Knowing your body type and how to reach your body goals
The ongoing mantra in the fitness world today is “working out by body types”, irrespective of what a body type is, body goals must be achieved. The body goal actually determines the kind of program that should be employed with respect to the body type. The goal of every client is to be happy with the way they look, and a good fitness trainer should be able to help a client achieve this by training the body type towards the body goal. It is true that genes play an important role in overall physical make up. Hence, it is impossible to expect to look like a certain celebrity, however you can reach that same level of fitness uniquely. Body types have been grouped into three: Ectomorphs(Little body fat and thin build), Endomorphs (Large waist, high body fat and large bone structure) and Mesomorphs. Today we will be focusing on Ectomorphs.
- Body Type and Body Goals
A male model concerned about his lower body make-up contacted me today. Analysing his build up, I could tell he was predominantly an ectomorph. In today’s world, male ectomorphs are not always happy about their build up. Most seem to want the muscular build which is widely accepted in today’s society. On the other side, female ectomorphs are generally happier than the males although some may still have concerns about gaining mass. My model client had a stunning body goal as expected, he was more interested in gaining mass in his lower body (thighs, hips, calves and buttocks). I wasn’t too surprised because ectomorphs are the preferred body size in high fashion hence he had no intentions tampering with his upper body.
Some fitness trainers never bother to ask what the client’s body goals are. This is where they miss it because they go with the assumptions that most guys or girls want to add mass or buff up, this is not always the case. As a trainer, your clients should be happy with the changes they see in their bodies or the overall goal is defeated.
- A Valid Misconception
Another male Ectomorph had contacted me. He believed that “working out” would make him get thinner. For this reason, the lad stayed away from the gym even though he longed to gain mass and buff up. He is not alone; most Ectomorphs share this notion, some even believe weight lifting can be disfiguring. Again, these misconceptions are valid. It is hard not to think this way when there have been no clear distinctions between mass gaining programs and weight shedding routines. In fact, long before now, working out was generally publicized to be a thing for the Endomorph. Today, fitness trainers engage more male Ectomorphs than male Endomorphs and more female Endomorphs than female Ectomorphs.
We have another problem with the word “fitness, which has been made to have same meaning as healthy living. There is a little white lie to be exposed here, there is a difference between fitness for healthy living, fitness for athletic purposes and fitness for aesthetics (bluntly put; vanity). It is important that trainers know exactly what the client wants; this way the client get his desired goals safely.
- Working For Your Goals
We will focus on mass gaining which seems to be the preferred desire for most male Ectomorphs. Ectomorphs have a very active metabolism which enables them have little body fat. They also find it difficult to build muscles and gain mass. Whether you are male or female, want to be buffed up like The Rock or want to gain lean muscles like Zac Efron., the main strategy remains the same although highlights will be made where changes are required.
- Workout Plan
Whether you want to gain lean muscles or you want to get buffed up, gaining muscles is more beneficial to you because you have no need to shed fat, you have little to shed. Focus on full body workout like squats, deadlifts, bench press, leg press, pull ups, dips, lunges and bent over barbell rows. You should avoid aerobics; I only recommend resistance inclined cycling as warm up for 5 to 10 minutes since it also builds frontal hips. You should start off using moderate weights and grow gradually to heavier weights. Ectomorphs who want to stay lean should watch their muscle growth and stick to moderate weights when desired aesthetics are achieved. If you are all in, then heavy weights are your best friend. Go heavy with 3 sets of 6 to 7 repetitions per program. Do less of isolation programs like bicep or tri-cep curls. You should work two to three muscle groups a day, three days a week leaving a day or two for rest.
- Diet Plan
An Ectomorph’s diet should contain proteins such as beans, fish, meat, eggs and milk. You can eat up to four small portions a day that are rich in protein every 4 hours: 8am, 12noon, 4pm and 8pm. You can include fibre rich foods like oats, potatoes, fruits and vegetable. You can literally eat anything you want but avoid junk food, soft drinks and alcohol, your metabolism maybe on fire but better safe than sorry.
Some ectomorphs may find it so difficult to build muscles that they would need supplements. Try whey proteins before, during and after workout. You should mix your protein with water or a beverage drink rather than milk. Read precautionary remarks before using whey proteins because misuse can cause liver damage, diarrhorea and so on. Please seek professional help before taking supplements or go for homemade alternatives like protein rich smoothies like banana paste and raw egg.
- Rest and Recovery
Off days are as important as work days because the muscles grow when they rest. Your workout will yield the best results if you chunk in immediately after a session and sleep just afterwards. You should create time for this trajectory: workout →Food →sleep. An after workout rest should last four two hours at least. This is more feasible at evenings where you can get up to 6 hours sleep at night. Thank me when you wake up.