Posted on 22 February, 2017

How to Train for Your Body Type

By Jacob Andreae in Fitness, How-to How to Train for Your Body Type

[Image source: octathalon.com]

Based on the composition of your body and how it stores fat, you can be categorised as one of three body types. Those body types are:
Ectomorph - Like a ruler. Ectomorphs have a skinny appearance, typically with low body fat.
Endomorph - Pear shaped. Endomorphs are wider at the hips, typically with a higher tendency to store body fat there.
Mesomorph - Apple shaped. Mesomorphs are bulkier up top, typically storing fat around their chest, shoulders and major organs.

I don’t like to categorise people. My psychology background leads me to favour the individual differences of people over classifying them into categories; however, there are benefits to categorising people that I can’t deny.

Categorising yourself into a certain body type helps you to understand the characteristics of that body type. Understanding these characteristics allows you to create a framework for training in a way that suits your body type.

There are many different ways to categorise body type. We can continue categorising until we become completely individualised. For the purpose of this article however, I will stick to these three common body types —ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph.

For each of the body types, follow these training and eating tips to eliminate body fat (and in the case of ectomorph’s, develop muscle and be healthy).

Ectomorph Training Tips

Lift heavier weights (once you can competently perform the move, of course!)
Perform 4-8 reps of each set
Do 3-5 sets
Take longer breaks between sets due to the higher number of reps and sets
If you do cardio, do more HIIT (high intensity interval training) style workouts and speed training

Ectomorph Eating Tips

Eat vegetables with every meal
Drink lots of water to help hydrate your cells
Eat large portion sizes slightly larger than your fist
Make protein the main component of your meal
Eat protein with every meal Ie. red meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, cheese, lentils, chickpeas, beans
Eat lots of healthy fats Ie. fish, avocado, nuts, coconut/olive oil

Endomorph Training Tips

Do bodyweight strength training
Perform as many reps as you can if doing 1 or 2 sets or at least 15 reps if doing 3 sets
Do 1-3 sets
Take less than 30 seconds recovery time between sets to stimulate your cardiovascular system
Do as much cardio as you can, particularly long-slow cardio lasting for 60 minutes
Continue to do some HIIT training

Endomorph Eating Tips

Eat vegetables with every meal to get all the essential vitamins and minerals
Eat fruit but no more than 2 pieces per day
Eliminate bread, pasta, cereal and refined sugar all together
Don’t eliminate cold turkey - cut back
Start eliminating by swapping rather than stopping
Drink lots of water to help you feel full
Keep portion sizes to the size of your fist
Wait 10-15 minutes if you’re still feeling hungry and pay attention to how you feel
Eat protein with every meal to help fill you up Ie. chicken, seafood, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, beans
Eat healthy fats with every meal Ie. fish, avocado, nuts, coconut/olive oil

Mesomorph Training Tips

Do bodyweight strength training
Supplement bodyweight strength training with some weighted training once you can competently perform each move
Lift weight (whether that’s external weight or your body weight) that causes you to fatigue between 8-12 reps
Do 1-3 sets
Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute between each set
Combine a mixture of HIIT training with longer cardio lasting for 30-60 minutes.

Mesomorph Eating Tips

Eat as much vegetables as you can get your hands on
Eat protein once or twice a day Ie. red meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, lentils, chickpeas, beans
Eat healthy fats with every meal Ie. fish, avocado, nuts, coconut/olive oil
Keep portion sizes to the size of your fist
Drink lots of water

Body shapes can be classified in many ways. The three most common categories of body shapes are ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. An ectomorph is typically skinny with low body fat. An endomorph is typically larger around the hips and excess fat will usually be carried there. A mesomorph is typically bulkier around the chest and shoulders and excess fat will usually be carried there. These are just categories and everyone is different; however, these categories can help you to understand the characteristics of your body shape. You can use these characteristics tounderstand your body better and create a framework to train in a way specific to your body.

What body shape are you?

About Jacob Andreae

About Jacob Andreae

I write and speak about Fitness, Nutrition and Mindset. 

Subscribe to updates and get my eBook, Lose 10KGS, absolutely free!

How to Train for Your Body TypeA quick start guide to losing weight and staying on track. Learn the strategies I use to eat and move for optimal health. Includes worksheets to enhance your motivation, commitment and discipline, along with a sample eating plan and exercise program.