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How To Eat & Train Based On Your Body Type

To start off, we are all going to need to know what body types are.

By John Rodgers, Personal Trainer at Baulkham Hills

To start off we are all going to need to know what body types are. So, what are the 3 body types?

  1. Ectomorph: Tend to be people who have a smaller bone structure. For example small wrists, elbows, knees / a more slender build. These people typically have a harder time packing on muscle. Known as ‘hard gainers’ - people who can’t gain a tremendous amount of muscle. Just because you’re an ectomorph does not mean you will not gain muscle.
  2. Mesomorph: Are people who have a moderate sized bone structure. They have an easy propensity to pack on muscle. More likely to be classified as an easy gainer. Easy to gain and lose fat.
  3. Endomorph: Easy to gain fat, likely born with double or triple the fat cells. More likely to become obese.

We are all on a spectrum of 2 of these. On a scale of 1-10 you can be rated into a class. Three different equations used to calculate ectomorph according to the height - weight ratio:

  1. If HWR is greater than or equal to 40.75 then ectomorph = 0.732 HWR - 28.58
  2. If HWR is less than 40.75 but greater than 38.25 then ectomorph = 0.463 - 17.63
  3. If HWR is equal to or less than 38.25 then ectomorph = 0.1

The equation to calculate mesomorph is: Mesomorph = 0.858 x humerus breadth + 0.601 x femur breadth + 0.188 x corrected arm girth + 0.161 x corrected calf girth – height 0.131 + 4.5

The equation to calculate endomorph is: Endomorph = -0.7182 + 0.1451(x) – 0.00068(x squared) + 0.0000014(x cubed) where x is = (sum of triceps, subscapular and supraspinale skinfolds) multiplied by (170.18/height in cm). This is called height-corrected endomorphy and is the preferred method for endomorph.

Somatotype will completely determine what the body type potential will be. You are born a certain way with genetics from both your mother and father, this will make eating and nutrition different for everyone.

If you are skinny (an ectomorph), you train to gain muscle the same way! No matter what body type you are, mesomorph or endomorph you all train the same for whatever purpose. For example, to put on muscle you will train with weights and overload / to train for strength you will all do sets of 6-8 reps / to train for muscular endurance you will train with minimum 20 seconds rest / to train to run 5km you will all train long distance running and interval training! The only thing that changes depending on body-type (and individual’s goal) is the diet behind it.

Depending on your body type, everyday activity, height, weight and goal your maintenance calories will be different to one another. To find this you can use TDEE apps, these will help to estimate your Maintenance calories. By weighing yourself daily at the same time, at the end of the week you can see how your weight is rising or falling or staying equal, this will help determine if your calories are too high or low. Then subtracting and adding 200 calories can help adjust need be. Protein should be 2g per kg of bodyweight, then fat should be around 30% of the total calories and carbs the rest. The higher the level of weekly activity the higher % of fat (max should be 35%, min 20%).

Endomorphs can have it much tougher. These people who get to 180kg plus body weight are born to be more fat however due to lack of healthy eating and exercise end up this big. You cannot completely judge this person as if an ectomorph and a ectomorph ate the same diet and did the same level of activity an endomorph would get much much bigger. What does this mean? This means that depending on your body type you will need to treat your diet and exercise amount differently.

To summarise nutrition is personalised and training will be specific based off the individuals desired goals and what they want to achieve.

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