The Best Workout for Your Body Type
Every body is unique, yet many people are frustrated that their one-size-fitness-plan isn't helping them achieve their goals.
Mike Ceja, a sports therapist in Portland, OR, says, "Most people are a blend of two body types. That means they need to work in more than one fitness area." Ceja says workouts designed for a person's dominant body type can help them reach their fitness goals faster.
Bodies come in three basic models: Mesomorph, endomorph, and ectomorph.
Mesomorphs are naturally muscular and athletic. Ceja says, "Mesomorphs don't have any trouble gaining and retaining lean muscle mass with exercise. They can often handle a high food intake with relatively low fat gain." When they become obese, however, they need to focus on:
- A healthy diet
- At least the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes of cardio daily
- A varied weight program
Many mesomorphs consider their natural ability to gain muscle mass a benefit, but some aren't keen on bulking up. What should mesos do if they want to slim down? Try strength training exercises that tone muscles without building mass, like yoga, Pilates, and resistance band work. Be sure to work all muscle groups, not just target areas.
Endomorphs are naturally soft and round. Endos tend to have higher body fat than muscle mass and their weight gathers in their lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. They need a workout that boosts their metabolism to burn fat. Ceja says, "Since endomorphs gain fat easily, cardio and proper diet are key. Too much weight lifting, however increases hunger and makes maintaining a healthy diet difficult. Endos tend to gain muscle easily, so mixing a mesomorph weight training program with added cardio works best for health and overall fitness." Ceja recommends:
- A healthy diet
- 45 to 60 minutes of daily cardio on varied machines (treadmill or elliptical) or activities (like running or biking)
- Varied weight training
Ectomorphs are naturally slender and lean. They're built more for speed and stamina than strength and tend to do well with sports like long-distance running and swimming. Ectos' fast metabolisms make weight gain a challenge, especially if they do too much cardio exercise and don't eat enough.
What if they want to bulk up? Ceja says, "Ectos have the hardest time putting on muscle mass. They need a body-builder type workout that focuses on muscle fatigue (not stamina), weight training, and muscle building exercises. Ceja recommends:
- Three to four sets of weight training exercises
- Limiting cardio to the 30 minutes recommended daily
How do you decide which body type workout is best for you? Most of us know if we're round or skinny, muscular or lean, but if you're not sure, talk to a qualified fitness expert. She'll help you zero in on your fitness goals and design a workout that's custom-fitted to your body type.
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Ice Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
- 2. Can Inactivity Act Like a Disease?
- 3. Kale Snack Recipe for Diabetics
- 4. How Running Affects Arthritis
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.