Are you naturally big boned? Naturally skinny? Do you have a naturally fast metabolism – or a more sluggish metabolism?
Each and every one of us has a distinctive body type and shape. There is very little we can do to alter that. The more you understand your body type – the better you can effectively improve your physique.
In scientific studies conducted in the 1940s, psychologist, W.H. Sheldon identified three basic body types; ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. A lot has changed since the 1940’s; but those three basic body type descriptions are still used today. Not everyone will fit easily or obviously into one of those three categories, but understanding the differences between them can help you optimise your workouts.
We all have that one friend that can eat, and eat, and never gain any weight. That is one of the hallmarks of an ectomorph body. Ectomorphs are naturally lean, traditionally with narrow shoulders and hips, and a fast metabolism. Many tall people fall into this body type, but height alone is not a determining factor here.
Although having a naturally slim physique may seem like a blessing, ectomorphs typically struggles to gain significant muscle mass – but it is not impossible. Ectomorphs need to train fairly heavily accordingly, and at a slow pace, with accordingly longer rest periods between sets. It is recommended for this body type not to train too often or for too long, and to keep aerobic activities to a minimum.
Eat a diet that is high in quality, whole foods. This body type needs to eat more than some people, and more often. Those who are ectomorphs should consider adding a protein supplement to their exercise routine and diet. A particularly good supplement would be a mass gainer like Bulk Muscle, a great option for as a meal replacement.
That is correct, being “big boned” is actually a thing. Such big boned people are probably endomorphs, and have naturally heavier bone structures. Another hallmark of endomorphs is having wide waists and hips that form square torsos. Unlike their fellow ectomorphs, endomorphs add body mass easily, thanks to having a slower metabolism. This same slower metabolism means that they have to work harder to get lean, and to stay lean.
To attain and maintain a lean physique as an endomorph, it is necessary to be diligent about training and nutrition; adopt it as a lifestyle choice. Do strength training with moderate weights, and at a fast pace. Use this weight training as a form of cardio, making sure to get your heart pumping. More traditional cardio exercises should be added, to ensure a constant emphasis on fat loss.
When it comes to diet, this body type needs to track their calories. Eat small, frequent meals, and avoid sweets, sugar and junk food at all costs. For endomorphs, protein shakes are an easy meal option, with the BPI Sports ISO HD range being the purest, low-calorie protein around.
Mesomorphs are very blessed physically, traditionally having as they do. This lucky body type has naturally pleasing proportions, typically with wide clavicles and narrow hips that form that coveted V-taper. Unsurprisingly, many of the greatest bodybuilders in history have been mesomorphs. Mesomorphs are often blessed with an ideal metabolism, easily gaining muscle and not fat.
This body type should train with moderate to heavy weights, keeping a moderate pace. This body type can train often, and for long periods of time, but mesomorphs should be careful not to overdo it. When happy with their muscle size, mesomorphs should simply train to maintain. For this body type, cardio should come in the form of aerobic activities, but does not have to be a regular focus.
With mesomorphs naturally sending nutrients to muscle, not fat, food and nutrition is pretty straightforward. This body type should typically base their diet on whole foods, deriving their protein from whole foods (or supplements) – and their body type will do the rest.