In her previous two articles Helene introduced us to the three different body types in some detail. She has provided training plans for Ectomorphs and Endomorphs and here she concludes by looking at Mesomorphs.
The naturally athletic looking types that have wider shoulders and gain muscle mass easily. They respond better to resistance training than any other body type making them lean and strong in appearance.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Of all the body types, this one responds best to weight training as well as high intensity interval training – ideal for burning fat! Just like the Endomorph body type, the Mesomorph has the same traits of putting on weight easily if an individual does not maintain oneself and is continuously eating sugary foods.
The good news, out of the three body types, Mesomorphs respond quicker when training to building muscle mass. But I am not talking ‘Arnie’ levels of muscle mass, so ladies if this is your body type do not be alarmed about picking those weights up, you will not bulk, instead the outcome is an athletic tone body!
Just like the Ectomorph, best suited exercises are: lunges, squats, deadlift, leg-press/squat, bench-press, shoulder-press, dips. Also note Mesomorphs work well when you use classic muscle building splits.
Leg-press/Squat (can be performed at home no need for the gym). If using a gym stick with the leg-press machine;
Leg Extensions– can use a leg- extension machine if using a gym, or the alternative but you will need someone for this is exercise- laying on your back supporting with both hands your lower back, bend your knees (keeping legs at hip width), raise your legs upwards with your toes pointing towards you. Your partner placing their hands on the soles of your feet, bringing your knees to your chest and when extending legs outwards, Your partner pushes down so you are feeling a resistance when extending your legs.
2. Leg Curl:
– This machine can be found in gym, but if you can’t get to the gym try this instead, all you need is a dumbbell.
– Place a light dumbbell on the floor, standing on end. Choose a lighter dumbbell than you think you’ll need at first, until you’re comfortable with the exercise.
– Lie down on the floor, on your stomach, with your legs straight and feet close to the dumbbell, place your feet on either side of the dumbbell handle.
– Squeeze the dumbbell between your feet and bend your knees to lift it off the floor. The top weight on the dumbbell will rest on the bottom of your feet.
Deadlifts, Bent Over Rows should be included also Lat Pull Downs.
4. If going to the gym there is equipment for this, if not the alternative is:
– Sitting on bench/chair, make sure your back is neutral, make sure your feet are flat stabilizing the bottom half of the body from not moving.
– Either hold in each arm a dumbbell in each hand or a dumbbell bar, lifting it above your head with arms wider than your shoulders, bring it down toward your chest at the same time moving your back by tilting it backwards and repeat.
Exercises include-Bench press, Push-Ups.
6. Cable Machine:
If visiting a gym use a cable machine. Teaching points…
– Start with hands level with your chest;
– Elbows below shoulder height and abs held tight;
– Staggered start position, push to near lockout and repeat
An alternative exercise if not using the gym:
– Stand with feet shoulder width apart both toes pointing forward;
– Hold a dumbbell in both hands, straighten the arms raising them outwards in line with your shoulders, bringing them back to the front of your body and repeat.
This exercise works: Pectoralis Major/Minor, Anterior Deltoid and triceps
7. Chest Flys:
– Either laying on your back on a bench (or a Fit Ball if a little more advanced and able to handle the instability), making sure the back is well supported and feet planted on the floor;
– Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with the palms facing together above your chest;
– Maintain a small bend in the elbows throughout the exercise;
– Take your arms apart and leading with the elbows until they are just below the level of your shoulders;
– Maintain control throughout the lowering phase;
This exercise work: Pectoralis Major/Minor as well as anterior fibres of the deltoid.
1. Bicep curls:
– Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and back straight
– Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing forwards and elbows straight
– Bend the elbows to lift the dumbbells from by your thighs, up towards your shoulders
– Avoid swinging the weights or arching the back to help lift the weight, slowly return the weights back to the starting position
This exercise works your: biceps.
2. Front Row Raises:
– Position yourself with a wide stance and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the arms straight by your sides and palms facing behind you;
– Lift your arms out in front, until the hands are at shoulder level, return the arms back to the starting position, maintaining control throughout;
– Ensure you don’t arch your back in an attempt to lift the weight;
– This exercise work: Anterior fibres of the deltoid
Apply Shoulder Press as explained above.
– Stand with the feet in a wide stance and knees slightly bent;
– Start with the barbell held across the front of your upper chest so the palms face forwards;
– Your grip on the bar should be just wider than shoulder width;
– Push the barbell up, overhead and straighten the arms slowly return to the starting position, under full control;
This exercise works: Interior fibres of deltoid & triceps. 3 sets, 8-12 reps, 60-90 secs rest period is recommended for this body type.
For the Mesomorph who can gain weight and/or muscle quickly.
Keep protein intake high, loading with carbs for both pre workout and post workout, portions should be smaller with regular meals between 5-8 spread throughout the day. In terms of nutrition for either body type calories should not be counted, as this does not work, lets face it, who has time to count their calories with busy lives we live!
For all body types a good reasonable amount of fruit and vegetables are important and, as you can see, carbs are recommended – just make sure they are good carbs! Drinking at least 1-2 litres of water daily is highly recommended with all 3-body types, flushing any unwanted toxins as well as keeping the body hydrated.
Stick to the exercises given for lasting results. As for nutrition, mix it up with the recommended dietary advice given, after all, bodies are not just made in the gym they start in the kitchen and develop in the gym.
One more thing to highlight – remember we control what we do so start by mastering the word moderation, as this is the key to sticking to your goals. Whether it’s keeping to a regular exercise regime or eating a healthy balanced diet, don’t forget you are your own keeper and can make this happen!