Q: I am an extreme ectomorph. In fact I am 6 foot 3 and only 152 pounds. I recently read an article you published regarding a 10-8-6-15 program for people of my particular body type. However, one thing I noticed is that you suggested doing 6 exercises per workout. That would be a total of 24 sets. So my first question is, is that not too many sets for an ectomorph in a single workout? I would like to hear your thoughts.
And as far as my second question, I do not have access to a cable machine in order to do pull-downs. Could I substitute bent-over barbell rows for this exercise, and keep the same rep scheme? I could do chin-up/pull-ups, however I would be incapable of completing the desired rep scheme.
Thank you for your time and I would appreciate any response. With these questions answered I will certainly undergo this program with complete dedication, and if successful, plan on purchasing your book.
My Answer: 24 sets is a lot of sets, but it is within acceptable limits as far as workout volume. If you don’t have a cable machine, then either pull-ups or barbell rows would be fine. In fact I would alternate between the 2 exercises from workout to workout. Do barbell rows with the 10-8-6-15 rep scheme, and then do pull-ups or chin-ups for the back on your next workout. No need to follow the 10-8-6-15 rep scheme for pull-ups. Just do as many reps as you can on each set.
Q: We know that it is important to count our daily macro nutrient. But everyone has his own metabolism. How do we make sure that the 120 grams of protein intake is all absorbed and used? Is this why you teach us to apply the ZigZag diet? Is it right to hit the macros regardless of what food we eat? For example, manufactured food, artificial sweetener, etc. In my opinion, hard training comes before good nutrition and good rest.
Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience!!
My Answer: I would agree that hard training comes before good nutrition, but that does not give you an excuse to eat like crap. Diet has a profound effect on whether or not you gain muscle and especially whether or not you lose fat. It’s important to hit the proper macronutrient ratios for your goal, but eat as organic as possible.
So while you can get away with bulking up with high calorie foods as an ectomorph, you still have to make sure that the food isn’t heavily altered and modified. You should not be drinking diet sodas or any artificial sweeteners. You should not be eating microwave dinners.
Now the ZigZag Diet resets your metabolism on a weekly basis. By alternating between 5 days of high protein and 2 days of low protein, you also make sure your doesn’t habituate to high protein. Drastically reducing calories and protein for 2 days puts your body in a panic state, so it learns to fully utilize proteins when you go back to 5 days of overeating.