Figuring out your body type will help you to understand why you respond to diet and exercise in the way that you do, and how to get the best results possible from your training and nutrition.
Ectomorphs are lean, skinny body types that are often (but not always) quite tall. Think model. Ectomorphs find it quite difficult to gain weight and muscle. If this sounds like you, we suggest a high calorie, high carb, high protein, high fat diet. Don’t get too excited, the ‘eat clean’ rule still applies here, but you can up your intake of carbs (oats, wholemeal bread/rice, potatoes etc), fat (nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty meats etc) and sugar (from fruit) continuously until you start seeing results.
High intensity cardio does not need to be a part of your training regime, but we would suggest some cardio (maybe twice a week) to keep fit in general. In terms of weights, we suggest hypertrophy training (heavy weights, low reps) 4/5 days a week.
Dear ectomorph, be patient! We understand your frustration, but keep going, you will get there eventually! Remember trial and error plays a big part in the fitness game.
When it comes to fitness, mesomorphs have it easy. These body types tend to be athletic, have good muscle memory, and see results quickly. If this sounds like you, here’s what we suggest:
If you’re looking for muscle gain, we recommend hypertrophy training (heavy weights, low reps) 4/5 days a week and high intensity interval cardio twice a week to keep that body fat at bay.
If you’re looking to stay lean, we suggest endurance training (low weights, lots of reps) 4/5 times a week, and high intensity interval training 3 times a week.
In terms of diet, stick to good carbs (oats, brown rice, potatoes etc), high protein (chicken, fish, lean meats etc) and fibre (pulses, broccoli, corn etc…).
Like ectomorphs, endomorphs find getting into shape harder than mesomorphs, but for different reasons.
Endomorphs store more fat, find it harder to lose weight and therefore harder to gain muscle definition. If this sounds like you, here’s what we suggest:
You need a low carb (but still SOME carb: oats, brown rice for breakfast and lunch times only), high protein (chicken, turkey and fish), high fibre (pulses, broccoli, corn etc…) diet.
You also need your fat burning nutrients in there; green tea, spinach, L-Carnitine supplements etc…
You need to be doing cardio 5/6 days a week. Start with whatever you can manage, and aim to be doing high intensity interval cardio after a few months.
There are conflicting opinions on when Endomorphs should embark on weight training. Some think it should be once the bulk of weight has been dropped, but we are not of this opinion. The fact of the matter is, weight training burns a hell of a lot of calories for days afterwards, and the muscles being trained will actually consume the calories entering your body to remain and grow. So we suggest hypertrophy (heavy weight, low reps) training 4 days a week.
Don’t be disheartened endomorph, you can do this, it will just take you a little longer. Strap yourself in for the ride, and enjoy watching the results!