Exercising for Your Body Type? Truth or Myth?

Do you know someone who has a great body, but seems to have a trouble spot where stubborn fat prevails?   How about the person who seems to be at the gym hour after hour, but their bodies never change? Is it possible that they are doing the wrong workout for their body type?

My curiosity led me to interview several health conscious clients and friends only to find their answers surprised me. The real issue they expressed was frustration with defining and sculpting those target areas of their body that would not “fall in line”.   One reported that getting a six pack was easy, but getting the fat off her bottom was nearly impossible.  Another said getting slim hips was a cinch, but her arms would not budge.  We each have areas that shape up quickly and areas that, no matter how hard we train, don’t improve easily. Some people claim to look at food and gain weight while others can’t keep weight on (ggrrr)!

In the 1940’s Dr. William H. Sheldon, a physician and psychologist, created somatotypology – classifying people by body types:  endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic. No one is purely one or the other, but rather a combination of all three body types. One type, however dominates the body.  It is important when considering a workout to understand your body and what it’s capable of.

Here’s the skinny on the different body types:

Mesomorph – aka:  muscular.  (Imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger)

•    Pros:  Athletic build, good posture and great symmetry. Builds muscle quickly (and easily); lose fat rapidly on a proper fitness and nutrition plan.

•    Cons: Can have poor flexibility.  May gain weight rapidly, if you become inactive. 

Ectomorph – aka: Slim and lean with smaller muscles.  (Picture a marathon runner crossing the finish line)

•    Pros:  Have less fat and muscle mass than other 2 types. Especially suited for endurance activities (excels in cardiovascular training).  Balanced approach to exercise is key (include weight training with cardio).

•    Cons: Difficult to gain muscle size and weight.  Ectos tend to not vary their fitness routine.

Endomorph – aka: Curvy (Imagine JLo)

•    Pros:  Responds well to regular cardio training for fat burning and metabolic boost.

•    Cons:  Prone to higher body fat percentage. Harder to tone muscles without proper diet and exercise.

Your goal should be to be the best YOU possible given the genetics you were born with.  There is no reason or excuse to have excess fat on you or not to strength train.  It’s important that we all combine all of the elements of fitness including muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and fat burning. 

While exercise is key to your fitness and performance, nutrition plays a larger role in your overall appearance and health.  These components go hand in hand and work in synergy.  What I love about Argyle Adventure Boot Camp is that it provides a solution for both total body conditioning using all of the components of fitness along with a nutritional cleansing & peak performance nutritional system that is proven to help you look and feel your best. 

At Argyle Adventure Boot Camp we will help you focus on key exercises that will bring results and shed light (and pounds) on the complexity of our bodies.  Our February camps are forming now at 5:30 am & 8:30 am.

Norma Zitterkopf is a Certified Personal Trainer, Wellness Coach and owner of Argyle Adventure Boot Camp, an associate with International. For more information visit  www.ArgyleBootCamp.com. Call (214) 729-0001.


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