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Tuesday December 12, 2017

Somatotypes - Understanding Your Bodytype


Written by Michael Sztym "Old Dawg"
How to Train for Your Bodytype

Understanding Your Body Type

by Michael Sztym

The three commonly recognized body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. This articles discusses diet and training tips for each body type.


Somatotypes or somatotyping is the act of classifying human physique according to genetic tendency and was developed in the 1930’s by Dr. William H. Sheldon, a Harvard Professor. Being a psychologist it was originally Sheldon’s intent to discover how body types related to temperaments such as introversion and extroversion. The method he created for categorizing body types is the method we still use today.


Sheldon determined that there were three (3) distinct body types:

 

ECTOMORPH

Ectomorph

MESOMORPH

Mesomorph

ENDOMORPH

Endomorph

The Ectomorph: The Classic Ectomorph will exhibit a linear body type. Ectomorphs tend to look delicate. They are slender, generally have narrow shoulders, and have low body fat. Because of this, muscles may appear more developed than they actually are, as the shape of the muscle is not hidden by a large layer of fat.

The Mesomorph: Characterized by a muscular body type. Mesomorphs tend to be muscular. They have large bones and solid joints. They often have well developed calves and forearms.

The Endomorph: Typically characterized by round body type. Endomorphs tend to look chubby, have a soft appearance, and carry more fat around the waistline. The soft appearance is due to higher body fat which hides the muscle shape. Endomorphs are the opposite of ectomorphs.

Quick Jump

The Ectomorph

Diet Tips for the Ectomorph:

Workout Tips for Ectomorphs:

Quick Jump

The Mesomorph

Fat Loss Diet for a Mesomorph:

Female Mesomorph vs Male Mesomorph:

Quick Jump

The Endomorph

Metabolic characteristics of the Endomorph:

Diet Tips for Endomorphs:

Training Tips for Endomorphs:

 

NOTE: While it is possible and rather common for an individual to be more than a single somatotype, such as Endo-Meso or Meso-Ecto, describing these combinations would be too lengthy an undertaking. This article will discuss only the three main somatotypes.


The Endomorph: Typically characterized by round body type. Endomorphs tend to look chubby, have a soft appearance, and carry more fat around the waistline. The soft appearance is due to higher body fat which hides the muscle shape. Endomorphs are the opposite of ectomorphs.

The Mesomorph: Characterized by a muscular body type. Mesomorphs tend to be muscular. They have large bones and solid joints. They often have well developed calves and forearms.

The Ectomorph: The Classic Ectomorph will exhibit a linear body type. Ectomorphs tend to look delicate. They are slender, generally have narrow shoulders, and have low body fat. Because of this, muscles may appear more developed than they actually are, as the shape of the muscle is not hidden by a large layer of fat.

 

The Ectomorph
Ectomorph If you are an Ectomorph (aka Hard Gainer) you are naturally:
- Fine boned
- Long limbed
- Narrow-waisted
- Weak and Skinny
- Unlikely to gain muscle easily or in larger quantities

As a rule the Ectomorph presents as an individual with extreme difficulty developing muscle though they often appear “muscular” due to the difficulty the Ecto has in creating and storing bodyfat. In many cases this can be attributed to a hyperactive (faster working) thyroid. For this reason, Ecto’s have to eat a lot of calories to maintain their weight which can make gaining weight, even a pound or two, a monumental task if not tackled properly.

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Diet Tips for the Ectomorph:
In order to gain weight, Ectomorph’s have to take in many more calories than other body types. Otherwise, their fast metabolism causes them to burn off any muscle gains. Ectomorphs benefit from diets high in carbohydrates, proteins and moderate in fat. The intake of carbohydrates in proportion to protein should be approximately 1:2 in ratio.

The Ectomorph may have to eat substantially more than they are comfortable with – this changes as the body adapts and begins to absorb all of the extra food.

To put on muscle fast, the Ectomorph should take in anywhere from .75 grams to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. The ectomorph's composition is naturally lean, and they therefore need more protein per pound than endomorphs in order to maintain their muscle-mass.

The Ectomorph desiring to gain muscle-mass also requires extra protein for the muscle's building blocks. For ectomorphs wishing to pack on muscle, both protein and creatine supplements are highly recommended.

The tricky spot for the Ectomorph is understanding that simply because they can eat a bucket of fried chicken they shouldn’t. It is not impossible for an ectomorph to gain fat, it is simply difficult. Hiding what muscle an Ecto does have under a blanket of fat will only compound their physique issues.

Eat breakfast every day. Make no exceptions. A large breakfast will go a long way toward feeing the Ecto’s naturally fast metabolism while still leaving some nutrients to grow with.

Eat every two, to 2-1/2 hours. This will enable the Ecto to ingest enough calories throughout the course of the day to overwhelm the caloric needs of their speedy metabolism and fuel their bodies attempt at growth.

Do not be afraid to graze. With the metabolic rate most Ecto’s possess it may be necessary to snack between meals. This is acceptable provided the snack foods aren’t fried or heavily processed snacks like chips or cookies.

A hard gainer should eat a high carb diet. Focus on the complex carbs that provide long term energy to fuel the Ecto’s naturally fast metabolism - keep simple carbs to a minimum. Wholegrain breads, oats, pastas, rice and polenta are excellent choices.

Keep peanut butter or raw nuts or fruit or protein bars or protein shakes handy for healthy, energy packed fast food.

Hydration is especially important for Ectomorphs due to their high metabolism. 2 to 3 liters of water daily are essential when working out strenuously.

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Workout Tips for Ectomorphs:
Train heavy, but not long or often. No more than 1 hour in the gym 3 times a week is how to build muscle fast. Training for extended durations will bite into the fuel needed for muscle growth and could actually cause the Ectomorph to burn off lean mass.

Avoid lengthy cardio sessions. Overdoing cardio can be highly detrimental to the Ectomorphs quest to gain weight/muscle.

Ectomorph training should be heavy and they should focus on gaining muscle mass. They should do lot of power movements and take more calories than they are used to.

Most trainers and experts will recommend a combination of two to three exercises per body part, consisting of 3-4 sets of each, with 6-10 repetitions for maximum and lasting effect.

Opt for heavy-weight workouts where all the muscles are used and exercised. Multi joint exercises such as squats, bench press and bent-over rows are essential for a total body workout routine.

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The MesomorphMesomorph

The most notable characteristic for the Mesomorphic Somatotype is the ability to burn fat and build lean mass with equal ease. Ironically this ability to rapidly change body composition often leads to complacency on the part of mesomorphic individuals.

The Mesomorph prone to visible muscularity and can alter their body composition with only minor effort in exercise and diet. Mesomorphs tend to be successful at most sports, the exception generally being endurance sports. Mesomorphs are the most genetically predisposed body type for the sport of bodybuilding however they can still pack on enough muscle to participate in powerlifting events and lean up enough to make a go at endurance events.

If you are a mesomorph you are naturally:
- Well proportioned
- Muscular
- Strong
- Prone to having a highly efficient metabolism
- Highly responsive to any type of workout routines

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Fat Loss Diet for a Mesomorph:
Mesomorphic individuals need little help when it comes to changing their body composition. Ordinarily this can be done by simply cutting back on needless carbs, increasing protein and upping activity, however here are some tips that can help speed the process.

It is best to have 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, but since the Mesomorph’s body is less sensitive to peaks and troughs than the Ectomorph and endomorph this becomes less essential.

Avoid the obvious pitfalls of processed carbs and deep fried foods. Never Skip Breakfast. Be sure to eat within an hour of rising each morning. Complex carbs, unsaturated fats and protein foods are important for a balanced energy packed breakfast.

Snacks must be healthy choices of whole fruits and protein foods such as raw nuts, protein shakes and protein bars. Generally speaking, Meso’s have no need to cut back their complex carb intake in the evening meal because of their highly efficient metabolism.

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Female Mesomorph vs Male Mesomorph:
The female Mesomorph, seeking sexy, lean muscle while losing fat, simply needs light weights with plenty of repetitions to change her physique. For best results, go for an equal mix of cardio and weights to lose fat deposits and gain muscle mass.
A total body workout routine 3 times a week that changes every 2 to 3 months is ideal for a slender and shapely female mesomorph figure.

A male Mesomorph looking for a muscular body shape gets best results from heavy weights with few reps. Multi joint exercises such as squats and bench press are made for the Meso body type and are essential for a total body workout routine.

Whether a male or female mesomorph, it is essential to minimize rest between sets and repetitions to around 30 seconds and no more than a minute to maximize muscle development.

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The EndomorphEndomorph
If you are an endomorph you are naturally:
- Medium to large boned
- Rounded in body shape (tending to apple or pear shaped)
- Strong, but often lacking energy
- Prone to gaining fat easily
- Prone to losing weight slowly
- Prone to appearing thick waisted

Most people who train with dedication and intensity but still struggle to lose body fat have an endomorphic body type. If you're an endomorph and you mess up on your diet, the surplus calories are almost certain to go to fat. Even when you're in a caloric deficit, it seems like the fat goes down at a painfully slow rate. Of all the three body types, the Endomoph body type may seem the least desirable one to have if fat loss and a long, lithe physique is the end goal. Endomorphic individuals are perfectly suited to strength sports such as powerlifting or strong man activities, however weight loss and a lean appearance are not outside reason.

Endomorphic individuals possess the gift of being able to develop lean mass with relative ease compared to an Ectomorph. Since skeletal muscle is the only metabolically active tissue in the body the Endomorph need simply embrace their gift for muscularity, follow a few simple diet techniques and they can find losing body fat is not a losing battle.

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Metabolic characteristics of the Endomorph:
Endomorphs are the opposite of ectomorphs on the thyroid spectrum. Endomorphs’ thyroids tend to be hypoactive (slower working). They need to eat significantly less than Ectomorphs to maintain their weight.

From a metabolic perspective, the Endomorph body type sometimes has varying degrees of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance. Pay close attention, because this is an important point. If someone is metabolically carbohydrate intolerant due to a genetic tendency, then high carbohydrate diets are not the preferred choice for fat loss goals as they will stimulate excess secretion of insulin and glucose will be partitioned into the fat cells more easily.

A nutrition strategy for the carb intolerant Endomorph then is to immediately clip the processed and refined carbs from the diet, particularly white sugar and white flour products. These concentrated carbs will convert to body fat more rapidly in Endomorphs. The best solution for the Endomorph body type is a moderate carb diet as baseline, for example a 40-40-20 split of protein, carbs and fat. For those particularly carb sensitive, taking the dietary fats up to 30% may be even better, producing a 40-30-30 macronutrient split.

From the baseline diet, the Endomorph must carefully watch body composition results and adjust the carbohydrate intake according to the results. For some Endo's a further drop in carbs may be called for and in the extreme cases a small handful of them may find they are best of with a traditional ketogenic diet which is even lower in carbs and higher in fat.

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Diet Tips for Endomorphs:
EAT BREAKFAST! Don't be lazy. Eating breakfast within an hour of waking up forces the already sluggish Endomorphic metabolism into motion. Complex carbs, unsaturated fats and protein foods are important for a balanced energy packed breakfast.

Eat at 2 1/2 - 3 hour intervals throughout the day (3 meals and 2-3 snacks in total), making sure that your snacks are healthy choices of whole fruits and protein foods such as raw nuts, protein shakes and protein bars.

Hydration and fiber-intake are top priorities. Drinking water helps to transport the flow of nutrients and flush out the waste products. Make it a point to drink around 2 liters a day. Dehydration often presents itself as hunger pangs. If you get hungry, try a glass of water first and give it time to reach your stomach. This may be all you need.

Lowered fat intake all-round (up to 20% only of total intake).

Eat more proteins. Proteins such as turkey, fish, chicken, whey protein, shellfish and salmon. Olive oil, flax oil, peanuts, almonds, canola oil, and walnuts.

Carbohydrates such as green vegetables, cabbage, oat meal, salad lettuce and berries. Don’t avoid carbohydrates, but reduce the intake of carbohydrates. While carbs give you energy, the endomorphic somatotype tends to hang onto carbs and store them as fat. Eat slow absorbing carbohydrates. Slow absorbing carbohydrates include brown rice, grains, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, cereals which are not loaded with sugar, whole wheat pasta, and bagels. Also following the glycemic index for carb choices can be an excellent idea.

Remember: Your somatotype is totally unforgiving with any intake of fatty or sugary junk food. No simple carb snacks! The same holds true for deep fried foods. Wean yourself onto high protein foods and complex carbs instead. Protein foods are the endomorph's friend. It's great for long term energy, muscle and tissue repair and growth and resistance to illness. Eat most of your (mainly complex) carbs in the first 1/2 of the day when you need energy and cut them right back in the evenings while increasing your lean protein foods. Fat burners, while never considered a frontline method for weight loss or maintenance, are often beneficial to Endomorphic individuals.

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Training Tips for Endomorphs:
To lose fat and build muscle an endomorph should follow workout programs that include both weightlifting as well as cardio.

Weight lifting workouts should be low to moderate weight workouts with a high number of repetitions per set. The Endo builds muscle easily so the focus should always be on calorie burning and muscle shaping.

Short rests of 30-60 seconds between sets are highly recommended for the Endomorphic individual. For the Endomorph maintaining an elevated heart rate throughout the workout is essential for fat loss. Slowing down or resting too long will cause the Endo to lose the benefits of the weight lifting workouts. Consider circuit training and supersets.

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Till next time - Michael Sztym

Personal Website - The Fitness Focus

Old Dawg logo

 

Natural Bodybuilding, Diet, Fitness & Health - Lift for Life.com

Comments   

0 #6 Chook 2012-01-30 02:25
I am a massage therapist and while I was in school, the beer belly issue was brought up. In a lot of men who have a round belly, but 'normal' arms and legs, it is beneficial for them to get lymph drainage, especially on their mid section. It's a type of problem where they retain too much fluid/swelling and unless the diet is changed to a lower sodium, higher fruit diet, it might change, but not easily. Get the massage as often as you can afford. Considering the main issue is the tummy, you may only need the 30-45 minute session. Good luck Menon!
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0 #5 Keyonte smith 2012-01-11 13:29
Help I'm confuse :sigh: I don't know what body type I have Im ectomorph meso I have square shoulders hard body but skinny and medium bone structure and well defined fore arms v body but I have long limbs small but very hard chest big hands long boneh fingers. That's all ;-) :lol: 8)
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-1 #4 justolis 2011-11-15 20:24
they say that the best time to exercise is in the morning right after you wake up.for 2 reasons.1 you are on a starve mode wich means that more fat cells will be moved and used for energy and because training keeps your metabolism high for the rest of the day.so.if you train in the morning.there will be more hours after exercise.so...m ore calories burned that means more fat burned
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-1 #3 Alton D 2011-09-29 13:43
I was wondering if there is a time of day for working out that might be better suited for each of these morphs. Is there one time of day that they might have more energy than another, and hence be a better time for being in the gym?
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+1 #2 GrayEagle 2011-08-28 01:51
I've been helping many people for awhile with losing the fats on there body. Since your having troubles with your torso you should try doing more straight bar rows light weight bench press (incline regular and decline) and ab workouts such as sit-ups with cross jabs and jack knives to work you upper and lower abs. (double crunches work well too)
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0 #1 Menon 2011-08-05 06:57
hey, im sort of skinny and fat at the same time... im slim everywhere except that i have a beer belly and i have pointy man boobs... what do u think i should do? i workout alot too and i control my diet... :o
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