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     The Official eNewsletter of TODAY! Fitness

vol. 2014 issue 5



Body Types and Training

All men (and women) are NOT created equal!  Everyone should set goals, but don't be too hung up on having a body exactly like someone else.  Everyone has a genetic disposition to build muscle, store fat, and shape your body within certain guidelines.  No, you cannot use this as an excuse to give up and blame your parents.  Our main goals should be around being the best that we can be... doing the best with what we have!


Along those lines, there are 3 primary body types that people fall into.  The following article does a good job of explaining them and how to make the most of what you have. 


The 3 Body Types Explained: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph

So you want to know what the three body types are and how you can find out which one applies to you. We’ll explain each type and some common attributes that make up each body type. Each body type will also be explained in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Each has it’s own, so you can decide to play by your own strengths or weakness and apply it to your training.


The Ectomorph Body Type

The ectomorph can be easily spotted in any weight room. They are often below the average weight for their height and have a skinny appearance. Ectomorphs tend to have very high metabolisms and often complain of relentless eating with little to no weight gain.


Common Ectomorph Characteristics  Include:

  • Small joints

  • Skinny appearance

  • Hyperactive

  • Fast metabolism

  • Can eat whatever they want

  • Get full easily

  • Small chest and buttocks

  • Difficulty building muscle

  • Difficulty gaining weight

  • Low body fat

  • Narrow frame (“pencil frame”)

Ectomorph Training Tips:

  • Train heavier with repetitions in the 5-10 range

  • Take longer rest breaks (b/c of heavier weights)

  • Do compound lifts

  • If you must do cardio make sure its HIIT style (high intensity interval training)

Ectomorph Dieting Tips:

  • Eat high density weight gainers for added calories

  • Try high density foods such as almonds, avocado, or peanut butter

  • Break calories up into several small meals if you cannot stomach big meals

  • Eat at least 50-60% carbohydrates

  • Drink tons of milk

  • Eat foods you enjoy even if they are a little unhealthy (in moderation)

The Endomorph Body Type

The endomorphic body type is the complete opposite of an ectomorph. This individual will usually be larger in appearance with heavier fat accumulation and little muscle definition. They find it hard to drop the weight even though they try several diets or workout programs.

Common Endomorph Characteristics  Include:

  • Large amount of fat accumulation

  • Often fatigue easily

  • Insatiable appetite

  • Try various diet and exercise programs to failure

  • Cannot seem to drop weight

  • Eat larger meals or several smaller sized meals

  • Low muscle definition due to adipose tissue

  • Larger frame

Endomorphs Training Tips:

  • Train in the 15+ repetition range

  • Take 30-45 second rest periods between sets

  • Do as much cardio as possible!

  • Do compound lifts to burn more calories

Endomorphs Dieting Tips:

  • Portion your meals appropriately- 1 fist size equals one serving

  • Eat 30-40% carbohydrates

  • Eat non processed foods and get whole grains

  • Eat tons of vegetables to keep you full

  • Drink plenty of water to keep you full

  • Don’t flash diet (cut out things cold turkey)

  • Divide your daily caloric intake by 5-6 meals

  • Take in 200-500 less than your maintenance caloric intake

The Mesomorph Body Type

Everyone recognizes the mesomorph. He is the high school jock that seemed to put on muscle just by looking at weights while also maintaining a very lean physique. The mesomorph is somewhat in between the ectomorph and the endomorph and as such, display qualities from both. He has a larger frame (bone structure) as the endomorph does, but a low body fat percentage as the ectomorph has. You could say this is the aspiring body type that everybody wants.

Common Mesomorph Characteristics  Include:

  • Symmetrical build

  • Wide shoulders

  • Small waist

  • Low body fat

  • Large musculature

  • Seems to put on muscle easily

  • Seems to burn fat easily

  • Eats in moderation

Mesomorph Training Tips:

  • Training in the 8-12 repetition rep range

  • 30-1 min rest periods between sets

  • Enough cardio to stay lean but not a ton

Mesomorph Dieting Tips:

  • Keep carbohydrates at 40-60%

  • Portion meals by balling up your fist – that’ 1 portion size

  • Break meals into 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day

  • Eat enough calories to maintain muscle mass

Body Type Combinations:

Now it is not only possible that you are a combination of the above three body types, but probable! Think about it, what are the odds that you fit exactly into one of the three types perfectly?  You are most likely able to identify yourself with one over the other two, but you still might have qualities of some of the others.


In fact, it is rare to be one of the “pure breeds”. Being purely ectomorphic and short will put you at a great advantage to do professional horse racing as a jockey while being a pure endomorph might set you up for sumo wrestling. The negative stigma of body types is only there if you let it. There are many advantages pure breeds have over individuals compromised as a combination.


The combinations exist in between the two body types.

You are most likely a combination of the three body types rather than a “pure breed”.


Hopefully this quick intro into the three different body types will help you succeed in your fitness goals! Ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs must follow a very different regimen to see success.


If you are uncertain which body type you fall into, there is a short quiz that provides a nice breakdown of your body type "combination" at this link.





Kettlebell Exercise of the Month!


This combination exercise has become very popular with my crew.  You're working your shoulders, abs, and butt.  More muscles means more oxygen being consumed.  Bottom line is that you'll feel the burn in popular muscles that you want to feel them in, and you'll  huff and puff while you do it!  If you don't have a kettlebell, try using two hands on one dumbbell.  You'll want to be careful any time the weight is over your face, so make sure you are focused as you are getting fatigued!


shoulders, abs, butt (deltoids, rectus abominus, gluteals) 

Preparation:  Sit on the ground with your knees bent at about 90 degrees and feet planted firmly on the ground.  Hold the kettlebell upside down by "the horns" at chest height.

Execution:  Lay back while simultaneously bringing the kettlebell up and over your head.  As the kettlebell nears the ground, bridge up by pushing with your legs and lifting your butt off the ground.  Pause briefly, lower your butt back down, sit up and bring the kettle bell back to your chest.  As you get back to seated position, immediately press the kettlebell overhead, pause, and return it to starting position.

Preworkout Fueling

I have the preworkout nutrition conversation with my clients all the time when they seem to be dragging.  The following is an excerpt from the best sports nutrition book that I have read... Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook.  I highly recommend you check it out if you are interested. 

Just as you put fuel in your car before you take it for a drive, you want to put fuel in your body before you exercise.  This preexercise snack or meal will help energize your workout.  Preexercise fuel has four main functions:

  • It helps prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and its symptoms of light-headedness, needless fatigue, blurred vision, and indecisiveness... all of which can interfere with top performance.

  • It helps settle your stomach, absorb some of the gastric juices, and ward off hunger.

  • It fuels your muscles, with both carbohydrate that you eat far enough in advance to get stored as glycogen and carbohydrate that you eat within an hour of exercise, which enters the bloodstream and feeds your brain.

  • It gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your body is well fueled.

Preexercise Fueling Guidelines

To determine the right pretraining or precompetition snack or meal for your body, experiment with the following guidelines:

  • On a daily basis eat adequate high-carbohydrate meals to fuel and refuel your muscles so they'll be ready for action.  Snacks eaten within an hour before exercise primarily keep you from feeling hungry and maintain your blood sugar; they don't significantly replenish muscle glycogen stores.

  • If you will be exercising for less than an hour, simply snack on any tried-and-true foods that digest easily and settle comfortably.  Toast, English muffins, a banana, crackers, and granola bars are a few of the most popular high-carbohydrate, low-fat preexercise choices.

  • If you will be exercising for more than 60 minutes and will be unable to consume calories during that time, be sure to eat well the day before.  Choose a preexercise snack with a little protein and fat for sustained energy, such as a poached egg on toast, a bagel with peanut butter, or oatmeal made with low-fat milk.

  • Limit high-fat sources of protein such as cheese omelets, hamburgers, and fried chicken because they take longer to empty from the stomach.  Cheeseburgers with French fries, large ice cream cones, and pancakes glistening with butter have been known to contribute to sluggishness, if not to nausea.  Note that small servings of lean protein-rich foods (turkey, eggs, low-fat milk), however, can settle well and keep you from feeling hungry.

  • Be cautious with sugary foods such as soft drinks, jelly beans, gels, and even lots of maple syrup or sports drinks.  Although most althletes perform well after a preexercise sugar fix, a few may experience symptoms of rebound hypoglycemia such as light-headedness and fatigue.

  • Allow adequate time for digestion.  Remember that high-calorie meals take longer to leave the stomach than do hearty, lighter snacks.  The general rule is to allow three to four hours for a large meal to digest, two to three hours for a smaller meal, one to two hours for a blended or liquid meal, and less than an hour for a small snack, according to your own tolerance.

  • Allow more digestion time before intense exercise than before low-level activity.  Remember, your muscles require more blood during intense exercise than they do at rest, so your stomach may not get the normal blood flow needed for the digestion process.  Any food in the stomach jostles along for the ride and may feel uncomfortable or be regurgitated. 

  • If you have a finicky stomach, experiment with liquid meal replacements to see whether they offer you any advantage.  Liquid foods tend to leave the stomach faster than solid foods do.  In one research study, a 450-calorie meal of steak, peas, and buttered bread remained in the stomach for six hours.  A liquefied version of the same meal emptied from the stomach two hours earlier.  Before converting to a liquid preevent meal, be it a homemade blenderized meal or a can of a commercial meal replacement such as Boost or Ensure, experiment during training to determine if this new food works well for you.

  • If you know that you'll be jittery and unable to tolerate any food before an event, make a special effort to eat well the day before.  Have an extra-large bedtime snack in lieu of breakfast  Some athletes can comfortably eat before they exercise, but others prefer to abstain.

  • If you have a "magic food," be sure to take it with you when traveling to an event.  Even if it's a standard item such as bananas, pack it so that you will be certain to have it on hand.  Even if you have no favorite foods, you still might want to pack a tried-and-true supply in case of an emergency.  If you should encounter delays, such as being stuck in traffic or an airplane, you'll still be able to eat adequately. 

  • Always eat familiar foods before a competition.  Don't try anything new!  New foods always carry the risk of settling poorly; causing intestinal discomfort, acid stomach, heartburn, or cramps; or necessitating pit stops.  Schedule a few workouts of similar intensity to and at the same time of day as an upcoming competition, and experiment with different foods to determine which (and how much) will be best on race day.  Never try anything new before a competition, unless you want to risk impairing your performance.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.  You are unlikely to starve to death during an event, but you might become dehydrated.  I suggest you drink extra fluid the day before so that your urine is a very pale color.  Drink two or three glasses of fluid up to two hours before the event, and drink another one or two glasses 5 to 10 minutes before the start.

ref. Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook


It's Go Time!

Yes, It's Go Time!  Actually, it's been go time for quite a while in case you weren't paying attention!  I love this time of year when the panic sets in and I get all kinds of emails and texts about how to get 6-pack abs, or drop 30 pounds in a few weeks so that people can put on bathing suits!  Well... cold hard truth... it doesn't happen overnight folks!  However, that is no reason not to try!

Let's review:  A safe, attainable, and lasting weight loss goal is 1-2 pounds of weight/fat per week.  That's about 4-8 pounds in a month.  Sure you can probably loose more than that... but I did mention that this is the "safe" recommendation.

So how do you go about doing that?  Short answer: a combination of diet and exercise.  It is estimated that you need to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose a pound of fat.  That's about 500 calories per day to lose a pound in a week.  That deficit could be any combination diet and exercise outside of whatever you are doing now.  30 more minutes of cardio will burn anywhere from 100 to 500 calories depending on what you weigh and how intense the cardio is.  The more that you weigh, the more calories you will burn doing the same as someone lighter.  You can also make smart food choices.  Do you really need those chips? soda? fries?  How about your portion sizes?  All these things add up and if you can make some changes... and keep it up FROM NOW ON... you will enjoy some lasting results!

We're on the cusp of beach/pool season gang.  Set some goals and be proud of what you are doing to get there!  Happy May!

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Exceed Your Potential!

Pete Mazzeo, CPT

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn" - Harriet Stowe

youtube of the month --> Furniture Slider Exercises provides another video of some awesome exercises that you can do with furniture sliders.  Fast forward to about 2:40 to skip the monologue. | Personal Training | News | Tips & Tools | Fitness Stuff




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