Now I may not be the biggest guy out there, but one thing I know I am; is fit! I am an athlete and I spent most of my year training for the next season but between that I really let myself go! Funny thing is with me I work really hard to put on weight and muscle and when I don’t train I lose all my muscle and weight. My body type is an ectomorph meaning that I have difficulty gaining muscle even with supplements.
Ectomorphs like me are good at processing carbohydrates into energy and our fast metabolism means that we burn off fat easily. The downside is that we generally struggle to bulk up because our fast-twitch fibres are underdeveloped. To become more muscular, we need to keep cardio sessions to a minimum and focus on intense workouts using compound exercises to maximize growth hormone release, along with about 3,000 calories a day including plenty of starchy carbs and whey protein, possibly from a supplement.
Now that is all fun and well but I am a sprinter! 90-95% of my entire sessions involve some kind of intense cardio! So That is a no go for me. This winter I weight up to 75Kgs and have been cutting that down to between 67-69 which will make sprinting a lot easier. My natural weight without any training floats around 65 and I am 6ft2 so I basically look like a scarecrow without any training.
My challenge comes with having to maintain my fitness through intense cardio and still having the burden to build enough lean muscle mass needed for speed and power. Granted I am not a 100m sprinter, so my power requirements may not be as high, but I still need explosive power and a good power to weight ratio. I run the 400m and that requires strength, SPEED, and endurance. Strength and speed come from strong big muscles and endurance comes from a lot of cardio (anaerobic fitness) so these are really conflicting.
The mantra I have trained under is it takes 3 weeks to get fit 3 months to get strong. My winters always start with a high cardio regime, and I even run 5km park runs to het those fitness gains in. In between all that I do 15-20min runs every second day in and around my actual program. Once I have reached a certain point in my fitness after the 3-week period I focus on strength, which is when I start hitting the gym at least three times a week, I start off with bodyweight exercises and move onto weights. My cardio work scales down a bit, from 15—20min runs to 10-12min runs once a week and a park run once every other week.
I add in cycling for extra load on my legs to build them (stretching well before and after) it doubles as a good cardio especially if you know how to cycle to target heartrates or wattage (If you are using a watt bike) Diet also comes into more play after the first three weeks as I eat a lot! I eat protein rich and carbohydrate rich foods and lots of vegetables throughout the day. For example, I like to start of my day with muesli and yogurt and fruit or a vegetable omelette, and I’ll be snacking on peanuts and fruit throughout the day with lunch being some whole wheat or brown bread with hand lettuce and some cheese. Beef and chicken also go a long way! Always making toasted sandwiches and for my chicken and mayo I use fat free mayonnaise or a splash of tomato sauce (It’s a weakness and an addiction and I have no shame over it #YOLO)
Besides that, all it is really is consistency. I have a program and diet I follow religiously but what I do is do it consistently, and build patiently. I won’t look like the hulk but I’ll look good enough for my next modeling job and be able to hit my targets on track heading towards the next season.