We cannot choose our body type, we have to accept what we have and achieve the best we can.
There are 3 body type that are often spoken about and those are Ectomorphs (Brad Pitt/Cameron Diaz), Mesomorphs (Will Smith/Anna Kournikova) and Endomorphs (Russell Crow/Sophie Dhal). Depending on your own specific type you will have a certain genetic potential and size.
The Ectomorph is naturally lean with long limbs, the hold very little fat or muscle and typically struggle to put on weight of any description.
The Endomorph’s unfortunately are known for their stocky build and short limbs. They have a high body portion of muscle but also a high fat %.
The Mesomorph classically is seen as the best of all three because they are naturally lean with a muscular build, that said, this type can also add fat at an alarming rate if their nutrition goes to hell in a hand basket.
How can you tell which type you are?
Looking in a mirror is normally a good indicator, look for the following.
Ectomorph – Narrow shoulders, narrow hips, long limbs.
Endomorph – Broad shoulders, wide hips, short limbs.
Mesomorph – Broad shoulders, narrow hips, well proportioned.
If you find that confusing here is an even simpler way.
Wrap your thumb and middle finger (the one that allows you to provide the bird to drivers who should not hold a licence) around your wrist:
Thumb overlaps finger = Ectomorph
Thumb does not reach finger = Endomorph
Thumb and finger meet = Mesomorph
(This is not an exact science, it’s just a guide)
For each body type, there are specific or recommended ways in which each should train, below is a brief guide.
Ectomorph: Compound movements with a minimum of 8-12 reps a lot of volume are what you’re looking, I would advice ten sets of ten reps in key moves such as the bench or squat. There is no need for you to overdo it in the gym because you will only burn precious precious calories.
Endomorph: Compound movements set around 6-12 reps are ideal moderate reps and high sets are great for these guys, you will benefit from adding in a minimum of 2 weight lifting sessions and 2 conditioning sessions per week; kettlebell’s & barbell complexes are my recommendation. Go hard on conditioning days!
Mesomorphs: Ok I will be honest, you can do pretty much any form of training and look good. Personally I would recommend compound lifts (again) at 3-12 reps and also a high degree of isolation work because you will be able to sculpt a great body.
Now what about Nutrition? Ok I shall give you a simple break down.
Ectomorph~ In terms of nutrition, a diet that is high in calories, carbs, protein and fat will aid you in your quest for muscle gain. This should not be mistaken for eating precisely what you like. Rather, it just means you should eat more of what is healthy. Fats found in nuts, seeds and avocado will also bring about the right results. Ectomorphs should respond well to carbs, which will spike blood sugar and help to drive protein to their muscles, stick to the complex kind, such as sweet potatoes and brown rice. Aim for 2g per kilo of bodyweight per day of protein minimum, but be wary of overdoing it.
Endomorph~ From a nutrition perspective, a lower-carb diet that still includes oats and brown rice is ideal and should be complimented by a high protein and fibre intake. Nutrients are very important so get in plenty of veg. You’ll have to watch what you eat more strictly than people with other body shapes. I would advise you steer clear of refined foods at all costs. Aim for a reduction of 500cal per day from your normal eating habits fi fatloss is your gaol.
Mesomorph~ Although the usual caveats apply, the good news is that your body will respond well to whatever healthy food you put into it. You can eat a decent amount of carbs.‘And err on the side of more when it comes to protein. A basic guideline for mesomorphs to follow would be to consume meals that are 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% lean protein and 30% healthy fats. So, for example, a plate that contained vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, grilled chicken and olive oil on wholegrain bread would represent a staple dish for this body type.
So now it’s time for you to go out and find the real you.
RossFit Personal Training