A psychologist named William Herbert Sheldon developed a theory in the 1940’s to help us categorise and understand our body type – of which there are 3. This research has continuously been developed and still plays a large part in the learning’s of academics, nutritionists and doctors today.
The concept is that there are 3 body types; endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph and humans (yeah you) inherit their body type upon being born.
Whether you slot cleanly into one of these categories, or into multiple, you will still fit one category better than the rest. By determining which bracket is yours, you’ll be able to better strategise to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Ectomorph (E.g Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz)
Ectomorphs are generally the small framed, long limbed people we see in magazines. They are lean and have what can only be considered ‘superhuman’ metabolism and as a result don’t really have to worry about overeating. However being thin doesn’t necessarily mean healthy and it is still important to pay attention to food intake. This is where the term ‘skinny fat’ is coined; it’s basically having too much fat and not enough muscle and is also the culprit in a lot of cellulite cases.
So for all you Ectomorphs, whilst eating ALL the junk food and never really gaining weight sounds great in theory, it also means that creating that dream physique will be tough and require determination.
Due to a having a fast metabolism, the first point of action should be to keep cardio at a minimum and to lift heavier. As your body burns calories almost too efficiently it will be difficult to gain weight and therefore muscle mass so keep repetitions low, lift heavy, have longer rest periods and eat more to fuel your lifts.
Endomorphs tend to store fat fairly easily and will find it harder than the rest to shed said fat. This isn’t an excuse to be free from the obligation of exercise, it is simply to highlight that it may be slightly harder to reduce body fat but it is definitely do-able. Endomorphs aren’t necessarily destined to be overweight but may just be slightly curvier or have a fuller figure; a great example of a healthy endomorph being Jennifer Lopez.
To put it plainly, endomorphs don’t have a forgiving metabolism and they will have to work hard to create a nutrition and exercise regime that they can stick to consistently. They must consider that their body doesn’t tolerate carbohydrates that well nor does it respond to crash dieting, however by focusing on consuming higher quality fats and proteins they will be able to increase muscle gain and fat loss.
Finally, endomorphs should centre their training efforts on fat burning workouts such as HIIT and also moderate weight training. It’ll be difficult to lose that extra bit of body fat but by keeping the breaks between sets short and maintaining a high heart rate you’ll without a doubt improve your body composition.
Mesomorphs are generally very athletic and strong looking, and also have an easy time maintaining their fitness. They gain muscle and lose fat without too much effort and are basically built to be powerful athletes. Celebrity mesomorphs could include both George Clooney and Madonna (you may have heard of them).
Mesomorphs ability to gain muscle and lose fat fast means they respond well to a mixture of higher rep weight training to sculpt the body, and circuit training for strength and stamina. The variety is necessary to continuously stimulate their muscles. They must still be wary of eating well however their predisposition to athleticism means they can typically eat a mixed diet with a fairly balanced micronutrient split.
Hopefully you now have a little more of an understanding of your body type, and if so bare in mind that fitness isn’t about beating your body into submission but about feeling and looking healthy. Don’t focus so much on looking like a completely different body type, as that would be extremely difficult to maintain. Instead, take control and try to understand which body type you are to get the most out of your workouts.
Training Space has also recently introduced MYZONE to help you with this further. You’ll be able to input data such as your measurements into the MYZONE ‘My Body Metrics’ feature to monitor your progress and to use the effort-based data to learn your limits and push beyond them.
Training Space is focused on providing you with the tools to reach your goals; it’s up to you to use them.