Based on body type, how much should you work out?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 23, 2009 3:33 PM GMT
    How long and often is an optimum amount of time to weight lift and do cardio based on body type?

    I'm somewhere between a mesomorph and an endomorph, so I don't have trouble putting muscle, or weight, on. I have more trouble keeping lean. I could probably handle doing longer workout sessions, but I've been told and read that there isn't much benefit beyond the first hour of training. I'm not sure if that's correct for my body type, though, so I thought I'd ask.

    Based on your experiences and body type, what do you find works to reach optimal fitness?
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    Jan 23, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
    I guess I'll throw my assumptions here as a starting point.

    Three body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph
    Ectomorph - Body type is skinny. They're walking furnaces. This is the type of person that just doesn't need to worry about getting fat, because no matter how much they seem to eat, their metabolism is ahead of them. Their problem is actually trying to put on weight and keep it. They can't get too large, but they can get unbelievably ripped. Sometimes a person can have a metabolic disorder like hyperthyroidism that can shift them into this category.

    Training session duration: approximately 30 - 40 minutes three times a week
    Their focus: high weight, low reps, low sets. Low Volume in total. Plenty of rest between sets.
    This group wants to break their muscle down quickly, without burning too many precious calories.
    Mesomorphs - Body type muscular and trim. These people have the ideal body type. Without much work they can build muscle and keep the weight off. They can't get gigantic, but definitely respectively large and/or fairly ripped. They can get fat if they get sedentary, but not morbidly obese generally.

    Training session duration: 30 - 90 minutes three to six times a week.
    Their focus: Medium Volume
    This group just needs to find balance. Most anything works.
    Endomorphs - Body type is large. If they train hard, they can reach that mythic muscle mass stature. If they don't, they very easily fall into getting fat. Sometimes metabolic disorders, like hypothyroidism can shift someone's body type into this group. This group is the strongest. They build muscle and keep it. Their biggest problem is fat. They have to avoid sugars and highly refined grains. Probably the most frustrating body type.

    Training session duration: 60 minutes+, maybe more, four to six times a week. Need cardio.
    Their focus: High Volume. Heavy weights with lots of sets
    This group should not wait too long between sets. Keep the heart going. They need to burn. They should work the largest muscles hard to up their metabolism

    I'm curious if anyone with a mesomorph body type recommends extra long workout sessions, two hours+, or if they should try to keep in that hour long range like the rest? Am I right to say High weights with lots of sets, or does that break down the muscle too much? Am I getting this mixed up?
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    Jan 23, 2009 5:32 PM GMT
    Hey BurnF... Thanks for posting this! I had heard about these body types before, but never really understood what people were talking about when they mentioned it.

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    Jan 23, 2009 6:28 PM GMT
    Somatype, to be more correct.
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    Jan 23, 2009 6:42 PM GMT

    Now I'll move my skinny ass along... icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 23, 2009 7:37 PM GMT
    Hard to tell.

    Go download the USDA PCS21 food calculator.
    Document your food intake.
    Document your workout.
    Document your weight, height, and so on.
    Keep track for a couple of weeks.
    Document your goals.

    Submit it here.

    We'll look it over.

    You can google on bodybuilding for mesomorphs. There's a pile of articles online about somatype-specific training.

    Honestly, most of this would be contingent to your goals, your personal recovery ability, your training intensity, your caloric intake, your sleep patterns, your stress levels, the number of years you've trained, and so on.

    E.g., I've been training for 33 years. My recovery ability is exceptional. I'm a classic mesomorph who has been studied, but, I have both myostatin inhibition genes (the super big guys sometimes lack the one myostatin inhib gene, and in just few, they lack both), even though I weighed 175 at 5'5" in high school. I can do a large volume of work without over-training, but, at my advanced level, I get tired of training, if I don't have a goal like competing, so I'm rarely in the gym more than 90 minutes.

    As I've gotten older, I've learned to train smarter, and recover better, and stay injury free longer. I can easily take my weight to 230, when I eat real well. I've had folks tell me I could go to 250, but, whew...that's pushing the envelope, even for someone with my ability. I hold 205 to 220 without doing anything special, however.

    The key is to train enough to stimulate yourself without over-training, and yet enough to promote ongoing gains. Gains, for the most part, in a mesomorph are about calories, and recovery.

    If you want to get lean, study up on HIIT. It could serve you well. It does most folks.

    For size, you need time under load.

    Like I said, it depends upon your goals, and a variety of other factors, mentioned above.

    Here's a 16 year old Russian kid who almost certainly lacks one of the myostatin inhibition genes (he's now 20). He's an example of a super-meso somatype. There's another kid who lacks both. You can google on "Super Baby" if you have an interest. The kid below is already a pro bodybuilder at 20. My point being that no matter what he did, he'd still be a super-meso. Notice that he doesn't have a "juiced" look. He's just darn big for a sixteen year old.

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    Jan 23, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
    somatype is body type (soma= greek for body)
  • twentyfourhou...

    Posts: 243

    Jan 23, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    Endomorph - i think my body type most closely fits this. I gain weight (fat) very easily, have NEVER been thin, NEVER been cut/defined, gaining muscle/bulk comes easy, and REALLY must watch my fat/carb intake.

    I have always worked out to some extent with wts/aerobic activity but have become more serious about 6 years ago. I would say; my body type tends to respond well to; few reps (4-icon_cool.gif with MAX wts, and 6-8 sets per muscle group. No more than 45 minutes per wt workout, resting about 3-4 minutes per set. In fact, i have recently began enjoying going from from one muscle group to another after only one set, resting only about 1 minute between the two. For example, i will perform one set on the bench press and immediately go over to perform one set of bicep bar curls, then back to bench presss then back to bicepts curl WITHOUT any real comprimise in my ability to lift a max wt. Doing this tends to keep my heart rate up. In order for me to do this, i really try to pair up large/small muscle groups like; Chest/Biceps, Legs/Triceps, Back/Abs, Shoulders/Triceps, or something to that affect. I generally work the same group every 5-6 days.
    Prior to this, I went about 2 years without much aerobic activity BUT found that my ability to recoup between sets was comprimised. Now i jog for about 30 minutes, 3xs a week - doing this gives me the endurance to go from one muscle group to another with only about a minute rest - not bad for a 42 year old man i'd say.
    Finally, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and monitering alcohol intake are ESSENTIAL along with periodic breaks from wt. lifting once every 6-8 weeks and changing routines periodically are also very important.

    Not an athlete per se nor do i have any sports medicine training - so all this is just my opinion based on my own experience.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 24, 2009 10:58 AM GMT
    I don't think it's how Much you workout for each body type
    But what you do in each workout
    Ectomorphs have a hard time adding muscle so they need to spend more time lifting and lifting to add mass
    Endomorphs have the problem of adding fatty tissue easily and need to work on the cardio part more and lifting to produce leaner muscles
    Mesomorphs as far as muscle goes are the lucky ones
    they naturally make muscle growth easier
    so they don't need modification all that much
    but all body types still do need to hit the gym regularly
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    you cannot classify every body type to follow a specific body type or else personal training and all of science would not be dedicated to finding new formulas all the time and every supplement company would go out of business. your genetic code is individual, if you look at the fine print, there's more combinations of the body types, you can ever be all three from what their noticing. but its a nice baseline. me personally, i follow the endo-meso. i hang to fat like no other but i build muscle really fast and with a 47" chest and a 34" waist, id say ive got a "v-taper" going on that is classic of enodmorphs. but i also have tiny wirsts and ankles so there's some ecto.

    your best bet is to try one specific workout style, see where it gets you. or rotate through them depending on season and how you feel. i personally go full-body 3x a week to back/bicep, chest/tricep, etc 4x a week to back, chest, arms, etc. 5x a week then take two weeks off and loop back around. its enough massive chaos to keep my body guessing and constantly changing so i guess its working? but then of course im a tubber right now icon_smile.gif