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:
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
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
Eat at least 50-60% carbohydrates
Drink tons of milk
Eat foods you enjoy even if they are a little unhealthy (in
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
Common Endomorph Characteristics Include:
Large amount of fat accumulation
Often fatigue easily
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
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:
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"
Exercise of the Month!
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
shoulders, abs, butt (deltoids,
rectus abominus, gluteals)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
It gives you the
peace of mind that comes with knowing your body is well fueled.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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!|
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"
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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youtube of the month -->
Furniture Slider Exercises
Rosstraining.com provides another video of some awesome
exercises that you can do with furniture sliders.
Fast forward to about 2:40 to skip the monologue.