The gain of muscle mass, although it appears to be a purely physical change, the truth is that it is a complex process in which there are many changes at the emotional, hormonal, physiological and of course physical levels, in which naturally a long list of factors, some of them secondary and other three of greater importance that are defined as food, proper rest and good strength training.
This series of changes, generally known as the body’s transformation process ; under general rules it is divided into two phases: the volume phase and the definition phase . Although it is a habit that many athletes follow in this order, there are those who may be affected in a negative way, mainly due to genetic factors that prevent them from either gaining quality muscle mass or losing fat easily. In the worst case we can find people like the endomorphs who, from a fitness perspective, combine the worst of both worlds and therefore, it is more difficult to achieve their goals, although it is not something that is impossible … well they say that Genetics predetermines, does not determine.
And well, returning again to the phases that normally are occupied during the process of transformation of the body, the reason why it is important to know more about this is because in this way it is possible to achieve the expected results and in more optimal times . We explain below what each one consists of.
- Mass gain phase: This phase is characterized in, as the name implies, increasing the muscular volume of the body . Due to the requirements for these changes to occur, it is possible to notice an increase in body fat levels.
- Definition phase : It consists of eliminating the fat accumulated during the previous phase. For this it is necessary to follow a diet low in calories. Strength training continues to be a high priority, since what is sought is to eliminate adipose tissue, minimizing the catabolic process to the minimum that occurs when following a hypocaloric regime.
How to optimize the phase of mass gain
The genetic predisposition
Knowing our genetic disposition is the first step to follow before choosing any of the available paths for a balanced transformation process. The reason for this is based on the premise that it is essential to know how the body reacts to the stimuli of exercise and of course, to changes from a maintenance diet to hypercaloric or hypocaloric.
To know our genetic disposition we do not have to do a purely scientific study, often enough with empirical knowledge, trial-error tests or to simplify all this, know the characteristics of our body and know the somatotype to which it would be classified.
The three main body somatotypes are classified as ectomorphic, mesomorphic and endomorphic, with the following characteristics:
Also clarify that although the classification of body somatotypes is divided into three groups, you can rarely find a person who belongs to a pure somatotype, as there will be ectomorphs with the classic ” beer belly ” or endomorphs with long and thin extremities, between other combinations.
Following the general rules, a person with qualities of endomorph will not benefit from following a process started with the increase in mass and then work on the definition, since this would only lead to a much greater increase in fat mass, generating more adipocyte cells and making the process of fat loss even more complicated, which if given, could easily lead to a rebound effect. In this particular case it is recommended to start with the definition phase and once the ideal weight has been achieved, start building more muscle and then re-define.
The ectomorfos and mesomorfos will not have problems in beginning with the phase of gain of mass, because their tolerance to the carbohydrates usually is much more effective and, as long as they take a suitable dietary regime, the gain of adipose tissue will be possible in minimum levels.