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The Best Exercises for Certain Men's Body Types

By Miguel Cavazos

Each man is genetically predisposed to a particular body type, or a combination of body types. Individual body types are generally based on bone structure and the way your body stores fat and builds muscle. Your lifestyle and dietary habits may also stimulate the production of certain hormones, or hormonal reactions, which contribute to your particular body shape.


Mesomorphs have a medium-to-large bone structure with a rectangular-shaped torso and athletic muscle definition. Men with this type of body gain or lose weight with relative ease. The best exercises for mesomorphs include both aerobics and weightlifting. Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, helps mesomorphs control their weight. The National Federation of Personal Trainers recommends aerobic sessions that keep your pulse between 60 percent and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes. Determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. Use the amount of weight that exhausts your muscles within 12 to 15 repetitions for moderately heavy weightlifting, or in four to six repetitions for heavy weightlifting.


Ectomorphs have small bone structure and fast metabolism, with lean muscle mass. This body type is characteristically thin and has difficulty gaining weight. Physical features associated with ectomorphs include a flat chest and small shoulders. Heavy weightlifting exercises that involve multiple joint movements stimulates growth in the greatest amount of muscle tissue. The best weightlifting exercises for ectomorphs exhaust your muscles within four to six repetitions.


Endomorphs tend to gain fat easier than the other body types. Men with an ectomorph-type body may be short in stature and have thick arms and legs. An ectomorph may also have a lot of lower body strength. Features associated with endomorphs include a soft and round body, slow metabolism and difficulty losing fat. The best exercises for endomorphs include weightlifting exercises with the amount of weight that allows 20 to 25 repetitions before muscle exhaustion and 60-minute aerobic exercise sessions.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance leads to excess visceral fat, characterized by weight around the waist -- sometimes called love handles. Men with either body type can have this condition, which is characterized by an inverse correlation between insulin insensitivity and growth hormone. The best exercise for men with this condition is heavy compound weightlifting, which stimulates growth hormone. Compound weightlifting exercises recruit more than one muscle group and articulate multiple joints, separated by brief rest periods. Growth hormone secretions increase as you lift heavier loads within a shorter amount of time

Excess Cortisol

Abdominal fat is also associated with cortisol, a hormone that triggers fat storage after prolonged periods of stress. Heavy compound weightlifting exercises help reduce cortisol levels through increased growth hormone production, which helps your body adapt to stress. Mindful exercises such as tai chi, meditation and deep breathing can help bring stress levels down. Cortisol levels are also reduced by aerobic exercise.

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