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Create a program that matches your body type

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

It’s been two months since you’ve heard from me. I was really busy in October, and I missed my deadline. I apologize for my oversight, and I’m glad to share my thoughts with you again.

Lots of things have happened since my last article. Our racing season officially ended on a very positive note. My husband and I won the overall in our respective categories in the Georgia Championship Series. Hours of training and hard work went into those wins, and we are very proud of them.

On a not-so-positive note, I recently found out that I have a herniated disc in my neck. My doctor thinks that it probably happened when I crashed in a bike race in August. I’ve been experiencing pain in my left shoulder blade, numbness down my left arm and loss of strength on that same side. Surgery is not an option for me at this point as I hope medication and physical therapy will get me back to normal.

My last article talked about my desire to get back into running during the fall. Well, this neck thing has slowed my running down somewhat, and I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t run any 5k races thus far. I plan to work on that before my next article. Promise.

I was reading an article in one of my fitness magazines not too long ago. The article began by comparing the three different body types — ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph.

I feel certain some of you are familiar with these. Ectomorphs are your typical skinny guys. They are thin and have a hard time gaining weight. My oldest son is an ectomorph. Mesomorphs are strong and athletic with well-defined muscles. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of these genetically gifted individuals. Endomorphs often have soft and round bodies. Their muscles are not so well defined and they have a hard time losing weight. As I type this and watch “The Voice,” Cee Lo Green flashes across the screen. He is definitely an endomorph.

I’ve been working out for 24 years. I’ve seen all sorts of shapes and sizes in the gym. I guess because I take my training so seriously, I get annoyed when I see someone not doing all they can to get the results they want. Do you know which body type you are? Do you train to maximize your results based on how your body is going to respond?

Are you an ectomorph? Ectomorphs have a hard time gaining weight. They have a fast metabolism, which burns up calories very quickly. I am definitely not an ecto. Ectos need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Their diets should consist of large amounts of protein and carbohydrates, and meals should be eaten every 2-3 hours. Workouts should be short and intense, focusing on big muscle groups. Cardio should be kept to a minimum. An ectomorph burns calories so quickly that cardio is not really necessary.

Mesomorphs have naturally athletic physiques and are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it easy to gain and lose weight They are naturally strong, which is perfect for building muscle. Mesos respond the best to weight training. They are lucky in that they usually see gains very quickly. Unfortunately, mesomorphs gain fat more easily than ectomorphs, meaning they must watch their caloric intake more closely. Proteins and carbohydrates with lower glycemic indices should make up a majority of their calories each day. Resistance training should be the core of any meso’s workout plan; however, moderate cardio is also essential to keeping a lean, ripped look.

Endomorphs are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. When it comes to training, endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, a large portion of this weight is fat and not muscle. Endos need cardio training more than mesos and ectos because of their body’s resistance to fat burning. Do not translate this into, “Endomorphs do not need to weight train.” Weight training increases your muscle mass, which will increase your metabolism. What does that mean? Your body will burn fat more efficiently. Endos seeking to gain muscle and lose fat need to consume at least half of their calories from lean protein. Consume a medium to low amount of carbs and watch your fat intake. Sorry, endomorphs, your fitness journey is a little more difficult than the others.

These body types are not set in stone. Most people are a combination of two of them. Take the information that I’ve given you and figure out your body type (or body type combination). Are your workouts ideal for your body type? Life is busy and we want to use our time efficiently. Make sure your workouts are best suited for your body type. Everyone can have a leaner look. Everyone can gain some muscle. Everyone can lose fat. It may be harder for some than others but it is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work.

Remember, anything in life worth having is worth working for.

Michele Moulton has been a fitness instructor for more than 21 years and is a certified Spinning instructor. She teaches at PT Gym and is an avid cyclist. She is an accountant and a mother of two boys, Austin and Harrison.

Comments

Eddiejacks 2 years ago

While there may be an understanding that these body types are commonly described and discussed, they actually have more to do and were intended by Dr. Sheldon to merely describe personality types and the physical characteristics associated with such. At exude.com fitness, we explain the real physiology through the world’s only medically-proven and patented system of true body types with relation to exercise by demonstrating and explaining the best exercises for Hourglass®, Spoon®, Ruler® and Cone® shaped individuals. This is the key to changing and ridding your body of problem-areas and the most important factor to achieving your aesthetic goals while exercising.

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