Whyyou should know your body type–ec­to­morph, me­so­morph or en­do­morph

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - LIFESTYLE -

Peo­ple dif­fer in terms of physique and other at­tributes. To a great ex­tent, our genes are ei­ther to be blamed or given credit for our looks.

You may not have won the ge­netic lot­tery for a per­fect physique, but that’s no ex­cuse to not have a good sem­blance of ideal body build, with the right diet and work­out.

Sim­plis­ti­cally speak­ing, genes may ac­count for half of our physique and there’s noth­ing much we can do about it.

How­ever, ac­quired habits and prac­tices, in­clud­ing diet and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, can de­ter­mine the other half, and these are cer­tainly within our con­trol.

In the Jan­uary is­sue of H&L (Health and Life­style), noted gas­troen­terol­o­gist and fit­ness en­thu­si­ast Dr. Jun Ruiz of The Med­i­cal City col­lab­o­rated with his fit­ness-ori­ented med­i­cal col­leagues and came up with in­for­ma­tive and in­sight­ful ar­ti­cles on how mid­dle age and se­nior in­di­vid­u­als can main­tain their phys­i­cal fit­ness and well-be­ing.

Dif­fer­ent body types

First, one must re­mem­ber that it’s “dif­fer­ent strokes for dif­fer­ent folks.” Dr. Ruiz ad­vises ev­ery­one to know his or her so­ma­to­types or body types to de­ter­mine the right work­out and ap­pro­pri­ate diet, to “come up with the best ver­sion of your­self.”

Ev­ery­one be­longs to one of three so­ma­to­types: ec­to­morph, me­so­morph and en­do­morph.

These body types dif­fer in ef­fi­ciency in me­tab­o­liz­ing calo­ries and nu­tri­ents, stor­ing en­ergy, and build­ing mus­cles.

Dr. Ruiz ex­plains that ec­to­morphs stay lean de­spite their vo­ra­cious ap­petite; en­do­morphs strug­gle to lose weight even if they don’t eat much; and me­so­morphs pack on mus­cle eas­ily.

Although some clearly fall in any of these types, many may have a pre­dom­i­nant body type but may also have fea­tures of other body types. Body types may not come in pure form, Dr. Ruiz clar­i­fies.

“Know­ing your body type will di­rect the ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing and diet that is right for you,” Dr. Ruiz writes. “With proper ad­vice from physi­cians, nu­tri­tion­ists and per­sonal train­ers, we can work on im­prov­ing our physique and get closer to the body that we aim for.”

He adds though that we should make re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions and goals. He ad­mon­ishes ad­ver­tis­ers pro­mot­ing gym mem­ber­ships, diet plans, exer- cise equip­ment and sup­ple­ments who are mislead­ing in their mes­sages, mak­ing peo­ple ex­pect al­most in­stant trans­for­ma­tions.

“Not all men are born to build mus­cle eas­ily like “Thor” ac­tor Chris Hemsworth or foot­ball su­per­star Cris­tiano Ron­aldo. Not ev­ery woman can as­pire to be as sexy as Jen­nifer Lopez,” Dr. Ruiz says.

Know­ing one’s body type can make one’s ex­pec­ta­tions more re­al­is­tic.

Ec­to­morphs

Ec­to­morphs have: •

Lean and long, thin build •

Clas­sic “hard-gainer” build —with dif­fi­culty in build­ing mus­cle •

Nar­row hips, clav­i­cles, small joints •

Lower amount of body fat Many marathon run­ners, bas­ket­ball play­ers and fash­ion mod­els are ec­to­morphs—slim, but short on mus­cle. Dr. Ruiz cites sev­eral fa­mous fe­male ec­to­morphs like Natalie Port­man and Tay­lor Swift, and fa­mous male ec­to­morphs like Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling and Stephen Curry.

To en­hance mus­cle buildup, work­outs of ec­to­morphs should be short, with em­pha­sis on big mus­cle groups, and fo­cus­ing on in­tense and heavy weightlift­ing.

The work­out must in­volve com­pound move­ments, such as the bench press, dead­lift and squat, which ex­er­cise more mus­cle groups.

For nu­tri­tion, the best diet for an ec­to­morph is one that is higher in car­bo­hy­drates and calo­ries. The food mix can in­clude 55 to 60 per­cent of calo­ries com­ing from car­bo­hy­drates, 25 per­cent from pro­tein, and 20 per­cent from fat. So, higher carbs and lower fat.

“For those plan­ning to gain mus­cle, he has to take around 3,000 calo­ries a day, in­clud­ing a lot of starchy car­bo­hy­drates,” Dr. Ruiz rec­om­mends. “Whey pro­tein sup­ple­ments may be taken. Best starchy car­bo­hy­drates in­clude oats, brown rice, sweet po­ta­toes and po­ta­toes. Pro­tein shakes sup­ple­men­ta­tion can pro­vide the ex­tra boost.”

Me­so­morphs

Me­so­morphs have: •

Long torso, short limbs •

Broad shoul­ders, nar­row waist •

Strong, ath­letic build with well-de­fined mus­cles •

Gains mus­cle eas­ily Dr. Ruiz calls me­so­morphs the “lucky ones” be­cause they have a nat­u­rally ath­letic physique and are able to put on mus­cle eas­ily without putting on too much fat.

This can be at­trib­uted to their rel­a­tively high level of testos­terone and growth hor­mone. Their build is ideal for body­build­ing, and they ex­cel in sports that re­quire power and speed.

“Many ath­letes, like swim­mers, gym­nasts and soc­cer play­ers, are me­so­morphs who look well-built, even if they do not rou­tinely work out, and they seem to pack on mus­cle eas­ily the mo­ment they work out,” Dr. Ruiz says.

Among the fa­mous male me­so­morphs are ac­tors Chris Hemsworth, Mark Wahlberg, and soc­cer su­per­star Cris­tiano Ron­aldo. Fa­mous fe­male me­so­morphs in­clude Madonna and Janet Jack­son.

Rec­om­mended ex­er­cise reg­i­men is 30 to 45 min­utes of car­dio ex­er­cise three to five times a week as part of the ex­er­cise rou­tine. For me­so­morphs who carry less body, this can be de­creased to twice a week.

High-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing (HIIT) two to three times a week is also rec­om­mended by fit­ness ex­perts, along with one to two ses­sions of steady-state car­dio. HIIT in­volves al­ter­nat­ing short bursts of in­tense anaer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity fol­lowed by in­ter­vals of lighter ac­tiv­ity for re­cov­ery.

“The ad­di­tion of steadys­tate car­dio avoids over­train­ing and de­creases risk of in­jury,” Dr. Ruiz ex­plains.

Be­cause of their higher ra­tio of mus­cle mass, me­so­morphs’ daily calo­rie needs are also slightly higher than the oth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to British fit­ness ex­pert Mark Hughes, an ideal diet for me­so­morphs would be a macronu­tri­ent mix of 40 per- cent com­plex car­bo­hy­drate, 30 per­cent lean pro­tein, and 30 per­cent healthy fats. The av­er­age me­so­morph needs around 2,500-3,000 calo­ries a day.

Hughes also rec­om­mends rich pro­tein sources in­clud­ing eggs (whole or whites), chicken, fish and pro­tein pow­der. The sup­ple­ment crea­tine may also be taken to aid their re­cov­ery from ath­letic work­outs.

En­do­morphs

En­do­morphs have: •

Stocky build and wider body (pear-shaped) •

Large bone struc­tures, with hips wider than clav­i­cles •

Gen­er­ally softer and rounder build •

Dif­fi­culty to lose weight—they put on fat eas­ily

En­do­morphs can gain fat eas­ily, even if they don’t eat much. They may have prob­lems with car­bo­hy­drate me­tab­o­lism and in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity, and may be pre­dis­posed to have meta­bolic prob­lems like di­a­betes and choles­terol is­sues (high bad choles­terol, and low good choles­terol), and sub­se­quently, heart dis­ease.

They should avoid ex­ces­sive carbs since this can be quickly con­verted to sugar in the blood­stream and stored as fat.

The good news, though, is that de­spite their ge­netic dis­ad­van­tage, en­do­morphs can still suc­ceed in hav­ing the physique they want by means of reg­u­lar ex­er­cise and proper diet.

Fa­mous en­do­morphs who de­fied the odds in at­tain­ing their de­sired body build in­clude ac­tors Dwayne John­son, Chris Pratt, Jen­nifer Lopez and Bey­once.

Rec­om­mended ex­er­cise reg­i­men in­cludes in­tense aer­o­bic ex­er­cise, fo­cus­ing on in­ter­val-based con­di­tion­ing, like HIIT, rather than low-in­ten­sity steady state car­dio.

For con­di­tion­ing, they can still in­clude car­dio ex­er­cises three to five days a week for 30 min­utes, but ex­perts rec­om­mend car­dio train­ing that are low-im­pact and easy on the

Fit­ness reg­i­men and diet must de­pend on it

knees, like swim­ming, bik­ing, hik­ing, and el­lip­ti­cal ma­chine.

“It is im­por­tant that they train their over­all body to see re­sults and not just fo­cus on one area,” Dr. Ruiz ad­vises. “Spotre­duc­ing fat ex­er­cises, like ab­dom­i­nal crunches, do not usu­ally work if you are gen­er­ally over­weight.”

For diet mix, nu­tri­tion ex­perts rec­om­mend 30 per­cent carbs, 35 per­cent pro­tein and 35 per­cent fat. Car­bo­hy­drates must be lim­ited to pre­vent on­set of or con­trol di­a­betes. Carbs can be ob­tained from veg­eta­bles. Carb-dense foods like white bread, rice, cook­ies and carb-loaded sports drinks must be avoided. Pro­tein and fiber in­take must be in­creased.

Wish­ing for the best “you” this year.

Jen­nifer Lopez is an en­do­morph.

MED­I­CAL FILES RAFAEL CASTILLO, M.D.

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