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From Round To Ripped

From Round To Ripped

[Editor's Note: Welcome to the third and last entry in our three-part series on Bodybuilding by Body Type. Last time, in Fast Lane to Growth, we explored the ways in which people blessed with great genetics (or Mesomophs) can turn their great potential into inspiring growth. Before that, in Gains For Hard Gainers, we addressed the special physiological challenges faced by Ectomorphs when they try to add pounds of muscle to their lean frames. This week, we move on to Endomorphs (people who have difficulty ripping up and getting lean). What follows is a step-by-step lifestyle and supplementation guide for a bodybuilder's greatest challenge -- losing fat, while maintaining muscle mass. So, let's hand it off to Chad Kerksick, PhD.!]

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The third installment of the series on somatotypes focuses on endomorphs, those of us who always seem to be 10-15 pounds away from where they would like to be. Many endomorphs have likely always been a little soft and can never seem to tighten things up as much as they would like. While each body type is different the foundation of taking charge and making changes starts with your diet and exercise.

Adjust Your Calorie Intake
Whether you like to hear it or not, your diet is probably a much bigger part of the problem than what you realize or would like to admit. These facts surprise most people, but realize that scientific studies repeatedly tell us that most people underestimate how many calories they consume each day by 25% to 30%. That's a big number and the more overweight you are, the worse this discrepancy seems to be.

The biggest problem here is most people don't even realize it and when it comes time to cut back and clean things up with your diet, the amount of effort that is actually needed is much greater than what you think. As a result, changes don't occur or they are much slower than you initially thought. Then you get discouraged or maybe give up altogether.  

How many calories should you consume? A good starting point for those people who wish to lose a few pounds is 20% to 30% above your resting metabolic rate.  Predicting your metabolic rate couldn't be easier. Just use the calculator on the ProSource website. It is safe to say that one of the top considerations for somebody who wants to lose weight is to know exactly how many calories are going in and then adjusting that number until changes start to occur. Sure you can argue about better fats, lower glycemic carbs or better proteins, but if you are eating entirely too many calories these factors take a backseat.

Burning Calories Is Hard Work
The next crucial factor is how many calories you are burning during exercise.  Again, the scientific bad news is that studies tell us people typically burn 20% to 25% less calories than they think during their workout. How does this happen?  For starters, people may not fully account for the time they spend resting (or talking) during a workout. Or, more commonly, your fitness level isn't as high as you estimate and you may or may not be working out as hard as you think you are.  How do you overcome these challenges? Sadly, no magical solutions exist except good old-fashioned, consistent, hard work.  Pushing yourself when you get to the gym and getting there on a consistent basis, at least 4 to 5 days per week, are critical starting points.

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Make Every Calorie Count
Drastically cutting back calories is a common approach, but this strategy, while somewhat effective for dropping body mass, can result in significant reductions in muscle mass, which subsequently works to reduce your metabolic rate.  As an endomorph, your biggest challenge is to lose the fat on your body while holding on to your muscle, which sounds easier than it is.  Beyond working hard at both your diet and workout program, a number of different nutritional approaches and products can be considered to provide support along the way.

For starters, your intake of protein and the quality of the protein you consume can impact your weight loss and more importantly what type of weight you are losing.  Several studies can be pointed to for support, but a recent study nicely highlights the power of adding protein while drastically cutting back on calories. Pasiakos and colleagues had overweight men and women reduce their overall caloric intake from their diet to 20% below their recommended amounts and to burn an additional 10% of their daily caloric needs with various forms of exercise (Pasiakos, Cao et al. 2013). One group consumed the RDA for protein (0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass per day), another group consumed 2x the RDA (1.6 grams per kg) and a third a group consumed 3x the RDA (2.4 grams/kg). Changes in body mass and body composition were measured and the group who consumed 2x the RDA lost the most weight and the greatest amount of fat when compared to other groups.  

A Unique Fat-Loss Protein
For many people, consuming high amounts of high-quality protein at regular patterns (Areta, Burke et al. 2013) throughout the day can be challenging to plan for and execute on a daily basis. Sure, cooking food and planning meals may be ideal, but for many it is not realistic, while using a high-quality protein supplement can help lessen this burden and still help you achieve your dietary and fat loss goals. Several excellent protein products are available, but ProSource's Vectron is unique both in how it is formulated and because clinical research has shown it to actually produce greater improvements in body composition. 

An independent, randomized, double-blind, 12-week clinical study published in Nutrition & Metabolism reported that when a protein supplement containing Prolibra, the key ingredient found in Vectron, was consumed daily for 12 weeks, significantly greater fat mass was lost and significantly less muscle mass was lost when compared to changes seen in participants who consumed a placebo (Frestedt, Zenk et al. 2008). That surely is an endomorph's ultimate goal!

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Thermogenic Diet Support
It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of locking down how many calories you are eating each day and increasing your intake of high-quality protein as critical first steps in stripping away some fat while holding on to your muscle.  Fat loss is a tricky beast and for many people adding ingredients such as Raspberry Ketones and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) can help. Individually all of these ingredients have some level of scientific evidence to support their use and an advanced thermogenic formulation such as BioQuest's BetaStax Elite contains them in varying amounts. [Editor's Note: More importantly in the case of BetaStax Elite, its key active ingredient, PureWay-Slim, delivers clinically validated and significant reductions in body weight, waist and hip circumferences in as little as two weeks, as documented in a landmark clinical trial conducted at a major American university. The newly reformulated BetaStax Elite also contains chlorogenic acid, a compound which has been linked to slowing the release of glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, thereby helping to provide powerful diet support.]

To provide more scientific proof for the importance of these key ingredients found in BetaStax Elite, caffeine has been used for decades and excellent studies dating back a few decades consistently show that modest caffeine doses of 100 mg can significantly increase metabolic rate in lean and obese human participants and when provided in multiple doses across the day even greater increases in metabolic rate were found (Dulloo, Geissler et al. 1989).  In addition to calorie burning and fat loss, healthy doses (200 – 250 mg) of caffeine have recently been shown in multiple studies to improve your tolerance and drive to train to harder while also improving the number of repetitions you can perform (Duncan and Oxford 2011, Duncan, Smith et al. 2012)!  

Non-Stimulant Diet Support
Athletes who are stimulant sensitive might want to consider a non-stimulant means of diet support such as ProSource's Tonalin CLA. An excellent review of published studies using CLA at a dose of 3 grams per day in humans reported  a consistent moderate ability of CLA to help reduce abdominal fat and improve overall fat percentage levels in overweight men and women (Gaullier, Halse et al. 2004, Gaullier, Halse et al. 2007, Whigham, Watras et al. 2007). More importantly, when CLA was added to the diet in 5 gram doses of healthy, resistance training individuals, the extent to which fat was lost, muscle was maintained and body composition was improved was reason for excitement (Pinkoski, Chilibeck et al. 2006). When supplementing with CLA. Keep in mind that Tonalin CLA, as found in ProSource's Tonalin CLA, is generally considered the industry's gold standard.

[Editor's Note: Another non-stimulant diet-support technology of note is Raspberry Ketones (or Razberi-K). Razberi-K has been validated in clinical studies documenting both its fat-oxidation potential and its antioxidant power. ProSource's Razberi-K product contains only the highest-grade, highest potency extracts of raspberry ketones.]

In conclusion, to achieve the difficult task of losing fat while holding on to the muscle, you have to do a tricky balancing act that requires managing how many calories you actually take in each day and maintaining a rigorous and consistent exercise program. As you learn to dial down your caloric intake, your intake of high-quality protein becomes more important and supplementation with ProSource's Vectron has been shown clinically to help shed fat and hold on to muscle while reducing your calories. For many folks, the next step is to consider a thermogenic and the formulation provided in Beta-Stax Elite offers a number of ingredients that can help your body burn more calories and fat. Finally, other ingredients such as caffeine, raspberry ketones, and CLA all have their own mechanisms to offer support for shedding some pounds and trimming your physique.


PureWaySlim Supplementation: Positively Impacting Human Health. Dario Pancorbo M.D., Carlos Vazquez M.D., and Mary Ann Flecther Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Areta, J. L., L. M. Burke, M. L. Ross, D. M. Camera, D. W. West, E. M. Broad, N. A. Jeacocke, D. R. Moore, T. Stellingwerff, S. M. Phillips, J. Hawley and V. G. Coffey (2013). "Timing and distribution of protein ingestion during prolonged recovery from resistance exercise alters myofibrillar protein synthesis." J Physiol.

Dulloo, A. G., C. A. Geissler, T. Horton, A. Collins and D. S. Miller (1989). "Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers." Am J Clin Nutr 49(1): 44-50.

Duncan, M. J. and S. W. Oxford (2011). "The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure." Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association 25(1): 178-185.

Duncan, M. J., M. Smith, K. Cook and R. S. James (2012). "The acute effect of a caffeine-containing energy drink on mood state, readiness to invest effort, and resistance exercise to failure." J Strength Cond Res 26(10): 2858-2865.

Frestedt, J. L., J. L. Zenk, M. A. Kuskowski, L. S. Ward and E. D. Bastian (2008). "A whey-protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study." Nutr Metab (Lond) 5: 8.

Gaullier, J. M., J. Halse, H. O. Hoivik, K. Hoye, C. Syvertsen, M. Nurminiemi, C. Hassfeld, A. Einerhand, M. O'Shea and O. Gudmundsen (2007). "Six months supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid induces regional-specific fat mass decreases in overweight and obese." The British journal of nutrition 97(3): 550-560.

Gaullier, J. M., J. Halse, K. Hoye, K. Kristiansen, H. Fagertun, H. Vik and O. Gudmundsen (2004). "Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation for 1 y reduces body fat mass in healthy overweight humans." The American journal of clinical nutrition 79(6): 1118-1125.

Pasiakos, S. M., J. J. Cao, L. M. Margolis, E. R. Sauter, L. D. Whigham, J. P. McClung, J. C. Rood, J. W. Carbone, G. F. Combs, Jr. and A. J. Young (2013). "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial." FASEB J.

Pinkoski, C., P. D. Chilibeck, D. G. Candow, D. Esliger, J. B. Ewaschuk, M. Facci, J. P. Farthing and G. A. Zello (2006). "The effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation during resistance training." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 38(2): 339-348.

Whigham, L. D., A. C. Watras and D. A. Schoeller (2007). "Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans." The American journal of clinical nutrition 85(5): 1203-1211.

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