Your workout had better be calibrated to what is best for your body type.
Is this you or someone you know? You regularly go to the gym; give the latest training trend you’re all; sweat profusely; worked with a trainer, and still have little or no results from your efforts. You may have even look at the person next to you in Zumba class and wonder why your body doesn’t look as good. You are more frustrated than pleased by the results in proportion to effort; you’re thinking about giving up working out.
The problem with your training could be not how hard you exercise, but whether your training fits with your body composition. In other words, your workout may need to be calibrated to what is best for your body types.
Three Body Types
Somatotype is the categorization of the human body based on shape and composition. There are three types of bodies, endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. Dr. William Sheldon who proposed the theory in the 1940s also said people generally have characteristics of more than one type. Although, everyone has one type that is dominant.
Keep in mind that body shape cannot be changed. Body shape is a result of your genetic makeup. If you are short, there is no way you can become tall. Or if you have narrow shoulders, they can’t become broad. However, body composition, such as fat and muscle mass, can be modified with diet and exercise.
Knowing your somatotype gives you the ability to choose the training that will be most effective for your body shape. However, you must first accept your genetic framework. You can’t change what you can’t change. But, you can work with the genetic frame you were given to improve other aspects of your body.
Endomorph bodies have round body shapes with short limbs, wide shoulders, and hips. The term “stocky” also applies to this type of body. Compositionally, endomorphs have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight. They tend to think that just looking at food makes them gain weight. Weight loss is slow in comparison to effort or may even seem nonexistent. High intensity and weight training benefit this body type.
Ectomorphs have a lean, thin shape with long limbs. With regard to composition, ectomorphs struggle to gain weight, build and tone muscles. Their efforts to gain muscle mass may feel fruitless, seeing little or no results. Ectomorphs have a better chance of gaining strength and muscle if they concentrate training on power and resistance.
Mesomorphs are perfectly proportioned. They have both muscle mass and low body fat. Mesomorph body types are described as natural athletes and tend to do well in sports that have power and speed. This body type easily maintains weight and easily builds muscle. However, they too are human and need to exercise and eat healthily.
Everything from types of training, workout style, sports preference to the number of repetitions, rest times, etc. affects the kind of results you get from exercise. To this, each body type also responds differently to these things and the other aspects of exercise. Workouts planned around how your body type reacts to exercise can be more effective and lead to quicker gains.
Somatotype-based fit training partners with your body instead of working against it to achieve a better outcome. Seek out a certified trainer who understands body composition to guide you in getting the most from your training.
- Arsenault, Kyle (January 2, 2018). The Best Exercise and Eating Advice for Your Body Type. Retrieved from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/1011831-exercise-eating-advice-body-type/.
- Body Composition 101: The Beginners Guide (June 16, 2015). Retrieved from: https://inbodyusa.com/blogs/inbodyblog/28828609-body-composition-101-the-beginners-guide.
- Can Knowing your Somatotype Help You Change Your Body Composition? (May 10, 2017). Retrieved from https://inbodyusa.com/blogs/inbodyblog/can-knowing-your-somatotype-help-you-change-your-body-composition.
- Sims, Stacy T, Ph.D. The 3 Body Types–And How They Affect Your Weight Lost (July 29, 2016). Retrieved from https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/the-3-body-types-and-how-they-affect-your-weight-loss.