When you are weight training or strength training, it is important to know your specific body type. Not every human is created equal and not every human can pack on muscle the same. You know how they say that genetics plays a huge part in your size? They are not kidding. That is not to say that genetics are the only factor. While some people will have an easier time putting on muscle and losing fat, the fact of the matter is that, regardless of what body type you are, you will not go very far without hard work and dedication.
When you look at the various body types, it is important to note that, although we will talk about the three major body types – the ectomorph, the mesomorph and the endomorph, it is not that cut and dry. You may (and probably will) fall into more than one of these categories. It is very likely that your body type will contain characteristics of each of the bog three.
In order to determine your body type, one needs to look back to their adolescent years to determine which characteristics their body type possessed before changes due to age and lifestyle transformed them into what they are today.
A thin, delicate build usually characterizes the ectomorph. This individual has trouble gaining weight and muscle growth takes much longer to achieve and is harder to maintain. The ectomorph is very lean with little body fat and usually very little muscle mass. These individuals tend to be like the endurance athletes such as long distance marathon runners or the tall, very lean super-models.
If you fall into this category, take a look at the members in your family. It might just be that you inherited a predisposition to thinness. What the ectomorph needs to do is add more calories to his or her diet. The way to do this is not by eating larger meals but by eating more calories over several smaller meals. By adding an additional five hundred (500) to one thousand (1000) calories per day spread out over five (5) to seven (7) meals you give your system a chance to utilize more of the calories consumed.
Look at the foods you are currently consuming and then either add to them or look at other food sources that are more calorie dense. Add dried fruits in addition to fresh or maybe eat more nuts and grains. As an ectomorph you can increase you fat intake upwards to around thirty (30) percent but make sure that your consuming the majority from unsaturated fat sources such as fish and vegetable oil for example.
When it comes to exercise, the ectomorph needs to limit outside activities other than weight training. In order to build muscle, almost all energies should be put toward weight training exercises using low reps and heavy weight. You will also need to rest more due to the heavy strain. Workouts should be spaced about forty-eight (48) to seventy-two (72) hours apart.
Concentrate on compound movements such as the deadlift, squats, and reverse grip lat pulldowns and incline bench presses. The idea here is to build mass by working several major muscle groups at once, allow plenty of recovery time and worry about the definition later.
A hard, muscular body with a more mature appearance usually characterizes the mesomorph. This individual has little trouble gaining or losing weight and possesses the ability to rapidly pack on muscle mass. These are the “body beautiful” types that have little problem with being under or overweight. These individuals can usually eat whatever they want and miss workouts with almost no visible affect. This gift of genetics allows for a widely varied diet and diversity in training. These individuals are able to train heavy to build mass and definition at almost the same time.
The mesomorph should strive to consistently eat a health and well rounded diet limiting fat intake to around twenty (20) percent over four (4) to six (6) meals a day.
Consumption of protein should be in the ballpark of 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. One of the pitfalls with this body type is that the individual can become complacent by missing to many workouts or thinking that they can get away from eating a healthy diet and have an extra desert without doing any harm.
It is important for everyone including these individuals to eat a health diet and maintain consistent training because disease and health problems play no favorites regardless of how blessed you are with genetics. The affects of poor diet and lack-a-daisy training will eventually become evident especially in later years when your metabolism begins to slow down.
Exercise should be consistent including resistance train two to three times per week and aerobics either daily or on off days. Prioritize workouts to achieve the goals you aim to accomplish. As a mesomorph, you have a lot of freedom but don’t take it too much for granted.
The endomorph is usually characterized by a soft, round body and is usually a person of large stature. This individual has trouble losing weight but usually gains muscle rather easily. These individuals tend to be heavy with a high percentage of both body fat and muscle. Persons such as football linemen or extremely obese individuals would be example of those who would fall into this category. Diet and exercise both are of utmost importance to those of this body type. The first thing to do is begin with eating smaller meals several times a day.
By spacing out meals and snacks to every two (2) to three (3) hours, four (4) to six (6) times a day; you begin to speed up your metabolism. Never eat two (2) carbohydrate meals back to back as this encourages the accumulation of fat by allowing the body to be accustomed to using carbohydrate as a predominant fuel when the objective is to switch your metabolism to prefer fat. Another important factor is to eat most of your calories, especially for carbohydrates in the early part of the day and consume more protein in your meals as the day progresses.
The idea here is to avoid eating at night to reduce the amount of calories which leads to larger fat gains. A good rule to follow is to decide when your going to go to bed and back up three or four hours from that time. This is the time you should have finished your last meal. The other thing to remember here is to drink lots and lots of water.
The changes your system will be going through will need a lot of water to help speed up your metabolism and remove byproducts and waste toxins efficiently. The diet should consist of foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Eating lean proteins, avoiding dairy products as much as possible are the important factors. Allow yourself to eat foods you like but be sensible about your choices.
Regardless of your body type, there is a plan of attack to help you get the results you are looking for. The idea is to accept the body type you are and then follow a plan of action to eat and train for that body type. Remember that no matter which body type you are there is no substitute for hard work, commitment and perseverance to succeed in achieving your goals.