Embracing our unique body shapes is the first step towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. While each of us possesses a distinct physique, it’s essential to understand that our bodies respond differently to various workout routines. A well-tailored fitness plan that complements our body shape can maximise results, enhance overall strength, and boost self-confidence. So, whether you’re looking to build strength, tone specific areas, or improve overall fitness, read on to discover how understanding your body shape can unlock the door to a more effective and enjoyable workout routine. Get ready to embrace your unique physique and unleash your full fitness potential! (Also read: Home workouts vs gym workouts: Which one is right for you? )
According to Vishal Mankani, fitness expert and founder of Happy Healthy Holy, there are three main body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Each body type has its own unique characteristics and requires different workout strategies to optimize results. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Vishal shared some valuable workout strategies tailored for each body type.
Workout strategies for different body shapes
Ectomorphs are typically characterized by a lean and slender physique. They tend to have a fast metabolism, making it challenging for them to gain muscle mass. Ectomorphs often have long limbs, a narrow frame, and a low body fat percentage.
- Focus on compound exercises: Ectomorphs have a naturally fast metabolism and struggle to gain muscle mass. To counter this, focus on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.
- Increase training volume: Ectomorphs typically respond well to higher training volumes. Increase the number of sets and reps you perform for each exercise to stimulate muscle growth.
- Limit cardio: Since ectomorphs have a fast metabolism, excessive cardio can burn calories that are needed for muscle growth. Limit cardio sessions to a moderate amount and focus on weight training.
- Shorten rest periods: Keeping rest periods shorter between sets (around 60-90 seconds) can help maintain an elevated heart rate and promote muscle growth.
- Include sufficient recovery time: Ectomorphs need to allow enough time for rest and recovery to avoid overtraining.
Mesomorphs are known for their athletic and muscular build. They have a well-proportioned body with a moderate metabolism, making it easier for them to gain and maintain muscle mass. Mesomorphs typically have a medium-sized frame, defined muscles, and an overall balanced body composition.
- Combine strength and hypertrophy training: Mesomorphs have a naturally athletic build and respond well to both strength and hypertrophy training. Incorporate a mix of heavy compound lifts and moderate rep ranges to build muscle and strength.
- Focus on progressive overload: Mesomorphs can handle heavier weights and recover faster. Continuously challenge yourself by gradually increasing the weight, reps, or sets to stimulate muscle growth.
Endomorphs usually have a softer and rounder body shape, with a higher percentage of body fat. They tend to have a slower metabolism and find it more challenging to lose weight and maintain a lean physique. Endomorphs often have a larger bone structure, wider hips, and more body fat accumulation in the lower body.
- Include both strength training and high-intensity cardio: Endomorphs tend to have a higher body fat percentage, so combining strength training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or other forms of cardio can help burn calories and promote weight loss.
- Focus on calorie control: Endomorphs may need to pay closer attention to their calorie intake to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Combining exercise with a healthy, balanced diet is crucial.
- Incorporate circuit training: Circuit training, which involves alternating between strength exercises and cardio exercises with minimal rest, can be an effective way for endomorphs to burn calories and build muscle simultaneously.
- Stay consistent: Consistency is key for endomorphs to see results. Regular workouts and a healthy diet will be essential for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Remember, these strategies are general guidelines, and individual variations may exist within each body type. It’s essential to listen to your body, adjust your workouts as needed, and consult with a professional trainer or coach for personalised advice.