The 3 body types
Endomorphs – Both men and women in this category tend to have bigger bones that the other body types, they also tend to have rounded faces with larger thighs and hips. Endomorphs have arms and legs that tend to be short and tapering, giving them a stocky appearance. Most endomorphs have comparatively small hands and feet and a high waist. Additionally, endomorphs have higher levels of body fat than the other body types, but they can also build muscle and lean mass easily. Weight loss is most difficult for the endomorph body type.
Mesomorphs – Usually described as having an athletic build, they often have an hourglass or V shape, and gain muscle mass easily. The majority of mesomorphs have broad shoulders and a narrow waist. They have a fast metabolism and can lose weight more easily than endomorphs.
Ectomorphs – Ectomorphs have a thin, slender appearance. Most ectomorphs have the “straight up and down” physique with narrow waists, hips, and shoulders. Ectomorphs can lose weight easily and tend to have low levels of body fat. However, they also have a harder time gaining lean muscle mass and feminine curves.
Few people actually fall distinctly into one category, it is much more likely that you will be a combination of the body types. Common combinations
include ecto-mesomorph(skinny, but athletic) and endo-mesomorph(Athletic, but a little chunky).
Training for your body type
Endomorph training – The endomorph body type tends to hold more body fat than the other body types and so raising the heart rate and strength training are essential if you want to stay trim. The exercises need to be compound movements(Multiple joints involved), 3-4 sets of each exercise with high repititions(20 – 40), either use your body weight, fitball, VIPR, kettlebell, medicine ball or weights – Choose the weight accordingly so that you reach 90% of your maximum overload within the rep range given. Perform 8 exercises each session and make sure you choose a variety of different exercises each week. This keeps it mentally stimulating and stops the body from getting used to the exercises and burning less fat. High repitition compound movements willl tone the whole of the body, burn body fat and raise your basal metabolic rate so that you will burn fat even while you sleep!
Walking – On top of the above training schedule, you need to make sure that you are walking 10,000 steps everyday, this is essential if you want to keep your weight in check. The endomorph has everything stacked against them with regards to their genetics and can sometimes have a tendency to overtrain to counter balance this problem. However, if you do overtrain you may bulk up or get an overuse injury, so walking everyday is not only a great calorie burner, but is also a great form of active rest.
Just cardio? – Hours and hours on cardio equipment or pounding the streets will not solve your genetic problem, which is a naturally slow metabolic rate. Cardio work only burns fat over the workout period and then the fat burning effect tapers off over the following 3 – 4 hours. However, strength training elevates your metabolic rate constantly, changes the bodies actual shape and allows the body to burn more fat over a 24 hour period. If you are a slave to cardio and don’t want to give it up, then you could try burst training.
Burst training – Pick a piece of cardio equipment or an exercise like skipping or running. Your aim is to sprint/increase pace/intensity for up to a minute, aiming to fatigue completely within that time frame. Then recover for 2 – 3 minutes. You will find you can only do 4 – 6 cycles and then you will be exhausted! This is a fabulous fat burner because it depletes the bodies glycogen stores and then the body is forced to burn fat over the following 48 hours. Repeat this every other day and vary the chosen cardio exercise.
Circuit training – The ideal way to change your body shape is circuit training, it increases your cardio fitness, burns fat and adds lean muscle tissue to your body- Pick out 20 compound movements, 8 lower body/8 upper/ 4 stomach, perform for 1 minute, rest for 10 – 40 seconds depending on your fitness level, repeat 3-4 times a week. This will give you a workout that is effective and lasts only between 30 – 40 minutes, great if you are a busy individual.
If you start to bulk up or are not seeing the results that you want, then please contact me, it may be that your diet is incorrect, the exercises don’t suit your unique genetics or you just aren’t training correctly. A telephone/internet consultation can be a worthwhile investment and an ideal solution for this sort of situation.
Mesomorph training – The mesomorph body type is more athletic, which means they can gain muscle and lose weight quickly. They normally have quite narrow hips, slim legs and larger shoulders, but can also come in the hour glass shape aswell. Because this body type doesn’t gain weight easily and is usually quite toned, there is a tendency for this body type to NOT train. After all, training is all to do with weight loss right? And the slimmer you are, the healthier you must be? This is so wrong and a big misconception. You might be toned and can pretty much eat what you like, but this doesn’t instantly make you healthy. If you eat junk and don’t train your heart muscle, you are still at risk of heart disease, just like a person with a different body type who does all of the above but gains weight from their poor lifestyle. On the plus side, you have every reason to participate in sports/exercise because your genetics are fantastic with regards to movement; you are naturally strong, build speed and athletisism very quickly and you don’t have to exercise quite as much as other types to stay healthy.
V Shape – The V shape has a tendency to have slim legs and gain weight around the stomach, this puts them at high risk of cardiovascular disease, so raising the heart rate is essential. I would focus on performing 30 minute cardiovascular sessions 3-4 x week, alternating “burst” training(see above) and same pace endurance training would be perfect. I would stay away from power based circuit training, sprint swimming and boxing classes especially if you do not wish to over develop your shoulders. However, I wouldn’t stay away from strength training the upper body all together, I would just make sure that the exercises are NOT compound(multiple joints involved), but isolation exercises.e.g. Lateral side raises/rear delt flyes are a better choice than a shoulder press and a chest flye is a better choice than a press up for this body type.
The stomach and legs on the other hand need to be trained, so on top of the cardiovascular work listed above I would recomend doing compound movements to strengthen and tone the legs/core. So combined with the isolation exercises for the upper body, you are looking at doing 30 mins strength training 2 x a week. So this roughly equates to 2 x isolation upper body exercises, 2 x core and 2 x leg exercises. Vary the exercises, to avoid boredom and over training. If you wish to add more time to your strength training, then extra core work would be of great benefit to this body type.
Hour Glass – Most mesomorph body types fall into the V shape category, but some do fall into the hour glass cateogory. You basicaly train exactly the same as the V shape, but you need to make sure that all of your strength training exercises are isolation movements , rather than compound movements. The only time this doesn’t apply is when you are using pilates as your way of getting your weekly double hit of strength training or you would like to achieve a more athletic physique, then you can choose whichever exercises you like.
If you feel you need some guidance with regards to exercises for your body type, my personal training sessions can be educational to even the most experienced fitness enthusiast or for an even more cost effective solution, you can send me pictures of your body/trouble zones and i can reccommend exercises through online or telephone consultations.
Ectomorph training – The ectomorph body type is slim with a low body fat percentage and will struggle to gain lean muscle mass and feminine curves. So it is essential that when training an ectomorph physique that you really are goal focused.
Staying Slender – Yoga/Pilates 2-4 times a week and cardiovascular training, be it “Burst” or “Same Pace Endurance” , 2-3 times a week for 20 – 40 minutes will keep this body type healthy, lean and strong without adding bulk.
Adding shape and curves – To add shape to this physique is a little tougher because your genetics are stacked against you. So i would suggest strength training 5 days a week, with a split body part routine.
e.g. Mon: Chest/Abs Tues: quadriceps/Calves Wed: Back/Shoulders Thursday: Glutes/Hamstrings Fri: Biceps/Triceps/Abs.
2 different exercises per body part trained.e.g Hammer curls/seated incline bicep curls for biceps. Also, keep Your repititions low(8-12), you weight med/heavy and your sets anything between 3 – 6.
If the rest periods are kept short between sets, cardiovascular training will be covered within this routine aswell or feel free to add some “Burst” training(See above) at the end of your strength training session.
If you don’t fancy the above style of training, then circuit training with heavy weights, body weight compound movements and plyometric based training moves will also add shape to this body type or you could try power yoga or power pilates. All 2 – 4 times a week.
For more information on any of the above training ideas, questions about your training program or combination body type training, then please feel free to send an enquiry.