It’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to a fitness regime. Here’s what you need to know to tailor to your body type.
Hitting the gym and pounding the pavements but still can’t get those Bella legs? You might need to tweak what you’re doing to your body type. By that, you have to know all about somatotypes (not tomatos — get your mind off lunch!) which was popularised back in the 1940s.
If it has been this long, how come you’ve never heard of it? Well, according to the theory used in the athletic world, there are three distinct body types — ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph, and each of us fall into at least one of these categories. According to the concept, just as different types of plants require different amounts of water and sunlight to thrive, different body types require different forms of conditioning.
As such, many personal trainers, nutritionists and doctors tailor their programmes with somatotypes in mind, believing it’s essential to train and eat for your body type in order to experience a significant change.
LISTEN TO YOUR BOD
If you eat a lot but find it hard to gain weight, you’re an ectomorph: long and lean with relatively little muscle and body fat. Conversely, if you exercise and go on a diet consistently but find it hard to shed the pounds, you’re an endomorph (round in appearance with lots of muscle and body fat). If you’re naturally athletic, gain and lose weight without too much effort, you’re a mesomorph, with large muscles and a strong bone structure — which is basically the genetic jackpot. “Mesomorphs are the genetically-gifted bunch who have good build and pack on muscle with half the effort because of their highly responsive muscle cells,” says Vaenu Sharanz, personal trainer and fitness entrepreneur.
Not a mesomorph? Don’t fret, very few people belong to only one of the three body types, and most of us are actually a combination of two. For example, endomorphs are pear-shaped, with a lanky upper body and high fat storage in the hips and thighs, while endo-ectomorphs are appleshaped, with high fat storage in the mid-section and a thin lower body. And if you are, say, a meso-endo mix, you gain muscle as quickly as you do weight.