Okay, so have you ever wondered why you’re naturally much bigger than most of your friends? Or even that others are naturally much more muscular than you? This probably isn’t down to your different lifestyles, but down to genetics instead. For those who don’t know, everyone’s body will fit into one of the following categories, each with their own set of characteristics which will determine what route you take to achieving a better physique. Which is why it is important to identify your body type!
- Generally tall and thin
- Small shoulders
- Fast metabolism
- Small chest
- Usually have a low body fat percentage
2. The Mesomorph:
- Naturally lean
- Naturally strong
- Builds muscle easily
- Broad shoulder
3. The Endomorph:
- Slow metabolism
- Gain weight easily
- Gain muscle easily
- Loose weight slowly
Okay so generally speaking the mesomorph has hit the jackpot in terms of a lean, muscular physique. It is likely to prove a little bit more difficult for those ectomorphs or endomorphs however all you need is a little guidance.
Training and nutrition for Ectomorphs
Okay so now you should have rough idea of what body type you are, and now you can tailor your workouts to suit the requirements of your body type. For ectomorphs (the skinny guys) a typical workout plan will involve focusing on the compound movements and core strength, this involves the likes of your deadlifts, squats and bench press. Focusing on the main muscle groups such as the chest, back, legs and shoulders will stimulate muscle growth. You’re going to want to focus primarily in the 1-5 rep range to develop strength. When you get stronger you can then begin to move onto higher repetitions at a similar weight. A typical workout may look like:
- Deadlifts: 5 sets of max 8 reps for each set.
- Squats: 5 sets of max 8 reps for each set.
- Bench press: 5 sets of max 8 reps for each set.
A full body workout like the one above should be followed by at least one rest day, however it depends on how your body feels, if you are feeling some serious muscle pain maybe give it an extra day. In terms of diet and nutrition you’re quite literally going to want to eat EVERYTHING! They key to adding mass for the skinny guys is to increase their caloric intake and be in a caloric surplus at all times. The best thing about having this body type is that you can usually eat just about anything and as much of it as you like without gaining a pound. Just ensure that through eating all that food you get in plenty of protein, (protein shakes are an excellent supplement for ectomorphs) your five a day and enough carbs to fuel your body. Fortunately for us ectomorphs we don’t have to worry about counting calories! Unless you want to…
Training and nutrition for Mesomorphs and Endomorphs
Right then, you guys put on muscle just by looking at a rack of weights, and therefore the approach to building a solid physique varies a little. in terms of training you will want to focus less on strength and more on repetitions, in the 8-12 rep range. This is going to develop well-rounded and toned muscles. Obviously once you become a little more advanced and you’ve been at it a while you can switch it up a little and have a heavy strength building week, followed by a lighter hypertrophy week. Similar to the Hugh Jackman workout. (Which I recommend you check out!) Unlike an ectomorph mesomorphs will benefit more from spacing out their workouts throughout the week. For example:
- Monday: Chest and triceps
- Tuesday: Legs
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Back and biceps
- Friday: Shoulders
(Make sure to incorporate at least 30 mins of cardio at least 3 days a week for a healthy cardiovascular system)
Although if you want to opt for a full body workout (which usually incorporates a lot more cardio) and workout for less days a week, then you could do something similar to the one I set out for an ectomorph. You would just incorporate more repetitions. In terms of diet I would recommend consuming an adequate amount of protein (about 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram you weigh) for example I weigh 70 kilograms, so on a daily basis I would consume at least 140 grams of protein. For an endomorph however you will want to consume the same amount of protein, but you may want to cut down on the carbs (the likes of your pasta and rice) in order to trim down on that excess fat.
Image of somatotypes, available at: http://romanfitnesssystems.com/articles/somatotype-style/