Know Your Body Shape
The Essential Beginners Workout Knowledge
You’ve wanted to start your transformational journey for quite some time now, and either: you’ve tried… and failed, or you don’t even know where to start! Well here at Myprotein we are here, not only to fuel your ambition but also to start you off on reaching those goals.
Most of us don’t lack the effort and the determination to train, but there’s only so long a person can put in maximum time and effort, before failing to see noticeable results becomes a disheartening factor in training.
But don’t give up!
There may be a simple reason for this… despite having a planned workout and healthy diet, your training and nutrition may not actually be suitable for your body type!
It’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different and reacts different, whereby the way your body reacts to training and metabolism are in fact genetic factors that cannot be changed! So if you can’t beat it… work with it!
There are 3 main categories of body type that people typically fall into, an ectomorph, a mesomorph and an endomorph. All three of these body types are incredibly different and as a result each requires unique dietary and training adjustments.
So, let’s start with ectomorph. If you’re an ectomorph you may be the type of person that some girls will want to kill. You have a fragile body frame with small shoulders, a light build, lean muscle and thin limbs… basically your skinny! Nevertheless, you needs should not be neglected, just because you don’t want to “lose weight” doesn’t mean you don’t have other fitness goals!
Unfortunately, you may regularly hear people whinging “she mustn’t eat”… despite actually stuffing your face with all of your favourite foods. This is because your an ectomorph you find it hard to gain weight and toned muscle, due to an extra speedy metabolism. However it’s not all hard times, being an ectomorph has its benefits, meaning you can lose fat very easily. So with the right training and diet plan you’re more likely to only build lean muscle and not fat.
If you’re a Ectomorph your going to have to have to really focus on your diet… basically you will need to eat… MORE. And you will need compliment your diet with short intense workouts that focus on all your big muscle groups… this means no more endless cardio sessions!
Eating a lot can sometimes be a chore and you may also have to eat more at night in order to prevent the breaking down of muscle as you sleep. But don’t worry this is where Myprotein can make things a little bit easier, with our range of supplements we can help you to consume the macronutrients and calories needed to build muscle and get toned.
If you’re a mesomorph you may have previously been described as “healthy”, “athletic” and “well built” and even “normal”! Mesomorphs are naturally pretty strong, they have large well defined muscles, a large bone structure and are pretty much considered the perfect canvas for weight and resistance training, due to the fact they can build muscle and lose fat relatively easily.
You’ve been dealt a pretty good hand if you’re a mesomorph, because although you’ll gain more fat than an ectomorph your ability to gain muscle more easily means you will see results a lot more quickly from the very beginning.
Last but not least…Endomorphs. You may think you definitely have a genetic short straw if you’re an endomorph… with a slow metabolism, short limbs and a round, soft body, you tend to struggle to lose fat …yet seem to gain it very easily!
I guess there’s no hope for you then….
Just because your body type is slightly different doesn’t mean you can’t reach your fitness goals, it just means we have to tweak your diet and workout routine a bit more!
So stop struggling and start succeeding!
Endomorphs are generally very strong, giving them advantages when performing compound movements such as squats! However, due to easy fat gain, it is important if your an endomorph to carry out different forms of cardio training in addition to weight training… But don’t worry girls, cardio does not equate to running marathons and endless sessions on the cross trainer, here at Myprotein we will show you how to mix it up and make cardio a positive, enjoyable part of your workouts.
What about a Combination?
You may fall into one of these three categories; however you may still be left thinking, “I’m none of those”. If you don’t fall into one of these three catagories, this simply means you’re a combination of two! Typical combinations are Mesomorph/Ectomorph and Mesomorph/Endomorph. But this isn’t a bad thing; in fact it probably means you can mix up your workouts and diet to be a little bit more varied!
Working ALL your muscle groups!
Now that you know what your body type is it’s important to understand the basics behind weight and resistance training. There are several different muscle groups in the body comprising of tons of muscles. For example a few you should know are:
Legs: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes.
Your quads are four muscles that are at the front of you thigh, which can be worked in exercises such as squats and lunges.
Your hamstrings however, is the muscle at the back of your thigh that are worked through movements such as deadlifts.
Your glutes or gluteus maximus is known as your bum! And can be worked with squats, deep lunges and single leg press.
The final muscle in your legs is your calves. Calves are often forgot about in leg training however they are equally as important as the large leg muscles, being trained through movements such as calf raises.
Back: lower back, lats and trapezius.
The back is a very large major muscle group consisting of a large number of muscles. The muscles in the lower back are generally strengthened by exercises such as deadlifts, whilst the upper back can be worked using lateral pull downs, lateral raises and bodyweight movements such as chin and pull-ups.
Arms: Biceps, triceps and forearms
Suns out… guns out. Is probably something you’ve heard when it comes to biceps. Biceps are the most well known muscle group that are often associated with males. But don’t be fooled girls, working your biceps wont suddenly turn you into pop eye, it will help get rid of bingo wings and tone those arms! Biceps can be specifically worked using bicep curls and hammer curls with free weights.
Despite being commonly ignored the triceps actually make up 2/3 of the upper arm while the biceps only makes up about 1/3, and if you’ve forgotten to work your biceps this will be why you aren’t seeing much change in your arms. Tricep exercises that are commonly performed include close grip bench press, over head extensions and tricep dips.
And the rest of your upper body: abs, chest and shoulders
You may be thinking, that chest exercises are just for men… hardly surprising considering “how much do you bench?” is such a commonly ask question in the gym. Well girls that simply isn’t the case, your chest is an extremely important muscle to work and can be done through chest press, dips and push ups.
The shoulder muscle consist of the front deltoids, side deltoids, and rear deltoids where muscle can be built using the over head shoulder press and right-roes.
We’ve all heard of abs… And we all want abs! So I’ve got some good and bad news. During weight training your abs are constantly engages and being worked. This means that there isn’t as much need for endless sit ups and ab exercises; however, the development of abs is highly dependent on your diet! You must have a good clean diet in order to reveal those goddess abs!
A Word of Warning
It is essential that you train each of these muscle groups equally, there’s no use saying, “I only need toned arms” or “I only need toned legs” you must build a balanced body!
You can’t target weight loss or muscle gain to certain areas, it will all come naturally, so of us will lose weight from our stomachs first, others from their legs, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. A balanced body is beneficial for several reasons, it means you can build muscle faster, can become stronger, have no muscle aches and pains, while also preventing injuries and bad posture.