The body of each of us is developed and operates in a unique way. Just as we are born with different eyes, hair and skin color the physical and metabolic characteristics of our bodies differ dramatically.
Everyone has a different susceptibility to accumulation and removal of fat and muscle mass. For some of us clearing even one kilogram of fat is seemingly impossible task, while for the others it’s a piece of cake.
One of the most important steps in the transformation of the body is to find and understand your unique body type and customize your nutrition, training and lifestyle accordingly.
Many people feel envy or feel unfairly when another achieve results more easily and without much effort. We must accept that there is always some people who are genetically gifted, while others – aren’t.
The good news is that regardless of whether you have good or bad genes, you can achieve excellent results. The secret is to identify your body type and follow proper nutrition and training strategies.
The three main body types (called somatotypes) are ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. The most typical characteristics of each type are:
- Ectomorphs are weak, sometimes even skinny; their bones are thin and their metabolism - fast.
- Mesomorphs have well developed muscles; naturally athletic and healthy individuals who gain muscle with ease.
- Endomorphs are prone to gaining and retaining fat; have large bones and joints; burning fat is problematic.
It is not necessarily for you to be completely and accurately in any of these three descriptions. On the contrary, rarely anyone can be defined as a "pure" ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.
In most cases, the boundaries are vague and we talk about any combination of two or even all three types. But usually one of three types is dominant. The aim is to determine which is most clearly expressed in your body type.
This type of people have thin skin of the face and body, shoulders are narrow and arms are weak. The chest is extended or flat, and musculature is underdeveloped.
Positive for the ectomorph is that it isn’t prone to accumulation of fat. People with this type of physique have it difficult to gain muscle mass and lose it easily.
The most important thing for a fitness enthusiast with ectomorph physique is to increase lean muscle mass.
Some of the most famous people with clear ectomorph body type are Bruce Lee, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz.
Workout and food plans for ectomorphs
- Strength training within 3-4 times a week.
- Perform workout in full volume even if it means more time to rest between exercises.
- Do 5-8 repetitions in the series. More about repetitions learn here
- Reduce your cardio workouts (running, swimming, cycling and other sports of this type) to a minimum, which does not mean to exclude them entirely. The recommended duration of a cardio workout is 15 to 20 minutes.
- For this type of physique the key is getting enough food. It’s ok to miss a workout, but not to skip meals.
- Ratio of macronutrients in the diet should be approximately 25-30% protein, 55-60% carbohydrates and 15-20% fat.
This type of people are characterized by well-developed skeleton and muscles. For mesomorphs it’s typical to be medium-high or tall, broad shoulders, powerful chest and medium-large head.
Mesomorphs easily gain muscle mass and have it easy to maintain it, even with longer breaks in training.
Classic examples of mesomorphs are action heroes that we grew up with - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.
Workout and food plans for mesomorphs
- Combine multi-joint basic exercises with different exercises for shaping the muscles. The more diverse is your training program, the more symmetrical body you will achieve.
- Training must be relatively long with short breaks between exercises.
- 8-12 reps per series
- The recommended duration of cardio training is 25 to 30 minutes
- Ratio of macronutrients in the diet should be approximately 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fat.
Endomorphs are usually characterized by medium height, short neck, developed internal body cavities and tendency to accumulate fat if they don’t engage actively in sports.
Trainees with this type of physique easily gain weight, but they have trouble forming lean muscles. With serious and persistent practice, however, they can successfully achieve their goals. Important thing for endomorphs is to first get rid of excess fat.
Some of the most famous people with endomorph body type are Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Workout and food plans for endomorphs
- Strength training should have more reps and short breaks between exercises.
- 8-15 reps per series
- More aerobic activity is needed (jogging, biking or swimming). Recommended duration of cardio training is over 35-40 minutes
- After losing the fat (or at least a large percentage of them) you can train as mesomorph, but must be careful with food. Diet is very important in this case.
- Endomorphs must be careful with carbohydrates because they are too sensitive to insulin. The best combination of macronutrients is 35-40% protein, 20-40% carbohydrates, 25-40% fat.
Whether you have inherited good genes or bad ones, learn to take full responsibility for the results. There is no doubt that heredity plays a part in how easily you burn fat and somewhat dictate your potential for development. But there are many other factors that are entirely under your control. Regardless of body type and genetic potential, you can always make progress, and be persistent in all aspects over which you have influence:
How much, what and when to eat?
What exercises you do? How often? How long? How intense?
What lifestyle you have? With whom do you communicate? What motivates you? Who you allow to influence you? What is your mental attitude?
If you are not satisfied with your appearance and you want to change it permanently, the first step is to accept that how you look is now entirely your responsibility. See yourself not as a result of external factors - environment and genetics - but as a result of your thoughts and actions. In this context:
Positive thinking + Action = Positive
Negative thinking + Inaction = Negative result