Whether you’re training with goals in mind – shaping up, losing weight, building fitness – or just for fun, you have to train smart. You need to find a diet and exercise plan that is both enjoyable and effective at helping you achieve your desired success. With so many workouts and meal plans out there, how do you choose? A good place to start is by identifying your body type and narrowing down the forms of exercises and meals which will work best based on that.
What Are The Body Types?
There are three basic human body types: the ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph forms. Each type will have different dietary needs and respond differently to workouts. A simple way to find out which type you are is based on how you look:
Body characteristics of ectomorphs
Ectomorphs are characterised by a leaner, ‘skinnier’ build. They tend to have slight body frames, small shoulders, long limbs, light musculature and lower body fat. They also have a high metabolism and do not put on weight easily – that counts for both fat, and muscle! Hence, individuals with this body type are often considered ‘hardgainers’ and find it challenging to bulk up.
Suitable exercises for ectomorphs
The ideal workout for ectomorphs is short but intense; they should minimise cardio exercises or, otherwise, choose High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts to prevent losing any more weight, and focus on building muscles. When training with weights, they are encouraged to do short reps with heavier weights, taking longer rest breaks to account for the intensity of the workout.
Suitable diets for ectomorphs
Ectomorphs find it hard to gain weight no matter how much they eat, but for the best health and fitness, they should tailor their diets to include high density foods, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, with a moderate amount of proteins. Examples of such foods include whole grains, avocados, almonds, full fat dairy and oily fish. The ectomorph’s smaller build also means they tend to be satiated quickly on less, so they should break up their meals to smaller ones – about 5 to 7 – to ensure proper nutrition and to provide energy throughout the day.
Body characteristics of endomorphs
Endomorphs, on the other hand, tend to be rounder and curvier, with a wide waist, large bone structure and a slower metabolism. They tend to gain weight easily and resist losing fat.
Suitable exercises for endomorphs
If weight loss is the goal, endomorphs should prioritise cardio exercises over weight training to prevent additional bulking. Their workouts should incorporate multiple reps – a little over 15 for each set – and short rest periods of 30 to 45 seconds between each rep. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are also good options for endomorphs.
Suitable diets for endomorphs
Endomorphs tend to have larger appetites. Their ideal diet should include moderate intake of complex carbohydrates that account for 30 to 40% of their meals, low-fat foods and foods high in lean protein and fibre. These include non-processed, fresher foods such as vegetables, tofu and fish.
Body characteristics of mesomorphs
Considered the more ‘athletic’ body type among the three, mesomorphs have a leaner, defined muscular build, broad shoulders, and narrow waists. They tend to gain muscle and lose fat easily, and are conventionally the desired body type by many.
Suitable exercises for mesomorphs
Mesomorphs can get by with a moderate amount of cardio to maintain their lean physique, and tend to respond better to weight training. As such, they should focus on doing a full range of exercises that work the entire body. Reps should be kept moderate as well, between 8 to 12 each set, and rest periods ranging from 30 seconds to 1 minutes for the best results.
Suitable diets for mesomorphs
Mesomorphs tend to have what you’d consider a ‘normal’ appetite, but tend to put on fat easier than ectomorphs – so they should watch their fat and carb intake! Carbohydrates should be kept at moderate amounts, making up to about 40 to 50% of their caloric intake. Healthy fats and proteins are a must, although mesomorphs will have to ensure they are eating enough calories to maintain their muscle mass. Good food choices include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, dairy and lean animal protein.
While there are three basic body types, you’re more likely to be a combination of the three, with characteristics and needs of each. The basic types give you a good starting point on where to start, including what types of workouts to try and the foods you should strive to eat. However, you’ll ultimately have to tailor your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle to something that works best for you.
And if you need help with that, why not get in touch with one of the many professional personal trainers on Kaodim?
written by Louisa Lee