When it comes getting in shape your genetics should never be an excuse for not getting results but you do need to consider them and make appropriate changes to your diet and exercise that will work for you rather than against you.
Having a basic understanding of your physiology will ensure that any plan you follow is suited to you and no one else.
To help you get this clearer picture of yourself I think it is better that we first look at what the body type categories are so you can recognize which one is predominant to you and then secondly learn how to fine tune your diet and training to make them more focused to your needs and ultimately help you get better and quicker results.
Understanding your body type: The definition of Somatotyping
In the 1930s, and 1940s, Dr. William H. Sheldon, a professor from Harvard undertook a detailed study into human body types. He developed a classification system for body types known as Somatotyping.
Sheldon identified three basic body types, ectomorph mesomorph and endomorph.
Ectomorph body type is normally tall and lean. They tend to have slim bony frames and very low body fat levels due to their fast metabolisms. The drawback is that ectomorphs also have a very hard time gaining muscle.
Mesomorph body type are the what you could call the “genetically blessed” They are the people we like to envy as they are naturally lean, muscular and have excellent athletic prowess. Mesomorphs lose fat and gain muscle with no difficulty.
Endomorphs body types gain fat easy but have a hard time getting rid of it. They tend to have more rounded features, large joints and higher than normal levels of body fat.
Working out your body type
Although 3 body type categories were identified it is very rare for anybody to be 100% of one particular type and have no features from any of the other two.
Typically everybody will have one more dominant genetic type with a mix of one or two more.
So with this in mind here are some general training and diet strategies for each body type that if you apply from today will help you get quicker and more noticeable results.
I would like to make clear here that the advice in this article is not exact as most people are a mix of genetic types.
My recommendation is to follow the outline you think most applies to you and then see what results you get.
Ectomorph Body Type
Ectomorph Workout plan
Ectomorph body types generally have low levels of body fat and have a hard time gaining weight and muscle. They can overcome this with persistence and hard work and can build excellent physiques but they must commit long term to training and diet to maintain muscle and weight gains.
The following guidelines will help maximize results for the ectomorph body types.
Focus on shorter but high intensity workouts. Also ectomorphs do not need to train every day if they want to gain weight and muscle. They are better to get in the gym work really hard then give themselves plenty of time to recover between workouts. I believe 3 sessions a week is enough.
Cardio should be very limited. I would recommend 2-3 sessions per week of between 15-30 mins with some of that using high intensity intervals to improve cardio vascular fitness and general health.
Ectomorph diet plan
You need calories and lots of them especially when trying to build muscle especially from protein sources. Because you have a quick metabolism muscle can quickly get broken down if not enough protein and carbohydrates are consumed. Make sure to have both types of food with every meal and consider using a good quality protein supplement to keep your protein intake high enough.
Other high calorie foods should be considered along with healthy fats found in nuts, seeds and oily fish.
As you have quick metabolisms and don´t gain fat easy it can be very tempting to eat what you want and include a lot of junk food in your diet.
Even if you are able to do this with no impact on your waistline then try to think about the health implications for your body if your diet does not contain all the essential nutrients it needs.
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Mesomorph Body Type
Mesomorph Workout Plan
If you have given the gift of great genetics then you should find it very easy to build muscle and lose fat so there really is not much to say about your training program.
Once you are happy with the level of muscle you have on your frame then maybe switch to a strength based workout program that will keep your muscle defined but without adding bulk.
What I will add here is that in my experience people who possess good genetics tend not to make the most of what they have.
As they already look great without having to do much they lack motivation to train with any consistency or intensity.
All I normally say to them is just imagine how much better you could be if you committed yourself properly and trained as hard as everybody else. I think that everybody should strive to make the most of what they have and make the most of their potential.
As with your training there is not much to say here because highly dominant Mesomorph´s can generally eat what they want and get away with it.
Therefore as with ectomorph´s the key is to focus on high quality foods and not binge on the junk just because you can. Following this approach is not only going to give you even better results but will improve you overall health which is important in the long term.
Endomorph Body Type
If you have high percentage of endomorph genetics, I am afraid that you are going to have to prepare yourself to work extremely hard both with your training and diet if you want to improve your chances of losing body fat and building muscle.
Endomorph Workout Plan
First off it must be said that exercise is an absolute must.
Sorry, but you will struggle to lose weight by diet alone and will need the regular metabolism boost that comes from exercise.
Regular cardio in the form of high intensity weight based workouts and more traditional types such as walking, running, cycling etc is important to lose body fat.
I normally recommend to clients who have dominant endomorph features to do at least 4-5 times a week and this is normally enough.
However if you are still finding it hard to drop fat then daily exercise may be necessary until you reach your goal.
For maximum fat loss I recommend 30-45 minutes of continuous activity and in some instances it may be necessary to go as long as 60 minutes until target fat loss achieved. A mixture of high intensity and steady state cardio is the best combination.
Along with regular cardio weight training is also necessary to help stimulate and speed up the metabolism. From a long term perspective if you can build substantial levels of lean muscle mass you are going to find it much easier to maintain desirable body fat levels.
I advise using compound exercises such as various forms of squats, deadlifts, lunges, Chest Press and upper back pulling movements such as pull ups and lat pulldowns.
These type of exercises put together in circuit style workouts are extremely effective for building lean muscle and stimulating the hormones that increase fat burning.
Overall for anybody who has endomorph features the aim is to be as active as possible.
Along with your regular workouts you really should be trying to do other activities to keep you busy and burning off energy so try to limit watching the television or lying in bed till late.
Any time you are not moving for long periods is trouble for endomorph´s so you need to be up and doing something as much as possible. This is especially important if you have a job where you are stuck behind a desk for 40 hours a week.
When you gain fat easily if you want to maintain any results you achieve then you have to commit to doing exercise for life. Stopping exercising for long periods will endanger all your previous hard work so it is critical that you make exercise a regular part of your life.
Endomorph Diet Plan
On the whole a paleo focused diet plan that is high in protein, high in fat and low to moderate in carbs diet is the most effective.
Because endomorph’s tend to struggle with putting on muscle keeping protein intake high is crucial especially when following a workout program.
My recommendation is to consume at least 1.0g of protein for every pound of bodyweight until you have reached your target weight and bodyfat level. To do this you need to be eating protein with every meal and taking a good quality protein supplement between meals.
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Endomorphs’ tend to be very sensitive to carbohydrates especially those that are refined and processed. Any foods that contain white flour and sugar should be avoided as they dramatically increase insulin levels in the body.
Depending on how much Endomorph genetics you have will determine how many of these types of carbohydrates you can have in your diet. For those of you that really struggle to lose fat then I recommend reducing them to around 50g per day until you hit your target then maintain with 50-100g daily target.
Because of having slow unforgiving metabolisms being able to relax with your diet has to be very limited. This means keeping any treat meals to one or two at most per week until you reach target weight. If you stray too far from your diet too frequently the chances are you will stop, slow down or even reverse any fat loss progress.
If you have endomorph genetics then I know this plan looks very hard work and not much fun but please remember you will lose fat, just at slower rate.
The results will come, but you have to be ready to give it time and effort and learn the virtue of patience because you will need it.
As I stated at the beginning genetics should never be used as an excuse for not trying to make best of what you have. Everybody can look and feel great no matter what genetic cards they have been dealt.
That said being aware of your genetic makeup can stop you making the wrong choices when it comes to diet and exercise so your efforts are not wasted and the results come quicker.
Thanks for visiting my site and taking the time to read this article.
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