What body type are you? Whether or not different body types are the real deal has been a debate for years in the fitness community
Even though you may be able to change your body type during the years through regimented training and nutrition, you would still need to understand what each body type does.
What are body types?
Body types are ways that the body is structured in terms of bone density, muscle mass and even hormone regulation. You need to understand how all body types work by understanding as when you figure out how to figure your body type you can understand how to diet and train for your individual body type.
There are three types of bodies primarily. Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.
An ectomorph body type in simple language is a skinny guy or girl. He/she will have a small bone structure with small joints and lean muscle. Ectomorphs are usually characterized by small shoulders and long structures and a fast metabolism meaning no matter what you eat, you will hardly gain weight. This makes gaining muscle a tedious chore, although ectomorphs can easily cut down fat and get shredded quite easily. Supplements especially mass gainers are recommended here as is having a heavy dinner so that your body does not go catabolic at night.
Mesomorph body types are in the middle and have a medium size bone structure along with large lean muscle with a generally active body and no surprises are the best when it comes to weight training. Simply put, these body types put on muscle easily as well as fat but more muscle than fat which means that cardio is needed in your training unlike ectomorphs. To train for the right body shape is crucial because mesomorphs are testosterone and growth hormone dependent which means they have a tendency towards building muscle.
An endomorph body type is on the other end of the spectrum as they have thick bone structures and are generally soft and round. Endomorphs are mostly insulin dependent which means that they gain fat and muscle easily but more fat than muscle. As a result supplements might not be required if the nutrition and training are on point. Endomorphs are usually short and have thick arms and legs meaning they are naturally more efficient at leg exercises like the squat. Even though most endomorphs think they are destined to be fat, this not not true but you will have to diet harder than any body type and can’t get away with piling on junk food like the other two body types
Training for different body types
How to train for body type is a tricky question and is different because of the bone, hormone and muscular structure.
- Ectomorphs should focus mainly on compound movements like the bench press, squat and deadlift and shoud thus mainly work their training around these movements. Rest periods should be between 1-3 minutes and limited cardio should be used. Lastly remember since your body is naturally skinny you do not want to focus on isolation exercises. Workout for at least 5 days a week because your muscles will need to be stimulated enough for proper hypertrophy.
- Mesomorphs are genetically gifted and thus respond well to any training plan. Stick to upper and lower body days with each exercise being in the 8-12 rep range and workout at least 4 days a week. With mesomorphs the rest should be 30-60 seconds maximum supplemented with 2-3 days of cardiovascular activity.
- Endomorph training is cardio fused with weight training. Because endo’s can gain fat easily it is recommended to do at least 4-6 days of cardio. Weight training should be given more importance and a lot of supersets should be incorporated in your training to primarily make use of the afterburn effect so that your body builds more muscle and thus keeps the fat off.
Nutrition for different body types
- Ectomorph nutrition is tough because you would need to eat at least 6-8 meals in a day for your body to grow, because ecto’s have a high metabolic rate along with their high carbohydrate tolerance. Due to their high carbohydrate tolerance, ecto’s should emphasize carbohydrates in their diets and especially during post-workout. The fun part here is that junk will not hinder your physique but help it because cheat meals can be effectively used to keep your caloric intake above maintenance. Have a heavy breakfast full of carbs and don’t forget to invest in a quality mass gainer supplement.
- Mesomorphs should focus on getting slow digesting carbs with quality protein and fats. Because they are usually apt at building muscle, using a 40-40-20 rule is best for mesomorphs meaning 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat from your daily caloric intake. Mesomorphs while working out may supplement with a BCAA supplement to refuel themselves although water is also fine. Fast digesting carbs should be only taken after workout or after a fast, during breakfast.
- Endomorphs are predisposed to gain more fat and thus surprisingly should use more fat, healthy fat, to lose the pounds and keep them off. Using a keto style diet or a ratio of 25-35-40 is optimal for endomorphs meaning 25% carbs, 35% protein and 40% fat. Fat digesting carbs should be limited to post workout window and other carbs should also be restricted.
None of these body types are absolute as you must have realised. In fact all of us are a combination of meso-ecto or meso-endo. It is difficult to find a pure ecto or pure endomorph. As stated before, there is no set workout and supplementation plan for your body type so you need to identify and then modify your current plan to fit your body type. Stages in our lives like puberty and menopause can affect the body types as can consistent training and diet.
Figured out your body type? List them in the comments below!