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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

First you really need to find out what body type you are for a better idea on how to lift especially as it relates to the rest between sets question.

Here's some basic info on body types:

What Body Type are You? Endomorph, Mesomorph or Ectomorph

Body Types:
Every one of us were born with a different genetic blueprint. The blue print was pre-determined by the biological and physical makeup of our parents genes. However, by doing cardiovascular training, weight training and eating a healthy diet along with the proper supplementation we can alter our physical appearance. The key to doing this is knowing what your body type is and how it responds to your exercise and diet program. The characteristics of each one vary with every ones body type.

Endomorphs are generally those with a large bone structure. They can probably hoist some relatively heavy weights around the gym, but with a slower metabolism, fat loss is very difficult, which can hide their hard-earned muscle gains (or fat loss).
Soft body
Underdeveloped muscles
Round shaped
Over-developed digestive system
Trouble losing weight
Generally gains muscle easily.

The physical feature of the endomorph is natural body bulk. The body metabolizes calories at a slow rate. For this reason the endomorph must maintain a diet low in fat with a medium to low carbohydrate intake (not dropping below 100 grams of carbs a day). Aerobic work along with a structural weight-training program is a must in lowering body fat. There are also nutritional Supplements that may enhance the metabolism.
As opposed to the Ectomorph, the endomorphs must concentrate on maximizing fat loss by adding aerobic type exercises. How much cardio? The American College of Sports Medicine recommends: "at least 30 minutes daily, preferably every day of the week in a target heart-zone rate of 60% to 75% of max." (Heart rate monitors are great for gauging your aerobic training). Resistance training should follow the cardiovascular portion with emphasis on muscular endurance (performing reps of 15 or more with short rest periods between sets). Unlike the Ectomorph, the endomorph has more work to do in order to see progress. To help you out, we have included some general training guidelines below.

Exercises Sets and Reps
Include both compound and isolation movements in your resistance training.
To avoid plateaus, mix up your exercises frequently, and the order in which you do them.
Avoid training too heavy too often.
Do a few more sets than usual, 12 for larger muscle groups and 8-10 for smaller ones.
Keep reps high even on heavy days (12-25).

Ectomorphs have very high metabolic rates. This makes it very difficult for them to gain both muscle and strength. The Ectomorph faces a much greater challenge than does the Mesomorph in gaining muscle and therefore must be patient with muscle gains when resistance training. Those with this body type should stick to the basic hypertrophy phase of training (in the 8-12 rep max range). Fewer reps means going heavy - a high intensity workout. In turn, a longer rest period in between sets is necessary so you're thoroughly recuperated between sets.
Flat chest
Delicate build
Young appearance
Lightly muscled
Has trouble gaining weight.
Muscle growth takes longer.

This body type has a lean thin build and problems keeping weight on. The metabolism burns calories at a rapid rate. The Ectomorph can eat nearly any thing and get away with it. Most people wish they had this problem. In order for the Ectomorph to gain weight, the muscles
cells must be stimulated through weight-training. There must also be additional calories to their diet.

The Ectomorph should limit high-intensity cardiovascular work (only about 20 min 3 times per week rather than everyday). Finally, Ectomorphs should stick to the basic mass-building movements that hit major muscle groups and deep muscle fibers. For example, squats, presses and deadlifts work many major muscle groups at once and provide excellent muscle building stimulus. (Avoid isolation-type exercises). Be patient and watch out for overtraining. If you don't see the gains - adjust your workout intensity and diet rather than the frequency of your workout.

Exercises Sets and Reps
Basic compound movements (bench press, squat)
Avoid isolation exercises that worker smaller amounts of muscle
Do up to around 10 sets for larger body parts, 6-8 for smaller.
Don't take warm-up sets to failure.
Focus on 6-10 range for reps, this is optimum for putting on size.

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These people comes into the gym and don't really look like they know what they are doing, nor do they stay very long, yet their gains are great. These people make enormous progress despite their complete lack of training or nutritional knowledge. Mesomorphs can basically get away with doing less and achieving more. However, Mesomorphs are also more prone to over training because they see results so quickly. They also tend to do the same routine over and over, again because they see results. This could in fact lead to decreased gains. For this reason it is recommended that Mesomorphs change up their routine often. Pyramid training is an ideal method for this body type.
Hard, muscular body
Overly mature appearance
Rectangular shaped
Thick skin
Upright posture
Gains or loses weight easily
Grows muscle quickly.

The Mesomorph has a natural muscular or toned build (male or female). Their body fat percentages are relatively low. Being that they are naturally muscular with a good metabolism, itís not as hard to put on extra muscle. However, the right type of calories and training must be there. The Mesomorph must also include extra calories to their diet according to their activity level if their goal is to put on more muscle size.

Mesomorphs should include both compound and isolation movements in their routine. Cardiovascular exercise is of course recommended, but at a maximum of 30 minutes about four times per week.

Exercises Sets and Reps
Traditional bodybuilding: basic compound exercises followed by single-joint isolation exercises.
Focus on the 10-rep range.
Cycle periods of heavy lifting with those using lighter weights (more reps).
3-4 sets/exercise with 2-4 exercises/body part.

Note: Even if you have been training for years, finding the right combination of sets, reps, frequency, and intensity can be a hard process. Make sure your making the most of your workouts by considering your genetic make-up. Stick to a plan and keep a journal so you can keep track on what works for you. If you are not seeing results from your efforts, you will want to try a new routine. Whatever you do, don't quit!!! Also remember 80% of your body sculpting comes from your diet.

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