Based upon genetics, individuals are born with one of three body types. We are divided into these categories as a general rule and people may vary in small ways within these groups, but we are significantly one of the three. Ectomorphs have long, lean bodies; mesomorphs are more triangularly shaped; endormorphs have round or pear shaped bodies. Women tend to look at models (who have predominately ectomorph body types), in magazines, TV and other media venues and base their weight goals around those images. However, in order to look your best, you should workout according to your body type and accept that genetics plays the major role in determining how you look.
An effective workout, regardless of body type should include strength and resistance training because it increases muscle cells and decreases fat cells, resulting in bodies that are firm and toned. Walking and running alone will not increase muscle strength or endurance in the upper and lower body, which is necessary for weight loss. If you are interested in adopting an exercise routine based upon your body type, here are some suggestions:
Ectomorphs are lean, angular and usually small chested with limbs that are longer than their torsos. They tend to have lower back problems and are prone to osteoporosis. This group of people may try to focus too much on running or other aerobic exercise at the expense of strength training. Ectomorphs need to spend about 30 minutes 2-3 days per week engaging in weight training utilizing dumbbells (2 pounds up to 12 pounds), lots of stretching, push-ups and pull-ups using your own body weight, and limit cardio work to no more than 3 days per week for 20-30 minutes.
Mesomorphs tend to be muscular and athletic. They are medium boned and have shorter torsos. Their weight is evenly distributed throughout the body and they have a higher ratio of muscle to fat. Mesomorphs usually build up weight in the waist, upper arms and in the back near the bra line. Since most of the fat accumulates at the midsection, they can be more prone to heart disease and stroke. Aerobic exercise is key to burning fat and keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, so mesomorphs should incorporate at least 30-40 minutes of aerobic (running, bicycling, cross-training) 3-4 times per week. Strength training should be included 2-3 times per week focusing on lower weights with higher repetitions to enhance muscle tone. Since this group of people has tight, short muscles, as well as a tendency to shin splints, they should stretch every day in order to avoid injury.
Endomorphs have round, curvy bodies. They tend to have a higher percentage of body fat and gain weight in the stomach, buttock and thigh area. Their metabolism tends to be slower so weight loss is more difficult to achieve. Low to moderate intensity aerobic exercise is most effective for this group of people at a frequency of 4-5 times per week for 30-45 minutes per session. This can include power walking, low-impact aerobics, bicycling with no incline or using the treadmill. Weight training should be incorporated 2-3 times per week with lower weights and higher repetitions. Stretching is very important because it helps to elongate the muscles and keeps them flexible.
So no matter your body type, try to incorporate strength, resistance and weight training as well as aerobic exercise in the right proportions in order to maximize the time you spend working out.
The Better Life Experts – March 16, 2009