Your frame size, bone structure, and the places you store body fat or muscle is all dependent on your DNA. If you're a person that tends to carry weight in one area of your body — such as your thighs — exercises such as Pilates or running aren't going to change that.
The good news, however, is that you can have a significant impact on your muscle definition. Here's a look at different body types and what you can do exercise- and nutrition-wise to best enhance them.
Tall And Lanky
Also known as the Ectomorph body type, this is the person who can eat whatever they want yet never gain weight. If you fall into this category, you're usually tall, thin and long-limbed. You have trouble maintaining muscle mass. Here's what you can do to counter it.
- Heavy Weights, Low Reps - Use free weights and rest two to five minutes between sets. Allow 48 hours for recovery between workouts.
- Don't Overdo It - If you have this body type, you tend to have high metabolisms, so you're best served by shorter cardio sessions.
- Eat Heartily - If you want to gain weight, you're going to have to eat a lot of quality foods with the right protein, while making sure to consume the right types of carbohydrates and healthy fats.
You fall into this category (Endomorph) if you have a soft, stocky body with sluggish metabolisms. Gaining weight is not a problem, but losing fat is.
- Rev It Up - Do 10 to 12 reps per strength training set, using moderate weight and less rest. Throw in short, hard bursts of cardio.
- Super Sets - This means exercises done back-to-back, or in circuit fashion, with reduced recovery time.
- Eat Smart - You need healthy fats and very little carbs. Portion size matters a lot.
If you're this type (Mesomorph), you've hit the genetic lottery. You add muscle and gain weight with relative ease. Your energy is high.
- Think Multiple - Stick with compound weight movements (deadlifts, squats, etc.) that target multiple muscle groups.
- Crank It Up - You can handle a higher volume of both weight and conditioning sessions.
- Eat Moderately - Stick with reasonable portions of protein, adequate healthy fat, while eating the right carbs.