Looking around the gym, the office, or your local coffee shop, you can easily see that we’ve all got different body shapes. Like finding the perfect pair of jeans, figuring out what type of exercise and physical activity will be the most effective can be a challenge, and this is because our body type affects the way we respond to exercise. If you are jumping into a new fitness routine, or just looking to change your current one up a bit, knowing your body type and how body type affects fitness will benefit your overall health and training, and physical performance.
There are Three Types of Bodies
Scientists have put together three different types of bodies – Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph
Ectomorphs are long, slim or slender individuals who seem to be able to eat whatever they like without ever gaining a single pound. On the flipside, Ectomorphs also tend to have a difficult time putting on a lot of muscle.
Endomorphs are the opposite to Ectomorphs. They store fat quickly and tend to be bigger and rounder, especially in the mid-section.
Mesomorphs are all muscle! A Mesomorph’s high metabolism and super responsive muscle cells quickly burn up calories and experience a spike in their regulation of the Myogenin gene which is responsible for our body’s muscle growth.
How Body Type Affects Fitness Routines
Now that you know what the three different body types are, you can now dive into how body type affects fitness and exercise performance.
It’s not always clear-cut, and many people will have characteristics from more than one category, but generally, you’ll fall into one of these three groups because you store fat, burn energy and build muscle in a specific way.
If you’re a naturally lean Ectomorph, you may want to try a fitness routine that includes resistance training, like a gym circuit, or shorter high-intensity workouts using your bodyweight. If you’re going to the gym, focus on doing moves that utilize multiple muscle groups, such as squats or bench press, rather than a movement that isolates a single muscle, like biceps curls.
For Endomorphs, your best approach is burning calories with fitness routines that include a high volume of movement. Committing to regular activity every day is a great way to start, but if you can’t find the time for a long walk or run you can try shorter, high-intensity routines like circuit training or metabolic conditioning. Also, putting on some muscle will help increase your resting metabolism. If you add regular resistance training into your routine and you could be burning more calories throughout the day – even when you are sleeping!
If you are a Mesomorph and predisposed to build a lot of muscle and store very little, if any, fat, it can be tempting to eat and drink anything you want. This means your health outside of your physical body could be lacking, and you may not feel like you need to commit yourself to a health and fitness routine. If this sounds like you, make sure that you get yourself started on a healthy routine and make the most of the body that you have. Choose exercises that motivate you or help you set goals, like group workouts, Mixed Martial Arts training, or training for an event like a Triathlon, that way you’re more likely to stick to them.
Your Real World Application
Ultimately, you should never just copy a technique or jump into a specific training routine just because somebody else says their way is the only way or the best way to do it. And this is especially true if they have a different body type than your own. Now that you know how body type affects fitness (both your fitness and the fitness of future clients) you can use this knowledge to design optimal routines and training programs and grow your personal training business.