Skimming through his book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald prompted me to write this blog post. Do you ever find yourself swimming, running or cycling to lose weight? Or does weight loss come as a bonus to exercise? The question I get asked a lot is how much should I weigh? When body composition is more important than weight for endurance athletes I wanted to illustrate the body types and how they help or hinder your progress. So how does your body type affect your progress in training and sports performance?
Three basic body types exist - ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorphs.
Ectomorphs are generally tall and thin, slim limbs and typically would look increase strength and size, and to maintain body weight whilst performing endurance exercise. Relying highly on the fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) ectomorphs have a high metabolic rate, and are able to tolerate carbohydrates in their diets. This results in making any muscle gain through weight training very difficult.
Mesomorphs are more muscular and athletic and they see adaptations to exercise rapidly. Testosterone and growth hormone play a large part in this and along with a moderately high metabilism mesomorphs are reasonably tolerant to carbohydrates in the diet.
Endomorphs are heavily influenced by insulin and do not deal well with carbohydrates in the diet. A slow metabolic rate with low calorie needs and insulin sensitivity makes them more likely to store fat. Their physique is generally rounder and with a tendancy to store fat. As a result general training goals would be weight loss.
Your training goals and nutrition plan should reflect your body type for best results. While cycling to lose weight will help your performance, the question how much should I weigh cannot be answered with a blanket answer. Limiting factors being equal though triathletes looking to improve thair performances should look to shed some fat mass as suggested in the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.
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