Good Nutrition: Many Colors in Your Diet Helps

Colorful FoodI have a friend whose wife likes to complain that he only eats brown food. She is pretty much right. He likes overcooked meat, potatoes with gravy, and basically bland and well done food. His Thanksgiving dinner plate was 100% brown for example!

He never (as far as I can tell) ever eats anything green like lettuce or asparagus or red like radishes or peppers (or rare beef) of yellow or – you get the idea. He also is pretty unhealthy, including horribly overweight, despite once having been quite athletic.

As silly as it may sound, eating a healthy diet that consists of multiple colored foods gives you a wide range of nutrients and vitamins, and generally plenty of fiber as well. Of course to include lots of colors, you will typically have lots of vegetables and perhaps fruits as well.

As Dr Michelle Hauser at Harvard Medical School says, “Eat all the colors of the rainbow. These colors signal the presence of diverse phytochemicals and phytonutrients,” beneficial substances in plants. They also contain lots of nutrients and vitamins.

It’s easy to have many colors in your diet. For example, Dave Ruel‘s cookbook contains foods with lots of color variation.Let’s see, today, just in the vegetable area, I had the following today (listing the main vitamins and minerals):

  • Green – spinach (antioxidants and vitamin K)
  • Orange – carrots (vitamin A and beta carotene)
  • Red – red peppers (lots of vitamin C and fiber), tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene)
  • Yellow – yellow peppers (vitamin C and A and carotenoids)

Just a few more green options include lettuce, broccoli, avocados, cabbage, cucumbers, Brussel sprouts, green onions, green peppers, peas, asparagus, and artichokes.

For orange, of course we have oranges and tangerines and their cousins, peaches, apricots, papayas, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and many more.

For red, cherries, beets, red grapes, red onions, radishes, rhubarb, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, kidney beans, red potatoes, watermelon, and more.

Yellow includes pineapples, summer squash, bananas, corn, lemons, yellow variants of many foods like yellow tomatoes, yellow watermelon, yellow beets.

Black Purple/Black include blueberries, eggplant, plums, blackberries, raisins, purple grapes, purple potatoes and purple carrots, kale, and turnips. I’ve been eating lots of purple carrots that have suddenly become popular lately.

White  is often associated with processed foods like white rice, rise bread, and more but there are plenty of “natural” and garlic, onions, parsnips, leeks, napa cabbage, cauliflower, white eggplants,

Although it is silly to say that eating colorful foods alone is a healthy and balanced diet, it helps a lot to add vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many other beneficial substances to your diet, especially when your diet (just like everyone else’s) is less than perfect!

Best Weight Loss Supplements

This article is not about some new “miracle” natural supplement that will melt fat away.

People keep find those but we still keep getting fatter as humans.

Weight Loss SupplementsThis is about supplements that help you lose fat safely and effectively and that I personally am taking.

Remember, supplements are to “supplement” your diet. Although I will have an occasional protein shake or meal replacement shake, and they can be valuable, we are going to cover supplements here.

You need to be eating reasonably healthy first!

We really want to specifically lose fat, not “weight”

Although the article is named “Best Weight Loss Supplements” we really want to lose fat, not muscle or bone or hair or  . . .

In the 90s I used the ECA stack – ephedrine hydrochloride, caffeine, and aspirin. A lot of people did. It worked. It had side effects certainly. Although it only made me feel bad, Wikipedia’s listing of side effects is scary!

The PAGG Stack I personally take:

I am now taking a PAGG stack, which I learned about from the The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Side effects apparently are none (disclaimer: I have no medical training. Check with your doctor FIRST!).

We’ll discuss each of the compounds in the “stack” (or combination) and then how to take them for maximum effect.

Jump to the bottom if you want to skip the details

Policosanol: Policosanol is an extract from plants, specifically plant wax, and often comes from sugar cane. It is perhaps somewhat controversial and my favorite supplement superstore doesn’t even carry it. It may also lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels.

ALA or Alpha-Lipoic Acid: ALA is a strong water and fat soluble antioxidant that occurs naturally in some foods but in small quantities. It supposedly works by mimicking insulin and increasing insulin sensitivity.

For our purposes, ALA kicks butt because it helps store carbs in muscle and in your liver instead of as fat.

Garlic Extract: Garlic and garlic extract are used for many purposes. Garlic extract that delivers high doses of “allicin” like the one recommended (or read the label, the suggested one delivers 3200mcg per 350mg or pill) are recommended.

Green Tea Favanols (Epigallocatechin or EGCG): EGCG is used for many things. It appears it also help steer carbs to muscle for storage instead of fat cells, much like ALA, and also may speed up the normal death of fat cells and help prevent rebound/yoyo diet syndrome.

Taking the PAGG stack is simple:

First the doses are:

Policosanol: 20-25mg per dose (I take 25)

ALA: 100-300mg per dose (I take 100)

Garlic Extract: 200-350mg (I take 350)

Green Tea Favanols: 325mg (I take 326.5mg, close enough, which comes in a 725mg decaffeinated green tea extract pill)

Just click on the links above to see the actual supplement products I take.

Follow the dosing schedule below best you can for 6 days a week, skipping one day a week, and taking one week off every two months.

Before breakfast, lunch, and dinner (3 times a day) take AGG.

Before bedtime, take PAGG.

If you miss a dose or happen to take it after or during a meal, don’t panic, you do not need to be perfect for it to have an effect. Of course it’s also not magic and if you are living on junk food, regular midnight pizzas, and only excercise when you get up to grab more beer do not expect ANY effects!

You need a reasonable diet to succeed (no, not “perfect” – you can have the odd midnight pizza!)

Of course consult your doctor first before starting.

I did, really, and he gave me the green light.

The Anabolic Window

The Anabolic Window is a window of time when the body is particularly receptive to ingesting nutrients. It is also known as the metabolic window.

It is commonly accepted by bodybuilders to be the 45 minutes or perhaps slightly less after weight lifting.

This is one reason why you will often see people in the gym consuming various protein shakes immediately or shortly after their workouts.

Sometimes it is referred to as The Anabolic Window Theory and is controversial. Some claim there is no anabolic window, some claim there is and specific nutrients need to be ingested to maximize its effect, and some even claim there are multiple anabolic windows. Some people even believe the window “closes” within minutes of finishing your workout.

Bodybuilding fitness model

John Ivy and Robert Portman in their 2004 book “Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition” define it as “The Anabolic Phase in the forty-five minute window following a workout in which your muscle machinery, in the presence of the right combination of nutrients, initiates the repair of damaged muscle protein and replenishes muscle glycogen stores.”

Other researchers (Rasmussen, Tipton, et al, 2000) found no difference when a carb and protein (amino acid) shake was taken up to 3 hours after a workout. As they wrote, there are “similar anabolic responses” regardless of timing. This contradicts the anabolic window theory.

Another study, commonly referred to as Tipton (2001) although it was Tipton Rasmussen etc. as in the above study, found that ingesting nutrients before a workout was more effective, so maybe there is an anabolic window before your workout?

Wikipedia has a good summary.

One thing is certain. Shortly after a workout I and many others are famished and consuming a protein shake or other foods certainly feels good. Also, it is during rest and recovery, not during your workout, that your body grows. In other words, weight lifting workouts are catabolic but the rest and recovery they induce are anabolic. Proponents of the anabolic window theory often claim that consuming the right nutrients after your workout causes your body to shift from a catabolic state to an anabolic state more rapidly.

Despite the controversy and research conflicting this, most bodybuilders believe the anabolic window is 45 minutes or less after you finish your workout. This is what most professional body builders believe and work with and you can’t argue with success.

Here is what I do:

I don’t know if there is an anabolic window or not after a workout, but I am hungry, sometimes ravenous, and there is nothing to lose and maybe something to gain by consuming nutrients shortly after my workout. This might be a shake or a meal since I live close to my gym.

Before a workout, if hungry, I may also consume some easily digested nutrients before a workout. I limit this since as a mesomorph, controlling body fat is an issue.

Window or not, your bodybuilding diet and nutrition are important. Do not use your workouts as an excuse to eat junk food, although the occasional “cheat meal” or snack is fine.

What Does Anabolic Mean?

DumbbellThe term anabolic is thrown around a lot, but what does it mean?

Anabolic means related to building muscle

The short answer, with respect to weight lifting and body building, is anabolic means related to building up muscle. The opposite is catabolic, which is breaking down muscle.

For example, lifting weights appropriately and eating properly are anabolic as they help build muscle. Over training is an example of something which is catabolic – it will lead to muscle breakdown and decline.

Now, the longer answer: “Anabolic” is the adjective form of the noun “anabolism,” which is “constructive metabolism,” or building more complex substances from simpler ones in living organisms, such as building muscle from proteins and nutrients. The term was first used in the late 1800s and was created by combining “ana” and “metabolism.” Now if my grammar details are not 100% correct, well, English isn’t my first language, but the meaning is obvious.

In practice we use the term anabolic for anything that promotes muscle growth.

For example, Anabolic Cooking is simply making food that is good for building muscle. Anabolic steroids are steroids that promote muscle growth (there are also corticosteroids which are anti-inflammatory medications).

I had a great leg workout tonight. 4 sets of front squats, 3 sets of leg extensions, and 3 sets of leg curls. It was an anabolic workout. For dinner I had a big spinach salad with and a lean steak. An anabolic meal.

Besides bodybuilding, I like to bike and sometimes even run. I’m considering doing a 100 mile bike ride this fall, something I’ve done before and that I enjoy. Both training for this event (a “century” in cycling parlance) and doing the actual 100 mile ride are not anabolic. In fact they are downright catabolic!

As I mentioned, sometimes I run. When running, I usually go about 5K two or three times a week, to help me control my body fat. Now running is not anabolic, but that mild amount of running is not catabolic either. If I were training for a 50 mile running race, as one of my friends is, the training would be catabolic. In fact if I took up serious long distance running, I’d no doubt drop 20-30 pounds of muscle whether I wanted to or not.

Three Anabolic Concerns: Training, Nutrition, and Rest

There are at least three anabolic things we should be concerned with.

The first is our weight training. We want a lot, but not enough to overtrain which is catabolic.

The second is nutrition. We want an anabolic, or muscle promoting, diet.

And the third is rest or recovery. It’s not during weight lifting that our muscles grow, but actually during recovery. And with my heavy squats today you can bet I’ll try to squeak in an extra bit of sleep. I usually sleep more when I can on deadlift and squat days, and I’m going to call that extra sleep “anabolic” because it promotes muscle growth.

The term anabolic is thrown around a lot, but what does it mean?

The short answer, with respect to weight lifting and body building, is anabolic means related to building  up muscle. The opposite is catabolic, which is breaking down muscle.

For example, lifting weights appropriately and eating properly are anabolic as they help build muscle. Overtraining is an example of something which is catabolic – it will lead to muscle breakdown and decline.

Now, the longer answer: “Anabolic” is the adjective form of the noun “anabolism,” which is “constructive metabolism,” or building more complex substances like bone and muscle from simpler substances in living organisms. The term was first used in the late 1800s and was created by combining “ana” and “metabolism.” Now if my grammar details are not 100% correct, well, English isn’t my first language, but the meaning is obvious.

In practice we use the term anabolic for anything that promotes muscle growth. For example, Anabolic Cooking is simply making food that is good for building muscle. Anabolic steroids are steroids that promote muscle growth (there are also corticosteroids which are anti-inflammatory medications).

I had a great leg workout tonight. 4 sets of front squats, 3 sets of leg extensions, and 3 sets of leg curls. It was an anabolic workout. For dinner I had a big spinach salad with and a lean steak. An anabolic meal.

Besides bodybuilding, I like to bike and sometimes even run. I’m considering doing a 100 mile bike ride this fall, something I’ve done before and that I enjoy. Both training for this event (a “century” in cycling parlance) and doing the actual 100 mile ride are not anabolic. In fact they are downright catabolic!

As I mentioned, sometimes I run. When running, I usually go about 5K two or three times a week, to help me control my body fat. Now running is not anabolic, but that mild amount of running is not catabolic either. If I were training for a 50 mile running race, as one of my friends is, the training would be catabolic. In fact if I took up serious long distance running, I’d no doubt drop 20-30 pounds of muscle whether I wanted to or not.

Three Anabolic Concerns: Training, Nutrition, and Rest.

There are at least three anabolic things we should be concerned with.

The first is our weight training. We want a lot, but not enough to overtrain which is catabolic.

The second is nutrition. We want an anabolic, or muscle promoting, diet.

And the third is rest or recovery. It’s not during weight lifting that our muscles grow, but actually during recovery. And with my heavy squats today you can bet I’ll try to squeak in an extra bit of sleep. I usually sleep more when I can on deadlift and squat days, and I’m going to call that extra sleep “anabolic” because it promotes muscle growth.

Your Bodybuilding Diet Plan

bbtrophyWe all know what a plan is. Do you actually have a bodybuilding diet plan? “Just listening to your body” which is often an excuse to eat a lot, means if you are a hard gainer you are not going to gain much, and if you are a mesomorph (like me) you be on the chubby side forever.

You need some type of plan.

Now one definition of a plan (I learned this one from the military):

“A plan is so you know what you are deviating from.”

Plans often need adjustment based on what is working, what is not working, and practical necessities for example.

Now a plan can be a formal and semi-rigid framework with flexibility build in like the Somanabolic Muscle Maximizer. You get three meal plans to choose from, and can also substitute from over 1000 foods within the framework.

A plan can also be much looser, like the 4 Hour Body Diet, which although not specific to bodybuilding works well with some minor additions such as enduring enough protein intake.

Some diets, like Atkins and other very low carb diets are strict but many people have success following them partially. For example Atkins (and I personally burn fat and build muscle on Atkins) insists on no coffee and no alcohol, but almost no one does that and that includes me!

Perhaps my favorite, and a fun, tasty, plan with lots of variety is based on the meal plans from the very highly recommended by me Anabolic Cooking. The author, Dave Ruel, believes that a bodybuilding and fitness diet “can and should include a lot of variety and tasty foods.” He makes it quite easy with lots of very simple to make tasty and fun foods that promote building muscle and burning fat.

What is the most important part of a bodybuilding diet after decent nutrition?

That you can stick to it!

Even if one diet is theoretically better than another, it is just theory if you cannot or will not stick to it. That is why I say “decent nutrition” not “perfect nutrition.”

Now what kind of diet you can stick to varies a lot. I have made enormous progress on ketogenic diets, very low fat diets. My friend Rocco can’t function or think well on them so he can’t stay on them so there is no way they can work for him. And if they did, he would be miserable.

What diet plan works for you also can and will vary through your life. I used to maintain muscle and lose fat rather quickly on a ketogenic diet while drinking multiple glasses of wine a night. Maybe my body has slowed down, I’m not sure, but that diet without the wine works now.

So, you need a plan that works for you.

And that means a bodybuilding diet plan you can stick too!

Ectomorph Diet and Bodybuilding

Ectomorphs are typical “skinny” guys and gals and find it hard to put on any weight. Some ectomorphs are more “ecto-mesomorphs” meaning they put on muscle a bit easier than most ectomorphs, but training and diet have similar considerations.

Unlike a mesomorph, they are not naturally muscular and lean, just naturally lean. Fortunately, unlike an endomorph (which describes me), fat is not much of an issue and if excess fat is gained an endomorph can lose it quickly and easily.

Hardgainer Prescription: Lots of clean calories, brief intense big muscle workouts
Hardgainer Prescription: Lots of clean calories, brief intense big muscle workouts

Ectomorphs can build great bodies, but it can be harder and slower – read on

An ectomorph is a classic hardgainer. You work extra hard for your muscle and you do not want to back slip as getting it back is slow and hard. You need to stick to your program, with the one exception that if you start eating crap (as long as you keep your nutrients and especially protein up) for a short while it is not a big deal.

Excess calories, whether junk or not, are not as big a deal as other body types.

Ectomorph Muscle Building Basics:

  • An enormous amount of high quality calories. You are eating MORE than 3 meals a day for sure!
  • Short intense workouts focusing on big muscle groups (squats, deadlifts, etc.).

Ectomorph diet must concentrate on getting enough quality calories – you need to eat A LOT. Guides and cookbooks like Anabolic Cooking are great so that you can concentrate on muscle building foods.

Pre bedtime meals, preferable good solid low fat/high protein like a protein shake are highly recommended as you can lose muscle due to catabolic processes while sleeping (basically, muscle breakdown; you need lots of calories to prevent this!).

Supplements are more important than for any other somatotypes.

Fast metabolisms: Need an incredible amount of calories to gain muscle: Fat not much of a worry!

Midnight pizza is not a big deal – and can actually be better than a “standard” non bodybuilding diet!

Workouts? Simple: Short and Intense.

You do NOT want to be a gym rat. Cardio is not your friend. Although some cardio is fine, do not go overboard. As a mesomorph, I also do half marathons and century bike rides – not recommended for ectos! Just enough to stay in good cardiovascular shape!

Exercises need to focus on big muscle groups.

Exercises need to focus on big muscle groups. Think squats, deadlifts, cleans, bench presses. Small muscle group exercises – isolation exercises – minimal if at all. Keep your work outs to 60 minutes maximum, preferably 45 minutes. Short, but intense!

An ectomorph can build a great body. As an ecto, you may actually need less muscle to look awesome as you naturally carry a very low amount of fat year round.

What are the Best Muscle Building Supplements?

Before we talk about specific supplements, we need to back up. What does the word “supplement” mean? It means to “add to.” Bodybuilding supplements are intended to supplement your diet.

Before considering supplements, you Bodybuilding Supplementsfirst need to get your diet under some semblance of control!

If you are eating near anything and everything with no regard to proper nutrition, adding protein powder or creatine or branched chain amino acids (BCAA) “ain’t gonna go shit!” We need to be honest here.

Now you do not need a perfect and saintly diet to benefit from supplements. Conversely if you are eating well, training appropriately, and getting plenty of rest and recovery time, you can build a great body without supplements, absolutely!

  • There are benefits to many supplements.
  • A lot are also useless garbage.
  • And the jury is out on a lot of them.

The supplements business is a massive business with lots of money involved. They’ll sell you anything they can, and just because something is popular and made by many companies doesn’t mean it is any good. And often when there are many brands available, they may be all essentially the same and made by the same very small number of factories with different labels and packaging.

Protein Powder is a supplement worth considering. What is best is several small meals a day, but that is not always possible. You can supplement with protein powder. Also, sometimes we may not get a lot of protein. I’ll often have a salad for lunch and some protein powder a bit later. Whey protein powder is great, but casein protein powder is also very good and cheaper. Casein is digested slower and also many people report it makes them feel less full.

Many people use protein powder both before and after workouts, possible anabolic windows.

And of course, you can cook with protein powder making more anabolic foods.

Creatine exists naturally in meat, and in fact the name comes from the Greek world for meat, “creas.” When I take creatine, usually for a month or so at a time, I find it quickly improves my strength, makes my muscles look bigger, and then when I stop the gains remain as long as I keep working out hard and eating right. Many users report similar results. 5-10 grams a day in 2-3 servings is about right.

I recommend the original, Creatine Monohydrate. You’ll find all kinds of newer types with fancy marketing but I do not believe they are any better (just more expensive!)

Meal Replacement Powders or Shakes, closely related to protein powder, may be a somewhat controversial choice since since I’m so few supplements, but it works for me and many others. I don’t have the perfect and boring lifestyle; my life is hectic, exciting, and at times nearly overwhelming. Many times I’ll get home, or have a tiny window for lunch, or maybe back to the hotel (I travel a lot), and I do not need a full meal (or ordering from room service, or sitting at the bar for only one drink and a sandwich etc.), but one or two meal replacements packs mixed with water are perfect.

There are other supplements you may want to consider, but start with these three.

Remember that supplements are not essential! Getting your diet under control is most important and needs to be done first. It is perfectly possible to build an awesome body without supplements, in fact some well known customized plans use little to no supplements at all.

There are however some proven supplements that may be of benefit to you, and they go above and beyond this short list of “best.”

The best muscle building supplements? Hmm, maybe. It depends on you. But these are solid choices for most people!

Bodybuilding Nutrition

Open Face Egg SandwichJust working out will not get you to the body you want.

Regardless of how “perfect” your diet may be, your diet and nutrition are extremely important, as is enough rest and recovery time between workouts. Bodybuilding nutrition is complex, in part because there are so many diets that will work, if you can stick too them.

Many bodybuilding diets will work, if you can stick to them.

Notice the “stick to them” part! Too many nutritional plans are based on relatively bland food, and not enough variety, so you get bored quickly. This makes it more likely that you will cheat, and cheat a lot.

What sounds better, egg whites, chicken breast, and steamed broccoli, or a pepperoni pizza and a six pack of beer? Well, I know which one I will get bored of quickly!

Any nutrition plan, unless you have nearly superhuman self control and resolve, needs a lot of variety. Fortunately there are muscle building cookbooks that can simply and easily provide you with lots of different healthy meal choices.

In looking at nutrition, you need to consider your goals.

What are you trying to optimize (or maybe what do you need to optimize)? Currently, I need to lose fat. I have slipped a bit with extensive business travel, and although I have a lot of muscle on my frame, it is obscured by more fat than I like. Back to this in a minute.

Looking at macronutrients, that is carbs, fats, and proteins, the most common breakdown is 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fats. Lower fats used to be more common, but fats are important for building muscle.

Low carb diets are also popular, and  50% protein, 10% carb, and 40% fats is common. Sometimes carbs are restricted much more as well.

Everyone’s body responds differently, but low carb diets work extremely well for me for fat loss.

Also realize that not all proteins, carbs, and fats are the same.

Try to ensure you are getting high quality protein sources. This is pretty easy for all but vegetarian bodybuilders who need to plan a bit more.

As a rule, slow carbs are better for you than fast carbs. Slow carbs are ones that are metabolized by the body slower then fast ones. What do you think is better for your body, 500 calories of sugar or 500 calories of carbs from beans? In general, it is absolutely beans, although sugar may be better at times, for example during the final stages of running a marathon. Most of us reading this however are body builders, not endurance athletes (admittedly, I do a bit of both).

Some fats are healthy, for example olive oil. They still pack a lot of calories however! Other, far less healthy, for example bacon fat! I’m not saying always avoid bacon and bacon fat, just be aware of what and how much you are eating.

There are customized nutrition plans available that have daily meal plans with all the details, but at a minimum, keep track of what you eat. You’ll be surprised if not shocked.

For a week, simply write down everything you eat, or maybe snap a picture with your cell. You will be shocked.

Knowledge of what you are consuming in the first step in improving your nutrition!

What is my Body Type?

Somatotypes:ectomorph, mesomorph,endomorphObviously different people have different body types, and different body types have different nutritional and training needs.

For example we all know the skinny person who can seem to eat whatever they want yet they never gain weight. Conversely, I put on weight easily: I seemingly gain muscle by just going near the gym and I gain fat just by smelling food.

When we talk about body types we usually use the term “somatotype.” This term was invented by Dr. William H. Sheldon in the 1940s, and he breaks human bodies into three different types.

Whenever you are reading about bodybuilding, fitness, or weight loss you are likely to hear this term, as well as the three somatotypes he defined: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.

So, exactly what are they?

Ectomorph: An ectomorph is thin and lightly muscled. Gaining any kind of weight, including muscle, is tougher – it simply takes longer. You may have heard the term hardgainer used for an ectomorph.

The skinny person who can seem to eat anything and not put on weight is an ectomorph.

Mesomorph: A mesomorph is athletic and gains or loses weight easily. They naturally have a hard and muscular appearance, and they build muscle easily.

Endomorph: An endomorph has a soft flabby body. They gain weight easily, but naturally have underdeveloped muscles. Losing weight is difficult for an endomorph. Conversely, an endomorph responds quickly to weight training and builds muscle quickly.

Now you may not fit exactly into one of these categories. From my description above, you might guess that I am between a mesomorph and an endomorph. Obviously I want to look more like a mesomorph, and with proper diet and training I do.

Obviously your genetics determine your body type or somatotype, but anyone can improve their body.

I’ve know ectomorphs, naturally thin and lightly muscled people, who have build impressive physiques through smart and dedicated training and nutrition.

I also know endomorphs, naturally fat and round people, who are ripped. Yes, it is harder for them than the naturally muscular and fit, but very possible.

You can also be a mesomorph, a naturally athletic, muscular and fit person, who is an out of shape fat sack of shit! Unfortunately this is the fate of a lot of great high school and college athletes.

Training and nutrition needs are obviously different for different body types. As someone tending towards mesomorph, I need to watch what I eat with an emphasis on not eating too much of the wrong foods or too much food in general. An ectomorph in contrast needs to focus on eating enough of the right foods with little if any fear on eating too much!

Bodybuilding works for any somatotype, and you can improve your body significantly. Your genetics, and body type, obviously matter, and while you and I will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger is his prime, we all have the capability to build great bodies!