Using Your Body Type To Create Realistic Goals:
If you’re just beginning a fitness program or have been exercising for a while now I’m sure you have a picture in your mind of how you want to end up looking. It’s a very good idea to have goals to work toward. The reward of reaching them is what drives us forward. The problem is that many of us have goals that may be beyond what our bodies are capable of. When this is true, eventually a person will end up getting frustrated from not getting the results they expected and give up. How do we avoid this? You first have to be able to determine what body type you have.
Unfortunately not all bodies are created equal. A good percentage of us are not able to end up looking like the models in magazines and on television commercials. But is that truly what we’re aiming for in the first place? Sure, it would be nice, but what are we really after? What are the things we should be focusing on? First you have to determine your body type. The type of body you have may limit what you can easily achieve. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a firm believer that you can achieve anything that you’re willing to work for. But if you’re just starting out, you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. It’s ok to set a goal that you want to reach a year from now, but you should also have short-term goals that allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.
The Three Body Types Explained:
You are born with a certain body type and your body will try very hard to maintain that type. Let’s start out by defining the body types. There are three of them.
Ectomorph – An ectomorph is lean and narrow in the shoulders. They are generally thin with little muscular development and are able to eat substantial amounts of food without getting fat. A person with this body type will be able to tone up but will have a difficult time adding muscle mass to their frame. This is partly due to a high metabolism. Gains in muscle mass are difficult but attainable with a high calorie diet and well structured weight training program.
Mesomorph – A mesomorph tends to be a more muscular person with broad shoulders relative to a smaller waist. Their muscles are well developed and they appear to have a large bone structure and thick joints. The large amounts of muscle mass are due in part from the production of testosterone. For this reason, a large portion of mesomorphs are men. They can become overweight if they overeat but have a relatively easy time getting back in shape with moderate exercise and sensible nutrition.
Endomorph – An endomorph is often overweight. They generally have narrow shoulders relative to a larger waist and have a rounded, soft appearance. They have slower metabolisms, which make it more difficult to lose weight. There are typically larger fat deposits on the waist, thighs, and upper arms. Weight loss is possible through a strict diet and a regular exercise plan.
You Might Be A Combination Of Body Types!
Most people find that they are a combination of two of these body types. Your body type is determined by genetics. This doesn’t mean that if you’re 75 pounds overweight you can blame it all on your family and decide there’s no chance of changing it. That’s called a cop-out. You may always have some excess weight but it can be on a much smaller scale with a good fitness plan. So before you can create realistic goals you have to identify your body type. Before we go any further let me make something perfectly clear.
You don’t have to be perfectly thin to be in good shape. No matter what your body type is you can be healthy and fit through sensible nutrition and exercise.
If you’re thin with next to no muscle development, you can absolutely add muscle to your frame. But if you’re expecting to end up looking like Channing Tatum or Ryan Reynolds you’re probably expecting too much. It’s possible but not probable. So why not make yourself feel successful by creating goals that are easier to attain? If you determine your body type you will more easily be able to set reasonable goals that you know you can achieve. Don’t know where to start? Consider working with a Certified Personal Trainer or get your hands on a meal plan that is specific to you body type and designed to get you seeing real results!
Keeping my eye on you in health and fitness,
Mark Lani CAPT, CSN
Certified Advanced Personal Trainer
Certified Sports Nutritionist