People come in all shapes and sizes, but typically fall within three body types: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. These body types have specific features that you can identify in others and yourself. Let’s examine the three different body types out there.
Meso actually means short. But mesomorph’s aren’t just short, they are muscular too. Mesomorphs are those people that seem like they can work out for a couple of days and pack on ten pounds of muscle. They can also gain fat quickly if they are not careful. Mesomorph’s have the typically 'jock' build because they are naturally gifted with more lean muscle mass. They typically have a rectangular or blockish shape with defined features such as square jaw lines and thick bones.
Meso’s have large chests and shoulders, which are generally larger than their waists. This means they have the natural v-shape that everyone in the gym has to work their butt off for. Because of their athletic builds, mesomorphs tend to have a lot of energy and enjoy being active. The other nice thing about being a mesomorph is their body’s fat is generally distributed evenly. Mesomorphs may suffer from a lack of flexibility.
One thing that mesomorphs have to watch out for is excess weight gain in their waists if they become sedentary and eat an unhealthy diet. Cardiovascular and heart disease are risks for overweight mesomorphs. If you fall into this category then be sure to keep your weight and diet in check by staying active and eating right.
Typical physical traits of mesomorphs are:
• Athletic build
• Defined and well muscled
• Thick bones
• Develops muscle and fat effortlessly
Mesomorphs should concentrate on strength training and cardiovascular exercise to take advantage of their natural propensity to gain muscle as well as to help them keep from gaining weight. Their diets should include plenty of lean protein, quality carbohydrates, and vegetables.
Ectomorphs are the typical hard-gainers. In other words, they’re skinny. Ectomorphs are generally tall and thin (think supermodel). Ectomorphs are linear and have almost frail features such as narrow trunks, and long arms and legs. Really thin ectomorphs are even accused of having eating disorders. You can usually see an ectomorph’s bone and muscle outline.
Willowy-type ectomorphs can be found gracing the covers of many fashion magazines because of their features. But that doesn’t mean they are immune to health problems. Ectomorphs can be injured during activities because of their small bone structure and length. They often fall prey to sprains, strains, and breaks. Ectos probably won’t be the star football player or champion bodybuilder, but they may be excellent at endurance sports such as long distance running and swimming. Ectomorphs generally like to stick to what they are good at in terms of physical activities.
Ectomorphs builds are best described as:
• Small and delicate bone structures
• Classic hard-gainers
• Flat chested
• Small shoulders
• Quick metabolism
Ectomorphs should focus their exercise efforts on strength and endurance training. Although they find it hard to gain weight, any muscle they do gain will look great because it will not be buried under fat because of their natural leanness. The ectomorph should strength train 3-5 times per week and consume plenty of protein, especially after a workout. Although they are naturally gifted at running, they should be careful not to do too much exercise if they are concerned with being too thin.
Endomorphs are the curvy, hourglass types. Endomorphs generally have more weight in their lower halves. Some people refer to classic endomorphs as pear-shaped. Endomorphs gain weight in their abdomens, hips, thighs and legs. This is the opposite of the mesomorph that has their weight evenly distributed throughout their entire body. Endomorphs and their pillowy bodies can easily put on fat. For some reason the body of an endomorph gains and stores fat easily. Because of this they are susceptible to becoming obese.
The bone structure of an endomorph is medium to small. They have shorter limbs and are not well defined with copious amounts of muscle. Endomorph females are often described as voluptuous. Male endomorphs mainly collect fat in their stomachs, buttocks, and legs. They often complain of having fat legs. Male and female endomorphs are susceptible to heart disease like their mesomorph peers. Endomorphs have:
• Soft round bodies
• Gains fat easily
• Issues with weight loss
• Sluggish metabolism
Endomorphs should concentrate on doing heavy cardio and lower body strength training. This will help them keep their weight off as well as target the fat located in the lower region. Endomorphs should try their best to avoid carbohydrates such as pasta, breads, and sweets. These foods will accelerate weight gain and fat accumulation.
Most people have a dominant body type, but are a mixture of different types. No matter what kind of body type you are you can still build a lean and strong body. Knowing what type of body type you have is helpful because you can curtail your workout to take advantage of your natural strength and weaknesses.
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