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How your body type affects weight loss and muscle gain (and how to use it to your advantage)

  • Estimated Read Time: 7 min
  • Posted: 13/09/18
  • Category:
  • Author: Chris Kinsella

What body type are you?

We come in all different shapes and sizes. However there are 3 body types that we generally all fit in to.

And whilst this seems a bit ’sciency’, knowing which body type you fit in to (or you may be a hybrid of 2) can seriously impact your weight or strength goals.

There are three main types that exist and we will talk about each one in more detail. The three types are:

  1. Ectomorph
  2. Mesomorph
  3. Endomorph

Ectomorph:

Characteristics

Ectomorphs are people who are sometimes referred to as skinny. They have a hard time gaining weight in general, be it fat or muscle mass. They tend to have long limbs and a fast metabolism.

If you fit into this body type you will likely have low levels of body fat and low levels of muscle. You also have the ability to look skinny fat!

Image result for marathon runner skinny

What to do

Training wise, power and strength training should make up a large proportion of your training. It is best to avoid long bouts of cardio unless you are training for an event and instead stick to explosive sports such as boxing or do high intensity intervals in the gym.

For nutrition, depending on your goals you can eat a little more than most other body types, as your body tends to hoover up calories quite quickly. However, you should have a good balance of protein, carbs and fats and not use it as an excuse to up your calories by eating crisps and biscuits, as you will still gain fat if you eat too much.

If you are looking to add muscle, you may find you need to eat a lot more in the way of calories but its best to start going about 300 calories over and seeing what effect it has and then increasing if necessary.

Mesomorph:

Characteristics

These are the annoying people that gain muscle like its going out of fashion. They tend to look quite broad and muscular with short limbs. Whilst they can gain fat, a true mesomorph can go on a diet for a few weeks and lose a shed load of weight. Their muscles are built for explosive sports and so they are often strong and fast but can lack endurance.

Related image

What to do

If you are looking to add size or strength this falls naturally within this body type. A program focusing on all the major muscle groups aiming to push to failure in your final set works very well. If you want to play to your strengths plyometric and explosive movements such as sled pulls work well alongside high intensity intervals on any cardio equipment. Endurance training can be done for this body type it works better by building slowly week by week alongside your normal routine.

From a diet perspective focus on getting 1.5g protein per lb of your bodyweight. Get 25% of your calories from high quality fats as this will help with both your hormones and your joints. The rest of your calories should come from carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes and brown rice.

Endomorph

Characteristics

Endomorphs get the raw end of the deal and I feel your pain. But there is a lot you can do to hit your goals. You will tend to put on fat really easily. Endomorphs will have a more curvy fuller figure and have a more sluggish metabolism than the other body types.

What to do

It is vital that exercise is regular and often for this body type. The best thing is to encapsulate a mix of strength training – to increase muscle mass and in turn your metabolism- and cardiovascular work regularly (around 3 times per week) and try to just move as much as possible. For example, try to fit in a daily walk after dinner to keep burning those calories.

This body type needs to keep a close eye on their calories. If fat loss is the goal, eat plenty of protein (around 1g per pound of body weight), around 20-25% of your calories from healthy fats such as nuts, seeds and avocados, and high fibre slow digesting carbohydrates for the remainder. Don’t go too low on calories.  Start at a small deficit, aiming to lose around 1 pound per week and if that’s not happening reduce a little more at a time. Consistency is vital to this body shape as a few days off can come back to bite you.  Aim to keep 10% of your calories per day for treat foods.

Hybrids

It is not uncommon to fit into two of these body types. You often find people who are part mesomorph and part endomorph. If this is you you’ll gain muscle and fat easily. In this case follow the advice for both body types to fit your goals. For example you will benefit from a mix of strength and endurance training. This is great as you will be able to have lots of variety in your exercise routine which will prevent boredom. You will need to keep a closer eye on your nutrition than a true mesomorph to minimise your fat gain.

Hopefully you found this article helpful and it pushes you forward towards your goals.

If you need some additional help, soon we will be requiring testers for the new Robofit app.  It takes your body type into account and provides you with a calorie, protein and fat amount to eat each day. It will also generate a program that will benefit your body type.

Fancy being one of the lucky 500 testers? .

1 Comment

  • April 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm
    Buster says:

    Thanks to the excellent manual

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