If you are a gym goer, you might have noticed that some people look super ripped even their bench press weight is half of yours. And you might have known someone who never gets fat no matter how much and what he or she eats. We all have the same experience, or maybe you are experiencing these yourself.
I can’t discount the hard work one puts in to achieve his desired physique (or career success), but one of the critical factor of our ability lies in our genes.
If you ask me why Crossfit champion Rich Froning looks so fit, apart from he has been training hard, I will say that is due to his genetic advantages. Training and hard work only bring us forward to a certain extent, while most top achievers accomplished what they did, not just by hard work, but they have had the unfair advantages that most people don’t.
To improve our health and fitness, we should understand the fundamental conditions of our body, one of which I like to discuss today is our body type.
How is that going to affect our fitness growth? And what could we do about it?
Understand Your Body Type
If you are new to fitness, you might need some time to make sense of this. If you had read tons of articles about body type, you could skip to the next. I am going to cover three basic human body types in general here, which consist of Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph.
Ectomorph – people with this body type usually tall and skinny, which is the people around you that can eat those junk foods that will make you fat but not them. They have narrow hips and clavicles, small joints, thin body build and long limb.
Mesomorph – if you are not too thin yet not huge in your bone structure, you probably are Mesomorph. People with this body type look good with well-built muscle and low body fat. They usually have wide clavicles, narrow waist, and thinner joints.
Endomorph – I bet you meet someone with the first impression of him or her as freaking strong and huge. He or she may carry the body type of Endomorph. People with this body type have a thick rib cage, thicker joints, wider hips and shorter limb.
Besides physical differences on these three body types, there are differences in how they react to training and diet too. Ectomorph has the disadvantage of carrying too heavy weight and also difficult in gaining muscle while Endomorph tends to store fat easily.
Two Training Approaches for All
I always suggest the same workout flow regardless what is your body type. As a beginner who likes to improve their strength and overall fitness level, the best training to start with is bodyweight workouts and routines. The good thing about bodyweight workouts is that you can start even you are young without carrying the risk of weights in the gym to affect your growth.
Bodyweight workouts are usually compound movements and target multiple muscles and joints with inner stabilizing muscles skeleton group. You will benefit from this training no matter you are a beginner or an expert.
Another training method I highly recommended is strength training. Why? Similar to bodyweight workouts, strength training is all about compound movements with heavy weights that train multiple major muscle group at the same time. This major difference is that this training method puts more pressure on your muscle to activate more muscle size and strength growth.
These two training methods are suitable for all three body types but what makes a difference is a cardio routine.
Cardio Training Makes a Difference
Cardio routine is an important building block in every training that usually got overlook by most people. It does train your stamina, endurance, and cardiovascular system. You can burn more fats with HIIT cardio training.
In term of training, people with Ectomorph body type should just do slow jog or walk, to preserve the energy for muscle growth. While Mesomorph and mix up regular running with HIIT run depends on energy level and body fat goal.
On the other hand, people with Endomorph body type should train more in HIIT cardio to lose more body fat or just to burn more energy from foods. A very simple HIIT cardio training example is speed interval training. You start with 40% of your best capacity (speed) on your running for 90 seconds, then speed up to 90% to 95% of your best capacity for 30 seconds, this considers as one set. Repeat this 5 to 6 sets, and usually, it takes just 20 minutes.
Fix the Broken Diet
When comes to health and fitness, I can’t stop emphasize the importance of our foods and diet. Always remember that we are what we put into our mouth. There are different approaches of diet for different body types but here are the three rules of diet for everyone:
- Always go for real food first, which mean pick the foods as what they are with any excessive processing. For example, pick orange instead of orange juice, tomato instead of tomato paste.
- No sugar. Yes, I am obsessed with this, no sugar at all. Try to avoid refined sugar as much as you can’t, I am not saying about carbs here, but sugar.
- Keep yourself hydrated. I don’t think I need an extra explanation for this.
You are going to see a huge change on your health and fitness level if you stick to the three rules above, but there are more for specific body type on what food groups and categories to choose from, without calories calculating.
Ectomorph – 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 25 % fat. People with ectomorph usually have higher metabolism rate and there tolerate with carbohydrates well as the main fuel for energy.
Mesomorph – 35% carbs, 35% protein, and 30% fat. Mesomorph body type is designed to be a powerful machine in term of body structure and metabolism rate. Thus, people with this body type usually gain muscle and stay lean easily with balanced and good control of diet.
Endomorph – 20% carbs, 40% protein, and 40% fats. You might be confused that why Endomorph needs more fats while they tend to store fats easily. The truth is body fats usually convert from carbs especially refined one – sugar. Having higher good fats in diet will helps them to lose body faster.
Make a Plan & Stick to It
Acknowledging how our body type affect our fitness results isn’t about giving up on the goals. Instead, it provides the basic understanding so we can manage our expectation with self-awareness.
It takes a long period to improve health and fitness level, and nothing great comes easy and fast. To make sure can stick to it, get clear with your objective and plan accordingly.
Besides, I strongly suggest you explore more related articles and make friends with the same goals or who had succeeded in the journey to equip yourself with the right knowledge and motivation to move one step forwards at a time.