This is a topic I haven’t touched on before, but I thought was important to acknowledge. I think many people, especially when they get started out, see what someone else has done or the results they’ve had and they want to look like that person. Maybe someone has gotten absolutely ripped in 90 days, so they decide that it should be their goal to look like that after 1 round of P90X. But I think what we often overlook is the fact that people have different body types. What works for one person, might not necessarily work for someone else because their bodies are different. Your goals and how you plan to reach them need to take into account your body type. Maybe you tend to put on weight easier than other people. That can play a big role in your nutrition. Or maybe you’re a “hard gainer” and can’t seem to put on weight no matter what you do. So in this article, I want to cover the different body types and how they impact your training.
Ectomorphs are your typical “hard gainers”. This body type is characterized by:
-Difficult time gaining weight
-Very fast metabolism
-Lean muscle mass
If this is you, you probably struggle to gain weight because your metabolism is so fast. Often times these people can seemingly eat anything and not gain weight. If you fall into this category and are trying to bulk up, you’re going to have to eat a lot, and eat a lot consistently. Since it’s hard to put on weight in the first place, you have to worry less about putting on fat when you bulk up. Nutrition is very important, just in a different way than other body types.
Mesomorphs typically have a very athletic build with natural strength. This body type is characterized by:
-An athletic build
-Gain and lose weight fairly easily
-More easily build muscle and put on fat than ectomorphs
This is a great body type for bodybuilders or people looking to put on muscle. Since it’s easier to put on fat, you do have to make sure your nutrition is clean. It’s easier to put on weight and gain muscle which is great, but you’ll have to be conscious of your body fat percentage because that can creep up on you too. If you have this body type, you should see fairly quick gains in strength when beginning a workout program and you should be able to shed fat fairly well if you’ve put on a few pounds that you need to lose.
Endomorphs naturally hold more weight and more fat. This body type is characterized by:
-More body fat
-Thicker build and frame
-Build muscle and put on fat very easily
-Difficult to lose weight/fat
If this is you, you might struggle with losing weight or shedding fat. You find it very easy to gain weight and it seems like any cheat meal puts on significant weight. The plus side is you’re naturally strong and find strength gains easier. But if you’re looking for that six pack, that can be a very tough challenge. The key here is making sure you have good cardio conditioning and a very dialed in nutrition plan. A very focused nutrition plan and making sure you stick to it is key.
The reason I bring up body types is that it’s important to recognize what your body type is. This is important not only for planning your nutrition and workouts, but also for setting realistic goals. Most people realistically fall in between these categories, but if you’re more of an endomorph and want a six pack, it just might take a while of very focused training. For me, I am definitely more on the endomorph end of the scale. I find it very easy to put on weight and put on fat. Cheat meals really affect me, so I keep them to a minimum. If I have a cheat weekend, I can easily put on 5+ pounds in just 2 days. It seems crazy, but that’s just how it is. But to go along with that, I am blessed with some natural strength, especially in my legs. On the other hand, one of my best friends definitely has an ectomorph body type. We’re about the same height, but I have roughly 60 pounds on him. We trained in college hard, and we did put about 5 lbs on him but it took a lot of eating and a lot of lifting! It seems like no matter what he eats, it doesn’t put an ounce of fat on him. We’re definitely on different ends of the spectrum, but that just means we have to eat and train differently.
So when you think about your body type, realize that if you’r more on the endomorph end, you might not ever have that “skinny” look. And that’s ok! You have to work with what you’ve been blessed with and focus on your strengths. It can be frustrating to get caught up in trying to look like someone else. What you should do is focus on you, realize what your natural body type is, and set goals from there. So hopefully this little run down on body types has been helpful and will play a factor in how you train and how you eat!