Too many times in the health industry we see a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition. We are all very, very different and have different needs. If you can identify your body type you can better understand how you can eat to best nourish your body and be at your optimum health and wellbeing.
There are three general categories of male and female body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.
Knowing your body type can provide information about how you respond to food intake and your hormonal and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) characteristics.
These factors influence how you respond to nutrition and training. Understanding your body type will help you to strategically and successfully plan your strength training and nutrition plan, and once you establish your body type, you can adjust nutrient intake to maximize fitness composition and health related goals.
Ectomorphs are skinny with a small frame, light build, small joints and lean muscle. Usually they have long thin limbs with stringy muscles, narrow shoulders with a fast metabolism making this body type the most resistant to weight gain.
Ectomorphs are generally able to overeat, while gaining little, to no extra weight, they tend to have little body fat, muscle and bone mass. Ecto’s need a large amount of calories to gain weight, and workouts should be short & intense focusing on big muscle groups using heavy compound movements and minimal isolation movements per muscle group.
Mesomorphs have a medium sized bone structure, athletic body, and they typically have a considerable amount of lean mass. Mesomorphs tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant, which leads to a predisposition for muscle gain and the maintenance of a lower body fat.
The Mesomorph form is the best body type for bodybuilding. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs, so they must watch their calorie intake more closely. Because of this, it helps to use combination of weight training and cardio during workout routines. Multiple weekly resistance training sessions using moderate to heavy weights with limited rest between sets, help mesomorphs build size. Do upper and lower body compound exercises using two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions each, resting between 30 and 90 seconds after each set.
Endomorphs have a larger bone structure with higher amounts of total body mass and fat mass, and this extra fat seems to resist most efforts to get rid of it. The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft, and gains fat very easily. Endo’s are usually a shorter build with thick arms & legs. Their muscles are strong, especially the upper legs, and are naturally strong in leg exercises like squatting. They also tend to be insulin dominant, leading to a greater propensity for energy storage, including both lean mass and fat mass, and also mean a lower carbohydrate tolerance.
As an endomorph, they may feel as though they are destined to be overweight or even obese. NOT TRUE! They just have to make a conscious, concerted effort to do the things your body should be doing for you automatically. If your body isn’t instinctively telling you to get moving, you have to make sure that exercise is part of your daily routine. If your metabolism is sluggish, you need to eat the right foods that will fire it up. To put it plain as day, you need to bust your ass by exercising and eating right for your body type.
Around four days of weight training throughout the week will ensure that the increased metabolic response from each training session will then spill over into rest days. Include cardio into each workout, and weight training should be the main focus.
If you want to find out what your body type is sign up to the glow for life mailing list below and we will send you a questionnaire to determine your body type.