Good Morning readers!
I little while ago I stumbled across something on pinterest (no, not StumbleUpon tehe), that discussed different body types and their relation to fitness. I came to learn that there are many many articles detailing how best to workout for your specific body type to see the best results.
What a great thing to think about! I wonder if it has anything to do with the topic I wrote about on finding a range of motion that was comfortable for your own body shape? Not really.
The articles instead tend to focus instead on how to best increase fat burn and muscle growth for cosmetic purposes, which is completely fine as this is a primary goal for many who delve into the world of athleticism.
Anyways, back to my train of thought…which was?
Oh right, there are three main body types;
- Endomorph- tendency to store more fat cells, is generally shorter and rounder
- Ectomorph- high metabolism, tall and lanky, difficulty building muscle
- Mesomorph- high metabolism, gains muscle with ease
After discovering these three body types, I decided to educate myself a little further because I had a few serious questions. For example, Do men and women fall equally into these categories? I always thought that women genetically had more fat cells…
Also, Isn’t there an in between? Because I really don’t see myself in any of these categories.
As it turns out, these categories apply equally to men and women, and yes there is an in between. The Science of Eating is a great resource to learn more about diet and exercise as it pertains to your body type.
However, like I said previously, it does not seem realistic that we all fall perfectly into one of these very specific categories. I am definitely not round and short, tall or skinny, or especially muscular, my metabolism is average as is my ability to gain muscle and fat.
It seems dangerous that having this type of information floating around on the internet could cause some to focus too heavily on genetic makeup and how it dictates an exercise regimen. As always, I believe it is important to be balanced in everything.
For example, if someone is of the less-fat-having fast metabolism body type (ectomorph), there is temptation not to do cardio, since cardio is widely associated with weight loss. The workout regimens on many sites recommend HIIT workouts, combined with strength training to build mass. HOWEVER sustained cardio is important even if weight loss isn’t the goal! Cardio strengthens your heart and lungs by increasing blood flow and also lowers blood pressure. Although ectomorphs have less fat they are subject to the same health issues as anyone else, and cardio is important in alleviating this conditions. I would recommend Pilates for all in this categories.
For those on the other end of the spectrum, the endomorphic body type with higher fat content, the regime specifies low impact cardio for fat loss. The fear of gaining mass by adding in strength training to the workout regimen is, without sounding judgemental, ill advised. Strength training, like cardio, is so important for everyone. Stronger muscles aid in form and posture, prevent injury, and if the goal is losing fat, you will not lose it for good unless there is a solid foundation of muscle built to replace the fat cells! Pilates is really good for this as it is known for building lean ‘dancer’ muscles.
For the last category, the Mesomorph, I will only add that it is important once again to stay balanced throughout all exercise regimens. If the goal is weight loss, evenly train and combine cardio and strength training. However with all body types weight/fat loss will not be attained without the proper accompanying diet. If the goal is gaining mass, just remember the muscles won’t really pop unless you add in some cardio.
I am not a nutritionist, I am advising based on my research and what I have learned in my 9 years being an avid fitness participant and learning to become a fitness professional, as well as what I know about my own body. The importance of balance in everyday life is something I don’t believe I shall ever stop preaching.
I do have a minor bone to pick with these articles however, without throwing the authors under the proverbial bench press..
In terms of the articles I have read, there is an apparent emphasis placed on the assumed goals of those with different body types. We are assuming all skinny people want to gain mass, all of those blessed with more mass are trying to lose it, and all those with an inherent muscular build are either trying to become body builders or lose muscle. No one is content (sigh). Unfortunately I do believe that often this is the case and not just with our bodies but with everything. There is a trend in our society to just be generally dissatisfied, which is kind of unfortunate. Instead of trying to change our bodies, let’s focus on being the best we can with what we’ve been given? I am not perfect, I’m dissatisfied all the time but I’m trying to learn how to be content and satisfied even when what I think I want seems so unattainable.
Aaaand I think that wraps it up!
“The 3 Body Types Explained.” The Science Of Eating. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2017.