No, I’m not talking “thick” versus “slim thick”, I’m also not referring to apple shaped versus pear shared, instead, I want to discuss how your body responds to diet and training. There are three main body types: Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph, understanding your body type enables you to plan a successful diet and exercise program. Note, height has little to do with body type.
What are these body types?
Do you feel like you gain weight by me just mentioning pizza and donuts? Then you may be an endomorph. People with this body type tend to gain weight more easily and then keep it on, but they also gain muscle easily. As an endomorph, you may have a wider frame (sometimes pear shaped), when compared to the two other groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as healthy, if not healthier. Endo’s tend to also have more muscle mass, since they can more easily gain it. When it comes to weight loss for this body type, though more challenging than the other groups, it is not impossible, it’ll just take extra effort.
How Does an Endomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?
This body type responds well to a high fat diet as they use fat for fuel. Weight training and consistent cardio is also an effective measure of working out. HIIT training would be great for this group, though HIIT is recommended as a great workout for all groups in moderation. Getting your heart rate pumping is great for calorie and fat burn, two things this group will want. Don’t know what HIIT is? Read up on my post on What HIIT is and Why You Should be Doing it HERE
Exercises: HIIT, Sprints, Jumping Jacks, moves that use body weight (squats, lunges, box jumps, etc.)
Endomorphs also tend to have a large appetite and as such need to eat foods high in fiber (oats, brown rice and veggies) and high in lean protein. Be wary of overeating.
*Not there are healthy fats and not so healthy fats, so be sure to know the difference when choosing meals.
I’m between an endomorph and a mesomorph.
Built with broader shoulders, the mesomorph gains muscle faster than the endomorph and tends to gain fat faster than the ectomorph, the “easy gainers”. This body type tends to be naturally more muscular and relatively fit, though they have to work to maintain this physique. This group can more easily bounce back to a healthy weight than the other two groups. Their body fat also tends to be distributed more evenly and with a quick response to new exercise programs, they tend to also have an efficient metabolism.
How Does a Mesomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?
This group also responds well to weight training and cardio is just a supplementary. Though all groups need to watch their calorie intake, it is critically important for this body type. Using machines like the stair stepper in the gym or plyometrics (like Jump & Jacks) are great for the mesomorph, incorporating cardio 2-3 times weekly.
Exercises: Train w/ a variety of rep ranges, tempos and methods, Circuit Training (running, pushups, squat jumps, squat thrusts, dips- 30 each exercise followed by 30 sec recovery), Strength Training (sets of 8-12 reps done at a moderate- heavy weight), Pilates, Yoga and Boot Camp Training.
Ectomorphs tend to have smaller frames and usually struggle to gain weight, body fat and muscle. This group has a high carb tolerance and an even higher metabolic rate, but that doesn’t mean that they should overindulge or overdue their calorie intake, everything in moderation. This group can achieve the physique they desire, as with the other groups, it’ll take work.
How Does an Ectomorph Lose or Maintain a Healthy Weight?
Those who are classified as ectomorphs should focus on compound movements as well as short intense workouts, not overdoing the cardio. Focus on lifting with proper form, use YouTube as a guide as how to complete certain movements.
I mentioned the high carb tolerance of this group, so a balanced diet inclusive of a lot of protein and carbs will do well if in weight maintaining mode. However, built more lean, this group would need to pack on the calories if they want to gain weight or muscle. Nutrient and calorie dense foods such as nuts, dried fruits and vegetables are good to increase shape or muscle.
Exercises: Core Training, Kickboxing Classes, Walking, Strength Work ( Chest exercises, lunges, deadlifts, leg presses, etc.) Focusing on every rep and with consistency and accuracy.
It is possible to not only switch between the groups in our lifetime, but to also be somewhere in between these groups at the same time. I mean the only constant thing in this life is change, so it makes sense that our body and needs of our body changes as we age. If you find yourself in between two groups modify the information above to fit your individual needs, combining training plans.
Use this information as a marker or as a guide when building your workout or nutrition plan to maintain a healthy weight, understanding your body handles certain nutrition and exercise types.
Not sure what your body type is? Take a test HERE