By understanding your body type, you can customize a workout program to be more effective than an “out of the box” workout program. Customizing a workout program based on your body type is surprisingly easy. Before you start developing a workout program you have to identify your body type (also called somatotype). There are three basics somatotypes; mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. A mesomorphic body is ideal. They are the individuals who are athletic with a strong frame that can easily gain muscle while remaining quite lean. Ectomorphs are those with thin delicate frames that have a hard time gaining weight, have a fast metabolism and very lean muscle definition. Lastly, endomorphs are the heavier individuals that have a round shape who find it difficult to burn fat but can gain muscle mass easily.
If you are a mesomorph, lucky you! Since you can gain muscle mass fast your program has to include cardiovascular exercise to keep your body lean. Twenty five to thirty minutes of cardio 3 times a week is recommended. As for training, stay within 8-12 reps for each set with a 1 minute rest in between. Make sure to include a variety of exercises to continue to challenge your body, maintain muscle and improve strength as well as endurance.
Ectomorphs have to customize their fitness program to work against their natural thinness. To do so select short and intense exercises that target major muscle groups like the biceps, triceps, abdominals and hamstrings. This type of workout will help with muscle development. When doing any sort of weight or resistance training, train heavier and keep your repetitions within the 5-10 range. As for cardio, keep it to a minimum since burning fat is not needed. As for rest periods, 2 minute rests between sets are suggested. Since you will be doing more intense exercise you need additional time to recover. If you're looking for a more specific plan, check out this guide from Cellucor.
Endomorphs on the other hand have to embrace cardio in order to burn fat and maintain a good body fat percentage. Do cardio as much as you can and be sure to change it up. Try swimming, running, HIIT, cycling and any other form of cardiovascular exercise that interests you. Aside from that you do need weight and resistance training. It is highly recommended that you do compound lifts and stick with 8-15 repetitions per set with 30 second of rest. Challenging major muscle groups will speed up your metabolism to help keep the excess body fat off.