The continuous scientific research in the world of physical training allows us to assert that our body types are based purely on our genetic inheritance. Keeping fit and being healthy; it’s a message which permeates the media and is constantly out there. Despite this, it’s surprising how easily we can slip into a lifestyle that is unhealthy in one or more aspects.
Whether it’s diet, with the convenience of a quick and easy meal, or not making time to exercise, we’ve all been there at one time or another in our lives. The issue isn’t a one-off lapse or even an occasional one-night stand with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine; it’s about education and developing good habits.
But one size doesn’t always fit all. In the same way that we are all different people and unique characters, we all have different body types. From adolescence, we travel an uneven journey through life to our senior years, but at the core of keeping fit and healthy is understanding ourselves and knowing how our body shape affects us.
That being said, identifying each body type is of great importance when it comes to individualizing training and diet so let’s look at the basic body types and see where lifestyle improvements can keep us on the path to wellness.
Different Body Types
Typically, the Ectomorphic-shaped body will tell you that they can “eat anything and not put on a pound of weight.”The rest of us may envy their ability to stay lean, but the boot is on the other foot for the Ectomorph who wants to become Mr. Universe or not look out of place on Muscle Beach. That’s not to say gaining muscle is impossible, nor is adding body fat but both take a concerted effort.
The Ectomorph’s biggest enemy is complacency or low body esteem. However,protein and carbs
at the heart of their diet will build the nutritional support for the gym program with lifting at its’ heart.
This type of regime isn’t matching the claims made by Bullworker in the 1970s when Charles Atlas revealed his job was to “manufacture weaklings into MEN!” Ectomorphs were the body type the adverts typified as not being real men.
Half a century later, we admire the ectomorph for their distance running capabilities and general well-being. The complacency mentioned earlier rears its head here. Body types can be deceiving; simply being thin is no guarantee of good health.
It is challenging for ectomorphs to build muscle mass and gain weight. Due to their fast metabolism, they should consume a large number of calories to gain weight and the diet should include supplements to support their gains. Workouts should focus on large muscle groups with high-intensity routines and low repetitions.
Moreover, Ectomorphs should limit their aerobic routines. In this case, too much of a good thing is not always better since they might lose their hard earned muscle. It does not mean that they can not enjoy the benefits of developing cardiovascular fitness and endurance. By scheduling workouts carefully they will be able to develop both endurance and muscle size, indeed the best of both worlds.
At the other end of the scale is the endomorph. Anything the endomorph eats tends to be piling on calories the minute it touches a spoon or fork.The barrel-chest rather than the ectomorph’s sunken stereotype, the endomorph takes as much effort to keep weight off as their thinner counterpart’s attempts to put it on. Typified by a wider frame from shoulders down through the hips and legs, the width disguises the height of the endomorph.
However, just as the thinness of their frame is no guarantee of good health for the ectomorph, the endomorph isn’t necessarily unfit or in desperate need of medical attention. They are capable of a deceptive muscularity which makes them as strong and capable as other body types.
Diet is hard work and the kitchen is most likely to be the toughest battleground. A variant of the Paleo diet works well and as many celebrities’ attest, avoiding obsessional behavior over food and fats is the best methodology to succeed.
Coinciding with an exercise regime which marries weights in moderation with a predominantly aerobic program is the surest path to success. Unlike ectomorph, endomorph should be advised to concentrate on higher reps and more cardio training without failing to bring their muscle building workouts to completion always aiming for a high volume high rep approach to maximize muscle gains and fat burning. Endomorphs are predisposed to being overweight by having a very slow metabolism; therefore, they must watch their calorie intake so as not store excess body fat.
In an ideal world, the mesomorph will cherry-pick the best of the ectomorph and endomorph. The calorie-guzzling metabolism with a thinner waist, lither limbs and muscle tone, allied with the strength of the endomorph.
Mesomorphs can handle a large volume of work easily, but even with moderate workloads, they can see results quickly. As with the ectomorph, complacency is the biggest enemy of the mesomorph. Just because you hold the ideal body type, it’s no signal in permanence of the body shape. It’s not hard for the mesomorph to slip into becoming an endomorph. Gaining body fat is as easy as adding muscle.
The exercise program demands regularity in exercise. The most effective type of training for this body type is “explosive,” short and high-intensity routines, with split routines that work pretty well.
Mixed Body Types
Rarely does an individual belong to a pure somatic type, except for the morbidly obese (pure endomorph) or the incredibly skinny (pure ectomorph).In 1940 the psychologist William Sheldon created the various classifications of somatotypes, which was expressed in his book Atlas of Men.
Regardless of these three main categories, it should be noted that the doctor’s research concluded that not all individuals had a defined single body type but instead most fell into a combination of 2 or even 3 of these categories. Usually, a person with normal weight is either a combination of endomorph/mesomorph or ectomorph/mesomorph.
Keeping Your Body Type As You Age
The reality of most of our lives is that we will drift between body types as we age. Moving from ectomorph to mesomorph and outwards is an almost linear progression from adolescence through to middle age.
It’s the journey back which is often the hardest to travel. The work/life balance is imperative as we embrace families and watch them grow. The prospect of finding time for the gym in between the supermarket dash and school run, with twelve hours thrown in at the office by a partner.
Adjusting your training and nutrition according to your body type in order to reach your full genetic potential may seem a smart approach but as much as this holds true, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t alter your morphology.
Other than Perseverance and your lifestyle habits, nothing can’t keep you from attaining your fitness goals regardless of body types or superhuman genetics.
The race to fitness bliss might be easier for some and a trial by fire for others, but the fact remains that you’re the only one who can decide which way to go. A healthy mind genuinely is the first step to success in keeping a fit body; the rest is up to you.