Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tips For Training (Exercise, Work Out) Your Body Type Skinny, Full Figured, Lean

Body Calculator with body shape included with BMI

Have you been trying to do the same type of diet and workout that your skinny friend is doing without any results? Here are some tips to speed weight loss for your body type.

Endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph. These sound, for all the world like prehistoric creatures, so when I mention them to my clients, most of them look at me like I’m speaking caveman. But primitive or not, these terms are central to understanding your body type, which in turn can help you reach your weight-loss goals faster.

Losing weight, of course, requires creating a calorie deficit no matter what. So how can knowing whether you’re, say, an endomorph – and I’ll get to what these terms mean shortly – can help you burn calories? Because understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your body type will allow you to design a nutrition and fitness program that maximizes the key factors in weight loss for you.

I talk with people every day who spend valuable time in the gym mimicking their skinny or “in-shape” friends with the expectation that they will soon look the same way. Gwyneth Paltrow may be able to keep her body looking great with a fitness regime of Pilates and yoga, while Beyonce needs to do more cardio and resistance training as well as keep her diet in close check to look the way she does. Both of these women are in incredible physical shape, but because they have different body types, a regimen that works for one will likely not work for the other.
So how can you easily determine your body type? Actually most of us have a combination of two of the three basic body types; some of us are even a blend of all of them. You need to determine which of the basic types your body most closely resembles, so you can add the right tips to your program. Here are the three basic types:

Endomorphs tend to be shaped like your favorite fruit (apples or pears). They gain weight easily and struggle to lose it, have slow metabolisms, and have medium to large bone frames. If you’ve struggled with your body weight for most of your life, chances are good you’re an endomorph.

Tips for the Endomorph:
Tip #1 Train your large muscle groups frequently. Doing compound exercises (i.e. exercises that use several muscle groups at once) are great for burning calories. Legs and back exercises such as squats, lunges, leg presses, dead rows, pull-ups, and seated rows will kick your metabolism up. Use moderate weight and keep the rest in between sets short.

Tip #2 Don’t skip cardio. Do cardio four to six times per week, 45 to 60 minutes per session for weight loss. Keep the intensity high and use intervals throughout the cardio session to boost your metabolism.

Tip #3 Watch the carbs and eliminate refined sugar. The majority of your diet should come from high-quality protein. Carbs should be eaten early in the day and include slow-digesting choices such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bagels, high-fiber/low-sugar cereal, and sweet potatoes; taper and eliminate these as the day progresses. Fruit should be eaten in the morning, although when you reach your ideal weight, a piece of fruit in the afternoon is fine as long as you eat it with some high-quality protein.

Tip #4 Eat five to seven meals per day. This is great news for the endomorph since this group loves to eat, but here are the key points: Each meal must contain a lean high-quality protein source, fibrous vegetables, and healthy fats, and portion control is critical (remember you need to be in a calorie deficit for weight loss to occur).

In summary: For the endomorph, there is no such thing as cutting corners. If you’re an endomorph and you want to be lean and toned, plan on making healthy nutrition and fitness a part of your daily life

Mesomorphs tend to be muscular and lean. Many professional athletes are mesomorphs. They have small waists as well as broad shoulders and chests, they build muscle quickly, and can drop fat easily. Although most mesomorphs are fit, some take advantage of their good genetics and develop bad habits leading to weight gain.

Tips for the Mesomorph:
Tip #1 Be consistent. Consistency is key for a mesomorph. You have been given a gift in the form of good genetics and will always look good if you stick with a fitness plan and establish good eating habits. Remember how lucky you are when you see the endomorphs in the gym doing endless cardio!

Tip #2 Do high-intensity cardio. The mesomorph will drop body fat quickly. Four to five days per week of 30 to 45 minutes of cardio should let you reach your goal, and maintenance can include as little as three days per week of cardio with resistance training.

Tip #3 Maintain a healthful diet. The fact you’ve been able to eat what you want most of your life without it showing up on your body does not mean that unhealthy eating isn’t taking a toll inside your body. Make sure you’re eating healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and natural peanut butter. Eat lean sources of protein and complex carbohydrates with every meal.

Ectomorphs tend to be tall and skinny, have difficulty building muscle, have fast metabolisms, and seem to be able to eat as many calories as they want. Ectomorphs easily develop bad habits and although it is uncommon to see a “fat ectomorph,” there are plenty out there. It’s just harder to notice them.

Tips for the Ectomorph:
Tip #1 Pay attention to macronutrient ratios. You have a naturally fast metabolism so a good macronutrient ratio for you is 50-55 percent complex carbohydrates, 25-30 percent lean protein and 15-20 percent fat. Avoid processed foods and eat healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, natural peanut butter and olive oil.

Tip #2 Focus on weight lifting and toning exercises. Ectomorphs have difficulty building muscle so lift heavy weights and concentrate on one muscle group at a time. Keep cardio to a minimum since too much cardio will keep you from building muscle and may make you “too skinny.”

Tip #3 Don’t skip meals. This is important during your weight-loss program and during maintenance to ensure that you build and keep your muscle. Eat at least 5 meals per day and don’t be afraid to go higher – just watch the portion sizes while you’re trying to lose weight.

Make no mistake, weight loss is tough work that requires focused goals and consistency. But understanding your body type and using these tips creates a synergistic approach that will speed up your results. Happy training!

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