Today we’re going to take a look at the three different body types. A word that gets thrown around a lot within the health and fitness industry is GENETICS. Are we genetically stuck with a certain body type or do we have the ability to change/adapt that body type. The first thing to know is that the human body is categorized into three different extremes; Ectomorph (slim), Mesomorph (athletic and muscular) and Endomorph (round shape and carry more body fat).
Characteristics of an ectomorph: Ectomorphs have a smaller body frame and are very lean. For an ectomorph it is hard to build serious muscle due to an extremely fast metabolism. Because the metabolism is so fast, the body tends to eat in to the stores that the body requires in order to build muscle. However, building muscle is not impossible for an ectomorph. In order to build muscle you have to make sure you’re in a calorie surplus of your maintenance calorie requirement. As an ectomorph you may also have to increase the amount of protein you’re consuming. 1-1.5g of protein per lb. of bodyweight is the required daily amount, however as an ectomorph you might look at increasing this figure to 1.5-1.75g of protein per lb. of bodyweight.
When it comes to training, the big compound movements are going to be far more beneficial to an ectomorph as they’re going to stimulate a greater release of the anabolic hormones testosterone and growth hormone. The benefit for ectomorphs is that their recovery period will also be quicker, allowing for muscle groups to be trained more frequently throughout the week. Now 2 things you really need to avoid as an ectomorph if you’re looking to build muscle are a) THE TREADMILL and B) SKIPPING MEALS. Cardio will only put you further in a caloric deficit. Skipping meals will also make it that much harder for you to end up in a caloric surplus and trust me, if you skip one meal, it becomes almost impossible to catch up. As an ectomorph you would rather have a ‘bad’ meal than miss a meal altogether, you NEED the calories.
Characteristics of a mesomorph: The ‘envied’ bunch in the fitness industry. It’s a misconception within the industry that mesomorphs are born like Greek gods, can eat whatever they want and build muscle purely by looking at a dumbbell. There is no doubt that mesomorphs build muscle at a faster rate, they can also stay relatively lean whilst still sliding off their nutrition plan slightly, but don’t be fooled into thinking they don’t have to work for it. Mesomorphs still have to work hard and correctly in the gym to ensure the results stay. Making easy gains is most definitely a blessing, however if abused, injuries can occur so proper technique and form is essential even for the easy gaining mesomorph. Mesomorphs have to watch their nutrition more than an ectomorph, an ectomorph will almost certainly stay lean regardless of what they intake (that doesn’t make it healthy) however mesomorphs will gain fat if they consistently overlook ‘clean’ healthy eating.
Characteristics of an endomorph: This body type is often the one people would least like to have, however if used to your advantage can be a blessing in disguise. Endomorphs gain muscle weight and fat weight rather easily. Whilst it might be easy to build large pectorals, it’s also easy to build a spare tire around your waist. Endomorphs gain fat weight easily, but it’s important to remember that you HAVE to over consume on calories in order to gain weight.
More calories burned than consumed = weight loss
More calories consumed than burned = weight gain.
Therefore for endomorphs it’s extremely important to keep the amount of carbohydrates consumed down in order to keep the calories down. Keep the protein and fat intake high whilst keeping the carbs down.
When it comes to exercise, endomorphs recover faster than the mesomorphs but slower than the ectomorphs. How do you decide when to train a muscle group again? Purely when you’re ready, if you can push through it and train again, go ahead! Endomorphs should definitely be doing cardio, with a mixture of continuous training and HIIT training (high intensity interval training). This will increase your chance of being in a caloric deficit and help boost the metabolism. Remember though, the only way to permanently increase your metabolism is to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is (there is a direct correlation).
Ladies, when I talk about building muscle, I’m not talking about building huge mountains of muscle, just good quality lean muscle mass. The main anabolic hormone responsible for muscle gain is testosterone; men produce about 8x more than females hence the male ability to build more muscle mass at a faster rate. Women also have elevated levels of estrogen, making it again even harder to build huge amounts of muscle. A muscle can only do two things; Atrophy (get smaller) or Hypertrophy (get bigger) there is no such thing as toning.
So, before you start to exercise or go on a nutrition plan, make sure you know which body type you predominantly are. There aren’t many people that are an extreme case and most people will normally be a combination of two. Next time you blame your genetics for the way you look, remember that everything is workable.
If you are an ectomorph and you’re complaining about not being able to build muscle and gain weight but are only consuming 1500 calories per day, bump it up.
Likewise if you’re an endomorph and are complaining that you’re overweight and can’t lose it, decrease the amount of carbs you’re consuming and increase the amount of cardio you do.
Ask yourself this very important question, ‘am I doing everything in my power to make the most of what I have?’ And if the answer is no, remember that you’re in control. If you’re not actively doing anything to change,
then don’t be surprised about the results you’re not getting,
Thanks for reading, get out there and get those results!
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