Ever wonder why all those hours clocked at the gym are not producing the results you want? Maybe following the same routine as everyone else isn’t for you. Quit preventing your body from reaching its full potential by paying attention to the type of exercise your body type needs. We all come in various shapes and sizes and require a proper training routine to achieve success in the gym.
Which body type best describes you?
Use the guide below to determine your dominant body type (hourglass, athletic or straight). The result will let you know what training style will benefit you the most. Take the middle approach if you feel you’re between two body types.
‘ Do you gain weight easily and have difficulty losing weight?
‘ Are your hips wider than your shoulders?
‘ Do you have a large bone structure that has an extra layer of fat over it?
‘ Do you have a round, curvy or soft appearance?
‘ Are your limbs shorter in relation to your torso with small hands and feet?
‘ Do you have the ability to gain and store excess fat easily, particularly around your abdomen?
‘ Are your shoulders slightly wider than your hips?
‘ Do you have a large and heavy bone structure?
‘ Do you have a sturdy and firm appearance?
‘ Are your limbs proportionate with large wrists and hands?
‘ Is it a challenge for you to gain weight and muscle mass?
‘ Are your shoulders and hips approximately the same width?
‘ Do you have delicate bone structure?
‘ Do you have a straight and fragile appearance?
‘ Are your limbs poorly muscled?
The best workout for your body type
If your body is hourglass in shape:
Circuit training will benefit the hourglass silhouette who finds building muscle mass easy but losing body fat a challenge. This type of training works best as it keeps your heart rate elevated and metabolism burning, even after you leave the gym. Choose exercises that are compound (multi-joint) movements in order to keep your body challenged and stimulated enough to use its own fat stores as energy. Try the ultimate 10-minute workout to get started.
Weight training: At a light to moderate intensity, do 12-15 repetitions, and 2-4 sets, with 30 seconds of rest between each set. Do a weight training workout 2-3 times per week.
Cardio: Do a cardio workout 3-5 days per week for maximum fat and calorie burn. On longer cardio days (20-45 minutes), exercise at an intensity of 50-70 percent. On shorter cardio days (20-30 minutes in length) your intensity should be between 70-80 percent.
Nutrition: Eat six smaller meals, rather than three large meals to keep metabolic rate elevated. This will result in increased fat burn.
If your body is athletic is shape:
This body type does not have to worry too much about muscular tone. Exercises that help maintain a svelte narrow waist with a well-balanced lower body are best. Choose exercises that are compound movements and alternate between lighter and heavier weightlifting days so the muscles develop proportionately and are not bulky.
Weight training: At a moderate to difficult intensity, do 8-12 repetitions, and 2-3 sets, with 45 seconds of rest in between each set. Complete a weight training session 2-3 times per week.
Cardio: Do a cardio workout 3-4 times per week at varying intensity levels for 30-45 minutes. This will help maintain a lean body and improve heart health for maximum fat and calorie burn.
Nutrition: Eat a well balanced diet with whole foods and a good amount of protein.
If your body is straight in shape:
Gaining muscle mass is a very difficult and slow process for the straight body type. Focus on strengthening the postural muscles and incorporate weight bearing exercises. This will reduce the chance of injury due your bone structure and reduce the likelihood of osteoporosis. Engage in exercises such as Yoga, Tai Chi and QiGong.
Weight training: At a moderate to difficult intensity, do 6-10 repetitions at a slower, controlled pace. Do 2-3 sets, pausing for a 60 second rest between each set. (The slower the tempo you are working at, the better. This keeps the muscle under tension longer, increasing the chance of muscle building.) Do weight training 2-3 times per week.
Cardio: Do a cardio workout 3 times per week at a moderate intensity. Cardiovascular exercises should be kept to a minimum because of your fast metabolism, which makes it difficult to gain weight and muscle. You don’t want to burn the muscle you are trying to build.
Nutrition: Eat a well balanced diet full of nutritious calories.
Note: All body types should eat whole foods, avoid sugars, processed and junk food. Eat your last meal at least 3-4 hours before going to bed. Increase water intake to keep tissues moist and functioning properly.
Don’t miss out! Sign up for our free weekly newsletters and get nutritious recipes, healthy weight-loss tips, easy ways to stay in shape and all the health news you need, delivered straight to your inbox.