Ah, the ectomorph body type. Most of us are a little jealous of their thin frame that carries very little extra fat. This body type is often referred to as a "thin frame" as they have small joints and smaller bones. An ectomorph will carry very little fat, but with that they also have little muscle as well. While an ectomorph is usually the envy of onlookers, it comes with it's own set of challenges.
AN ectomorph maintains a thin frame throughout their whole life, and in general have a very difficult time puting on muscle and keeping it on. There is a lot of training involved for an ectomorph to put muscle on their bodies. It requires the right kind of training and the proper nutrition and sleep in order to foster muscle growth.
In general an ectomorph has a smaller appetite and is often full shortly after eating. (Occasionally we see the complete opposite -- which makes most of us jealous!) An ectomorph has a fairly high metabolism, which allows them to eat a gambit of food without seeing weight fluctuations. Again, while this may seem like an advantage, it can also lead to malnutrition and can lead to the infamous "skinny fat" situation.
Ectomorphs can also have an advantage when it comes to muscle building, however, as their bodies have very little fat, they will notice the results of weight training quickly through muscle definition.
DIET for the Ectomorph
Someone with the ectomorph body type should focus their diet on carbohydrates and protein. And not just any old carbohydrate. It's best to consume complex carbs like pasta, high fiber grains, rice and dried fruit. These will help with the small appetite of the ectomorph. In fact an ectomorph should aim to make about 50% of their calories from carbohydrates.
The other large part of the ectomorph diet is protein. This will be essential for muscle gain. A diet of about 30% of their calories from protein is ideal. But with a protein rich diet, it's also important for the ectomorph to consume A LOT of water. This will help with digestion and will also aid the muscles repairing themselves after weight focused workouts.
Ectomorphs should also focus on high density foods such as almonds, peanut butter and avocados. Snacks should be nutrient dense foods such as these. An ectomorph should avoid empty calorie foods and avoid fried and junk foods at all costs. These foods will leave an ectomorph full, but won't give their body or muscles proper nutrition.
While most diet plans don't mention fruits or vegetables for the ectomorph, they are still an important part of any healthy diet. Choose fruits and vegetables with more nutrients than water based produce (for example eating spinach as opposed to celery). This will help get the ectomorph proper nutrition while making sure there is still enough room for protein and carbs.
EXERCISE for the Ectomorph
The training and exercise for the ectomorph is VERY different from the endomorph or mesomorph. The tough job of puting on muscle plays a HUGE part on the game plan advised for a thin body frame. As mentioned before, even though gaining muscle may be huge task, the ectomorph will be able to see the results due to the low fat content of their bodies.
AN ectomorph will want to focus on HEAVY weight training. However, it is very important not to over-train the ectomorph bodies. To achieve this, it's best to focus on shorter sets of heavy weights with longer rests in between sets. A workout for the ectomorph should be shorter (around 30 minutes). Another thing to keep in mind as an ectomorph is to focus on one muscle group at a time. Avoiding full body weight workouts will ensure an ectomorph isn't over-trained.
Cardio is also important to keep an ectomorph in top-performing shape. That being said, an ectomorph shouldn't focus on steady state cardio like running or cycling. Cardio exercises that are beneficial to the ectomorph are things like swimming, kick-boxing and high intensity interval training. An ectomorph will want to pair these exercises with a lot of muscle work and core training to stay strong.
Just like any body type, there are advantages and disadvantages to the ectomorph. Knowing what's best for your body will help you achieve the goals you've set in your fitness and training routines.
The endomorph body type is categorized by several factors. Generally we refer to this body type as the "apple" or "pear" shape. They are known for having a softer body and while they may be muscular, it's often hidden underneath a layer of fat. They sit at the heavier end of the body-type spectrum. Often times an endomorph body type can be the most difficult body type to train and eat for.
An endomorph has the tendency to store fat quite easily. This means they often times struggle with losing weight because their bodies store the fat so quickly and easily. Usually an endomorph will hold on to that fat in their lower bodies, but they can also hold on to it in the middle section too. Their bodies are generally, overall softer than their counterparts.
An endomorph can have a carb and insulin sensitivity, which can increase the issue of easily storing fat. Their metabolism can be sluggish as well, which makes losing the fat even more of a challenge. They must pay attention carefully to what they eat and have an exercise routine in place in order to shed any fat they have stored.
Endomorphs usually have a larger bone structure, which is great for the heavy weight training that's recommended for their bodies. With proper diet and the right exercise, endomorphs can thrive in their given body type.
DIET for the Endomorph
The diet plan for an endomorph should focus primarily on VEGETABLES. It's important to know what kind of vegetables with this body type. Corn and beans in this case would be considered a carbohydrate. It's important for the endomorph to choose vegetables that are higher in fiber as well.
Endomorphs should stick to a low carb diet. Any carbohydrates consumed should be (1) high in fiber, (2) in the form of vegetables if possible: think yams, beans, corn and peas, and finally (3) free from sugars and fats. Following the Paleo diet guidelines is a great way for an endomorph to practice their eating plan.
Eating fresh, unrefined foods is the best option for the endomorph and avoiding any kind of sugar (that's right even in fruit) is ideal. Endomorphs should be eating around 5-6 smaller meals per day to help with their slower metabolism.
Finally, and endomorph should be taking in natural, lower fat proteins such as chicken, turkey and fish. Their diet should consist of about 35% protein and 35% healthy fats. Healthy fats will be helpful in the weightloss process, but shouldn't be consumed more than vegetables.
EXERCISE for the Endomorph
Exercise for the endomorph is going to focus on cardio and heavy weight lifting. Because the endomorph has such a large bone structure, it is perfect for lifting those heavy weights. It's going to be difficult for an endomorph to stay lean, and so they will want to focus on lifting weights that focus on their larger muscle groups.
Don't be discouraged, endomorphs! You have larger, defined muscles, it's just covered up with fat. Once the fat starts being shed, those muscles and definition will shine on through. For this reason, make sure when you take a rest day, you counter it with an activity such as brisk walks or a type of yoga. Keeping active every day will help improve the metabolism of an endomorph.
Endomorphs can also benefit from a lot of cardio. They will want to choose a combination of high intensity cardio sessions (anything that keeps your heart rate higher for a period of time) and circuit training. When choosing a circuit training routine, it's important to have very little rest in between exercises.
This body type can be a tough one to reign in, but it can be done through dedication to diet and discipline to exercise.
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