BB BODY TYPES / SOMATOTYPES
Not every body’s created equal. Before you start your training and nutrition regimen, it’s a good idea to figure out your body type. Knowing which of the three basic body types you’re closest to will help you better tailor your diet and exercise plan and set realistic, attainable goals that pave the way to your success.
THERE ARE THREE BASIC HUMAN BODY TYPES:
the endomorph, characterized by a preponderance of body fat;
the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed musculature; and
the ectomorph, distinguished by a lack of much fat or muscle tissue.
It’s all about the illusion these structures create.
An ectomorph will naturally look skinner than he or she is, an endomorph will look heavier even when ripped, and a mesomorph will look well proportioned even with a little added weight. The goal: Make yourself look like a mesomorph even if you’re not.
THE ORIGINS OF SOMATOTYPES
The term itself is the creation of one man, a psychologist and doctor by the name of William Herbert Sheldon. Sheldon was born in 1898 in Rhode Island, and came from a very educated family. The fast track through his life is this:
He was a very educated man, earned his bachelors at Brown University, his Masters at University of Colorado, and his PhD in 1925. He also served as an officer in the Medical Corps in WWII. Beginning in 1938, he taught at Harvard University, before later moving on to Columbia University in 1947.
Somatotyping was based on Sheldons study of “nude postural photos” that were taken at Ivy League schools from the 1890s to the late 1960s. The somatotyping system was heavily influenced by his studies and exposure to anthropometry and the belief that body type could be used as part of a holistic and integrated system of physical, mental, and spiritual health. As such, the “nude posture photos” were largely the basis of his research. And this is where things get somewhat weird, as I need to explain what the “nude posture photos” were.
Beginning as far back the 1890s and continuing until the 1960s, Ivy League universities began a practice of taking full length side, front, and back view nude photographs of all incoming freshmen, both male and female. These were called “posture” photos and the practice was very widespread, with tens of thousands of photographs being taken over a roughly 70 year period. Why was this done? Because in the late 1800s, bad posture and being physically weak were seen as unfortunate side effects of an increasingly industrialized society, and unlike today, there was a push in education to address the problem. Subsequently the science of “anthropometry” became very popular. Anthropometry was a system of assessing numerous body measurements as indicators of not only health, but also intellect and elements of character.
mesomorph body type
- Sturdy posture
- Muscular body
- Neither fat or thin
- Athletic looking body
The Mesomorph body can put on lean mass simply by looking at the gym equipment, well not quite but they have a body that puts on weight easily and comes off easily and can sculpt their body easier than the Ectomorph or Endomorph. This is often referred as the ideal body type.
endomorph body type
- Chubby body
- Flabby muscles
- Large thick set bones
Endomorph may sound the worst of the 3 body types but this is certainly not the case. Endomorphs can achieve a look that they will be proud of.
With a strict diet protocol, they can lose their fat and put on muscle mass which looks good on their bigger bone structure, ideal for bodybuilding.
Endomorphs put on fat easily but, they build muscle quickly so see encouraging results fast.
All junk food and alcohol should be avoided as much as possible, without sacrificing your social or family life. Care in maintaining the achieved result is very important for the endomorph both in working out and diet.
Aerobic exercise will always help the Endomorph so they can freely enjoy any activity.
- Narrow hips and clavicles
- Small joints (wrist/ankles)
- Thin build
- Stringy muscle bellies
- Long limbs
TRAINING FOR ECTOMORPHS:
Use split-training, using 1-2 bodyparts each workout to target muscle groups.
Train each bodypart once per week.
Get plenty of rest between workouts; never train if scheduled bodypart is sore from previous workout.
Change training routine at least monthly.
Increase training intensity each workout. This may mean more weight, reps, and sets.
Make the body work hard but briefly
Sets and Repetitions:
Use heavy, basic power movements that hit the deep muscle fibres.
Avoid isolation or “finishing” movements.
Keep reps in the 5 – 10 rep range.
Do 6 – 8 sets per bodypart
Watch out for overtraining, (it can slow gains)
If gains in muscle and strength remain slow, shock your body into growth with such techniques as 10 sets of 10 reps for one exercise per bodypart. Only use this shocking technique once every eight weeks.
Focus on lifting heavier weights to increase intensity and not by cutting time between sets.
Rest at least 60 seconds between sets.
Rest at least 5 minutes between bodyparts.
Occasionally try forced reps, supersets, tri-sets, and other intensity techniques, but do not rely on them to heavily.
TRAINING FOR THE MESOMORPH:
Responds well to training that involves heavy, basic movements along with shaping exercises.
The more varied the exercise program, the greater the results.
Alternate 3-4 weeks of high intensity training with several weeks of lower intensity workouts to promote growth and strength and prevent burnout.
Sets and Repetitions:
Use quick, basic movements with heavy weights before hitting muscles with isolation and shaping exercises.
Keep reps in the 8-12 rep range. For most bodyparts.
Use a rep combination as low as six and as high as 25 for quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Because of natural genetic advantage, watch out for overtraining under the mistaken notion that more training will make growth faster.
Constantly keep the body off guard by varying the training intensity with exercises, sets, reps, weights, and rest.
Be sure to regularly include light, moderate, and heavy training days.
Use a combination of slow moderately paced (with full range of motion) and fast reps.
Regularly alternate intensity techniques into the workouts: partial reps, forced reps, forced reps, descending sets, compound sets, and pre-exhaustion.
TRAINING FOR THE ENDOMORPH:
Needs more frequent workouts, especially aerobic conditioning.
Develop a pool of 3-5 effective exercises for each bodypart and from those select 2-3 exercises for each bodypart.
Train abdominals at the beginning of your workout.
Do whole body workouts for the first months of training; later try a split type of routine.
Training goal is to speed up the metabolism, minimise bodyfat.
Change the training program every second or third workout.
Don’t be afraid to experiment in your training; frequently try something new and different.
Sets and Reps:
Each workout must be high intensity, sacrifice poundage’s for minimal rest between sets.
Do no more than eight sets per body part.
Use moderate poundage’s. Avoid training with heavy weights and low reps.
Keep your rep range in the 9-12 range for upper body and 12-25 rep range for legs and calves.
Keep intensity high and rest between sets to a minimum – no more than 60 seconds.
Use high-intensity training principles such as burns, iso-tension, continuous tension, supersets, tri-sets, and giant sets principles to help bring out maximum muscle shape and definition.
Descending sets (where you drop the resistance after you’ve reached muscle failure) also add intensity; use this approach on the last set for a bodypart exercise.