Body Types and Genetics – Pros and Cons for Becoming and Staying Fit
Basically, there are three basic body types:
Ectomorphs are blessed with fast metabolism, so they can stay lean with ease. They have long legs and arms and narrow shoulders and chest. Ectomorphs are eating everything and can’t gain a mass. Although they are eating what they want, in reality they are not eating enough. They have to eat plenty of carbs (~50% of calorie intake), some protein (30%) and fat (20%). They have to eat 4-5 times, not more, but these meals have to be large and relatively fast digestible. Problems with ectomorphs is that they should eat plenty of good, clean calories and promote muscle gains by heavy and intensive workouts with some cardio exercise. Since metabolism is so fast, cardio should be kept low. Although ectomorphs can eat junk food without gaining fats, in the long run even their metabolism will slow down and insulin sensitivity deteriorate.
Mesomorphs have great genetics. Naturally, they have strong bones, wide back, wide shoulders and chests, low body fat, relatively fast metabolism. They have to eat 6-7 meals a day with 40% being carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat. They easily gain muscle and lose fat – good for them. Any athlete of this body type has advantage over other athletes, but if you are not mesomorph, don’t despair – they also have to keep eye on their nutrition and workout hard in order to have lean and muscular bodies. If they stop working out and stop eating properly they will lose muscle mass and strength faster than endomorphs and gain fat faster than ectomorphs.
Endomorphs have heavy bones, wide hips, plenty of fat – very slow metabolism. It is not best option if you want to stay lean year long, but we gain muscles easily and keep them easily. Even after not working out for months, endomorphs lose very little of muscle mass and not much strength. Also, strong muscle memory allows us to regain muscle and strength within several weeks even if we are 35+ years old. Endomorphs have to eat 6-8 meals a day, ~20% fat, ~30% carbs (even less) and rest of the calories must come from protein. If 20% of fat is too little, eat more healthy fats and less carbs. If you are reducing your carbohydrate intake, don’t do keto diets, not at least for longer period of time. Truth is that endomorphs, in order to have more or less lean body year long, they have to be on a diet all the time. Constant dieting is in my opinion easiest with carb cycling diets, when individual eat more carbs before and after workouts and rest of the time tries to keep consumed carbs as low as possible. After some time many endomorphs don’t consider it as diet, but more like a life style.
There are other body types that come in between these three: ecto-meso, meso-endo and endo-ecto. They all have strengths and weaknesses of main body types.
So, everyone has reason to blame genetics for something. In fact, with discipline you can beat it, just remember that success don’t come over night. And if you see some newbie having gains easier than you did – don’t despair, just tweak your routine here and there and listen to your body and continue to do what is good for you.