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How to fuel around your body type...


Did you know there are three main body types out there. You may lay straight into one category or like most people, you may cross over multiple. Once you identify your somatotype, you can home into the best type of eating and training advice that suits your body composition.




So why bother? Each body type has their own composition and metabolism. If you train under one general category, you may not be maximising the benefits for your own body type. As mentioned before, its likely you are a mix of two body types, so lean towards the type that has the better characteristics. Before you begin to think if this method of training is suitable for you, there are a few things you should consider:




Body Type Guidelines


  • % of Body Fat: The higher your percentage of body fat the lower tolerance you have for carbohydrates. You need to transition to a lower body fat over time with proper exercise and nutrition. Your post workout meal should be primarily to stabilize your blood sugar. A leaner person can tolerate carbohydrates far better and should have more post workout. This doesn't eliminate that your genetic predispositions that may in fact suggest you follow a low carb diet and you are in the ectomorph body composition. This is of course very person specific and therefore this post is to follow a generic line. Please follow your own research to find out what is best suited to you.

  • Gender: as a general rule men have more lean mass (muscle) and can generally eat more carbs. There are exceptions to this rule–highly muscled females/deconditioned poorly muscled males.

  • What Are You Training For (WAYTF): What you are training for and what your training age (experience) will definitely play into the equation. Intensity is relative to the time domain. Long slow distance is not a change of intensity but a state of homeostasis.

  • Type of Training: different fuel for different types of training. Are you primarily doing a CNS Stimulant workout (strength training) or Cellular Breakdown (metabolic conditioning) or a bit of both? Plan your nutrition and strategize accordingly.

  • Sensitivities: we vary greatly, experiment, feel what works, you will need to learn by trial and error what works best for your genetics.

  • Timing of meals: for strength training you should be able to eat up to 15 -30 min prior to your workout without any ill effects. For metabolic conditioning some can train fasted or within 2 hours allowing time for digestion.

All three body types can be overweight or underweight; this blog post will focus on the general tendencies of each type. If you fall outside these generalizations or have significant health challenges, modifications will need to be made.


  • The Endomorph: higher fat, moderate protein, lower carbohydrates

  • The Mesomorph: balanced, moderate protein, fat and carbohydrates

  • The Ectomorph: higher carb, moderate protein, lower fat


Body Comp as an Ectomorph


Ectomorphs are the body type that is the most resistant to weight gain because of a fast metabolism. In other words, ectomorphs are often able to overeat while gaining little or even no weight. People with this body type have little observable body fat, are only lightly muscled, and have a small frame (and joints). Basically, your genetic makeup limits your ability to put on muscle mass. When training, focus on power and resistance training to build strength.


To maximise body composition (lean -mas gain, body-fat loss) as an ectomorph, eat good quality fats with moderate protein intake of 25-30 grams per meal (four meals per day if you have a pre-training mini meal), along with good-quality carbohydrates. On non-training/exercises days, skip the pre-training and morning snack: Breakfast is hearty enough to carry you through to lunch.




What your Am could look like to keep your metabolism on point as an ectomorph:




Wake Up:


  • Coffee with 175ml almond milk with 15g protein powder OR

  • x1 wholemeal toast with 1tsbp nut butter

Power Training suggestion:


  • Running hill repeats, followed by plyometrics

Post Training: (Try to eat within a 30 minute recovery window)


  • Coffee / quinoa bowl OR

  • x2 wholemeal toast with x2 tbsp nut butter with a green goddess smoothie.



Body Comp as an Mesomorph


Mesomorph can lose and gain weight easily, are able to build muscle quickly, and usually boast an upright posture. This body type tends to have a long torso and short limbs. Women with a mesomorph body type are strong and athletic Mesomorph excel in explosive sports - that is, sports calling for power and speed. The reasons for this talent lies in the type of muscle Mesomorphs posses. Mesomorphs have a higher percentage of fast-twitch fibres and will gain muscle mass more quickly than any other body type. Basically your generic makeup suits power and strength For training, focus on moderate endurance training, Hiit and plyometrics. You can add in Pilates or Yoga to lengthen with strength.


To maximise body composition (lean-mass gain, body-fat loss), as a mesomorph, eat good quality fats with moderate carbohydrates and consider timing your protein and branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) intake. On non-training/exercising days, skip the pretraining snack and just have the green tea or coffee in the afternoon.




What your Am could look like to keep your metabolism on point as an mesomorph:


Wake Up:


  • Coffee with 175ml almond milk with 5 BCAAs

Power Training suggestion:


  • Hydration during workout / CrossFit or endurance tempo

Post Training: (Try to eat within a 30 minute recovery window)


  • Coffee / 3 egg whites with 1 yolk in whatever way you like, 1/4 avo, x2 tortillas, 30g cheese, 1/4 cup cottage cheese with 2-3tbsp salsa OR

  • Sauté of purple potatoes, spinach, and beets with 120g lean protein topped with slices orange or grapefruit.



Body Comp as an Endomorph


Endomorphs naturally tend to have curvy, fuller figures and struggle to keep their body-fat percentage in check. For Endomorphs, it may feel like a challenge to work around their physiology as it's easy to gain weight. However identifying this body composition would be a blessing as you will be able to work with your physiology and achieve the results with your health that you are looking for.


You have the type of metabolism that is not forgiving in comparison to the other compositions. However, this doesn't mean you are destined to be overweight or even obese. As an endomorph, you have to make a conscious, concerted effort to do thing your body should be doing for you automatically. If your body isn't instinctively telling you to move more, you have to make sure that exercise if the part of your daily routine, this works particularly well with the Activ Balance weekly program. If your metabolism is sluggish, you need to eat the right foods that will fire up your metabolism. Training-wise, high intensity activities such as Hiit and CrossFit are great, as are weight training and moderate endurance training. As an endomorph, east good quality fats and protein and limit your carbohydrate intake to maximise body composition (lean-mass gain, body-fat loss) and to control insulin and blood sugar.




What your Am could look like to keep your metabolism on point as an Endomorph:




Wake Up:


  • Coffee with 1/2 Banana or apple with 1/2 cup of fat free Greek yogurt

Power Training suggestion:


  • running 10-15 minute warm up. Followed by 4 rounds of: 200m sprint, 30 jump squats, 200m sprint, 20 push ups, 200 metre sprint, 10 burpees, 20 Tabata sit ups and a cooldown

Post Training: (Try to eat within a 30 minute recovery window)


  • 1/2 cup of fat free green yogurt with 10 almonds and 1.2 apple OR

  • x1 wholemeal toast with 85g low ft cheddar cheese with x1 slice tomato and avocado.

Really hope you have enjoyed reading up about body compositions. Please leave your thoughts and comments below!


Ashley x



References:





Dr Stacey. Sims - ROAR


Carter, J.E.L. & Heath, B.H. (1990). Somatotyping – development and applications. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-35117-0

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