3 Type of Diets to Build Muscle

"The 3 Somato-Specific Muscle Building Diets"

When you are trying to build muscle and get ripped it is important to understand the different diets to build muscle you can choose before you even hit the gym.  One of the most misunderstood concepts when it comes to getting ripped is that your muscle building diet is MORE IMPORTANT than your training program. So many people are concerned with uncovering new muscle building secrets that they miss this crucial aspect of building muscle. If you eat like s&#% you will never have lean muscles no matter how much you can bench press.

So how do you decide which muscle building diet to follow?  Well, the most important factor in this decision is your body type or somatotype! Adopting a muscle building diet specific to your body type is known as somato-specific nutrition and is crucial to your success. This is so important that it forms the basis of many of the best muscle building programs including the popular somanabolic weight training program.
Many muscle enthusiasts are unaware of the role body type plays when trying to transform their bodies….but the truth is if you follow the wrong diet you will hamper your muscle-building efforts regardless of your workout routine.
Let’s look at the different somato-specific muscle-building diets for each of the three main body types.

Muscle Building Diets For Skinny Guys or Hard Gainers

Muscle building diet for hard gainers or skinny guys

The first type of diet to build muscle we will look at is often referred to as “The Hardgainers Diet”. No doubt the first question you have, if you are new to the muscle-building world, is ‘what the heck is a hard gainer?’. Hard gainers are those of you who have what is known as the body type of an ectomorph (very skinny) who find it very difficult to gain weight and build muscle. Many ectomorphs believe that gaining weight and packing on lean muscle mass is impossible but by eating the right muscle building foods and adopting a weight training program specifically designed for ectomorphs, both are possible.
Since hard gainers often have a high metabolic rate they can eat large amounts of food yet never gain weight. This is due to the fact that their body is able to burn fat and calories quickly and they end up burning more calories than they take in. Though this is great for remaining slim, it means that if you are an ectomorph to gain muscle mass you will not only need to increase your intake of calories and protein significantly but will also need to increase your complex carbohydrate intake.
What effect does this change in diet have on your body? By increasing your intake of calories, protein, and complex carbs, your body will use the carbohydrates and calories as its primary energy source to fuel its extremely high metabolism. This will allow the protein in your diet to remain available to your body for optimal muscle growth and repair. The reason you must choose to increase complex carbs rather than simple carbs is that complex carbs will cause the slow release of glucose into your body, maintaining your insulin levels and placing your body in a consistent anabolic state. If simple carbohydrates are ingested instead, the resulting increase in your insulin levels will also result in a decrease in Human Growth Hormone, also known as HGH, an important hormone in the growth of new muscle cells.
Along with this effect, when you increase your total daily calorie intake significantly it also helps to prevent muscle catabolism.  This occurs when your body starts to eat away at your muscle to provide itself with energy, the opposite of what you want to occur.
So how do you achieve this?  How do you increase your intake of macronutrients and calories while staying away from simple carbs, empty calories and unhealthy fats?
The simplest way for an ectomorph to do this is to add a mass or weight gainer supplement, such as Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass, into their muscle building diet.  These macronutrient supplements usually contain up to 50 grams of protein, 250 grams of carbohydrates and 1250 calories per serving.
Along with what you eat, how often you eat is also very important when trying to build muscle as an ectomorph.  Eating small, regular meals throughout the day allows hard gainers to increase HGH production, feed their fast metabolism and build muscle when adopting the ideal diet to build muscle. It is highly recommended that you eat at least 6 small, meals, every 2 to 3 hours, 7 days a week!
So what is an ideal diet to build muscle for hard gainers made up of?
Before you can calculate your macronutrient quantities it is important to know that:
1 gram of Carbohydrates = 4 calories 
1 gram of Protein = 4  calories 
1 gram of Fat = 9 calories 
The calorie intake of 22 – 24 calories per pound of body weight is ideal for an ectomorph and you should aim to attain your total calories from a ratio of 50-35-15 or as close to this as possible:
  • 50% – 60% complex carbohydrates (approx. 2-3g of protein/lb of body weight)
  • 25% – 30% protein (approx. 2g of protein/lb of body weight)
  • 10% – 25% good fats (approx. 0.3 - 0.5g of good fats/lb of body weight)
This means that if you are a 160lb ectomorph/hard gainer to build muscle you will need a daily consumption of approximately:
  • 3608 calories =>160 x 22.5 = 3608 calories
  • 451g of carbohydrates => 451 x 4 = 1804 calories (50%)
  • 316g of protein => 316 x 4 = 1264 calories (35%)
  • 60g of good fats => 60 x 9 = 540 calories (15%)

Diets to Build Muscle for Mesomorphs 

Now let us look at the second of the 3 types of muscle building diets, the ones that are designed for those with a muscular athletic build with no problem putting on muscle.
If you find it easy to maintain your muscle mass and also don’t have difficulty both losing and gaining weight, then you are considered to be a mesomorph. This is fantastic news if you are trying to build muscle, however, it is important to remember that just because you are able to gain or lose weight easily, doesn’t mean you can go crazy with your diet.
It is just as important for mesomorphs to follow a strict muscle building diet as it is for someone with a different body type. Because mesomorphs can gain weight just as easily as they can lose it, it is important to avoid taking the weight gain supplements which hard gainers/ectomorphs need and stick only to supplementing your diet with protein powders (whey or soy isolates) such as Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey instead.  These will help you to build muscle while avoiding putting on unwanted fat.
Unlike ectomorphs, mesomorphs should eat slightly fewer calories for every pound of bodyweight. In most cases, mesomorphs should follow a lean muscle building diet plan with a calorie intake of 20 calories per pound of body weight made up of 40% complex carbohydrates40% protein and 20% essential fats or a 40-40-20 diet, in order to maintain their weight while building muscle mass.

Fat Burning Muscle Building Diets for endomorphs 

The final category of diets to build muscle is “Fat Burning Muscle Building Diets”.  These types of diets to build muscle is designed for those of you who have high body fat levels and are classified as endomorphs.
Endomorphs are very similar to mesomorphs but unlike mesomorphs, endomorphs find it extremely difficult to lose fat.  This can be a huge problem when trying to learn how to get ripped and build lean muscle. They weight train consistently, building muscle along the way, but just can’t seem to burn away the fat hiding their muscle gain.
The reason endomorphs find it so difficult to lose weight is that they often have very slow metabolisms and poor insulin sensitivity. Knowing this, the biggest difference with a diet to build muscle for endomorphs as compared to that of a mesomorph is that endomorphs need to focus on a muscle-building diet that helps decrease body fat without hindering muscle gain.  Therefore instead of a 40-40-20 diet, a diet with a calorie intake of 15 calories per pound of bodyweight consisting of 35% complex carbohydrates45% proteins and 20% good fats (35-45-20 diet) is ideal.
Slightly reducing carbohydrates and slightly increasing your intake of protein will aid in reducing unnecessary weight gain while boosting your metabolism and burning more calories.  Here is a breakdown of the macronutrients for this high protein muscle building diet:
  • 30% – 35% complex carbohydrates (approx. 1.3g of protein/lb of bodyweight)
  • 40% – 45% protein (approx. 1.7g of protein/lb of bodyweight)
  • 20% – 30% good fats (approx. 0.3 – 0.4g of good fats/lb of bodyweight)
For example, a 200lb endomorph’s daily intakes would equal:
  • 3000 calories => 200 x 15 = 3000 calories
  • 263g of carbohydrates => 263 x 4 = 1052 calories (35%)
  • 338g of protein => 338 x 4 = 1352 calories (45%)
  • 67g of good fats => 67 x 9 = 603 calories (20%)
It is also important for endomorphs to supplement their diets with whey protein and a fat burner to further promote a metabolism boost and ultimately calorie burn.
Please note: Even though we are talking about diet here it is worth mentioning that along with the right diet to build muscle, intense cardio for fat burning is a must for endomorphs wanting to get ripped and see fast results.  This is because it is very important for endomorphs to burn at a minimum as many calories as they intake.
Regardless of your body type, with the right training program and proper diet, you can build muscle mass. The above diets to build muscle should be used as a guide – always consult a professional for a more detailed approach to developing a muscle building diet specific to you.

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