Just as we all have different personalities, we are clearly all born with different physical attributes that give us a unique look. But did you know that some people are born with specific body types that make it easier to burn fat or store muscle?
Some people do tons of cardio without seeing fat loss while others have to work harder to build muscle. After learning your somatotype, you can adjust your training to maximize results.
What is your somatotype?
There are three primary classifications of body types called somatotypes: ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs. These are based on the physical appearance of your body and a natural inclination to build muscle or burn calories easily.
While our body types can be controlled by genetics (passed down from our parents), the way we choose our diet and exercise can affect how our body responds and changes.
Ectomorphs, in general, are naturally tall and lean, and struggle to gain weight or build muscle.1 They have an above average metabolism and burn calories easily.1
They have to work harder to gain body mass because their bodies are so efficient. This can be frustrating for someone who is lifting weights often without seeing results and can lead to injuries from over-training. Ectomorphs can benefit from high calorie protein supplements to build mass.
Endomorphs are the opposite body somatotype. They are naturally larger in stature - both in height and width, and often have wider hips and hips.1 Individuals with this body type naturally retain more body fat.
Even if they are muscular or build muscle, it is often more difficult to see the definition due to their body's inclination to store fat. They work harder to burn fat and may also have a hard time seeing the desired results.
Endomorphs can be tempted to follow very low calorie diets and keep working even harder when they don't see the desired results.
Mesomorphs are the happy medium between the two previous body types and often have broad shoulders and naturally thin hips.1 The term somatotonic means aggressive and energetic - as their energy levels often reflect.
Their bodies often have high muscle mass and low body fat, which makes it easy for them to use diet and exercise to achieve desired physical results.1 However, mesomorphs have medium metabolisms, which means that overeating can cause weight gain and lead to struggling to build muscle - even a combination of challenges.
Often, mesomorphs are naturally athletic and excel at bodybuilding due to their genetic makeup.
In short, mesomorphs are the direct example showing what you can do to your body through diet and exercise. By training and eating right, they can build muscle, burn fat, and improve their strength and endurance based on their body type. However, there are some general guidelines mesomorphs should follow to train properly for their body type.
Training for a mesomorphic somatotype
The key to a naturally lean person with the ability to build muscle is to balance their training to stay fit without burning too many calories and losing muscle mass.
1. Moderate to heavy weights
During resistance training, mesomorphs have to challenge themselves with moderate or heavy weights as they are naturally muscular to begin with. Using light weights would not be enough to work the muscles towards hypertrophy, which will be necessary for individuals with this body type to see real progress.
2. Low to medium repetitions
While someone who lifts lighter weights might do 10-15 reps, using heavier weights may only take 6-8 reps to train the fatiguing muscles. The best way to know that you have chosen the right amount of weight is to notice that you cannot perform more than 10 repetitions on average.
3. Modification of the routine
Due to the natural athletic ability of a mesomorphic somatipe, their bodies easily adapt to training routines and will not be challenged by following the same patterns 4 or 5 times in a row.
Changing weights, sets and types of jobs can make your muscles guess and challenge them to grow and adapt over time. Incorporating bodyweight activity or HIIT cardio can be a great way to challenge your muscles.
4. Adequate rest and recovery
Even if you think you are a mesomorphic somatotype and easily see the desired results from training, don't forget that you too must take care of your body and listen to it when it needs rest.
Finding the right supplement routine and amount of recovery to maximize performance during your training days will lead to better long-term results. At least 2 days of rest per week and following a routine that does not work the same muscle groups on consecutive days may be enough for the body to recover properly.
Diet for the mesomorphic somatotype
Ectomorphs and endomorphs need to pay special attention to their diets based on their body types, and mesomorphs are no different. When you burn calories easily and are built
As for muscles, there are several specific dietary strategies to follow to support and make the most of the work you are doing in the gym.
1. Smart and frequent meals
Eating often without gaining weight seems like a dream, but mesomorphs have to make the right choices too. Since mesomorphs have naturally fast metabolisms, depriving the body of enough calories or protein can lead to muscle breakdown when no other fuel is available.
A balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates that supports your workout should be considered with every meal and snack - by combining carbohydrates (such as a piece of fruit or whole grain toast) with a source of fat and protein (peanut butter, cheese, yogurt).
2. Enough calories
The mesomorph's ability to easily burn calories can be a blessing and a curse, because it can make it harder to get the extra calories needed to add muscle. If you're struggling to get enough calories during your frequent meals and snacks, focus on high-calorie foods that provide extra calories without large portions.
Think of the mix of trail (dried fruit and nuts), high-calorie smoothies, and healthy fats to boost calories. Don't binge on donuts and cookies because you have a fast metabolism. Your body will respond better to the quality carbohydrate calories of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and you will see better performance and feel better during your workouts.
3. Enough quality protein
While muscle building may be natural for someone with a mesomorphic body type, you still need to consume extra protein when working your muscles to fatigue on a regular basis.
To see the desired results, you may need more than 1-1,5g of protein per kg of body weight per day. Achieve this by incorporating protein into every meal and snack (low-fat, low-cholesterol options such as lean beef, poultry, fish, and plant-based protein) and using protein supplements when needed to recover well from workouts and feed the your muscles for their next challenge.
While mesomorphs may appear to be getting the best amount of the three training types - naturally athletic, lean, and muscular - they still need to fuel and challenge their bodies in the right ways to see the results they're looking for.
It is important to keep their metabolism efficient and provide the nutrients their muscles need to continue performing and growing as desired. As with all body types, it is important to train smart and avoid overtraining and injuries.