It is important you develop an understanding of your body type. This will greatly affect what type of weight training and fitness programme you require and your ability to achieve the short, medium and long-term goals that you have set yourself.
The Three Basic Body Types
Endomorphs are round in shape with a softer physical appearance. Often pear shaped with a round head, they carry a high percentage of body fat, usually around the lower body — mainly on the hips and stomach.
Mesomorphs are usually V-shaped, with narrow hips and broad shoulders. They are usually quite muscular and strong. People with this body type tend to have normal to below average body fat levels.
Ectomorphs are lean and long in appearance. They are often characterized by their short trunk and long limbs, narrow shoulders, hips, chest and abdomen. Ectomorphs have little or no fat or muscle.
It’s quite common, however, to have characteristics of more than one body type. For example, you might be an endo-meso or meso-ecto. Your body type is determined by genetics and no amount of weight training can alter what you were born with. If you happen to be an endomorph, all the training in the world will not make you an ectomorph. But you can improve on what you have been given. With the right kind of weight training programme suited to your body type you will be able to achieve your goals, whether that is losing weight or building lean muscle mass to create a leaner more toned physique.
What Do You Need?
Below are my guidelines to assist you in developing a training programme for your body type.
Endomorphs tend to have a higher percentage of body fat and usually have to work harder to lose it. If you do have this body type, you need to be vigilant when weight training, since added muscle mass can make your physique look bulky and larger, rather than slimmer and leaner. Endomorphs are usually best suited to swimming, light high-repetition weight training, walking and aerobic classes.
Mesomorphs, because of their naturally muscular, athletic physique, lose body fat quickly and gain muscular size easily. Muscular mesomorphs are ideal for any type of weight training or power sports like: powerlifting, sprinting, boxing, wrestling or martial arts.
Ectomorphs tend to make great long-distance runners, bikers and cross-country skiers. Ectomorphs usually have a faster metabolism and tend to lose body fat easily and because of this, may struggle to put on weight. When it comes to weight training, because ectomorphs have long slender limbs, they will have to work harder to build muscle mass.
Always remember to work with your body type when thinking of planning a weight training and fitness programme as this will guarantee you’ll achieve your desired short, medium and long-term goals faster.
Amazin is a Prana Samyama meditation Yin Yoga teacher and performance coach having trained Olympic athletes to special forces. She is also a former natural competitive bodybuilder and the first Vietnamese internationally published health and fitness author and DNA fitness trainer. For more info click on amazinlethi.com