Did you know that it is important to train according to your body type? Your body type is predominantly genetic, but that doesn’t mean you are doomed to your genetics. There are ways you can train in order to make the most out of your body type and have the body you’ve always wanted!
The three body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. You can get a good idea of what those body types look like and where they are prone to store more fat (or muscle) from the image below.
Are you able to identify which body type you are? Not everybody is going to fit exactly into one or the other, but you might notice that there is one that is more predominant. Let’s break it down a bit further and talk about each body type in more detail as well as how you should approach your strength and cardio training in order to maximize results.
The Ectomorph is naturally very thin, has narrow hips and shoulders, very low body fat and very thin arms and legs. The Ectomorph might say things like, “No matter how much I eat, I cannot seem to gain weight.” Quite contrary to popular belief, not everyone is looking to lose weight.
- Train with heavy weights and lots of rest in between sets (2-3 minutes) as well as in between exercises (5 minutes).
- Only train 1-2 body parts per training day to avoid too much caloric expenditure.
- Aim for 5-10 reps and 6-8 sets of each exercise.
- Take plenty of rest in between workouts and never train a muscle group that is sore. And if you’re feeling really sore, try out foam rolling for recovery.
- Very minimal cardio.
- Moderate and low-intensity bike rides and brisk walks (think of them more as relaxing cardio activities to reduce stress).
The Mesomorph is kind of in between the Ectomorph and the Endomorph. They are able to put on muscle easily and genetically are the ideal body type for bodybuilding. They have very strong legs, broad shoulders and a narrower waist. Generally, they also have very low body fat as well.
- The more varied the training, the better the results.
- Light, moderate and heavy weight training as well as bodyweight training.
- Basic exercises (squats, lunges, deadlifts, rows, chest press, shoulder press, etc.) with heavy weights, followed by isolation exercises with moderate/light weights.
- Aim for 8-12 reps for most exercises. When it comes to leg training, you can incorporate really heavy weights with around 6 reps and really light or no weights at around 25-30 reps for 3-5 sets.
- Add in any other strength training activity that you think is fun and want to try out, like this resistance band workout.
- 3 days per week of cardio for 15-30 minutes.
- Mix in a combination of both HIIT training and LISS training.
The Endomorph is more round and pear-shaped. They tend to store more body fat throughout the entire body, especially in the legs and arms. It’s much harder for the Endomorph to put on muscle and much easier to gain weight. Work towards becoming more fit and healthy — it just might take a bit more time and effort than for the Mesomorph.
- Total-body workouts with compound movements to burn the most calories. This can be a mix of bodyweight training as well as moderate weight lifting.
- Avoid heavy weight lifting with low reps.
- Aim for 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets for upper body and 12-20 reps for lower body.
- After reaching initial weight loss goals, it is okay to start to isolate muscles you want to shape a bit more.
- Incorporate cardio a minimum of 3x per week for 20-30 minutes in your target heart rate zone.
- Make your cardio training easy on the knees and low-impact (swimming, biking, hiking, walking, elliptical).