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How to Train for Your Body Type

How to Train for Your Body Type

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1. Ectomorph - Characteristics

  • Typically Skinny
  • Small Frame
  • Narrow shoulders and hips
  • Flat Chest
  • Thin legs and arms
  • Very little body fat
  • Lean muscle mass
  • A Fast metabolism 
  • Finds it difficult to put on weight therefore, can tolerate a higher amount of carbohydrates in their diet. 

Training: Ectomorphs should include mostly compound movements and a lot of volume in their strength training. Compound lifts such as Squats, Benchpress and Deadlifts. Compound exercises recruit a greater number of muscle fibres which stimulate muscle growth. They respond well to short and intense training sessions, typically a 3-4 day full body training frequency. Cardiovascular training should be limited and of a lowintensity and short duration.

2. Endomorph - Characteristics

  • Soft and round shaped
  • Typically short and stocky
  • Large Frame
  • Wide hips and shoulders
  • Large Frame
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Gains fat easily
  • A slow metabolism 
  • Carbohydrate sensitive (does not tolerate carbohydrates as well as other types)

Training: Endomorphs tend to gain muscle and fat relatively easily so they need to ensure they include cardiovascular training in their exercise routine. Cardiovascular training should include a mixture of steady state and H.I.I.T (High Intense Interval Training) sessions. Endomorphs are naturally strong and gain muscle fast so they benefit from doing compound lifts like Benchpress, Squats, Deadliftsand Pullups.

3. Mesomorph - Characteristics

  • Athletic build and rectangular shaped
  • Well defined muscles
  • Broad shoulders and narrow waist.
  • Strong forearms and thighs
  • Gains muscle easily
  • Low body fat
  • Gains fat easier than Ectomorphs but not Endomorphs. Need to watch calorie intake also!

Training:Mesomorphstend to gain muscle and lose fat easily. So if you are one of these, count yourself very lucky! Mesomorphs tend to respond very well to any type of training program. The key to success for this body typeis to continually progress and vary the exercise routine. Mesomorphs typically respond well to all types of strength training so include both compound and isolation exercises. Cardiovascular training should also be included, typically H.I.I.T (High Intense Interval Training).


The vast majority of people will have characteristics of all three body types but have distinctly stronger features of one type. 

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Article written by: Michelle Whelan. A full time Instructor at Goldstone Fitness Waterford.

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