Are you someone who struggles to lose weight but no problem gaining it?
Do you have a naturally larger body shape?
The technical term for this body type is endomorph.
What is an Endomorph?
The endomorph body types stores more fat than average, gets tired easily and has a larger appetite, thus making it difficult to lose weight.
If this is you, it may seem like you're destined to struggle to achieve your fitness goals. But, endomorphs simply have to play a different hand to achieve their weight loss and muscle building goals.
How to Train if You're an Endomorph Body Type
Slogging away at steady-state cardio isn’t the solution if you're an endomorph body type. The focus should be on burning fat through a combination of cardio AND weight training.
Interval-based conditioning, utilizing exercises that tax the entire body (sprints, box jumps and sled pushes, etc), will help you strip away body fat.
The goal is to get your body burning as much fuel as possible during your training sessions and to continue maximizing that calorie burn long after you've finished.
As an endomorph, you do have to work at achieving results, but on the bright side, you tend to be naturally strong with an inclination for endurance.
You excel at movements that require power and bodyweight force. So, do try to incorporate exercises and workouts that allow you to push your boundaries in those areas.
A sport like martial arts, for example, is a perfect complement to your program. It's challenging but also helps you break out of the monotony of typical strength training or cardio.
When you're not working out, aim to be active. Opt for walks, yoga, bike rides–anything to get your body moving and burning calories while you're "off".
Supplements for an Endomorph Body Type
As an endomorph, you should try to incorporate lean protein into every meal you eat. If this is a struggle, try supplementing with a whey protein shake.
Whey protein shakes not only help you hit your protein goals, but they're also useful for sugar cravings (most are dessert flavored) and, most of all, they help fuel muscle recovery after intense workouts.
Branched Chain Amino Acids
Otherwise known as BCAAs–these are valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
Supplementing with BCAAs during and after your workout can help promote muscle endurance and recovery. Because your workouts focus on big movements and intense intervals, you'll want to make sure you're fueled for putting max effort into each training session.
As an endomorph, you may struggle with fatigue. So when it comes to giving it your all every single workout, you may need a boost of energy and focus in powder or ready-to-drink formulas called pre-workout.
There are a variety of pre-workout formulas to choose from, ranging from those that help you lose weight to those that help you put on muscle. Depending on your goals, choose the one that's right for you!
Endomorph Nutrition & Workout Plan
Unfortunately, as an endomorph, you’ll have to watch what you eat more than other body types. You don't have to go to extremes, but you should be cautious of refined carbohydrates and instead get your fix from high-fiber sources like oats, brown rice, and vegetables.
Also, aim to keep your protein intake high throughout the day, as it will help keep you satiated and on track for building muscle.
Sample Endomorph Meal Plans
Below is a sample endomorph meal plan, featuring an emphasis on lower carbs, higher fats, and high protein.
While it is meant to provide you with healthy ideas, you'll need to consult a calorie calculator to assess appropriate portion sizes for your personal goals. Also take into account your personal preferences for certain fruits, veggies, proteins, etc.
Meal 1: Oats, cinnamon, sliced banana, raspberries, whey protein powder (cook together)
Meal 2: Fruit salad-mango, kiwi, papaya. Hard boiled egg whites
Meal 3: Two sushi rolls with whole grain or wild rice, apple
Meal 4: Protein shake, banana, flaxseed oil
Meal 5: Lean steak, potato, salad, veggies
Meal 1: Muesli, mixed berries, protein shake
Meal 2: Grapes, egg whites
Meal 3: Chicken salad prepared with olive oil
Meal 4: Protein shake. Canned salmon and dill on rye
Meal 5: Protein shake. Prawns on a bed of veggies, brown rice
Meal 1: Egg white omelet, button mushrooms, diced tomato
Meal 2: Tuna, avocado, salad with lemon juice
Meal 3: Sliced turkey breasts, mixed salad, whole wheat pita
Meal 4: Beef jerky, orange
Meal 5: Protein shake. Chicken, grilled asparagus, pepper, onion, celery, small baked potato
Meal 1: Omelet, sliced tomato, sliced pepper, whole wheat bread, banana
Meal 2: Tuna and chickpea salad prepared with flaxseed oil
Meal 3: Shredded chicken, mashed avocado, olive oil and spinach on whole grain crackers
Meal 4: Brown rice cake, protein shake
Meal 5: Protein shake. Grilled salmon on bed of greens, beans, peas, carrots, olive oil, lemon
Meal 1: Hard boiled egg whites, whole wheat bread, fruit salad
Meal 2: Greek salad with chicken breast, flaxseed oil
Meal 3: Prawns and vegetables
Meal 4: Protein shake, diced banana and walnuts
Meal 5: Protein shake. Chicken, mushrooms stuffed with feta, carrots, peas, and a small baked potato
Meal 1: Oatmeal, cinnamon, apple juice, whey protein (cooked together)
Meal 2: Protein shake, grapes, orange
Meal 3: Grilled cod, brown rice, mixed veggies
Meal 4: Protein shake, cantaloupe
Meal 5: Grilled chicken breasts, tomato relish wrapped in lettuce leaves
Sunday – Rest Day
Meal 1: Large flat mushrooms, baby leaf spinach, poached egg whites
Meal 2: Protein shake. Carrots dipped in hummus, apple
Meal 3: Baked salmon fillet with spinach and leeks, brown rice
Meal 4: Protein shake, peach, mixed nuts
Meal 5: Chicken breast, small sweet potato, carrots, green veggies
Sample Endomorph Workout Plan
The below workout is designed to help you with building lean muscle mass.
Keep the set range to 12-20 sets (3-5 sets per exercise).
Choose a weight that allows you to fail at 8-12 reps.
Rest between 20-60 seconds depending on your level of fitness and the level of intensity you want to achieve.
After each workout hit 15-30 minutes of cardio. Opt for interval training (2 minutes slow, 1 minute fast), as this will elicit the greatest hormonal response.
Day 1: Chest/Triceps
- Flat Barbell Bench Presses
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses
- Dumbbell Flys
- Cable Crossovers
- Tricep Dips
- Lying Tricep Press
Day 2: Back/Biceps
- Pull Ups
- Barbell Deadlifts
- Barbell Bent Over Rows
- Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs
- Seated Rows
- EZ Bar Biceps Curls (wide/close grips)
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Day 3: Cardio
- Row Machine
- Step Mill
Day 4: Shoulders/Calves/Abs
- Standing Shoulder Military Presses
- Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raises
- Calf Raises on Leg Press
- Leg Raises
- Russian Twists
Day 5: Legs
- Leg Extensions
- Hamstring Curls
- Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
- Single Leg Presses
- Step Ups with Barbell
- Glute Bridges
Day 6: Cardio
- Treadmill Sprints
Day 7: Rest