To put it frankly, strength training coupled with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet is the only surefire route to boosting your metabolism and losing weight. Of course, if you’re part of the population who doesn’t have the foggiest idea what kind of fitness plan you need to go on; this advice means nothing without first discovering what kind of body type you have.
Not everyone’s body type is the same; therefore we don’t all respond alike to one diet or to the same exercises. To begin with, understand who you are before starting a fitness program. There are typically three different body figures which are classified as: ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph body types.
The Endomorph: Is the person whose frame is pear shaped and has a softer body. These body types have a naturally low metabolism. They are the ones who can gain weight far too easily compared with others, such as the ectomorphs, and can lose condition easily if training is stopped. These body figures usually have a more difficult time with cardiovascular exercises as opposed to sports of pure strength, such as power lifting.
The Ectomorph: Is a thin person with a taller stature who has a higher metabolism, but a harder time gaining muscle. They have an easier time regulating their body temperatures compared with a heavy body type, so they tend to do well with aerobic exercises and endurance. These people don’t need to watch what they eat as much as others do, but they still need to exercise.
The Mesomorph: This is the person who is stout, with narrow hips, and typically can be described as having a wedge shaped body. The mesomorph has muscled arms and legs and has a minimal amount of fat. This person doesn’t have trouble gaining muscle, which means they will usually respond to all kinds of exercises faster than other body types.
So, now that you think you have your body type figured out, realize also that there are even some body shapes which can be a combination of the three ‘morphs.’ This might seem to complicate workout guidelines, but if you know specific ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ for these specialized body types, then you can learn quickly how to get the results you want. These combination body shapes are better defined as: hourglass, cyclone, pyramid, and curve-free shapes.
The “Hourglass” – Is when your body is proportionate, meaning that even if weight is slightly higher, you always have a proper proportion between your waist, hips and chest. You will need to speed up the pace of your cardiovascular exercises, but do not use heavier weights for strength training, as it is not necessary. Sticking with low to moderate weights and low impact aerobics is essential.
The “Cyclone” – If you have this kind of body type, then your upper body is larger than the lower portion. Cardiovascular workouts will need to consist of cycling from medium to high tension and/or brisk walks with a moderate incline. Cyclone shaped figures will also need to concentrate on lifting lighter weights at higher repetitions with strength training.
The “Pyramid” – If you are this shape, your lower body is larger than your upper portion. Taking brisk walks at higher speeds with no inclines is recommended. Avoid step masters and high impact aerobics, as these shapes do not want to add anymore bulk to their lower extremities. It is recommended to also strength train by performing compound movements with moderate to heavy weights.
The “Curve-Free” – Is when your chest, waist and hips are equal in proportion and you have a straight appearance to your physical shape. With this type of body shape, people usually do well with endurance exercises versus strength training. Biking, walking, treadmill, etc., should all be used with a higher incline and moderate resistance. Strength training should involve high repetitions (20+reps).
So, with strength training, dieting, a healthy lifestyle, and knowing your body type, you can learn how to morph, transform and mold your figure into the ultimate shape of your choice.