Body Type, Nutrition, & Training
After seeing so many people transform their bodies and lose weight, I feel as if I have a decent grasp on what can and can’t be done and how to get there. Here is what I’ve learned:
You can’t change your genetics. There are three body types in general.
Ectomorph: They are lean, long, and skinny no matter what and can eat as much as they want and still don’t gain weight.
Mesomorph: They are more lean and muscular and can gain and lose weight pretty easily.
Endomorph: They have more body fat, are not as lean, and gain weight just by looking at a cheeseburger.
You can never go from Endomorph to Ectomorph. No matter how much you starve yourself it just won’t happen. Understand what your genetic limits are, love your body type, and make it your goal to be as healthy as you can with what your given body type is.
Each body type will metabolize proteins, carbs, and fats differently. This is why a single diet doesn’t always work for everyone. Take carbs for example. Ectomorphs can chug down all the carbs they want and still not gain weight. Endomorphs tend to gain more muscle when they eat protein. Ectomorphs often have a very challenging time with carbs and sometimes even fats.
It takes a little of this and a little of that. Sometimes it’s not just diet alone that helps us make change. If you are more stocky and built with more muscle or body fat (endomorph) and you want to lose weight, it might go a long way for you to train using lighter loads and less reps. Likewise, this person is more likely to lose weight on a lower carb diet. It’s typically carbs that put weight on endomorphs. Usually a combo of both lower carb and lighter loads can be helpful.
Too much muscle? I hear it all the time and sometimes it’s actually true, though rarely. “I don’t want to get bulky; I want to be lean and long.” Well, see my first point. If you are a mesomorph and you start to lift heavy and you are premenopausal or under the age of 45 for men then you might gain muscle easily. In which case, you may want to do more cardio and less weight lifting. Also, check your protein intake. If you are lifting heavy and eating a ton of protein and still have a bunch of testosterone and estrogen running through your veins, oh and if you are truly a mesomorph, then you might gain muscle easily. In which case, learn to love your body, or like I said cut back on protein and do more cardio and less heavy lifting.
Be willing to tinker. Very rarely are we just mesomorph, endomorph, or ectomorph. Most of us are somewhere between two genetic body types. It’s worth experimenting with different approaches that might work for you as opposed to someone with a different body type. Change your training and change your nutrition. If the changes are working and you like the way it feels, keep going. If not, don’t be afraid to try something else.
Here is the deal. Strive to be as healthy as you can with movement and nutrition. Love your body and understand that you are unique and can’t change everything. When you place the focus on health and movement, it can take the stress of body image way down. Control the controllables.
What’s your body type? Do you have a plan that works for you?
See you in the gym.
Aaron Leventhal CSCS, PN1