Most of us have specific preferences in many aspects of our life; from favourite foods, activities, movies and social activities, to exercises. In most of these areas we tend to build a routine around the things we are most familiar and comfortable with; however, when it comes to exercise, this concept can produce some challenges.
If your training efforts are not producing your desired results, it may be time to step out of your comfort zone and look at your body type and what exercise may best suit your build. We can all be classified into one of 3 body types. By identifying the category we fall into, we can tailor our training to ensure it is appropriate for our build and, in turn, achieve the best results possible.
Just looking around, it is obvious that, physically speaking, we all differ from each other. Some find that ‘just looking at food’ results in weight gain, while others stay thin regardless of how much they may eat. While at times you may wish you could trade places with someone else, the most rewarding option is to accept and appreciate your own unique body type, and adjust your training accordingly.
There are 3 classic body types:
The ectomorph can be easily spotted in any weight room. They are often below the average weight for their height and have a skinny appearance. Ectomorphs tend to have very high metabolisms and often complain of relentless eating with little to no weight gain. This body type is typically lean and tall in build. Successful distance runners are often ectomorphs.
Typically, ectomorphs characteristics are fast metabolism, narrow frame, great flexibility, and do not suffers from weight problems. Ectomorph is the typical hard-gainer. Although ectomorph tend to be highly regarded, one must remember that they have problems of their own. Ectomorph tend to lack shape because of their low muscle mass.
With age, even the super-fast metabolism of the ectomorph slows down and as a result, they often gain weight, since they are not used to exercising or watching their calorie intake.
Resistance Training: Lighter weight training and bodyweight exercise naturally suits this type the best as this will condition and maintain that lean look. If you are wanting to put weight on, it can be done with heavier weights with the 6-8 repetitions for each exercise. Do more compound lift rather than isolate exercises.
Cardiovascular Training: If you want to gain weight, cardio training should be minimised or done anaerobically. If you want to improve your cardiovascular system while gaining weight, you can try implementing the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to your workout routines. Circuit Training and Superset Training are the example of HIIT style of training.
Dieting Tips: You will need to eat more than what’s normal for you to fuel the muscle growth. You will need to eat 50-60% carbohydrates each meal and break up your total calories into several small meals and eat regularly (every 3-4 hours). You will also need to drink tons of weight gainer to add more calories. You can eat any food you like even if they are a little bit unhealty, in moderation.
Everyone recognizes the mesomorph. He is the high school jock that seemed to put on muscle just by looking at weights while also maintaining a very lean physique. The mesomorph is somewhat in between the ectomorph and the endomorph and as such, display qualities from both.
He has a larger frame (bone structure) as the endomorph does, but a low body fat percentage as the ectomorph has. Mesomorphs typically maintain their body weight well and can build strength and gain muscle relatively easy.
You could say this is the aspiring body type that everybody wants. This body type is classic gymnasts and sprinters frame.
Resistance Training: This body type can, essentially select training modes from the other two body types. If putting muscles on is your goal, weight training (8-12 reps) will easily meet your objective. If you’d like to be a bit leaner, then lighter weight (12-15 reps) and body weight training will be your answer.
Cardiovascular Training: If you want to improve your cardiovascular system while gaining weight, you can try implementing the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to your workout routines. Keep in mind to stick more to anaerobic cardio if gaining muscle is your aim.
Dieting Tips: You will need to eat moderate calories to maintain muscle mass. Keep carbohydrates intake in about 40-60% each meal and break your calories intake into 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. As a supplement, you can drink whey protein to increase your daily protein and calories intake.
As an endomorph, you’ve probably struggled with weight problems your whole life – being chubby or even overweight. Maybe you were called “big boned” when you were a kid – you weren’t overweight, but not slim either. But as you’ve got older it’s become harder to keep the weight at bay.
The endomorphic body type is the complete opposite of an ectomorph. This individual will usually be larger in appearance with heavier fat accumulation and little muscle definition. They find it hard to drop the weight even though they try several diets or workout programs.
Endomorphs can usually build strength and gain muscles relatively easy.
Resistance Training: Being a naturally strong build, weight training will easily put muscle on. To create a great training mixture do a combination of specific resistance exercise as well as circuit-based weight training, which will complement your body type well. If weight loss is your goal, then sticking to an array of circuit weight training will be the way to go. With circuit/superset training you will work the muscles effectively and create a cardio effect.
Cardiovascular Training: Cardio can be a mixed variety – both aerobic and anaerobic. If weight loss / fat loss is your goal, then you will be better to stick to anaerobic cardiovascular training, seeing as this is much more energy consumptive.
Dieting Tips: You will need to portion your meals appropriately. Keep your carbohydrates intake around 30-40% each meal and break your daily caloric intake into 5-6 small meals. You need to take in 200-500 kCal less than your maintenance caloric intake, drink a lots of waters, eats a lot of vegetables to keep you full, and eat non-processed food. As a supplement, you can try isolate whey protein to add on extra protein intake to help to keep you full.