The Right Workout Program For Your Body Type

What is the right workout program for your body type?  Each person has their own specific body type which is why there’s no one perfect fit for all when it comes to exercise and nutrition.  Basically, there are 3 body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.  Some people fall perfectly into one category and some will be in between.  Let’s look at the different body types and what workout programs work best for each one.

What Body Type Are You?

To figure out what body type you are, check out this quick and easy test.

The Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are characterized by a thin build with relatively low muscle and fat.  People of this body type have a hard time putting on weight, whether it’s muscle or fat, and is typically not able to tolerate large amounts of weight training or cardio.  It might sound good to those of us who have struggled with our weight but believe me, ectomorphs are just as frustrated with not being able to gain weight as some of us are with not being able to lose weight.

Best training for ectomorphs
  • Because the ectomorph can’t tolerate large amounts of training, they have to start of slow. If they go too hard too soon they’ll end up in an over-trained condition which causes many problems.  They may also feel burned out and frustrated.
  • Workouts should be basic and under one hour in length.
  • Workouts need to be changed regularly. After 4-6 weeks on a program the ectomorph will need to change things up to support muscle hypertrophy.
  • Be consistent! If an ectomorph really wants to put on muscle they have to train consistently.
  • Form is crucial! This is true for everyone but even more so for ectomorphs.  Ectomorphs will have weaker muscles so if they try to go too heavy and sacrifice their form an injury is almost guaranteed.  They need to go lighter so their form is perfect.

The Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are characterized by an athletic and muscular frame with relatively low amounts of body fat.  They put on muscle and lose fat relatively easily.

Best training for mesomorphs
  • Go for high intensity. This body type can handle high intensity and high frequency because they have good recovery systems.  Their stronger body type means they are less prone to injury.
  • Try different weight training techniques. The mesomorph can handle the stress of training hard really well so they need to use techniques such as drop sets, rest pause training, negatives, forced reps, etc.
  • Change it up! Change things such as exercises, reps and speed of reps frequently to keep your body from adapting and no longer making progress.

The Endomorph

Endomorphs are characterized by a rounder body.  They put on fat and muscle relatively easy and have a difficult time losing fat.

Best training for endomorphs
  • High intensity weight training. Endomorphs tend to be quite strong so they don’t have to shy away from high intensity weight training.  This doesn’t mean that they should jump into an advanced training program – they still need to start slow – but they will be able to handle heavier weights and longer strength training workouts.  As they get more advanced they can start adding more advanced techniques such as drop sets, rest pause training, negatives, forced reps, etc.
  • Short intense sessions of cardio. Endomorphs don’t generally have very good endurance but they need cardio to help them lose excess fat.  High intensity interval training (HIIT) is going to be the best choice.  15-20 minutes of HIIT will be much more beneficial than long steady state workouts because it will burn more fat without burning muscle.

Figure Out Your Body Type So You Can Train More Effectively

Take the test in the link above to see what your body type is.  Chances are you may be a mix of more than one type.  Once you know what you’re dealing with it will become a lot easier to design a program fitness and nutrition that will get you the results you want.

How To Get Lean Without Getting Bulky

One question I get asked a lot from my female clients is how to get lean without getting bulky.  First of all, I want to stress to the women that lifting heavy will not make you bulky.  You won’t start looking like the hulk if you start lifting.  Women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build huge muscles.  The female bodybuilders that you see have to work REALLY hard to look the way they do.  Their training is super intense and their diet and supplements (if they use supplements) are planned specifically to support that kind of building.

I think where the confusion lies is when women gain some muscle but don’t lose fat or put fat on due to following the wrong type of nutrition plan.  Fat lies on top of the muscle so if you’re carrying extra fat or put fat on you might get a ‘bulky’ look.  This isn’t too hard to fix though.  Let’s look at what you have to do if you want to get lean without getting bulky.

How To Get Lean Without Getting Bulky

  • Watch your carb intake.

You don’t need to eliminate carbs but you do need to be aware of what carbs you’re eating and how much you’re eating.  Carbs are a very important part of your diet – they provide energy and also help with your strength.   You need the right kinds of carbs though.  Eliminate processed carbs such as crackers, commercial cereals, desserts etc.  Limit your intake of carbs such as rice, potatoes and pasta.  Be super careful about grains too as they cause inflammation.  If you need to eat bread get sprouted bread (in the refrigerated section).  Limit your fruit intake as well since eating a lot of it can result is spikes and crashes in blood sugar.  I recommend 1-2 servings a day and consume them early in the day when you’ll be sure to use the sugar for energy.  Eat lots of veggies.  Try to keep your carbs to about 30-35% of your total daily food intake.

  • Increase protein and make sure you’re getting enough fat.

We need protein to build and maintain muscle.  Did you know that more muscle means a higher metabolism?  Try upping your protein to about 40% of your daily food intake.  This might sound like a lot but it gets great results for most people.

Fat is another super important macronutrient that too many people are afraid of.  You NEED healthy fats in your diet in order for your body to be healthy!  Healthy fats are natural fats such as olive oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil and yes! BUTTER!  You absolutely need dietary fat if you want your metabolism to run at an optimum level.  Be sure to keep your fat intake to about 20-25% of your daily food intake.

  • LIFT!!!!!

If you want a lean strong body you need to lift heavy!  Don’t be afraid of the heavy weights ladies!!!!  If you start a strength training program and start to notice your clothes are fitting tighter it’s because your nutrition is off and your body is hanging onto or adding more fat.  Remember, working out does NOT justify eating whatever you want.  You have to get your nutrition right if you want to get lean.  Don’t use the scale as your gage though.  5lbs of muscle takes up way less space than 5lbs of fat, but the scale doesn’t differentiate between fat weight and lean weight.

  • Don’t overdo the cardio.

I know it’s tempting.  Many people, including myself make this mistake.  I thought that the way to lose weight and look toned and strong was to do cardio until the weight fell off.  This doesn’t work.  If anything, it does the opposite.  Too much cardio will actually hinder muscle growth.  Actually, if you’re overdoing your cardio, your body becomes catabolic and actually starts to ‘eat’ your muscle for fuel!  Less muscle means a slower metabolism which leads to weight gain and frustration.  Aim for 30-45 minutes of cardio 3-4 days per week.

Another thing that will cause your body to become catabolic?  Starving yourself.  To figure out approximately how many calories you need per day use this calorie calculator.

A Balanced Approach To Your Health & Fitness

I think where most people go wrong is they assume they have to go extreme at the gym and with their diet in order to get the results they want.  Extreme’s not going to work for the average person.  You need to eat healthy and exercise in a balanced and healthy way.

Figure out how many calories you need to eat and calculate  your macros to be about 40% protein, 35% carbs and 25% fat.  Use an app such as My Fitness Pal to track your macros.  Track your results.  If you’re not getting the results you want try tweaking something – maybe you need a bit less of something or a little more of something.

Get someone to help you design a proper workout program or search for something online.  Again, track your results and if you’re not getting what you want out of it try tweaking a thing or two.  Every body is different and will react differently to nutrition and exercise so you need to be ready to try a few things before you find what works for you.

Need help?  Ask me!

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! Pyramid Time!

Pyramid Time!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

Complete Up To 5 Rounds

30 Seconds High Knees

10 Burpees

20 Toe Touches

30 Cross body Mountain Climbers

40 Squat Jumps

50 Jumping Jacks

40 Russian Twists (1-1)

30 Glute Bridges

20 Up Down Planks (or hold an elbow plank for 45 seconds)

10 Burpees

30 Seconds High Knees

Rest 90 Seconds

Fitness Tests You Can Do At Home

Evaluating your fitness is a great tool to use to keep you motivated and moving forward.  Fitness tests should be a part of your routine.  Whether you’re a gym member or not you can incorporate fitness tests as part of your regime.

Why Are Fitness Tests Important?

Here are some of the benefits:

  • It makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you know what you need to work on to create balance in your body.
  • Monitors your progress which shows you how well your workout program is working (or not working).
  • Lets you know when you need to change up your fitness routine. If you’re not seeing any new progress it’s time to switch things up.

Fitness Tests You Can Do At Home

Not everyone wants to spend the money on a fitness assessment done at a gym so here are some you can do at home.  Be sure to keep a fitness journal to record your results and mark it on your calendar to make sure you’re doing them regularly.  Schedule them for every 6-8 weeks.

  1. For muscular strength and endurance: Pushup Test

Perform as many pushups as you can in 1 minute.  Men should do these from their toes, women have the option of doing them from their knees.  When the timer starts lower yourself until your chest is about 3 inches from the floor.  Perform as many as you can in a minute – if you need to take a rest you have to hold the ‘up’ position while resting.

Ratings for Men, based on Age
 20-29  30-39  40-49  50-59  60+
 Excellent  > 54  > 44 > 39 > 34  > 29
 Good  45-54  35-44  30-39  25-34  20-29
 Average  35-44  24-34  20-29  15-24  10-19
 Poor  20-34  15-24  12-19  8-14  5-9
 Very Poor  < 20  < 15  < 12  < 8  < 5
Ratings for Women, based on Age
20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Excellent >36 >37 >31 >25 >23
Good 30-36 30-37 25-31 21-25 19-23
Average 12-22 10-21 8-17 7-14 5-12
Poor 2-6 1-4 1-3 1-2 1
Very Poor 0-1 0 0 0 0

 

  1. For abdominal strength and endurance: Crunch Test

This is a regular crunch but there are guidelines.  Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels about 18 inches from your butt.  Place your arms at your sides, palms down, finger tips by your hips.  Measure 6 inches from your fingertips and place a marker there.   Keeping your hands on the floor do a crunch and let your fingertips slide along the floor until they reach the marker.  Return to start position.  This is 1 rep.  Do as many as you can in 1 minute and record the number.  Only count the ones where your fingertips actually touch the marker.

 

Ratings for Men, Based on Age
Rating < 35 years 35-44 years > 45 years
Excellent 60 50 40
Good 45 40 25
Marginal 30 25 15
Needs Work 15 10 5

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

Rating < 35 years 35-44 years > 45 years
Excellent 50 40 30
Good 40 25 15
Marginal 25 15 10
Needs Work 10 6 4

 

  1. For Aerobic Fitness: 3 Minute Step Ups

You’ll need a 12 inch step/bench that’s sturdy.  Stand facing the step/bench and set a metronome to 96 beats/minute (if you don’t have a metronome download an app).  Start the clock and step up, up, down, down on the beat (96 bpm).  You can rest when needed but stay standing.  Once the 3 minutes are up, sit down immediately on the  step/bench and count your pulse for 1 full minute.

 

Ratings for Men, Based on Age
18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Excellent 50-76 51-76 49-76 56-82 60-77 59-81
Good 79-84 79-85 80-88 87-93 86-94 87-92
Above Average 88-93 88-94 92-88 95-101 97-100 94-102
Average 95-100 96-102 100-105 103-111 103-109 104-110
Below Average 102-107 104-110 108-113 113-119 111-117 114-118
Poor 111-119 114-121 116-124 121-126 119-128 121-126
Very Poor 124-157 126-161 130-163 131-159 131-154 130-151
Ratings for Women, Based on Age
18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Excellent 52-81 58-80 51-84 63-91 60-92 70-92
Good 85-93 85-92 89-96 95-101 97-103 96-101
Above Average 96-102 95-101 100-104 104-110 106-111 104-111
Average 104-110 104-110 107-112 113-118 113-118 116-121
Below Average 113-120 113-119 115-120 120-124 119-127 123-126
Poor 122-131 122-129 124-132 126-132 129-135 128-133
Very Poor 135-169 134-171 137-169 137-171 141-174 135-155

 

  1. Don’t like the step up test? You can do the 1 Mile Walk Test instead.

Don’t attempt this test if you aren’t routinely walking 15-20 minutes several times per week.  Do not perform this on a treadmill as your results will be skewed.  Make sure you’ve measured out 1 mile and before you start the test be sure to warm up by walking slowly for 3-5 minutes.  Once you’re warmed up start your timer and walk your 1 mile as quickly as possible.  Note your time.

 

Ratings for Men, Based on Age
Age 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Excellent <11:54 <12:24 <12:54 <13:24 <14:06 <15:06
Good 11:54-13:00 12:24-13:30 12:54-14:00 13:24-14:24 14:06-15:12 15:06-15:48
Average 13:01-13:42 13:31-14:12 14:01-14:42 14:25-15:12 15:13-16:18 15:49-18:48
Fair 13:43-14:30 14:13-15:00 14:43-15:30 15:13-16:30 16:19-17:18 18:49-20:18
Poor >14:30 >15:00 >15:30 >16:30 >17:18 >20:18

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

Age 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Excellent <13:12 <13:42 <14:12 <14:42 <15:06 <18:18
Good 13:12-14:06 13:42-14:36 14:12-15:06 14:42-15:36 15:06-16:18 18:18-20:00
Average 14:07-15:06 14:37-15:36 15:07-16:06 15:37-17:00 16:19-17:30 20:01-21:48
Fair 15:07-16:30 15:37-17:00 16:07-17:30 17:01-18:06 17:31-19:12 21:49-24:06
Poor >16:30 >17:00 >17:30 >18:06 >19:12 >24:06

 

Time For Your Test!

Regular fitness tests are a great way to keep yourself motivated and prevent yourself from wasting your time spinning your wheels.  Numbers don’t lie and what you can learn from them will go a long way to improving your health and fitness.

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! AMRAP Cardio & Core!

AMRAP Cardio & Core!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

10 MIN Cardio AMRAP

  • 20 Prone Tuck Jumps
  • 15 Squat Jumps
  • 20 Plank Jacks With Optional Pushup
  • 15 Power Jacks

10 MIN Core AMRAP  

20 Side to Side Crunches (1-2)

15 Reverse Crunches

20 Bicyces (1-2)

15 Dead Bugs (1-1)

Pros And Cons Of The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is another popular diet among people who are concerned with their health and fitness.  Most likely you’ve heard of it but how much do you really know about it?

Simple Explanation Of The Paleo Diet

The idea behind the Paleo diet is that you eat like your ancestors.  This is meant to help you avoid modern chronic diseases.

What You Eat:

  • Lean meat and pretty much all its parts – organs, bone marrow and cartilage.
  • Fish/seafood.
  • Non-starchy vegetables.
  • Raw nuts and seeds (no peanuts).
  • Plant based oils such as olive, grapeseed, walnut and coconut.

What You Can’t Eat:

  • Grains such as oats, wheat, barley and rice.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn.
  • No legumes or beans (peanuts are legumes).
  • Dairy products.
  • Processed foods.

Pros of the Paleo Diet

  • You’ll eliminate processed foods from your diet.
  • The diet is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is basically the root of all disease.
  • You’ll most likely feel fuller since it’s a relatively high protein diet.
  • Limiting food choices makes meal planning somewhat simpler.

Cons of the Paleo Diet

  • Eliminating whole grains and legumes means you might be missing out some good sources of fibre and nutrients.
  • It can be very challenging for vegetarians to follow this type of diet.
  • This is a very restrictive diet and most people aren’t able to stay on something so restrictive for the long term.
  • It can be time consuming and expensive.

Try It Out If You’re Curious

Once again, I can’t stress enough that every body is different and will react differently to different diets.  If the Paleo diet sounds like something you’d like to try go for it.  Just remember a healthy eating plan is one that you can stick to for the long term so make sure you understand the diet before you fully commit to it.

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! AMRAP & Tabata Time!

AMRAP & Tabata Time!
Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

15 MIN AMRAP
50 Jumping Jacks
40 Alternating Reverse Lunges 1-2
30 High Knees 1-1
20 Squats
10 Push-ups
5 Burpees

Tabata Core
Bicycles (bicycles for 20 sec hold for 10 sec for 8 sets)

Pros and Cons of Ketosis

You’ve probably heard about ketosis and chances are you might be a bit confused.  The ketogenic diet is nothing new but in the past, it was said to be really unhealthy.  Unfortunately, the people saying it was unhealthy were comparing it to ketoacidosis which is something very unhealthy and can even lead to death.  Ketoacidosis is something that can happen to individuals with diabetes.  For someone who is putting themselves into nutritional ketosis there is no risk of getting to the point of ketoacidosis.

What Is Ketosis?

There’s a lot more to it but I’m going to keep this super simple and to the point so you actually keep reading this.  If you want the scientific explanation you can find some great info here.

Basically, ketosis is a state where your body is using ketone bodies for energy rather than glycogen. Glycogen is the preferred source of energy for your body but your body can use ketone bodies when glycogen is depleted, like when you’re following a low/no carb diet.

What The Hell Are Ketone Bodies??

When you run out of stored glycogen, fat goes through a process which results in the production of fatty acids.  Some of these fatty acids get turned into ketone bodies.  If you’re glycogen depleted, your body can use these ketone bodies (fatty acids) for energy.

How Do You Get Into Ketosis?

There are two ways to get into ketosis.  One is my manipulating your nutrition by eating very low or no carbs at all.  If you’re going to do this through diet you need to consume 30g or less of carbs per day which is VERY little and VERY hard for a lot of people to sustain.  The rest of your diet will be a mix of healthy proteins and healthy fats.

When you don’t provide your body with enough carbs to convert into glycogen for energy your body will convert your fat stores into energy using a process called neoglucogenisis.  The more energy you need, the more fat you’ll burn so this is not a ‘sit on your butt and eat protein and fat to lose weight’ kind of thing.  Ketosis is a tool to help you burn fat but is not a quick fix by any means.

The other way to get into ketosis is by using exogenous ketones, which is what I do.   I won’t go into what brand I use because this article is meant to inform, not try to sell a product.  If you want more info contact me at info@wholeyfit.ca

Pros of Ketosis

  • Improved fat loss.

This is the one that will get most people’s attention.  Your body will be using fat as energy and if you’re working out consistently you’ll burn even more fat as your body’s energy needs increase.

  • Eliminating the risk of bonking.

This is big for endurance athletes and is why a lot of them follow a ketogenic type diet.  Your body can only store so much glycogen.  If you’re participating in an endurance event and you’re not bang on with your nutrition you run the risk of running out of glycogen and bonking.  Bonking is NOT fun.  Your body can store WAY more fat, than glycogen.  Even lean people can store enough fat to ensure never running out of fuel.

  • Epilepsy management.

Ketosis is not just a way to burn excess fat, it’s also very beneficial for some medical conditions.  Doctors have found that ketosis helps control seizures.  No one is sure exactly how or why but you can read more about it here.

  • Alternative cancer treatment.

Cancer cells require glucose to thrive.  They actually live off of sugar.  Cancer cells are not as flexible as our regular cells so they can’t switch from living off sugar to living off of ketone bodies.   They essentially starve to death in a person who has become ‘fat adapted’.  You can read more about it here.

Cons of Ketosis

  • The diet is super restrictive.

It can be very challenging for someone to stick to a ketogenic diet long term.  It’s very challenging to find ketogenic friendly foods when at social gatherings or at restaurants.  This is why I use exogenous ketones.

  • Being in ketosis long term may damage your metabolism.

Personally I don’t think it’s natural for a typically healthy person to be in ketosis long term.  If you look back at our ancestors they would be in ketosis seasonally when carbs were hard to come by.  Once carbs were available again they’d start consuming them and come out of ketosis.  Also, some people will go a bit too extreme and cut out too much meaning that they won’t be getting all the nutrients they need.  When this happens, the body will slow down it’s metabolism to conserve energy because it senses that it’s being starved.

Will You Try Ketosis?

So, there you have it.  Ketosis can be a great tool to help you lose fat as long as you’re also active and healthy, and it helps with certain medical conditions.  As with anything you need to try it for yourself to see how it works.  And always remember that just because something works does NOT mean it will work better if you take it to the extreme.  Talk to someone who can help you do it safely and use your common sense.

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! 10 Or 20!

10 Or 20!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

Complete 3 Rounds with the best form possible

10 Squats

20 Jumping Lunges (1-2)

10 Pushups

20 Mountain Climbers 1-1

10 Elbow Plank Jacks

20 Lying Leg Raise

4 Rounds 45s Work 15sec Rest

Burpees

Plank

Gorillas

Suicide Tap Downs