How do body types differ from each other?
From an athletic point of view, ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs can be quite distinct from each other. Ectomorphs, or linear-leaning individuals, are often better suited for activities that require speed and stamina and they generally have longer limbs.
The majority of professional basketball players possess the ectomorph body type. These folks don’t gain weight easily if they have plenty of physical activity on a regular basis.
Mesomorphs, on the other hand, tend to develop more advanced musculature than ectomorphs and endomorphs. Due to the ease at which their muscles can be strengthened, they are able to perform well in different sports such as martial arts, swimming and of course, bodybuilding.
Endomorphs, or round-leaning individuals, typically have a higher volume of body fat in their bodies compared to mesomorphs and ectomorphs.
People who are predominantly endomorphic often have the size advantage for sports that require power, endurance and strength. Many football players, wrestlers and bodybuilders have endomorphic body types.
A large percentage of competitive strongmen are also endomorphic.
With these facts in mind, it would be false to assume that endomorphs have less strength or endurance just because they have the propensity to develop body fat more quickly than the two other body types.
What are the best bodybuilding practices for each body type?
You can become a successful bodybuilder regardless of your body type. Why? Because hard work and determination are always more powerful than genes!
You just have to follow the best practices for your body type so you can maximize the results of all your hard work. Sometimes, a few tweaks is all it takes to improve the overall results of your exercises.
If you’re tall, lean and strong then you’re probably an ectomorph:
- Ectomorphs often fare better when weightlifting sessions are kept short to preserve muscle mass. If your workouts are too long, it’s possible that your muscle growth will be hampered by natural catabolism in the muscle tissues.
- You should limit your total sets per movement to eight, but do no less than six to maximize your gains.
- Even if you’re already lean, you still need cardio to burn fat and keep your heart rate up. Cardio is also an excellent way to warm up and stretch the major muscle groups of the body. Do no more than three cardio workouts per week and limit your sessions to twenty minutes per session only.
- Just because you’re a lean and tall ectomorph doesn’t mean that you can eat junk food and expect good results. You still need plenty of protein to feed muscle growth and essential nutrients from whole food or supplements.
- The majority of your exercises should be compound movements, too. Compound movements involve at least two groups of muscles and joints (e.g. squats with shoulder press)
If you’re roundish but powerful with the weights, you’re most likely an endomorph:
- Endomorphs have an obvious disadvantage: they tend to build large fat deposits in their midsections. If this is true for you then you have to be careful about what you eat.
You need to strike a balance between your protein requirements and the minimum carbohydrate requirement so your muscles will have sufficient glycogen for your workouts. Healthy vegetable fats are also important as they help keep your hunger at bay.
- Unlike ectomorphs, endomorphs can gain mass quickly. In addition to compound movements, you can also focus on isolation exercises to strengthen and improve the appearance of target muscles such as your delts, quads, etc.
- To burn off fat and to ensure optimum muscle growth, cardio sessions should last no more than 30 minutes per session. Cardio should also be limited to three times every seven days.
- To ensure that body fat deposits are held at bay, you should also consider performing additional physical activities to keep your metabolism up. Popular sports such as basketball, tennis and badminton are good choices. If mountain climbing is your thing, then by all means, indulge in it! As long as you’re active and moving, your metabolism will improve.
If you’re naturally muscular and resilient in the gym, you’re a lucky guy – you’re most likely a mesomorph!
- Even if you are blessed with ideal musculature and fast gains, you should remain vigilant about your workouts. Consistency is key. Don’t be complacent – keep pushing your limits in the gym!
- Eating junk food will still increase your body fat. You’ll become an overweight mesomorph. On a more positive note, you can modify your diet so your body adopts the body fat percentage of a lean ectomorph.
- Focus on your nutrition because your body requires plenty of nutrients to build muscle. Natural sources of protein, carbs and fat can help you achieve your goals more quickly.