Know your body type
When considering the type of training you are going to do and how you will support your training goals through nutrition and supplementation, one element that is often overlooked, but plays an important role is knowing your body type - this does not mean ‘I’m as thin as a rake and cant put muscle on’, or ‘I’m big boned and struggle to lose weight and/or body fat.’
Knowing your body type, will in the long term, aid you in determining how to structure your training, nutrition and supplementation. There are three commonly known body types, ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Although some individuals will fall in between these three body types, they will give you a good idea of your body structure.
Typically an individual with a small bone structure, thin wrists and ankles, with a low percentage of body fat and who, in general, has a goal to increase lean muscle tissue. An ectomorph will commonly say ‘I struggle to gain weight’, however in most cases this may come down to a lack of knowledge or understanding of the calorific requirement needed to achieve an increase in lean muscle tissue.
When I am coaching an ectomorph who is looking to gain muscle mass, I recommend that each main meal should have a high emphasis on protein intake (4g per kg of body weight), a carbohydrate (sweet potato, jasmine or basmati rice), vegetables and a moderate portion of essential fats (avocado, nuts and seeds).
For post-workout recovery, a whey protein shake with the addition of a low glycemic sugary carbohydrate (blueberries, raspberries) will aid with muscle breakdown recovery.
An individual with this type of bone structure will typically have a goal of reducing body fat, whilst gaining lean muscle tissue.
This individual will have a denser level of bone structure and a larger muscular structure than an ectomorph. This individual will have a particular tolerance level with regard to carbohydrates and, as such, it is important to monitor the level of carbohydrates throughout training as it may increase insulin levels and as a result increase body fat.
During coaching of an individual with this body structure I recommend limiting the intake of carbohydrates to only one daily main meal (sweet potato, brown rice, with monitoring), adding a low glycemic sugary carbohydrate to a post-workout whey protein supplement.
For all meals there should be a high emphasis on lean protein, with an intake of 2-4g per kg of body weight, a moderate consumption of essential fats, and a high intake of vegetables.
When I work with clients’ with this type of bone structure, the individual generally has the main goal of substantial body fat reduction.
An individual with this bone structure will often have a poor tolerance to carbohydrates, although they include starchy carbohydrates and sugary foods pizza, (pastries, fizzy drinks, excessive alcohol), in their regular diets and easily gain weight and body fat with continued consumption of these food types.
When coaching this type of individual I advise them to completely remove starchy and sugary carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sugary drinks) from their diets and advice a nutrition plan based on a high level of lean protein such as fish (mackerel; salmon, cod), and large portions of vegetables with every meal as well as eating regularly throughout the day in conjunction with a four-day per week training programme.
Although this is not an exhaustive distinction of body types and how to adapt your training, nutrition and supplementation to achieve your goals, I hope it has enlightened you to think about who you are and the best approach to success.