. The enzyme hexokinase is found in skeletal muscle and promotes glucose uptake independently of blood glucose levels. Hexokinase has a high affinity for glucose, which allows muscle to take up glucose from the blood even when blood glucose levels are low. Once the muscle has the glucose, it keeps it for itself; the muscle does not release glucose back into the bloodstream.
The enzyme glucokinase is found in the liver and is activated when blood glucose levels are increased. Contrast to skeletal muscle , the liver is in service to all other cells of the body, so when it senses other cells need gl ucose it releases glucose and sends it to the other cells. Skeletal muscle holds on to its glucose for itself but the liver releases its stored glucose for other cells to use when they need it.
Hexokinase is basically acting all the time to give muscle glucose but glucokina se is only acting in the presence of high blood glucose levels. What does all of this mean? That you do not need to jack insulin through the roof for your muscles to get gluc ose, in fact, it gets even better.
Exercise, especially resistance traini ng, has been shown to increase GLUT-4 translocation on skeletal muscle in the abse nce of insulin, meaning after your lift weights you do not need insulin for your muscles to upta ke glucose. While insulin will certainly enhance the anabolic response of a meal post workout, slamming grams of dextrose pure glucose is not needed since skeletal mu scle is already able to uptake glucose in the absence of insulin after a wor kout.
Increasing the glucose content of sk eletal muscle in the form of glycogen is beneficial for gaining muscle, but remember that GLUT-4 transporters also exist on fat cells and theref ore insulin secretion promotes the storage of glucose in both skeletal musc le and fat cells. Therefore, one needs to increase the storage of glucose in skeletal muscle and decrease the storage of glucose in fat cells; this can be done by consuming low glycemic carbohydrates such as oatmeal post-workout instead of high glycemic carbs like dextrose.
Because some mesomorphs can take high glycemic carbs around their workout, I leave it up to eac h individual to decide whether they will use high or low glycemic carbs pre and post workout. In summary, it is not necessary to j ack blood glucose and insulin levels through the roof in order to replenish glycogen and gain muscle. Skeletal muscle is able to uptake glucose whenever it needs it. In addition, skeletal muscle is primed to uptake glucose after exercise. By controlling your insulin levels, you can ga in lean mass while keeping fat gains to a minimum.
Whether a mesomor ph chooses to use high or low glycemic carbs pre and post workout is up to them because both options work; this will depend on how their body reacts to each carb source. Chapter 4. Insulin not only controls the uptake of gluc ose into cells, but also has an impact on fat oxidation and storage. When blood glucos e and insulin levels are low, fat is the main fuel burned for energy.
But when blood glucose and insulin levels are high, fat burning is blunted and glucose oxidation is elevated. When the body senses there is glucose in the bloodstream, it wants to return blood glucose levels back to a homeostatic level.
In order to do this, the body must get ri d of the glucose, which is accomplished by increasing glucose oxidation and storage. Since the body is focusing on storing nutrients, it would not make sense for fatty acids to be released from adipocytes because they would not be burned. Therefore, it is important that blood glucose leve ls return to normal quickly so the oxidation of fat can once again become the primary source of energy. This can be done by 1 Controlli ng your carbohydrate intake and 2 controlling your insulin secretion.
In the presence of high blood glucos e and insulin, HSL cannot act on stored fat. Therefore, fatty acids cannot be liberated fr om fat cells and fat oxidation is put on the backburner while glucose oxidation and storage is made a priority.
Insulin is termed an anti-lipolytic hormone because it blocks lipolysis—the breakdown of stored triglycerides fat into fatty acids. In addition to blunting fat oxidation, insulin secretion stimulates fat synthesis in the liver and increases fat uptake by fat cells. After you eat a meal, dietary triglycerides TG are packaged within lipoproteins LPs in the liver.
Packing fat allows it to float better through blood. Insulin stimulates adipose tissue LPL and inhibits muscle LPL activity, which means in the presence of insulin fat cells uptake and store fat while skeletal muscle can not uptake it and therefore canno t oxidize it. In the presence of insulin, fatty acids are not oxidized in muscle but rather stored in fat cells.
So not only are you decreasing the amount of fat you are burning by not controll ing insulin secretion, you are increasing fat storage! It should be clear that if you want to keep your fat gains down while on a hypercaloric diet insulin levels must be controlled. This is done by calorie and carbohydrate management. Chapter 5.
The primary factor that determines whet her you gain or lose weight is your caloric intake how many calories you eat. If you eat more calories than you burn hypercaloric diet you will gain weight and if you burn more calories than you eat hypocaloric diet you will lose weight.
Wh en you eat exactly the same amount of calories as you burn it is called a maintenance caloric diet. Mesomorp hs trying to gain muscle need to eat a hypercaloric diet like anyone else who wants to gain weight, but they do not want to eat too ma ny calories above maintenance. A simple calculation to determine your maintena nce caloric intake is to take your body weight and multiply it by 15; this gives you your total calories to be consumed eat day.
For example, a pound person would cons ume 3, calories a day. Now this is a very basic way to determine your maintenance caloric intake and s hould be used as a starting point. For mesomorphs I reco mmend starting at calories above maintenance calories with their calories come from:. Using the 3, calorie as an example this would be:. A pound mesomorph would want to start calories above their maintenance.
Training For The Mesomorph!
However, therein lies one of the biggest dilemmas facing a bodybuilder: how to gain mass without getting downright sloppy looking. Most everyone wants a lean, muscular physique. However, a physique like such is not acquired overnight. The bulking phase is essential to putting on muscle mass and gaining strength; let's begin by breaking down what your bulking diet should include based on your body type.
Bulking for Mesomorphs
Bodies come in different shapes and sizes. If you have a higher percentage of muscle than body fat, you may have what is known as a mesomorph body type. People with mesomorphic bodies may not have much trouble gaining or losing weight. They may bulk up and maintain muscle mass easily.