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Working out for your body type

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Whether you want to lose weight, tone up, or build lean muscle, knowing and understanding your body type can really help you to reach your health and fitness goals.

By determining your body type, you can start to understand what type of exercise your body might be predisposed to. It’s important to not think of your body type as a limitation, just tweak your training program and nutrition to ensure you reach the results you want. Training Expert David Wiener is here to take you through the different body types and how you can optimize your lifestyle to get the best results.

From a sports science perspective, there are three different body types:

#1 Ectomorph

Commonly described as skinny, or naturally slim, ectomorphs can also fall into what’s often referred to as “skinny-fat”, i.e. with high levels of visceral fat, which can’t be seen, but which surrounds the internal organs. People of this body type can usually eat what they like without really gaining weight, but they tend to have trouble gaining muscle mass.

#2 Mesomorph

Naturally have a more muscular and athletic build. People with this body type can typically eat a lot without gaining body fat due to a high metabolism and highly-responsive muscle cells.

#3 Endomorph

People with this body type tend to be overweight from a young age. They also don't tolerate carbohydrates well and tend to gain weight quickly, especially around the stomach area. As a result, they often find it more difficult to lose weight.

Depending on your natural body type, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to training:

If you’re an Ectomorph…

Ectomorphs may be underweight but with a high body fat percentage and not enough lean mass (muscle). Ectomorphs should focus on increasing their muscle mass, prioritizing bodyweight training. In terms of diet, ectomorphs should choose nutrient and calorie dense foods for their snacks and meals, such as nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables.

If you’re a Mesomorph…

Mesomorphs respond well to a balanced training regime, including a good mix of cardio and weights. Intense workouts incorporating plyometrics, bodyweight training and weights will help you to build muscle and burn fat and it’s likely that you’ll see results quite quickly from whatever training regime you adopt in comparison to other body types.

If you’re an Endomorph…

In addition to monitoring their carbohydrate and fat intake, the ideal endomorph workout plan should combine an intense cardio regime along with a moderate weight-training program to produce maximum results. Endomorphs should avoid crash dieting; this will only slow your already sluggish metabolism down further and make your body cling to its fat reserves even more so. For the endomorph to achieve their dream body, they must rigidly stick to their diet and exercise programs. The best diets for endomorphs tend to be low-carb diets as many endomorphs are carbohydrate sensitive. This means avoiding junk foods and finding a way to adopt these changes and turn it into a sustainable lifestyle that suits you.

To recap:

Different body types have different optimum training and nutrition patterns. Finding out which suits you best is an important step along the road to achieving your goals. However, one thing universally beneficial across all body types is maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle in terms of both training and nutrition. Whilst there might be variations according to which of the three body type categories you fit into, the best things you can do for your body are to eat healthily and exercise frequently. For workouts and nutrition plans personalized to you, download the Freeletics Training and Nutrition apps now.