Continuing our quest to understand body types, we will now look at : The Mesomorph
The mesomorph is the person we all love to hate - we admire their flawless bodies and definition, but silently hate them for it. They usually have the following characteristics:
- Naturally muscular
- Naturally lean
- Broad shoulders
- Lose fat easily
- Gain muscle and strength easily
- Responds quickly to exercise
- Efficient and fast-burning metabolism
Mesomorphs have a great advantage, with a genetic foundation on which they can build. These people are generally talented bodybuilders and athletes. They do not have to agonize too much about what they eat and can gain muscle mass and lose weight at a fast pace. This allows mesomorphs to achieve awesome overall definition.
On the other hand, mesomorphs can gain fat as quickly as they lose it. In order to stay in great shape consistently, mesomorphs would need to put some effort into their diet. This may be harder than perceived. Since mesomorphs get results rather quickly, they tend not to be constantly motivated. Female mesomorphs should focus on cardiovascular activity and body weight exercises with moderate weight training. Male mesomorphs would need to be sure that they add weight training to their fitness regimen so that they can keep their body fat percentages down.
Ectomorphs, Mesomorphs, and Endomorphs can change their body composition, which can be done by specific diets and training techniques. In times of starvation (too busy to eat) or deprivation (being too ill or stressed to eat), due to hectic job scheduling or poor nutritional choices, a person who was once considered an endomorph may begin to resemble an ectomorph, while an athletic mesomorph may begin to look more like an endomorph as he or she gets older and loses muscle mass.
The bone structure of these somatotypes are fixed and will never change, however muscle and fat mass may change due to varying circumstances during life. Cultural condition, habits and illness may also mask the tendency of one somatotype than another. Also keep in mind, as mentioned previously, that an individual can fall anywhere on the somatotype scale. Individuals can have varying percentages of either ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph somatotypes.
Continuing our quest to understand body types, we will now look at : The Endomorph
The endomorph body type tends to store fat very easily, and frequently finds it hard to lose the fat. An endomorph can often have a sluggish metabolism, and must be particularly careful with his/her diet. Some common characteristics of the endomorph body type are:
- Tendency to be naturally overweight
- Gain fat easily
- Difficulty losing the fat
- Larger around the waist
- Possibly sensitive to carbohydrates (particularly processed and refined)
- Slow metabolism
- Body shape is more rounded or pear shaped
- Often possess reasonable strength levels
Individuals with the endomorph body type will generally find that diet alone is not sufficient enough to achieve their weight loss goals. Diet along with weight training and cardiovascular training, will help boost their slow metabolic rate. Consuming 5 – 6 small meals daily will assist in speeding metabolism. In this regard, endomorphs would have to be stricter with their daily diet and fitness activities than ectomorphs in order to see greater gains.
Do you know your body type?? Most people tend to overlook this very important aspect of their genetic makeup. They look for the quick fix workouts advertised in monthly fitness magazines and later lose hope when they are not able to achieve their fitness goals. These workout programs ARE excellent, but can only be effective if applied to the right person, in the right circumstances.
Somatyping classifies body types into 3 main groups - ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph (the suffix morph meaning: form, shape, or structure). It is unusual to find a person whose body type falls exclusively into one of these groups. Most of us share a mix of two or more groups.
We will start with the first group - ECTOMORPH.
Ectomorphs are naturally lean and thin. They seem to eat all sorts of unhealthy foods, and yet stay slim. However, ectomorphs can also be low in muscular strength, and find it difficult to gain muscle. The common characteristics on an ectomorph are:
- Fast metabolism
- Naturally thin or wiry
- Find it hard to gain weight
- Naturally lower in strength levels
- Often high energy levels, and tend to be overactive.
Though Ectomorphs are mostly thin and/or 'skinny', they CAN still gain fat. The ectomorph has a tendency to be lightly built. This means the ectomorph has difficulty building a lot of muscle. On the other hand, under calorie restriction, the ectomorph tends to burn muscle. If an ectomorph, looking to drop fat, restricts their calorie intake, they may burn more muscle than fat. It is important for them to combine weight training as well as cardiovascular training in their pursuit of their goal.
As mentioned, Ectomorphs tend to eat improper or fatty meals due to their fast metabolism and inability to gain weight. This can turn into a concern of increased cholesterol levels. The term 'skinny fat' is sometimes used to describe individuals who look thin on the outside but are very unhealthy on the inside (cholesterol build up in blood vessels). Ectomorphs need to be aware of this fact and choose healthy and nutritious options to avoid the risk of high cholesterol and the other negative risks associated with it.