Body Types: Endomorphs

November 17th, 2008

Today I will talk about the endomorph, the opposite of the ectomorph. An endomorph is someone who has a natural disposition toward a high body fat percentage, always seems overweight (or big-boned), has a big body and finds it difficult to gain a toned physique.

The name of the game is burning calories for the endomorph. To lose excess fat, slim down, and expose the muscles underneath, you must be burning more calories than you are taking in on a day-to-day basis. This means cardio should be done regularly and for decent amounts of time. If you are just beginning, start with around 20 minutes of cardio three times a week, and then try to build up to an hour of cardio three to five times a week. Interval training is a great method for building up your level of fitness and endurance. Instead of going the same pace the entire time, change it up; spend some time doing fast, intense cardio, followed by doing less intense, moderate or light cardio. By constantly changing, the body is unable to sustain a rhythm which leads to muscle confusion and in the end, usually a more interesting workout as well as more calories being burned.

Weight training is also important for the endomorph just as it is for every body type. You need to have muscle before you can see muscle. While weight training, focus either on high volume or high intensity training, and you could even try a combination of both because everyone’s body responds differently to training. High volume training means using a higher rep range, around ten to fifteen reps per set, which will increase the amount of time you, spend lifting the weights and thus, the amount of calories being burned and it will also have more of a toning effect on your muscles. High intensity training does not necessarily mean a high rep range but just that the amount of time you rest in between sets is decreased to between thirty seconds and a minute, or even lower if you already have a high level of fitness. Of course you could combine these two methods by increasing the reps and decreasing the rest time.

Food is another component for fat loss, but one that is commonly misunderstood. I have touched on this briefly before, but the endomorph should not decrease the amount of meals eaten. That will actually drive your body to gaining weight and cannibalizing the muscle that you have. You should instead be eating an ideal five to six meals per day, the same for each body type. The meal portions should be controlled though and sugars and high levels of fats should be avoided. Eating small and eating often will allow your body to digest the food that you eat completely before being served another portion. This gives the body an opportunity to sort through the fat and sugar you ate and burn it instead of storing it.

So remember, if you are an endomorph, be aware of your body type and adjust your exercise accordingly. There is no reason you cannot have lean, defined muscle, it is a very real possibility with some time and effort. Keep your motivation up and believe you can get there; I also recommend getting a workout partner so that you can keep each other going and help each other stay committed.

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