Training for Your Body Type
I’ve been to the doctor a lot in the last month, you can read why here. I first got a high read on my blood pressure right before a blood test. I get really anxious before I get blood drawn so I figured the 132/89 blood pressure read was just the result of Doctor Anxiety when your blood pressure temporarily shoots up at the doctor’s office. But then a couple weeks later I had my blood pressure checked again and again it was in the 130s/80s. Now, for my whole life up until a month ago, I’d always had blood pressure in the 120s/70s, as a matter of fact, I’d had episodes of low blood pressure from time to time. So these high blood pressures were weird. By the time I got the fourth one, I knew that this was no longer Doctor Anxiety but ill health.
Now I know what you might be thinking, but Grace you’ve been working out for months and you eat pretty well. All true. I’ve been mostly good but after a month long honeymoon, a move to a new state, and a failed pregnancy my weight has shot back up to 136lbs. Now I’m lucky, I distribute body fat very evenly but my body’s not happy with these extra pounds and it’s rebelling big time. You see one of the major risk factors for high blood pressure happens to be weight gain. As a matter of fact, one study found that as little as a 5% increase in body weight could increase your blood pressure. And I’ve certainly surpassed 5%!
Now that I’m getting ready to go back to the gym, I started to think about what I could do differently that would not only improve my heart health but also get my weight down to an amount that my body’s actually comfortable with. That’s when it occurred to me, maybe I haven’t been working out in a way that actually challenges my body. So I started to do some research.
It turns out that I’m a Mesomorph — I have naturally broad shoulders, a narrow waist, thin joints, I tend to put on muscle easily, and my muscles are pretty thick. Even now with this extra body fat, you can still feel my abs when you poke me.
Famous mesomorph ladies include Jessica Biel, Halle Berry, and Janet Jackson. For a long time, Jessica Biel was my body goals. You may remember during her action movie days that she always had great definition while still looking very feminine. Since giving birth to her son, however, she’s mostly stopped doing strength training and mostly focuses on yoga. She still looks great but she’s leaned out considerably.
Other body types include the ectomorph – these individuals are the people we think of as being naturally thin and lanky. They have a hard time putting on muscle and putting on body fat. Most supermodels are ectomorphs. Famous ectomorphs include Gwenyth Paltrow and Kate Moss.
And then there’s the endomorph – these individuals are pear-shaped, have narrow shoulders, tend to have a hard time losing body fat, but can put on muscle fairly easily. Famous endomorphs include Kim Kardashian (yes even before the fake butt), Kate Winslet, and Selma Hayek.
So I’m sure you’re asking yourself, okay so now that I know what my body type is how do I work it out?!
Ectomorph Ideal Workout
Ectomorphs probably aren’t too worried about losing weight. Most of you are probably wondering how the heck you can put on a little bit size. Ectomorphs, the good news is you’re never going to have to run again, unless you really really enjoy it. All you need to do is lift weights, specifically doing large compound movements that are going to work big muscle groups like deadlifts, overhead squats, barbell lunges, bench press. Do this coupled with eating enough to support new muscle growth and you’ll be pointing at your biceps in no time.
Mesomorph Ideal Workout
Mesomorphs are the natural athletes, so they don’t need a lot of any one thing to get in shape but their bodies can quickly adapt to doing the same thing every day. Mesomorphs, therefore, should split their workouts between strength training and cardio, with a typical split of 3 strength training days and 2 cardio days. Female mesomorphs especially risk putting on lots of body fat in the short term when they put on too much muscle too quickly from strength training, especially as they get older. Hormones strike again! Since this is my body type, I’ll tell you more about what I’ll be doing further down in this post.
Ectomorph Ideal Workout
Endomorphs tend to hold more body fat than other body type and they may feel tempted to just hit the treadmill to lose their body fat but really what they’re going to want to do is weight train first. It’s recommended that you weight train at least 4 days a week doing high-intensity compound exercises. And include two days of cardio per week.
My New Workout Schedule
Monday – Upper Body (Strength Training)
Tuesday – Running Interval Workout (Cardio)
Wednesday – Legs (Strength Training)
Thursday – Rest Day
Friday – Upper Body/Core (Strength Training)
Saturday – Running Interval Workout/Spinning (Cardio)
Sunday – Rest Day
That’s the general plan for the next several weeks. Yes, I hate running but it works for me. It’s what I was doing in 2015 when I was arguably looking the best I’d ever looked. My hope is that I can continue to gain strength even though I’m just strength training three times a week because now I know so much more about the process and generally how to train.
I’m not making this change just because I want to fit in a bikini. I need to get my blood pressure back down if I’m planning on getting pregnant again. I need to stop the rollercoaster of hormones to keep everything working at its optimal levels.
If you’re still not sure what your body type is you can take this test on bodybuilding.com . They also have additional resources about nutrition and workouts for your body type. And generally are a great resource for exercises and techniques to get the most out of your workouts.
So I’m starting this plan today. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram (@realgraceshines) and Twitter (@realgraceshines) so you witness all of the hilarity of me going back to the gym after several weeks. Wish me luck! I will keep you updated! And let me know in the comments if you’ve decided to make any changes in your workout regime and why. I love hearing about what other ladies are doing to reach their fitness goals.
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