Determining your Body Type

When it comes to gaining weight naturally, you have to know your body type. We are all born with a different genetic blueprint. Understanding what all three body types are and which one you fall into will help you achieve whatever weight training and diet goals you set for yourself. Based on your body frame size, body fat percentage and weight, you fall into one of three body types: endomorph, ectomorph, or mesomorph.

Mesomorph

Mesomorph’s have the good life! They can gain weight or lose weight easily. They don’t have to workout hard in the gym and basically can eat almost whatever they want and yet they can still maintain their physique.

Characteristics:

  • Gains or loses weight easily
  • Rectangular shaped
  • Upright posture
  • Thick skin
  • Hard, muscular body
  • Builds muscle quickly

Since Mesomorph’s have a naturally muscular build, there body fat percentages tend to be low. They’re not too big and not too skinny. Mesomorph’s tend to be on the move more often than not, so to maintain their naturally built physique, they should eat 5-7 small meals a day. They just train using relatively heavy weights and incorporate an aerobic workout as well.

Mesomorph’s should workout with basic compound exercises as well as single-joint isolation movements. They should do about 3-4 sets per body part with about 10 repetitions each. Remember, if you fall into this category, you want to try to maintain what you already look like. You want to adjust weight training more often to keep your body from getting used to one exercise.

Ectomorph

If you find it hard to gain weight and build muscle easily, then you’re an Ectomorph. Ectomorph’s have an extremely high metabolic rate which makes it a challenge for them in the weight room and at the dinner table.

Characteristics:

  • Has trouble gaining weight
  • Muscle growth takes longer
  • Flat chest
  • Delicate build
  • Small-boned

Ectomorph’s can eat basically whatever they want and still find it hard to gain weight and build muscle. Since their metabolism burns calories at a high rate, they need to eat a lot more than the average person. If you’re an ectomorph, try to eat at least 5 meals per day. Try to eat a high protein shake when you wake up and right before you go to bed. Weight training is also extremely important. Don’t workout everyday and keep your aerobic and cardio workouts to a minimum.

Ectomorph’s should stick with 3-4 mass building exercises which workout the major muscle groups, like your chest, arms, and legs. Be careful not to overtrain! Many ectomorph’s think the only way to “catch up” to others that are much bigger and stronger is to workout for hours a day. Keep your workouts to 45 minutes to an hour, max. Get in the gym, do your thing, and get out! Ectomorph’s should do around 10-12 sets for larger body parts and 6-8 for smaller ones. Your last 1-2 sets should be performed to failure, meaning workout until you can’t lift the weight(s) again.

Endomorph

Endomorphs usually have a slower metabolism which makes fat loss very difficult. They also have a relatively large bone structure and even though they can lift heavy weights around the gym, their body frame can hide their hard-earned muscle gains.

Characteristics:

  • Soft body
  • Round shaped
  • Underdeveloped muscles
  • Over-developed digestive system
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Trouble losing weight

Their physical features dictate that Endomorph’s should maintain a diet low in fat with a low to medium intake of carbohydrates. Endomorph’s should definitely train using weights along with incorporating an aerobic workout. There are some supplements that will help with fat loss but remember: Supplements will not magically help you lose weight if you do not eat right and workout on a regular basis. I cannot emphasize this enough!

When weight training, Endomorph’s should include both compound and isolation movements. Also, they should mix up their exercises and the order in which they do them every so often. Keep in mind not to train too heavy too often, which can cause serious injury. Endomorph’s should do 8-12 sets with 12-15 repetitions each.