What can I learn from my body type?- Part one

I preach a lot about how everyone is different and we need to cater our fitness goals to us individually.  This is one of those “easier said than done” phrases. I get that.  The fitness industry does a fantastic job making us believe that everyone can and should be on the same diet or workout plan.  While this can work for some people, others are left wondering why they can’t succeed.  Everyone can, if given the right information for their own body, not anyone else’s. (This is why I do customized training plans.  Sign-up for one!)

There are so many factors that go into weight loss; muscle gains, nutrition, and strength and endurance. It can be overwhelming and hard to know what will work the best for you.  To help you better understand more about your body and how fitness and nutrition will work best for your body type, I am going to break this topic into a two different posts.

Today’s Post is Part One:  An overview of all three body types. I will discuss their basic structure and characteristics.  This will help you determine what body type you are.

A follow up post will be Part Two: An over view of the workout structure and nutritional plan for each body type.  I will explain the type of workouts that provide the best results, and what nutritional guidelines they should follow to increase their success rate.

Let’s get started…

There are 3 different body types; endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs. Say what?  Let me explain.

ENDOMORPH

This body type either gets all the glory for having amazing curves and an amazing hourglass figure, or they are criticized for their difficulty to produce desired results.  Endomorph women are soft, voluptuous, curvy and when they can maintain their figure they are the picturesque body of a “real woman.” Male endomorphs have soft and round bodies.

Endomorphs have the unfortunate issue of being able to gain fat VERY easily.  Women and men tend to be stocky, have a long torso with wide shoulders, and a medium to large bone structure.  They carry most of their weight in their lower abdomen, hips and thighs.  Just as easily as it is to gain fat, endomorphs will also gain muscle easily; bulking up is never an issue. However, if endomorphs do not keep their body in constant motion through exercise the chances of putting weight on are high.  Proper nutrition and exercises need to be a very important part of their lifestyle.

One would assume endomorphs would have poor self-esteem in regard to the struggle they may may to maintain weight.  In reality, this body type, women in general, tend to love their bodies more.  They embrace their curves.  They are proud of what they were blessed with and are not afraid to show it.  This allows them to have more confidence in their workouts and they enjoy the gym more.

If this is your body type don’t measure your success by how lean your legs and arms can be. This just isn’t a realistic expectation for this body type.  I am not saying you can’t have killer legs, you totally can!  Sculpt them into something that is muscular and strong and be proud of that!  Love them for their strength and power.  Don’t hold yourself to a standard that only you see as beautiful because I am sure I would find you to be pretty hot stuff!

An example of an endomorph would be Serena Williams and Beyonce.


MESOMORPH

This body type tends to be defined as the “genetically gifted”  and has an athletic build.  Women have an hour glass shape while men have a V-shape or more boxier frame.  They tend to have lean muscle mass without much effort and use that to be natural athletes. This is usually the body type that is plastered all over fitness magazines becasue they are considered to be the “ideal” fitness model.

Rant: This is exactly why I want you to know your body type.  Pictures can be so deceiving.  I am not saying that if you are not a mesomorph you will never be able to be a fitness model, but the fitness industry makes money on making us think our body type is not adequate.  I have fallen into this trap many times.  I find myself looking at photo shopped perfect bodies and I feel then even more inadequate.  The truth is, anyone can be strong and muscular with a healthy body, but my body proportions will never be the same as yours.  My beautiful ideal should be different than yours.  

Rant over.

Mesomorphs have a slightly curvy figure, but their bodies can be drastically altered by lifting weights.  Their naturally stronger frame, ability to gain muscle easily, and hourglass figure helps give the appearance of a muscular frame.   While this may be a perk to this body type, they can also build up fat storage just as easily if nutrition is not properly maintained.

A girl can’t catch a break!

Even with the ability to gain weight easily they do not need to be in constant motion to maintain weight, like endomorphs.  The lean muscle mass that they carry is a fat burner in itself that allows them to be less active, even though mesomorphs tend to NEVER stop moving.  If they have little discipline with their nutrition it can and will affect them negatively, and weight will slowly go up.

Mesomorphs have broader shoulders and a narrower waist.  Most of their fat is stored evenly all over their body.  They tend to have troubled areas like everyone else, but fat isn’t isolated to one area.  It is easy for the weight to “creep up” on this body type because it doesn’t formulate in one area for them to notice.

You would think that being a mesomorph would be the ideal body shape.  I firmly believe that each body type has pros and cons. While in fitness pictures, mesomorphs seem to have it all, they tend to have the lowest self-esteem.  This is because their weight and appearance can fluctuate so easily. They can be at a high in their fitness level and feel amazing, and then have one week of vacationing and feel like they gained 10 pounds. They tend to be on a constant emotional roller coaster with their body image.

An example of a mesomorph would be Sarah Jessica Parker and Halle Berry.

What is my body type
what is my body type?

ECTOMORPH

This is the body type everyone woman loves to hate.  Ectomorphs can eat and eat and then top it off with dessert and not put on a pound. Sadly, I feel like ectomorphs get such a bad rap. People tend to forget that a healthy lifestyle is not determined by what you look like but how you take care of your body.

Ectomorphs are typically skinny and have a “boyish” figure.  This body type is usually what is seen all over fashion magazines.  They have a small bone structure with small shoulders and tend to be long and gangly.  It is hard for them to put on weight and if they do, fat tends to be stored in their midsection while keeping their legs fairly lean.  Their muscle mass is very lean, and it lends to the perception that regardless of their overall level of health they appear “lean.”  This can make it very difficult for ectomorph women because in their minds the scale and their pant size both say healthy, which can perpetuate unhealthy habits.  This is why a lot of ectomorphs tend to be called “skinny fat.”  Although they can still fit in a smaller pant size , their lack of proper nutrition and exercise can be damaging to their overall health.

Of course I am envious of the amount of food they can consume!  Everyone is, but I also do not envy the difficulty they have with putting muscle on.  Ectomorphs have the HARDEST time putting on any muscle.  This can make strength training a very discouraging process because gains are slower, which does not encourage a balanced exercise regime.  Muscle in itself is hard and takes time to acquire, but ectomorphs have to turn it into a full time job just to make noticeable gains.

While everyone else tells ectomorphs how lucky they are many of them would disagree.  They crave having a “feminine” figure.  It is hard to build any kind of curves, and form any muscle definition to give the illusion of a feminine body.  Their natural muscle structure can make some exercises more difficult if not properly trained.  However, with the right amount of time and effort ectomorphs can become strong and athletic like anyone else.

If this is your body type find a passion for fitness and build on that.  Don’t expect an overnight change.  Your hard work and dedication will pay off.

An example of an ectomorph would be Gweneth Paltrow and Calista Flockhardt

Ectomorph
Know your body type

Find your body type, OWN IT, LOVE IT, and TAKE CARE of it.  The best thing you can do for yourself is to do the best YOU can to make the body YOU have amazing inside and out!