Have you exhausted your body with multiple workouts and trendy diets in order to get the results you want? Perhaps you’re tired, can’t manage to find time to workout, or maybe your job has you bogged down and stressed out?
The problem may be that you are expending unnecessary energy doing exercises that contradict what your body needs in order to get the results you want. Once you understand your body type, you will begin to understand why less is more, and maximize your workout time.
Everything you need to know about the best fitness plan for your body type is right here.
The 3 Different Body Types
First of all, there are three body types:((International Sports Sciences Association, Fitness: The Complete Guide, Nutritional Coaching, Edition 9, pg. 608))
- The thin ectomorph,
- The thick endomorph
- The muscular mesomorph
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If you aren’t aware of these categories, you have probably been training your body in a way that doesn’t support your body type and, therefore, you’re lethargic, you can’t gain muscle mass, and you can’t lose weight to save your life. It is likely that you are over-working your body instead of allowing it to do the work it was intended to do.
Part of my preparation for this article was a long hike in Los Angeles’ highly populated hiking trail, Runyon Canyon. As I hiked, I assessed each person’s body that I came into contact with. Not surprisingly, the majority of hikers had a mixture of body types. For example, I saw a woman whose body was more muscular in her arms, shoulders, and back – a mesomorph – but her lower body stored more fat in her thighs, hips, and buttocks — That of of an endomorph. I also saw a man who was both lean and muscular which placed him in the ectomorph-mesomorph category.
So while the three body types are a good guide to pinpointing the type of workout you need, keep in mind that there are variables. In some cases, it may be necessary to train your body differently for your upper body than your lower body. That is, perform a combination body-type workout.
The Fitness Plan for Endomorph Body Type
If you have the body of an endomorph, watch out! Your body likely stores more fat than the other two body types.
The trick is to head the fat off at the pass. In other words, regularly do cardio, almost daily, and perform weight-training exercises that burn fat.
Exercises, such as high reps and low weight speed up your metabolism, especially if you’re female. For weight-training, concentrate on the larger muscle groups, such as thighs, glutes, and back. The bigger the muscle group, the more calories you will burn.
In addition, multi-joint exercises for the lower body work best. For example, a squat involves the knees and hip flexors, while a leg extension only involves the knees:
If you’re not a gym rat, cycling and hiking are also multi-joint movements that burn calories.
If you stay consistent, you will see the pounds melt away.
The Fitness Plan for Ectomorph Body Type
So what if you’re tall, skinny, and have little muscle mass? Well, that would make you an ectomorph. You likely have a fast metabolism, a lot of energy, and eat whatever you want, which in many ways is a blessing, but in other ways a curse.
If gaining mass is your goal, you’ll have to work just as hard to maintain it as a person whose metabolism is slow and wants to lose weight.
So what’s the solution for an ectomorph? Less cardio, more weight-lifting, and more food!
Nutrition is extremely important for the skinny ectomorph. You must eat within one hour of your workout with a meal consisting of complex carbohydrates, like brown rice, protein – such as chicken or fish – and green leafy vegetables, preferably kale or spinach which are full of potassium. Your body needs potassium, especially after a workout, to replenish electrolytes.
Because the ectomorph has a speedy metabolism, you will need to lift heavy weight, do low reps, and take long rest breaks, about three to five minutes, between sets of no more than five, with four different exercises, which are also referred to as “Giant Sets”.((FitnessHealth101.com: “Giant Sets Routine”))
If you are performing the exercises correctly, using slow, controlled form, your body begins to heat up due to the energy used throughout the exercises. And when your body needs energy, it begins to look for stored resources like, muscle. We don’t want that. Therefore, three to five sets is key.
Begin with light weight to warm up your muscles, with 15 reps. Rest for one minute. In your first “Giant Set,” perform 12 reps with a weight load in which you can (only) perform 12 reps. Rest for five minutes.
In your next set, perform 10 reps with a weight load in which you can (only) perform 10 reps. Rest for five minutes. Get the picture? Perform another two sets with the previous instructions, dropping down to eight, then six reps.
With the combination of proper nutrition and weight-training, you should see results within a month.
The Fitness Plan for Mesomorph Body Type
Onto the mesomorph – The physique that everyone wants. A well-balanced, symmetrical body, the mesomorph doesn’t need to work hard to retain muscle.
The mesomorph is not without its challenges, however. Because this body type gains weight quickly, it is prone to becoming bloated when too many carbohydrates are consumed. The mesomorph must consume protein and vegetables to maintain their muscular physique.
As long as the mesomorph hits the weight room a few times per week, watches his/her diet, and stretches in order to lengthen bulky muscles, they need not kill themselves with a lot of cardiovascular activity. Explosive, anaerobic cardio, such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for up to 20 minutes is ideal.
Supersetting is the mesomorph’s friend. Because the mesomorph is able to retain muscle mass, it need only chisel its physique to expose muscle. For example, rapid workouts comprised of 15 reps per body part, with no rest in between, will sharpen the mesomorph frame.((International Sports Sciences Association, Fitness: The Complete Guide, Edition 9, Body Composition, Page 361))
Stay away from heavy weight-training, cut down your cardio sessions, and you will see a chiseled physique in no time.
Essential Advice for Your Diet
Body-type exercises alone will not work. Nutrition is a key component in getting your body to run like a well-oiled machine. In the following, you will see that the three body types have their own formula, comprised of exercise and proper food to maximize results. Your diet must be low in sugar. Sugar turns to fat and slows down the fat-burning process.
So, stay away from simple carbs, like candy, and “bad” complex carbs like white rice, white pasta, white flour, and white bread.((International Sports Sciences Association, Nutrition: The Complete Guide, “The Macronutrients,” pg.156)) These are refined carbohydrates that cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, causing our body to crave more of the same.
Even some fruits are better for you than others. For example, pears and apples are lower in sugar than papaya and pineapple. Instead, eat “good” carbs like fibrous whole grains, vegetables, and beans that slowly digest into your bloodstream. The slower the digestion of these “good” carbs, the less hungry you’ll be throughout your day.
Now that you know what it takes to achieve results, you can begin to take your body’s appearance to the next level. No more time constraints due to a busy schedule and lack of energy because now you have the proper tools to transform your body and save time.
It is not necessary to spend up to two hours on a workout. Simply pinpoint your body type and implement a nutrition and exercise plan that reflects an endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph, or any combination of the three.
In addition, consider getting a BMI test (Body Mass Index) so that you know the amount of fat your body has.((Heart.org: “Healthy Living,” Body Mass Index (BMI) In Adults))
There you have it! Knowing which fitness plan is best for your body type will save you from frustration and get your body to where you’ve always wanted it to be.