The Best Workout Tips For Your Body Type

You can’t control your body type, but you can control what to do about it.

Everyone’s body is different. Some of us have a larger frame and a more challenging time losing weight or gaining muscle, while others of us may struggle to gain weight with a more slender, “skinny” frame. We also all know people who can eat pretty much whatever they want and burn through calories while also looking jacked, or that may even be you. Whatever your body type is, that is your body type. Your lifestyle, genetics, history, training routine, and diet all play into how you look.

There are three basic body types for humans that we may fall into: the ectomorph, the mesomorph, and the endomorph. Of course, there are people who fall in between but using these three as benchmarks is important to know when starting a new diet and training regimen. Based on your body type, there may be certain foods to avoid or certain types of exercises to incorporate to really add to your overall health and fitness benefits.

The challenges we face when it comes to our bodies are unique and there is no one same approach for everyone. Whether the difficult lies with losing or gaining weight, packing on muscle, toning physique, or dealing with unwanted stereotypes that plague the notion of body types (1), there are ways to correct this.

Through a proper diet and a great exercise routine, you can change your appearance into one you will love. Supplements can also help with this like a fat burner for shedding unwanted fat, or a protein supplement to add bulk, but knowing what works for you is key in making this change.

Three Body Types

Ectomorph

The ectomorph body type tends to be more thin and lanky in appearance due to a fast metabolism which can lead to trouble gaining weight. If your body is straight with your shoulders and hips roughly the same width, you are most likely an ectomorph. With a naturally low body fat percentage and smaller joints and bone structures, putting on muscle can also be a challenge for the ectomorph. Even if an ectomorph manages to put on weight, their appearance may still be that of someone leaner.

body types

Nutrition

Ectomorphs are more lenient when it comes to what they eat since their metabolisms work so quickly. Although thin, it is important to stay properly fueled and eating well to have the energy needed for daily function and the ability to put on more muscle. High-quality fats and whole-food carbs are important to consume for an ectopmorph, but protein is the key for that muscle growth (2). Consider a whey protein concentrate or isolate as a great supplement to pump you full of protein to keep you full and seeing great gains.

Exercise

While isolated exercises are always good to have in your workout, compound exercises are the way to go. Working multiple muscle groups at once will really work to enhance your overall muscle growth to see great gains in strength and width. Focusing on power and resistance training is also key to not only build strength and improve athletic performance, but to also protect your muscle tissue and bones from injury.

strong man

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs tend to lose and gain weight quickly and can also build muscle efficiently. If you have a long torso and shorter limbs while also having a naturally athletic build with your shoulders slightly wider than your hips, then you are most likely a mesomorph. With the tendency to be naturally fit and muscular, it is important to stay on top of your nutrition and exercise because although it may be easier to bounce back from weight gain than the other two body types, it is not worth putting yourself in that position if you don’t need to.

Nutrition

Balancing your macronutrients as a mesomorph is key and making sure you get a balanced amount of fats, carbs, and protein will keep you building muscle and keeping off weight. With the luxury of controlling your intake, modifying your diet based on your training days will ensure you have the proper energy and fuel for muscle growth and athletic performance. A good protein supplement or post-workout product can really enhance this as well.

Exercise

Training can vary based off your desired needs, but moderate endurance training and plyometric exercises are great choices for a mesomorph. Lifting will also offer great muscle growth and high-intensity interval training will save you time doing cardio while also promoting strength, power, and helping to tone your physique (3).

athlete

Endomorph

The endomorph body type tends to have the hardest time when it comes to weight gain because they tend to keep on the weight while struggling to lose it. If you have wider hips, shorter limbs, and a thicker ribcage and have an easy time gaining muscle and fat, then you are most likely an endomorph. With a more stocky and curvy build, it may seem impossible to really get that toned physique, but it is possible. It just might take some extra work compared our slender ectomorph or naturally built mesomorph friends.

Nutrition

A lower carb diet is definitely recommended because it will rely on your body to use stored fat for energy. Other diets that may work well for an endomorph are the keto diet and intermittent fasting (4). Getting a healthy dose of high-quality fats and proteins will power your workouts and help you lose weight. Considering a fat burner may also be a good option for those with this body type.

Exercise

Since gaining muscle and fat easily is a key piece of the endomorph body type, the challenge lies with putting on or maintaining muscle while also losing fat at the same time. A good cardio routine mixed with strength training is advised, but also CrossFit or a cycling class can put you in an environment to really succeed. High-intensity interval training will give your metabolism a great boost and also work to promote strength and save you time doing cardio.

Wrap Up

Whatever your body type is, know that some of the factors involved are out of your control. What you can do is really work towards the benefits of your body type to see results. While the ectomorph may need different tips than the mesomorph who differs from the endomorph, at the core of all three is a healthy diet and consistent exercise. Proper supplementation is also key and the discipline to make your goals a reality will squash any preconceived ideas that you can’t do something based simply on your body type.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato

References

  1. Kirkpatrick, Sue W.; Sanders, Diane M. (2012). “Body Image Stereotypes: A Developmental Comparison”. (source)
  2. Pasiakos, Stefan M.; McLellan, Tom M.; Lieberman, Harris R. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
  3. Laursen, Paul B.; Jenkins, David G. (2002). “The scientific basis for high-intensity interval training: optimising training programmes and maximsing performance in highly trained endurance athletes”. (source)
  4. National Institute on Aging (2020). “Research on intermittent fasting shows health benefits”. (source)
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Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.