- People who gain fat easily need better insulin sensitivity. Use metabolic techniques such as drop sets, supersets, complexes and intervals.
- Keep carbs low-ish much of the day, but use supplements containing carbs before and during workouts. Save the carby meals until after training.
- Heat therapy increases core temperature that turns on the "heat shock" response. This increases insulin sensitivity by suppressing inflammation and increasing blood flow.
- You can increase the amount of brown (good) fat you have by working your butt off. Similarly, you can activate brown fat by eating spicy foods and getting some sun.
- Glucose disposal agents increase insulin sensitivity and ensure that carbs are stored as glycogen in muscle instead of fat.
Gain Muscle Without Getting Fat
If you gain fat easily, following the diet and training advice meant to help skinny bastards gain muscle can backfire. Here are five ways that "easy fat gainers" can lose the chub and still build muscle.
1 – Lift with Frequency and Volume
Lifting heavy and lifting often is a given if muscle building is your goal, but if you're a fatty you need to take a slightly different approach than the 150-pound scrawny kid. High-volume training that keeps your heart rate elevated is perfect for guys (and girls) who lean more toward the endomorph somatotype.
Thankfully, heavy resistance training sensitizes muscle tissues to carbohydrates. After a heavy weight training session, your muscle cells are scrambling to soak up carbs to promote recovery. That means the higher your daily workout volume, the better you'll be sensitized to carbs.
In other words, you want to improve insulin sensitivity, which is pretty much a theme for endomorphs.
Take home message: Train with progressively higher volume as many times per week as your recovery allows, while incorporating metabolic techniques such as drop sets, supersets, complexes and interval cardio to maximize fat burning.
2 – Carb Down When Inactive
Eliminating carbs entirely – otherwise known as a horrible diet – has negative connotations, and for good reason. The word "diet" alone suggests deprivation, bouts of starvation, and resisting temptation. Any diet that restricts things for too long is bound to fail.
But in general terms, those seeking fat loss need to keep insulin at bay during inactive times of the day. Sure, insulin is a potent inducer of amino acid uptake and protein synthesis, which makes it key to a muscular physique, but it's a double-edged sword.
Insulin is effective at driving carbs into muscle and liver tissue (good), but it's also equally good at directing carbs into fat tissue (bad).
To get the best of both worlds, skip the carbs at breakfast and during the early part of your workday. Instead, opt to replace carbs with healthy fats and keep your protein intake constant.
This means something like a three-egg omelet with spinach instead of a heavy carb-laden breakfast of pancakes and waffles (you can maybe eat those later in the day – see below).
That said, we don't want to catabolize muscle entirely and end up looking like a dude fresh off Weight Watchers. When your workout comes around, introduce carbs to maximize recovery.
This isn't particularly new info, but one study found that 50 grams of pure carbohydrates in a workout drink consumed during a resistance training session completely eliminated cortisol elevations compared to a control drink.