With beach weather almost here, I wanted to write a series of articles focused on body fitness. Whether you’re a gym junkie or new to the fitness world, the first and most powerful thing you need to do is educate yourself and develop your game plan. All too often I see gym goers with incorrect form, unfocused effort, and eating habits not matching their fitness goals (click here to learn about goal setting). For me, what brought the most success in the gym was self-education myself and coaching from others. Everything from reading fitness books/magazines, to watching YouTube videos, and even hiring a personal trainer. Knowledge is power!
So, what is step one of your fitness game plan? Discover your body type and develop your fitness around that. Our bodies are different; therefore, we must find what works for our body type to bring the most success and outsmart our genetic predispositions. There are three types of bodies, identified by William Herbert Sheldon: Endomorphs, Ectomorphs, and Mesomorphs. Learning what each is and understanding how your type can affect your training and diet plans will help you maximize your results.
Ectomorphs are people who have elongated, slim, and thin muscles/limbs. They are often hard gainers, struggling to gain muscle or store fat. This is where I have identified myself: someone that doesn’t store fat but struggles desperately when it comes to gaining muscle.
For an ectomorph to see the best results in their overall fitness they need to focus on consuming a very high calorie diet, especially if you are in a bulking period. For me I have to eat a roughly 3,000 to 3,500 calorie-per-day diet to even start seeing any gains, otherwise I loose both fat and muscle. I plan to cover more in depth on another blog proper diet plans for each body.
Endomorphs are characterized as big boned, high body-fat storage, and often pear-shaped. These are people who struggle to lose weight or who put on fat easily. Don’t panic if this might be you, there are solutions and methods to bring you results. For endomorphs, you want to focus on high intensity workouts, ideally interchanging weight training and cardio. As for diet, you will want to restrict your calorie intake, especially if your initial goal is to loose weight. Don’t fall for the trap of wanting to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. To see highest levels of success, focus on one at a time.
These are the people we all envy, when it comes to body types, they have hit the genetic lottery! They have a medium bone structure, low fat storage, and are predisposed to build muscle. Fortunately, these people don’t have to be as strict in their diet or fitness, however don’t take this body type for granted! Just because it comes easier for you than others, don’t let your drive and motivation decrease. Stay focused and driven at the gym!
Remember that there are three body types, but they aren’t set in stone. You very well may fall in between two body-type categories or as you age your metabolism may shift your type. Overall, identifying your type and adjusting your fitness game plan accordingly will bring you the best results! Our genetic body type is just a starting point for us to begin our fitness journey, it isn’t to be used as a crutch for developing fitness goals. Don’t allow yourself to fall into traps like these:
“I’m an endomorph, therefore I shouldn’t bother”
“He can just look at a weight and grow bigger, not fair”
Don’t fall for these self-deceptions. Whatever your fitness goals are you can achieve them with the right diet and exercise. One could argue there have been plenty of endomorphs who changed their lives with dramatic results in their overall fitness and many mesomorphs who had no drive or focus to reach their fitness goals and experienced limited fitness success.. The reality is we are dealt our genetic hand–that’s just fact-but it’s what we do with it that makes the difference! How badly do you want it?