A Workout Routine and Meal Plan For Every Body Type

A celebrity fitness expert tells you how you can achieve the body of your dreams.

While your body type is predominantly genetically determined, this in no way suggests that you are doomed to your biology. In fact, by following a systematic workout and nutrition plan—in accordance with your body's requirements—you can make the most of what your genetics have to offer.

Celebrity fitness expert, Deanne Panday tells you everything you need to know about the three primary body types—Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph—the kind of strength and cardio training each type requires, along with specific nutritional demands. 

 

THE ENDOMORPH

"The endomorph body is usually round and pear-shaped. They tend to store more fat throughout the entire body, especially in the legs and arms. It’s also much harder for the endomorph body type to gain muscle, and much easier to gain weight," explains Deanne. 

However, one can't forever play the blame-game with genetics. While it might take longer to shape up for the endomorph, it's far from impossible.

Cardio Training For This Body Type

Incorporate cardio a minimum of three times per week, for at least 20-30 minutes. But make your cardio training low impact and easy on the knees (swimming, biking, hiking, walking, elliptical etc).

Strength Training For This Body Type

A full-body workout with compound movements to burn more calories, is ideal for this body type. Incorporate a mix of body weight training with moderate weight lifting. However, avoid heavy weight lifting with low reps. Aim for 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets for your upper body, and 12-20 reps for your lower body. After meeting your initial weight loss goals, you can begin isolated muscle exercises to tone specific areas of the body. 

Nutritional Requirements

Endomorphs need to have a stricter meal plan, as compared to the other two body types. Unlike ectomorphs, those with the endomorph body type should eat fewer carbs and must increase their protein intake. Avoid simple carbs that come from white bread and consume complex carbs instead. Heightened stress levels can also cause endomorphs to store fat around their midsection. To help with this, avoid over-training, so that your body can recover properly. Stress-relief techniques including meditation can also help.

 

THE MESOMORPH

The mesomorph falls in between the ectomorph and endomorph. "They are able to gain muscle easily; and genetically, are the ideal body type for body building. They have very strong legs, broad shoulders and a narrower waist. More often than not, they possess low body fat as well. Hence, those people with this body type aren't required to go insanely heavy on the weights to achieve results," informs Deanne. You can lift moderately and still progress! However, it is also best to include some form of aerobic exercise as a fat-burner. 

Cardio Training For This Body Type

Cardio for 15-30 minutes, three days per week, is ideal for this body type. Mix in a combination of HIIT exercises.

Strength Training For This Body Type

The more varied the training, the better the results. Light, moderate and heavy weight training, as well as body weight training, must be looked into for this body type. Basic exercises such as squats, lunges, dead lifts, rows, chest press, shoulder press, etc, along with heavy weights should be performed, followed by isolation exercises with moderate and light weights. Aim for 8-12 reps for most exercises. When it comes to leg training you can incorporate heavy weights with around 6 reps, and really light or no weights with 25-30 reps for 3-5 sets. Add in any other strength training activity that you think is fun and want to try out, like the resistance band!

Nutritional Requirements

If you have a mesomorph body type, your meal plan should include equal amounts of protein and fat, with a moderate amount of carbs. But make sure to still focus on complex carbs to give your body the required energy, and to keep full in a sustainable and healthy way.

 

THE ECTOMORPH

The ectomorph is naturally lean, has narrow hips and shoulders, low body fat and thin arms and legs. “No matter how much I eat, I cannot seem to gain weight”, is a common concern expressed by people who possess this body type. If you happen to be one of them, you will find that it is difficult for you to gain muscle, as well as fat. "To help with this, try focusing on compound movements as opposed to isolated movements, because you will end up using more muscle groups in one exercise this way," explains Deanne. For example, the bench press works the muscles in your chest as well as your shoulders and triceps, using your shoulders and elbow. On the other hand, the bicep curl is an isolated movement that focuses solely on the bicep. "While you shouldn’t completely shun isolation movements from your training, your main focus should be on the big compound exercises. Use isolation movements as accessories, or to finish a workout," she suggests.

Cardio Training For This Body Type

Moderate and low-intensity bike rides and brisk walks work best for the ectomorph body type. 

Strength Training For This Body Type

A person with this body type should train with heavy weights, and rest in between sets (2-3 minutes) as well as in between exercises (5 minutes). Make sure that you train only 1-2 body parts per workout, to avoid excessive caloric expenditure. Aim for 5-10 reps and 6-8 sets of each exercise. Ensure that you take plenty of rest in between workouts and never train a muscle group that is sore.

Nutritional Requirements

Those with the ectomorph body type are able to get away with eating more carbs, as compared to endomorphs and mesomorphs. However, this doesn’t imply that one can consume carbohydrates or fats in excess. That being said, it's best to stick to complex carbs that can leave you feeling fuller, for longer. It will also help push protein to your muscles to help them grow. The kind of food items that you should consume include brown rice and brown bread. As ectomorphs can find it quite challenging to pack on size, it may be beneficial to use additional supplements in conjunction with a healthy and well-balanced diet. Supplements such as BCAAs or protein shakes can give you that extra boost!

 

Can you be a combination of two body types?

When it comes to these three different body types, there's no one-size-fits-all. You can be a combination of two, sharing characteristics from both. By understanding the unique characteristics of each body type, you can use the information to help identify the common traits that you may share from two. Accordingly, adjust your diet and training regime to optimise results.

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