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Different Body Types - Different Routines

Have you been working out like crazy but not seeing the changes you want? Perhaps the problem is you're not working out properly for your body type.

There are three primary body types. They are Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph.

Ectomorphs have long narrow midsections, shoulders, hips and thin faces. Their arms and legs tend to be long and they usually have trouble putting on or keeping on weight. Think long distance runners. Generally ectomorphs have faster metabolisms and burn fat easier.

Mesomorphs have big muscles, a broad midsection and rectangular outline. They have both lean body mass and usually make quick gains in weight training. Mesomorphs are generally less flexible in stretches.

Endomorphs have the broadest midsections and shorter limbs. Endomorphs carry a higher percentage of body fat and generally have a more rounded (pear shaped) appearance with their shoulders often narrower than the hips. They tend to put on weight easily.

Look at yourself naked in a full-length mirror and evaluate your body objectively. (This might be fun to do with a partner too.) Compare your body's characteristics with the ones above and see which one is closest to you. Your doctor or health-care professional can also help you determine your body type if you're having problems deciding.

According to the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, a quick way to evaluate your physique is check your bone size. Wrap your hand around your wrist. If the fingers overlap you're small-boned and more likely to be an ectomorph. If your fingers just touch you're probably a mesomorph, while most endomorphs fingers don't touch at all.

Keep in mind while you're evaluating yourself, some people may have characteristics of more than one body type. One example is a Meso-Endomorph. That is someone with the natural strength and muscle of a mesomorph but the lower-body curves of an endomorph. Look at every part of your body when you evaluate yourself.

Once you determine which type of body you have you can customize your workouts to maximize your gains. Keep in mind you cannot move from one group to another. A fat ectomorph is a fat person, not an endomorph, so the diet and exercise information we're giving you is to maximize your body type, not to try and turn an ectomorph into a mesomorph. Getting fit is the goal.

Ectomorphs:

Keep your aerobic workouts light to moderate since you have a tendency to lose weight easily. Cross training is good. Focus on muscles with power moves such as squats or push-ups. For bigger muscles use heavier weights and do fewer reps.

Mesomorphs:

Excess body fat is generally not a problem for you so you don't have to do as much aerobic activity. Since you build muscle easily, focus on exercises you can do with your own body weight. Moderation in both aerobics and weight training will keep you looking good.

Endomorphs:

To lose weight you will generally need to do more aerobic exercises and burn more calories. Work your upper body to balance out your build while using light weights on your legs.

Mentally there are some things you can do as well.

  • Pick appropriate role model body types. If you're an ectomorph (tall thin type) you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you're trying to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Look at family members to get an idea of your body's potential. If your family has a history of football stars, you're probably not the appropriate body type to be a jockey.
  • Finally, boost your self-esteem by setting goals and celebrating when you meet them. For example, making it to the gym three days a week for a month is a big accomplishment. Take time to congratulate yourself! Concentrate on those positive achievements while continuing to set new goals. Soon enough you'll be looking at a whole new you in the mirror.

PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of this article is to explain the differences between the different body types. It also offers BROAD guidelines for people who fall into those various categories.

It should NOT be used as any sort of definitive answer on the type of workout a person should pursue SIMPLY based on body type. It is merely one SMALL FACTOR out of dozens that must be considered TOGETHER when designing an appropriate workout program.

Familial risk factors must be considered, current medications, a persons resting metabolic rate, body fat composition and diet must all be taken into account. How much time a person has to workout, prior injuries and access to fitness facilities are also critical. Even things like the type of work a person is engaged in and their state of mind have to be factored in.

ONLY by having a complete profile can anyone hope to construct an optimal workout program.

If you want to know more you can contact any WeBeFit Personal Trainer for a FREE consultation. They will go through a Medical History with you and conduct a Client Questionnaire to determine some of your capabilities, restrictions and goals. THEN they can arrange to test your Metabolism and Body Fat to better understand what changes may need to happen with your body. WITH ALL THAT information WeBeFit trainers will then design a program best suited for your capabilities and goals.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

5/15/2003