For sedentary peoples, the simple fact to move a bit and/ or "hit" the weight room sparingly will bring positives changes. Many others, like me, work hard to personalize their workout routines in order to get the best results possible in the shortest among of time. Doing so requires that we change our training (type of workouts, exercises, sets...) often, use ergogenics aids (supplements) and "Zig Zag" our diet in order to lose body fat and gain lean mass.
Since all of us are genetically different, the fact of knowing your "Body Type" can be of great help. It will help you in optimizing your goal, cleaning your diet and choosing the right style of exercises to adopt.
There are three different body types so to speak. While everybody is a mix of the three, we all have predominance for one particular type. Your "main" type will obviously be the one you can associate closely with!
Let's get a closer look at it and get a bit deeper in this subject:
Called the "gifted"ones, this type is genetically predisposed to great musculature gains. Usually very athletic looking, they have a good posture and are symmetric. For a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast, this is good news! Mesomorphs are said to build muscle mass faster then most people can and to be able to loose fat rapidly when on the right diet!
The best type of training is said to be achieved with heavy weight performed explosively (with great force output, intensity). Super sets, Compound sets and giants sets are useful here as they can produce significant gains. Always allow proper recovery, rest and variety as this style of workouts can easily lead to overtraining!
Cardiovascular exercises should be done 2-3 times a week for about 20-30 min per session. Intensity wise, moderate to high for fat burning purposes. Don't go over board as it is believed that Mesomorph could loose lean mass if cardio is too long/frequent!
Diet: Protein is the key. So be sure to get quality protein daily along with moderate amount of carbs (preferably low glycemic ones) and fat. Ideally, a Mesomorph should avoid weight fluctuation in order to gain/retain mass. Adopting a diet that is rich in nutritious and "clean" food will help you to keep your appetite and energy level stable (satisfied) and avoid cravings.
This particular body type is generally predisposed to higher body fat % accumulation. Known to have a "soft look", it is harder for them to trim and tone through exercises and diet. The good news is that Endomorph bone structure is wide and strong. This can be a bonus for your bodybuilding endeavor.
When choosing a type of workout, Endomorph should focus on enhancing their metabolism. Circuit training, Supersets, Compound Sets or other similar routines are beneficial. It is not recommended to use such heavy weights that will limit the total amount of reps to be performed. Repetition range of 10-15 is best. Shorter rests (30-60 sec max.) between sets are suitable to stay within your target heart rate.
Since Endomorph are said to be prone to carry extra body fat, cardiovascular training must be present and regular. If you have not train for a while, start off easy. The use of a heart rate monitor might come very handy for you here. It will allow you to keep within your target heart rate range in order to maximize fat loss. To find your target range, take 220 minus your age and multiply the result by the percentage of exertion you aim at working out at. A 30-40 min (including warm up and cool down) session would be suitable.
We all need to eat frequent yet complete smaller meal rather than 3 squares ones. Endomorphs are no exception to the rule! In fact, they benefit greatly from it as it is said to enhance their metabolism and keep their energy level more stables. Be sure to eat at least 5-6 meals per day. Meal replacement shakes and bars might help if you are on the go but don't forget to consume "real" food as well.
There is some great fat burners on the market now that could help you get started and shed the fat. Products like "Metabolic Thyrolean" from Prolab, "Guggulbolic" from Syntrax or even a good Green tea extract may work fine for you. I have recently tried "Synephrine" or "Citrus Aurentium" which is a "cousin" of Ephedrine but doesn't have the side effect to make you jittery yet still help in fat loss. If you have any health problem or condition, talk to your physician before taking any of these supplements!
Hard gainers in other words! Long leg/arms, low body fat %, and small muscles. While some women wouldn't find it to be a problem to have some of the characteristics of this body type, men will probably see it in a different way!
If you are an Ectomorph, you probably will benefit the most if you train with heavy weights. You will want to stimulate your muscles "deeply" in order to have the training response you want and increase your muscle mass. Exercises using barbell and dumbbell are great at achieving this. They allow you to use full range of motion and are said to be best at mimicking natural human body movement. By taking longer rests between sets (2-3 min), you can replenish your ATP level and lift intensively again.
Performing such workouts using heavy weight taxes your body and you will need to make sure you are resting and recovering fully between sessions.
Ectomorphs usually have a faster metabolism and burn their calories rapidly so don't be too concern about cardiovascular training for now. Unless you wish or have to do cardio for personal reasons, you should initially concentrate on gaining lean muscle mass by weight training.
Diet: Remember that your nutrition is at least 70-75 % of your overall training results! So even if you are naturally thin you need to eat complete, frequent and healthy meals/snacks. Always supplement with daily multi vitamins and minerals. There are other ergogenics aids that can benefit you as well. Things like amino acids, protein shakes or selected herbs provide you with an integrated approach to training and are yours to discover!
Always striving to achieve the "Perfect body" is not an easy task. It requires lots of sacrifices, organization and discipline. But Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way...