By Scott Markey
In this column, I want to break down the different body types for the general population, as to help you better understand what type of body you might have and how it affects your training.
The mesomorph body type is naturally muscular and usually has little body fat. Training programs for this type of individual are usually quite successful. This person adapts quite rapidly to any kind of training programs and structurally has very little chance of injury. Small hips, broad shoulders and medium-sized joints characterize this body type. Long muscle bellies with low insertion points complete the mesomorph’s physique.
Aside from a previous injury or illness, there are very few exercises a mesomorph should avoid. I will go into these different exercises for the body types mentioned here in my next article in further detail due to the space constraints allotted for this article.
The endomorph is naturally large jointed and has above average body fat levels. Training programs for this individual should be geared towards volume work, not intensity so much. Cardio and diet are extremely important for this individual to get the most out of his or her workouts. Workouts should be geared for duration as this will boost the metabolic rate and enhance caloric burn.
Due to the joint structure of this individual, basic movements at intense levels should be avoided. This person usually has above average levels of strength due to powerful joints, tendons and ligaments. Highly intense work tends to stress these areas more than the muscles themselves, so this type of work should be avoided. The endomorph has little chance of injury if he is not obese. Superior joint structure prevents this.
The ectomorph is naturally thin and usually has below average body fat and lean tissue composition. Small shoulders, small joint structure and usually above average bone length are usually characteristic. His or her workout program has to be extremely specialized due to the more likely chance of injury. While this person needs to train heavy and intense, care must be emphasized to avoid injury. Specialization on the basic compound movements will work the best for this individual. Along with increased caloric intake, emphasis should be placed on protein to enhance muscle growth.
This is just a general guideline for individual body types. There are exceptions. For example, your body can be comprised of some of the other structures mentioned to some extent as well. Decipher what body type you represent and adjust your workouts accordingly. So enjoy your workouts and any questions you might have, I would be glad to answer.
Stay healthy San Diego!
— Scott Markey has over 25 years in the fitness and health industry. He has graced dozens of magazine covers and specializes in physique management, training and nutritional consultation. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.