This post has been written by my personal trainer, Beau, read a little bit about him here.
Before you start your training you need to understand how your body works. Everyone is different: shape, goals and lifestyle… the list goes on. The first thing we need to cover is what body shape you have for getting the right training program for you.
There are three main body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Understanding what body type you have will help you determine what kind of training will work best for you. So what type are you?
Imagine your typical runway model, tall, skinny, “lanky”. The ectomorph usually finds it hard to gain fat and muscle mass, but can lose fat easily. These are those girls you see eat a double whopper with fries and a thick shake, nuggets and a tub of ice-cream and still look skinny in the morning. If you are not an ectomorph naturally you can’t transform your body to look like this, and this puts a lot of pressure on women these days that want to have a body like someone they see in a magazine or on the Internet.
Depending on what your goals are there are several ways to train the ectomorph. For example, if you want to get leaner and gain some muscle, the ectomorph needs to focus on a weight training program with a little bit of cardio. 3 or 4 weight sessions and 1 to 2 cardio sessions a week. Ectomorphs respond better to training done in a compound format (more than one muscle worked from one exercise) and hypertrophy (strength and mass building) depending on whether they want to build strength or size, because they can burn fat easily it is essential for their rest between exercises to be around 3 minutes maximum. Cardio in this program should be at a low intensity and no more than 45 minutes per session.
On the nutrition side of things ectomorphs who want to gain size of muscle need to have a high calorie diet loaded with whole grain carbs and proteins.
This is probably the best type to be if you’re someone who wants to gain muscle, get toned and be lean. The mesomorph is usually hard-bodied with minimal fat storage on their body (although they can put on fat easily if they have a diet that is high in carbs and sugar). Mesomorphs get best results from high intensity weight and cardio sessions.
Mesomorphs need a combination of compound and isolated exercises to achieve the best results, and should have rest periods of 1-2 minutes. For a male gaining strength and lean mass is reliant on the amount of reps and the load they perform throughout a program, starting in a low rep range (3-7 for strength) and moving into a higher rep range (8-15 reps for mass/size) will allow their body to become bigger and stronger at the same time.
Women who want to get leaner as well as stronger should opt for a program that is equal in weights and cardio (3 weight and 3 cardio sessions per week). Rep ranges should start low for strength training and move on to muscle endurance (15+ reps) to skip the mass-gaining phase throughout a session. Cardio sessions need to be varied from HIIT, core workouts, running and sports for 45 minutes or less.
So you are short, feel like you have a bit of weight to lose, and when you do exercise programs you bulk out easily? Yep, you’re an endomorph. The best way for you to get the results you want is cleaning up your eating and a cardio-heavy based training program. Your weight reps need to be focused on endurance to help burn calories during and after sessions.
A lot of endomorphs usually don’t start a program with weights because their goals are to lose weight, not get muscles. The fact is that you actually burn just as many calories, if not more, from weight training. Weights need to be done at least once a week, preferably twice a week, as well as doing a lot of long cardio sessions from running, core workouts, HIIT sports, yoga and other classes that are available to you.
Food is a major player for an endomorph; low carb diets are key, but not too low that you start to burn out.