Marsh column: Different workouts compliment different body types

  • Posted: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:24 a.m.

So you figured out what body type you are, here are some workouts which compliment these body types. Remember you can be one that has a bit of this and a bit of that.

Logging your progress is very beneficial to see what works and what does not. With all the free apps for the smartphone, it has become a very easy way to log your workouts and calorie intake.


For the Ectomorph (hard gainer): You need lots of calories because your metabolism is super fast. That does not mean that you eat whatever you want, even “skinny” you can still clog up those arteries with a high fat unhealthy diet. Typically an Ectomorph is looking to gain weight/muscle. The workout for that can be a body building workout. Heavy weight, low reps, full recovery in between sets. Of course that is after you have a good base of general weight lifting. An example can be Chest and Triceps one day 4-6 exercises for big muscle group and 2-4 exercises for smaller muscle groups 4-5 sets 4-8 reps. Back and Biceps another day, Legs and shoulders the next day. Core can be worked in every day or whenever it fits in your routine. Cardio is a must for a healthy heart just make sure you don’t go overboard. 75 percent of your workout can be weights and 25 percent cardio. Preferable 5-6 days a week.

For the Mesomorph (Muscular and athletic): you have a natural muscle build but if not paying attention to calories can gain fat, too. This body type is very well suited for body building competition. Find out what your goal is so you can select your workout. For muscle building same as above 70 percent weights and 30 percent cardio (the percentages is purely my opinion after many years training different body types, this is what I have found successful) For muscle definition, interval training works very well. Full body workout with cardio worked into the routine. Very little rest and keep your calories in check and make sure they are nurturing calories not empty ones. Preferable 5-6 days a week.

For the Endomorph (soft and round body): You can gain muscles and fat easily. Calories are not kind to you; you have to be very aware what you put into your mouth and need lesser calories than the mesomorph and especially the ectomorph. Metabolism is typically slow. Your workout needs to consist of high intensity cardio work and about two days (at least one full day of rest in between those days) of full body strength workout. Your strength workout will be with low weights and high reps. Example: Two chest exercises, 2 back, 4 leg, 2 shoulder, 1 bicep and one triceps exercises. Core can be worked in any or every day. Two sets or 15 to 25 reps. 80 percent intense cardio and 20 percent weights. No rest and preferable 6 days a week.

If you are not sure what body type you are ask a licensed personal trainer. We might be able to steer you in the right direction. The real key is your progress in your workouts, if they have not been working for you it might be time to change it to something your body will respond to. Because even us professionals can’t “just” stick you in one category.



Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt


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