We all come in different shapes and sizes, but did you know that there’s a classification for different body types that may determine what your ideal training program should look like? And more importantly what your realistic goals should be? For instance, my friends and I have this ongoing joke that some girls could wake up, do a little Tai Chi in the park, eat like a horse and still look like a bean poll (must be nice). While others bust their butts on the treadmill, trying to manage their portion control, and still don’t seem to achieve their desired weight loss goals. It’s important to consider your body type when creating realistic fitness, and health goals. Also for knowing what kind of training, and diet you should be adopting to achieve these goals!
If you are the classic “Tai Chi in the park” type of person who decides to become a bodybuilder, you are going to have a hard time gaining muscle and will have to consume A LOT of calories in order to pack on muscle mass. At the same time, a naturally curvy woman who sets unrealistic weight loss goals to achieve a model thin physique is going to have a hard time keeping weight off, without an over the top training regime and low caloric intake.
In order to be truly healthy it’s important to know our body type, respect our natural physique, and set our goals accordingly. Here are the 3 body types.
An ectomorph is the typical skinny, bean pole type build, like Twiggy seen above. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs. Their shoulders, wrists, ankles, calves, and waist, tend to be thinner than most with little width. It is very hard for ecto’s to gain muscle as they typically have a fast metabolism. Heavy lifting as a training regiment may be difficult for them, and hard on their bodies as a result of their smaller joints. Yoga is the perfect option for an ectomorph, it will encourage muscle growth overtime without putting strain on the joints. If you are going to hit the gym as an ectomorph, workouts should be short, intense, and focused on big muscle groups. In order to put on muscle ectomorphs will most likely need to eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night.
A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding, more like Arny. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. Usually a combination of weight training and cardio works best for mesomorphs. Specifically in women mesomorphs are that classic hourglass shape, and would definitely respond well to Pilates reformer workouts or body weight training like in Pilates mat work.
The endomorph body type is solid with a generally soft exterior. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs, more like Adele. Their bigger muscles are strong, especially in the upper legs, meaning they can preform leg exercises like squats with ease. Endomorphs gain fat extremely easily, so in order to keep fat gain to a minimum they benifit greatly from training cardio as well as weights or Pilates of course. To control their weight and encourage muscle growth, endos can benefit from a high protein intake in their diet.