by anne b.
Hello Ramblers! Happy Friday Junior! We are almost to the weekend and I can’t wait because it has been a hectic, not-much-sleep kind of week. I’m also excited for the weekend because it means I can do longer workouts and I can do them in the morning. Fingers crossed it’s actually warm enough to go running outside this weekend because I sure am getting tired of running my 10k on a treadmill. Even all these new Netflix shows aren’t keeping me entertained anymore.
On the topic of working out, I recently learned more about body types and how you should personalize your diet and exercise plans based on what body type you are. Growing up, I always heard about the three body types in my various health classes, but the information never really stuck with me. Since getting slimmer and more toned was one of my 2019 New Year’s resolutions, I figured I would do a little bit more research on body types and try to create a diet and exercise plan for my goals.
First of all, the three body types are Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph. Before we start going into each body type, keep in mind that most people have a combination of all three body types, one type being a little more prominent than the other two.
To find out what your body type is, go take this Body Type Quiz and/or check out this blog post by Super Skinny Me! After doing both of these, I discovered I am primarily a Mesomorph, so I will be including my updated diet and fitness plan under that category.
Ectomorphs are naturally skinny and have a linear appearance. They are lightly muscled, have small joints/bones, and have low body fat without exercising or following low-calorie diets. They also have small shoulders, chest, and buttocks, but have long arms and legs. They usually have a fast metabolism and thus, find it difficult to gain weight and muscle.
Even though ectomorphs have a fast metabolism and may be underweight, the majority of their weight could actually be body fat and not enough lean mass, or muscle. Thus, it is still important for ectomorphs to eat their veggies and fruits. For ectomorphs that want to increase shape and muscle mass, your diet plan should include nutrient and calorie dense foods for snacks and meals. These foods include nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and vegetables. Ectomorphs have a high tolerance when it comes to carbs, so your diet should have a higher percentage of carbs. In other words, you can pretty much eat as much pasta (whole grain) as you want (luck ducks)!
If you want to build muscle, protein shakes and supplements are your friends! Increasing your calorie intake is also necessary. It is recommended that you eat 6-8 meals per day or if you want to stick to 3 meals add a lot of healthy snacking to your day. It is also a good idea to eat a snack before bed to prevent muscle catabolism, especially if you worked out that day. Breakfast is also crucial for ectomorphs and should never be skipped! Your breakfast should also include a lot of carbs and protein.
In order to get that fit and toned body, ectomorphs have to stimulate their muscles as much as possible. Scratch out any isolation exercises and instead, go for total body workouts. You could include exercises such as the bench press, deadlifts, squats, and lunges.
Use moderate-to-heavy weights to build up muscle and do 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps for each major muscle group. Take longer rests of about 2-3 mins between each set. It is recommended for ectomorphs to work on certain body parts one day and then others the next. For instance, you could work out your lower body on one day, your upper body the next, and then your core on the third day. After your core day, you start again with your lower body and so on.
Since weightlifting is very hard on the body, make sure to get plenty of rest and let your body recover! Overworking your muscles will not allow them to heal properly and will actually cause your body to consume its own fat and muscle rather than build muscle.
Endomorphs typically have a smooth, round body with medium to large joints/bones. They also have small shoulders, short limbs and high levels of body fat, which tends to settle in lower regions of the body like the lower abdomen, butt, hips, and thighs. Endomorphs tend to have a pear-shaped physique. They have a slow metabolic rate which causes difficulty in losing weight quickly. Endomorphs often have to work hard to lose weight and keep that weight off. Even though many endomorphs can gain muscle easily, it tends to be underdeveloped, thus giving the appearance of not being toned.
Since endomorphs have a slow metabolic rate, it is extremely important to train hard and eat healthy most of the time in order to stay fit and toned. The best diet plan for endomorphs is typically a low-carb diet and a strict junk food limit as endomorphs are often sensitive to carbohydrates and gain fat easily. Endomorphs should eat more healthy fats and proteins while eating carbs mainly after exercising. An ideal endomorphic diet consists of 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat.
Whereas ectomorphs and mesomorphs can stay somewhat fit just by having a healthy diet, endomorphs will have difficulty losing and maintaining weight through diet alone. Thus, having an endomorphic exercise routine is crucial if you want to increase shape and tone your muscles.
The recommended workout plan for endomorphs includes a combination of cardio and a moderate weight-training program. The cardio exercises can include walking, cycling, running, rowing, and swimming, and should be done for a minimum of 30 minutes. For the weight/resistance training, you should use moderate weights and keep the breaks between sets short (30 - 60 seconds) in order to keep your heart rate high. Do 10-15 reps per set.
For female endomorphs, if your goal is to slim down and not get bulky, then be careful of “spot reducing” exercises. Instead, use cardio to burn fat and slim down certain body parts like your thighs.
Mesomorphs are often thought as being lucky as they are naturally lean, muscular and strong (excuse me, where is my naturally lean and muscular body at??). They tend to have medium-sized joints/bones, are wider at the shoulders than the hips, and have broad/ square shoulders. Female mesomorphs often have a defined hourglass figure (lol I must be an exception) and male mesomorphs usually have a V or rectangular shape.
Mesomorphs generally have an efficient metabolism. They gain muscle and lose fat easily as they tend to respond quickly to exercise. However, that aspect also works in reverse. As easily and quickly as you can lose fat, you can gain fat also.
Mesomorphs are pretty lucky because they don’t have to worry too much about what they eat. That doesn’t mean they can just eat junk food and have an amazingly toned body, though. As a mesomorph, it can be easy to create bad eating habits because you think you can get away with it. However, just like the other body types, mesomorphs should stick to a healthy food plan and can use the 80/20 rule where you eat healthy 80% of the time and then indulge your unhealthy cravings for the other 20%.
Mesomorphs tend to do better on a mixed diet that balances carbs, fats, and proteins. A good diet often consists of 40% carbs, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. Mesomorphs tend to have a moderate carb tolerance, meaning you should minimize high starchy/sugary carb foods, except after an overnight fast such as for breakfast or after a workout. The rest of the meals should consist of less dense carb foods and more lean proteins, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
As for me, I am trying to get a toned but not bulky body. Therefore, I am trying to eat mainly vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds with fewer proteins and fats. Although I am monitoring my carb intake, I am not following any strict limitations because ya girl likes her carbs.
Since mesomorphs easily gain muscle and are naturally prone to get bulky, I am trying to limit the amount of proteins I eat, especially right after a workout. Gone are the post-workout protein shakes and snacks. Instead, I usually drink a lot of water and wait at least an hour before eating anything.
Female mesomorphs who want shape and a toned, slim body should mainly focus on cardio and limit weights. If you are worried about getting bulky legs, you should do exercises for slim calves and thighs. You should be doing light to moderate weight training no more than 3 times a week for muscle shaping and sculpting. It is recommended to do 2 to 3 sets of 12 -15 reps with light to moderate weights for each major muscle group. Circuit training and high-intensity cardio are also great ways to tone your mesomorphic body without building bulk.
Female mesomorphs who are not worried about getting bulky, or want to become a bodybuilder, can make weightlifting a bigger part of your exercise routine.
For male mesomorphs, the priority is to keep the body fat percentage down as they are naturally muscular. Regular exercise to keep fat off and some weight training with moderate to heavy weights are all you need to get a toned, muscular body. You can start with three to four exercises per muscle group. To increase muscle mass and definition, do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps per exercise.
Even though mesomorphs can gain muscle easily, they can also plateau very easily. Both male and female mesomorphs should keep a varied exercise routine in order to keep stimulating your muscles. You can vary your workout routine by switching out exercises every week or adding new exercises every now and then. Sometimes just changing the order you do your exercises is enough.
For my mesomorphic exercise plan, I am focusing mainly on cardio in order to slim down. Since endurance workouts are recommended for slim legs, I am trying to do a 10k run at least three times a week. On top of that, I do kickboxing twice a week which counts as cardio and resistance training. I have also started a 12 Week Model Program on YouTube in order to change my workout routine and hopefully slim down my body (fat and muscle). If I can stick to it, I’ll do a blog post with pictures in 12 weeks!
Well, ramblers, this is all the information I have for you on body types. Let me know what you guys think and what body type you are! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.
Go get that toned body and Ramble On!
Note: please take this information with a grain of salt and do some research of your own before changing your lifestyle. Also, please, please, please always talk to your doctor and/or a nutritionist when it comes to your diet and exercise, especially if you want to make big changes to it! It’s also a good idea to inform at least one friend or family member if you are making drastic changes so that you have a support system. No matter what your body type, please remember to rest and don’t push yourself when you don’t feel good!