One of the most popular questions I get asked at the gym is "How do you keep your shape that lean all year round and what is the secret?" First of all there are absolutely no secrets. The reason I keep a very low body-fat percentage all year round is having the metabolism of an ectomorph.
What is an Ectomorph? Ectomorph is a term used to describe people with naturally slim body types and fast metabolisms. People with this body type are usually very lean and struggle to put on weight no matter what they eat! In fact, an ectomorph is the type of person that usually annoys overweight people because they make it look like they can eat as much as they want and never gain weight. This is not actually true of course, but their genetics just make it appear that way.
There are advantages and disadvantages of being an ectomorph:
- Fat burning rate - Fast
- Energy endurance - High
- Muscle growth rate - Slow
Talking from my own experience as an ectomorph I find it quite hard to gain muscle and in general my daily calorie intake has to be over 2,500 calories. A brief outline of the macronutrients I consume is 50% carbohydrates, 35% protein and 15% fat. This may look odd but remember, as an ectomorph the nutritional requirements are not the same as the average bodybuilder.
General Workout routine
In general I work out 5 times per week. I do not waste time with hours of cardio; 100 sets of little isolation exercises with high reps and light weights; or “advanced” methods of training etc. Instead, the majority of my workout routines are focused on large muscle group compound exercises such as:
- Bench press
- Dead lifts
- Shoulder press
The reason I focus on these exercises is they are the ones most likely to add the most muscle mass to my body in the shortest amount of time. Now if you are trying this, make sure to vary them at least once per week and ensure you’re lifting heavy enough to stimulate muscle growth (ideally within the 5-8 rep range).
The supplements I use:
- Upon Waking - L-Glutamine
- Pre-workout - L-Glutamine, VMX²® & BCAA's
- Post-workout - L-Glutamine, Synergy ISO-7® & BCAA's
- Before bed - L-Glutamine & ZMA®
- I also supplement with PhD Greens pH-7™
This stack is most useful for the results I require – lean muscle gains whilst keeping a low body fat percentage.