The best way to find a training style that will work for you is to first, identify your body type. The three main body types are Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. Knowing what you are will influence the way you respond to diet and exercise.
Ectomorph– Long and lean, may have difficulty building muscle or gaining fat. Usually has a fast metabolism and low body fat percentage.
Endomorph– Bigger build, shorter, curvy high body fat, usually round or pear-shaped, stores body fat easily, slow metabolism, high body fat percentage.
Mesomorph– Athletic build, muscular, strong, tends to build and retain muscle easily, gains fat easier than ectomorphs but harder than endomorphs.
Ectomorphs have a very fast metabolism and trouble storing fat. This makes building muscle very difficult. Cardio is usually limited to the minimal healthy limit, because burning calories through high-intensity cardiovascular training is not needed. Ectomorphs need a lot of calories in order to gain muscle or body fat. Basically, you can eat like a horse! This type of person can usually consume more carbohydrates than other body types because of their fast metabolism. Complex carbs are the best way to get sustained energy, i.e. whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, lentils, and beans. Ectomorphs should also eat a good amount of protein and healthy fat in order to build and retain lean muscle mass. If an ectomorph is trying to gain weight or build muscle, I recommend eating protein and complex carbs frequently throughout the day and right before you go to bed.
The recommended training regimen for Ectomorphs is a strength training program that focuses on big muscle groups, perhaps a 3-day split of moderate to high volume of total body functional movements. The rep scheme for endomorphs is 4-6 sets of 8-12 reps and you will need to use heavy weights. This keeps your muscles under tension longer, so you will build more. Rest between sets is usually 1-3 minutes since the lifting is more intense. You can even implement supersets or a pyramid rep scheme to build more strength.
Overall, a solid strength training program is prioritized over cardio for this body type. Men, make sure to strength training your bigger muscle groups, like your legs and core, it will actually pump more testosterone to your body so that you will build more muscle overall! So don’t skip leg day!
Endomorphs have a slower metabolism and tend to store fat more easily. A strict diet is more important for this body type, limiting carbs, alcohol and sugary foods. A diet rich with vegetables, healthy fats, complex carbs and lean protein is recommended. Leafy greens, protein and healthy fats, like avocados, will help the body burn fat to keep you lean. Overall this person needs a very nutrient dense diet in order to help store less body fat. Sorry endomorphs, but your diet is the most strict. The good news is, if you get your diet on point, you will respond relatively quickly to a training program.
Beginner endomorphs should start on a low impact exercise plan to avoid injury and overtraining. They should eventually work up to daily moderate to high-intensity cardio and total body circuit style training. The typical strength training rep scheme to lose weight and lean out is 15-30 repetitions, 2-3 sets. Intermediate to advanced endomorphs can implement moderate to intense circuit style training into their regimen to lose more weight. 30/30 interval training (30 seconds intense work, 30 seconds rest) is a great way to keep you moving during your workouts.
Overall Endomorphs should prioritize fat burning through circuit and interval training. For best results, really hone in on perfecting your diet.
Mesomorphs naturally have a stronger, more athletic and muscular build. Mesomorphs gain fat easier than ectomorphs but harder than endomorphs. A high protein diet is preferred, with a sufficient amount of complex carbs for sustained energy. However, with this body type, if you have a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, you will become overweight. Cardiovascular strength is usually not as strong in this body type, so endurance training is recommended. If you are trying to lose weight and lean out, moderate to high-intensity cardiovascular training is very effective. If you want to build muscle, you’re in luck because you already have the genetic makeup to respond relatively quickly to a strength training program.