What Is The Best Workout For An Endomorph?

What is the best workout for an endomorph? Endomorphs are at a disadvantage because their bodies carry more fat and resist most efforts to get rid of it. Here are some great workouts and foods to help you lose the fat!

The Question:

Endomorphs are at a disadvantage because their bodies carry more fat. In addition this extra fat seems to resist most efforts to get rid of it.

What is the best workout for an endomorph? Be specific.

How does an endomorph's workout differ from a mesomorph and ectomorph's workout?

What are some good foods for an endomorph?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

  1. TwinIam View Profile
  2. soundcheck129 View Profile

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2nd place - 50 in store credit.

1st Place - TwinIam

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What Is An Endomorph?

An endomorph is an individual who has "a heavy rounded body build often with a marked tendency to become fat".1 In bodybuilding lingo - an endomorph is a person whose bulking period is marked by a large amount of fat gain in addition to muscle gain, and whose cutting period is marked by a long and difficult attempt at fat loss.

These trainees need to take extra care in planning their training and diet, as their tendency to gain fat compounds the challenges of bodybuilding.

What Is The Best Workout For An Endomorph?


Endomorphic bodybuilders need to get their butts to the gym as often as they can without overtraining. Four days of weight training throughout the week will ensure that the afterburn increased metabolic response from each training session will spill over into all rest days.

One or two cardio days should also be included throughout the week. However, no matter if an endomorph is bulking or cutting, weight training should be the main focus. An increased amount of muscle mass will increase their base metabolic rate, thereby decreasing the chance of storing/holding onto fat cells.

Weight Training Should Be The Main Focus Of An Endomorph's Workout.

Weight Training Should Be The
Main Focus Of An Endomorph's Workout.

Here are a few sample week-long workout plans:

High Frequency - 6 Gym Days

Medium Frequency - 5 Gym Days

Low Frequency - 4 Gym Days

Workout Content

The exercises that an endomorph selects for their workouts need to be compound, high-intensity exercises. Exercises with the maximum amount of muscle recruitment, such as squats, increase potent muscle-building hormones significantly. Plan your workout around these basic movements, with isolation exercises after stabilizer muscles have been exhausted.

Some good, high muscular recruitment exercise selections for each body part:








Keep the set range to 12-20 sets (3-5 sets per exercise), depending on your intensity level and ability to recover. I am a big fan of going to failure, but don't abuse the technique. Pick a weight that allows you to fail at 8-12 reps (the "magic rep range").

After each workout, hit your cardio machine of choice (preferably the treadmill - that fat-burning king) and crank out 15-30 minutes of cardio. After weight training, your muscles will be depleted of their preferred energy source (glycogen) and start consuming adipose body tissue for energy. Opt for interval training (2 minutes slow, 1 minute fast, etc), as this type of training has been shown to elicit the greatest hormonal response.2

How Does An Endomorph's Workout Differ From Other Body Types?

An endomorph's workout should not differ greatly from those who gain muscle easily without significant fat gain. People of all body types should be pushing themselves to the limit and performing no more than 20 sets per body part, to reduce the risk of overtraining.

People Of All Body Types Should Be Pushing Themselves To The Limit.

People Of All Body Types Should
Be Pushing Themselves To The Limit.

The only difference should be the added cardio at the end of an endomorph's workout - mesomorphs and ectomorphs do not need to complete this cardio, as their bodies naturally don't store fat readily.

What Are Some Good Foods For An Endomorph?


  • Whole Grain Breads
  • Pasta (contrary to popular belief, even white flour pasta has a low Glycemic Index value - nearly all varieties have a Glycemic Index under 50. Remember that the GI value rises with increased cooking time, however, so order your pasta al dente - that is, slightly firm).
  • Yams (not sweet potatoes, which possess a slightly higher GI value (59 to yams' 37) due to a high maltose content3).
  • Beans
  • Fruits (usually an excellent source of fructose, which primarily replenishes liver glycogen. Don't go overboard, though - the liver can only store about 100g of glycogen4 , and excess will spill over into adipose body tissue).
  • Brown / Wild Rice




Remember, don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Your body stores fat more readily, so you will need to make up for that drawback with intensity, consistency, and commitment. Good luck, and happy training!

  1. "endomorphic." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009. Merriam-Webster Online. 11 February 2009 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endomorphic
  2. Gray, A. B., R. D. Telford, and M. J. Weidemann. "Endocrine response to intense interval exercise." European Journal of Applied Physiology (2004): 366-71. SpringerLink. 10 Dec. 2004. 13 Feb. 2009 http://www.springerlink.com/content/g367245g54h70r01/.
  3. 1994. The Glycemic Index. University of Sydney. 14 Feb. 2009.
  4. Beckett, Brian S. Illustrated Human and Social Biology. New York: Oxford UP, 1981. Google Scholar. Google. 14 Feb. 2009.
  5. Descheemaeker, Koen, and Ignace Debruyne, eds. Soy and Health 2002. Kessel-Lo/Leuven: Garant Uitgevers N.V., 2002.
  6. Slooten, Travis V. "Egg Protein: The "Gold Standard" for Protein Quality." Men's Total Fitness 2008. 14 Feb. 2009 http://www.mens-total-fitness.com/egg-protein.html.
  7. Sebokova, Elena, Garg, Manohar L., Wierzbicki, Antoni, Thomson, Alan B. R., Clandinin, M. Thomas Alteration of the Lipid Composition of Rat Testicular Plasma Membranes by Dietary (n-3) Fatty Acids Changes the Responsiveness of Leydig Cells and Testosterone Synthesis J. Nutr. 1990 120: 610-618

2nd Place - soundcheck129

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Some guys (and girls) have it all. Unfortunately for endomorphs, 'all' sometimes refers to additional body fat, something that no one wants more than their fair share of. But bodybuilding is all about sculpting one's figure into a more desirable form, and with the right diet and training, one can kiss the classification good bye.

What Is The Best Workout For An Endomorph?

In order to keep unwanted fat at bay, endomorphs should use a regimen that combines cardio and weight-lifting. This will keep the metabolism high and burn more calories than either method would alone. Also, I'd recommend a four-day split to maximize the amount of activity without sacrificing potential growth.

Instead of concentrating on individual body parts and isolation exercises, though, endomorphs should concentrate on complex lifts and workouts that are more full-body oriented. Personally, I like Push/Pull splits because they work the entire body and are great for growth. An example would look like this:

  • Sunday: Push 1
  • Monday: Pull 1
  • Tuesday: Cardio
  • Wednesday: Push 2
  • Thursday: Pull 2
  • Friday: Cardio
  • Saturday: Off/Cardio

Push 1:

Click Here For A Printable Log Of soundcheck129's Push 1 Workout.

Pull 1:

Click Here For A Printable Log Of soundcheck129's Pull 1 Workout.

Push 2:

Click Here For A Printable Log Of soundcheck129's Push 2 Workout.

Pull 2:

Click Here For A Printable Log Of soundcheck129's Pull 2 Workout.

Before each session, 10 minutes of ab work may be beneficial. After each session, I'd recommend at least 20 minutes of HIIT. Cardio days should consist of a 10 minute, low intensity warm-up, followed by 30-40 minutes of intervals and then a 10 minute cool-down.

I've split the days into high and low repetition sessions to keep your muscles guessing and to reap the benefits from each rep range. On the high rep day, you may want to add drop sets into the mix, preferably on the least taxing exercises; for example, a drop set would be suitable for shrugs, but not deadlifts.

How Does An Endomorph's Workout Differ From Other Body Types?

Because endomorphs tend toward having a pear-shaped figure and seem to carry extra fat, a workout geared toward endomorphs should do everything possible to burn existing fat and prevent gaining more. Therefore, endomorphs should concentrate on intense workouts, using techniques such as drop sets and supersets.

Also, full-body workouts and compound lifts offer more bang for the buck in terms of calorie expenditure due to their recruitment of many muscles. These lifts also raise one's metabolism to keep fat at bay during rest periods.

The additional cardio ensures that fat doesn't stand a chance. Such intensive weight-training probably wouldn't be appropriate for an ectomorph who is struggling just to maintain, and a mesomorph may find that he or she can pack on muscle with a three-day split or one that focuses on individual body parts. The high level of cardio, too, could be detrimental to the goals of ectomorphs and mesomorphs.

What Are Some Good Foods For An Endomorph?

Unfortunately, a poor diet can ruin even the most well-crafted workout plan. The most important consideration is to keep overall calories in check. No matter what the food, too many calories over maintenance level will cause fat gain. But for those trying to cut, too few calories can have disadvantages.

Cutting calories may seem like an easy way to shed weight, but not eating enough will prevent one from being able to complete workouts and will actually encourage the body to store fat in extreme cases.

The nutritional value in one's diet is important as well. While I don't think that eating clean 100% of the time is absolutely necessary for non-competitors, I do acknowledge that some foods are more beneficial than others. As endomorphs don't have as many calories to work with, choosing nutrient-dense foods is important.

Lean protein such as chicken, turkey and seafood are great choices, but they don't have to be the only ones. Eggs, for example, are fattier, but contain vitamins and minerals.

For carbohydrates, vegetables such as potatoes and yams are great to fuel intense workouts. Fibrous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli are also nutrient-dense and are filling, an important fact for endomorphs to consider. Beans, whole-wheat pasta and oats are other high-fiber foods should be included as well.

And even though fat is a "bad" word, dietary fat is nothing to be afraid of or skimped on. Fat is necessary for many bodily functions and induces a feeling of satiety.

My favorite sources are almonds, peanuts, cashews and their associated butters, avocados and olive oil. These are all high in unsaturated fats. But saturated fats have advantages too, including supporting normal [muscle-building hormones] - so don't be afraid of some fatty meat, sour cream or dairy. The only fat I would warn against is artificial trans fat, which has absolutely no benefits.

Lastly, one should try to eat complete meals whenever possible. The combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates will keep you [steady all day]. For this reason, smaller, more frequent meals are preferable to infrequent, large meals, which may make one feel lethargic later on.

Just remember, enough effort can accomplish anything - so have fun and achieve the body of your dreams!