There is no doubt that people who are trying to get in shape copy certain approaches taken by professional body builders and fitness models. I mean why not ? After all they are trying to achieve the same results. You would think eating, lifting, and doing the same exercises will give you the same results. Right ? Well maybe…
You may be cutting yourself short or making things harder for yourself by not understanding what body type you are. Understanding what body type you have will help you better understand how you should approach a diet and exercises that will benefit you the most and help you reach your goals faster !
Many people over look this step when starting to lift weight or approaching a diet. Sure you will get results quickly in the beginning. But sooner or later you will hit a plateau and you’ll find yourself scratching your head and wondering what you are doing wrong.
You may think you just need to put some extra weights on the rack or do some extra cardio. But really what it comes down to is your diet and how you should be approaching it depending on what body type you have. That combined with the right exercises will help you get over the hump and be back on track making progress.
Remember everyone is different and react to things differently. What one person does to meet their fitness goals may not be the right approach for another person trying to achieve the same results with a different body type. By now you may be asking yourself what body type do I have ?
By the time you are done reading my post you will know what body type you have and how to use it to your advantage. Some people may be a mix of body types but the goal is to identify the main body type you are. Once you know what body type you have you will know how to approach your fitness goals the right way and have a solid foundation on where to start from.
The 3 different body types
Ectomorph have long limbs, lean bodies, and very little muscle. The Best way to picture this body type is by thinking of a marathon runner or a skinny person. They have a fast metabolism which help burn body fat and are very good at processing carbohydrate for energy.
Best diet approach to gain muscle:
Stick to a high calorie diet to help put on mass. This does not mean eat everything and anything you like of course. Keep your diet clean with rich quality food.
Ectomorph respond well to carbohydrate and should incorporate complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or oats along with a good source of protein like chicken, steak, or a protein shake to help build body mass.
Carbohydrate spike insulin which causes more blood sugar to be released in the body and will help drive more protein to your muscles. Having a rich carbohydrate diet, with protein, little fat, along with a caloric surplus to help gain size and muscle is the best approach an ectomorph can have.
Best workout approaches:
Ectomorph tend to gravitate towards isolated workouts such a bicep curls, crunches, or triceps extension for example. But if you are looking to put on size and muscle you need to really focus on compound workouts such as dead lifts, squats, and bench press.
Compound workouts help release more growth hormones into they body which in return help build more muscle. Try to do 3-4 set of compound workouts with 6-8 reps for each set. Keep weight heavier than what your normally used to which will help make your body grow. Increasing weights and adjust your sets and rep ranges as you progress. Keep rest periods 1-3 minutes long. Workout 3-4 times a week, this way you allow your body to grow during the resting days and will help you gain mass quicker.
Keep cardio to a minimum (1-2 times a week). You do not need to start running for miles or do any long slow past cardio exercises. As a matter a fact I recommend that you avoid the usual cardiovascular exercises everyone does and focus more on lifting weights. If you do want to get some cardio in I recommend doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) when it comes to cardio. HIIT helps you maintain muscle mass and also helps you burn fat even after you are done with your workout ! It’s actually a smarter way of doing cardio, especially if you are trying to keep muscle mass.
More muscle than fat is noticeable on the body. They have muscular arms, legs, chest and shoulders with even weight distribution throughout the body. People with this body type are usually strong and will find it easier to pack on more muscle. Mesomorph can easily gain and lose weight which makes them more insulin sensitive than ectomorph.
Best diet approach to gain muscle:
Depending on the physical goals you are trying to achieve you will have to watch your calories and macro nutrient consumption. Mesomorph have more muscle than fat and muscle requires more calories to be burned. The more muscle someone has the more calories are needed to maintain that muscle volume.
Although we all need our daily carbohydrate, fats and protein. You may want to stick to a diet that is higher in protein instead of fats and carbs. Most will say you should keep protein intake at 40% of your daily diet and 30% carbs and fats. But tweak the ratios depending on how you feel and what goals you are trying to achieve. Keep protein as the main source of daily calories. Some excellent sources of protein are eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, chicken, turkey and fish. If you are going to have a busy day make yourself a protein shake !
Your carbs are important and should not be completely cut off even if you are trying to lose weight. Carbohydrates will help replenish the glucose lost during your workouts. Carbs can consist a mix of vegetables or fruits, brown rice, and oatmeal. These carbohydrates are rich in fiber which will make you feel full longer and give you a good boost of energy. And of course stick to healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
Best workout approaches:
Working out 4-5 days out of the week. Lifting moderate to heavyweight is enough to start simulating more muscle growth. Do not keep the same routine going for to long as the body will adapt to the intensity and types of exercises being done. Always try to switch things up when your normal routine become to easy, it will help keep your body on edge. Incorporate some super sets or circuit training to mix things up.
If want to add more muscle volume, focus on moderate weights with high reps. Do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps on isolated or compound workouts on the muscle or muscle group you would like to gain size in. Keep rest periods from 30-90 seconds
If a you are trying to reduce body fat without sacrificing too much muscle, do some HIIT training. You will look lean and ripped with great muscle tone. Of course do not over do it on the HIIT training you may want to do it after you are done with your weight training or dedicate 2-3 days out of the week to focus on that alone. Do not go over board, try to keep HIIT training 15 minutes to 30 minutes long.
Endomorph gain weight and tend to keep it on. They may find it difficult to reduce body fat and have a wider frame than the other two body type. Their hips are wide, they have a thick rib cage and joints, and at times shorter limbs. Endomorph may have more muscle than the other groups as well which help them in strength. If you have trouble reducing weight chance are you are probably one of them.
Best diet approach to gain muscle:
Being the most insulin sensitive out of the 3 body types, the best way to approach a diet with is to reduce carbohydrate in your diet all together but do not cut them out completely. This is tough especially if you are used to eating carbohydrates all the time (which most people are). Do your best to avoid potatoes, white rice and white bread. Replace those carbs with brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats or a mix of vegetables. Steer clear of sports drinks ! (they are full of carbs and will make your blood sugars go through the roof).
Other than getting all your macro nutrients in, you must remember to stay at a caloric deficit. You should be consuming less calories than you burn in a day.
Keep a high protein diet with little carbs and some fats. Incorporate more fats in your diet than carbohydrates since fat does not spike insulin as much as carbs do. When the body run low on carbohydrates it starts to release ketones into the blood stream. When this happens your body turns to its fat cells for energy and starts to burn fat naturally from the body.
Best workout approach:
Focus on large muscle groups like legs, back, and chest. The Best way of working those muscle groups out is by compound exercises like squats, dead lifts, and bench. Do not worry about adding too much weight when getting started you should be more focused on keeping light to moderate weights with high repetition. Do 3-4 sets with reps ranging from 12-15 and keep a rest in between set from 60-90 seconds.
Circuit training will help also and create more of a challenge once you feel you are ready for it. When you feel like pushing yourself after a weight lifting session do a HIIT workout for 10-12 minutes right after your done to shed off some extra fat and make the muscle definition come out more.
As you progress over time remember to challenge yourself more as your body will adapt. Always keep your body on edge so you do not plateau as easy or as much.
It’s a journey
When it all comes down to it remember that fitness is a journey and recognizing what body type you are will help you get off to the right start. Not only on how to approach your workout routines or diet but also help you understand how your body works and start with the right approach.
I completely skipped this step when I was starting out and it caused me to focus on all the wrong macro nutrients, calorie intake, and types of exercises I should be doing to achieve my goal. I do not want you to make the same mistake as I did when starting off. Regardless of what body type you are you should not be ashamed of it but embrace it and use it to your advantage. Remember to always push harder and never give up on yourself.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below if you find this information helpful !
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