Metabolism, 3 Body Types and How it Affects Muscle Building

In the fitness world you find that metabolism and metabolic
rate are always spoken about but not too many people understand what this means
and how it affects their nutrition and muscle building plans. Today I thought I
would share a few things about metabolism starting from describing what it is?
How it affects us? How it affects muscle building and cutting in men? How it
affects women? How to measure our metabolic rate? How to increase our metabolic

the 3 bodytypes ectomorph mesomorph and endomorph
The 3 Body Types: Ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.

What is

Metabolism describes all the chemical reactions that happen
in the body to maintain living cells, it’s a process which keeps us alive
whereby our body converts food into energy and that energy is used for us(our
bodies) to function . It can be broken down into two different categories, Catabolism
which is the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy in the body and anabolism
describes the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells in our body.
Nutrition is a very important factor when it comes to metabolism because
metabolic pathways are dependent on nutrients that we consume to produce energy
by breaking down those nutrients. We need all types of nutrients to be able to
function and repair damage in the body, these nutrients are classed as micronutrients
and macronutrients
which are all metabolised to serve different functions
in the body. To read more about how different nutrients are metabolised go here.

What is metabolic

Metabolic rate is the speed of your metabolism, in other
words it’s the amount of energy used up in a certain period of time. So our
metabolic rate is how fast or slow our body burns up calories. Our metabolic
rate determines how easy or difficult it is for us to lose weight, gain weight or maintain a
certain weight.
Basal metabolic
rate (BMR)
BMR is the amount of energy (calories) you need to keep your
body functioning when it’s resting. This energy is used by the body for
functions like breathing, the functioning of your nervous system, blood
circulation, cell growth and so on. Your BMR is responsible for most of the
calories you use up per day. It also controls your weight, because if it’s a
fast rate you are more likely to burn more calories and lose weight, or find difficulty
gaining weight, if its slow you do not use up a lot of calories so your body
stores them as fat and you will most likely gain weight especially if you do
not exercise.

Your BMR is affected by many things for example:

  • Your age, the older you get the slower it gets.

  • Your gender, women generally have a slower metabolic rates than men because they have less muscle which takes me to the next point.

  • Amount of muscle in your body affects metabolic rate, the
    more muscular you are the higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you
    burn in a state of rest.

  • Your size/weight affects your metabolic rate or should I say
    the calories your need for maintenance, the bigger and taller you are the more
    calories you need to eat and vice versa.  

  • Your endocrine glands also play a part in regulating your
    metabolic rate, your thyroid hormones play a major part in regulating
    metabolism, people with thyroid problems either hyper or hypo secretion of
    certain hormones can lead to drastic increase or decrease of metabolic rate
    which can be problematic.

  • There are other factors which affect metabolic rate like
    sleep or lack of sleep, stress, sickness and so on.
It is great to know your BMR/RMR (which is resting metabolic
rate) so that you know how much you need to eat to sustain your body and your
bodily functions each day. BMR is calculated when you are in a state of
complete rest usually taken in a dark room after about 8 hours of sleep and 12
hours in a fasted state when you are still in bed and RMR is measured under
less strict conditions meaning if you are just not doing any activity. You can
use a metabolism
to measure how many calories you need to consume per day with
varying levels of activity. Very active people must eat more to account for the
extra calories they burn during sporting activities or exercise etc.  If you decrease the number of calories you
consume to less than your RMR than you will lose weight, and if you do the
opposite and increase the amount of calories you consume to more than your RMR
you gain weight. It is as simple as that, but be aware that not all foods are made
equal some like junk food contain a lot of calories but they are mostly empty
calories which are no good for you, whereas healthier foods contain less
calories but a better quality of nutrients within them.

The Different Body

There are 3 different body types; they are ectomorph,
mesomorph and endomorph.

  • Ectomorphs – Are usually
    skinny, fragile, thin, delicate build, flat chest, stoop-shouldered,  lightly muscled, large brain, muscle growth
    takes longer, have a small frame, trouble gaining weight and have very fast
Ectomorphs should focus on gaining lean muscle mass; they
should also eat a lot of food to get a lot of calories to build muscle. Ectomorphs
should not weight lift too often they should opt for shorter workouts using relatively
heavy weights. Avoid doing any cardio, or keep it at a minimal until you are
happy with the weight you have gained.

  • Mesomorphs – are usually
    naturally athletic and fit, hard muscular body (hour glass shape in women),
    rectangular in shape with broad shoulders, upright posture, grows muscle
    quickly. They are muscular and naturally strong.
Mesomorphs can train with weights for longer periods than
ectomorphs but be careful not to over train. Mesomorphs respond best to weight
training compared to the other two groups. They find it easy to gain muscle. Mesomorph
gains fat easier than ectomorph but can lose it easily with a bit of cardio, so
do cardio that you enjoy like riding a bicycle or playing soccer or running if
that’s your thing.

  • Endomorphs – have
    it the hardest, they are soft and round in shape, under developed muscles,usually
    short and storky, they gain muscle easily but they also get fat really easily. They
    have a slow metabolism and find it hard to lose weight.
Endomorphs should use fast paced training using challenging
weights with very short intervals to help them to burn fat. Training with
weight will help the endomorph lose weight by getting a better muscle to fat
ratio, the more muscle they have the higher their metabolic rate. Diet is very
very important when you are an endomorph, junk foods, processed foods, simple
carbs should be eliminated from your diet. Also an endomorph needs to do more
cardio then the other two body types; it needs to be often, 3 or more times per
Females can also use these 3 body types above to see what kind of
workout plan to get, just click on the body type test link in the next section
after I finish discussing female body types and you will know what body type
you are. Also with females you generally get the pear shape, straight, curvy
(hour glass) and athletic body types.

  • The pear shape shape has a big lower body and a smaller
    upper body so they should focus on tightening that lower body and building
    their shoulder and arms.

  • The straight female body type is as the name describes
    without any curves so they should do workouts that that promote curves like
    squats and lunges to build a perfectly shaped gym booty and arm and shoulder
    exercises to promote growth in that region which will give the straight woman
    some shape.

  • The curvy woman has wide hips and wide upper body with a
    small waist, so they should engage in workouts that tighten up the entire body
    so they develop smooth curves, a firm gym booty and tight arms.

  • The athletic female body type has wide shoulder and a narrow
    waist so the best way to go is to train towards having a small waist and toned
    midsection, increase the size of your lower body this region includes your
    buttocks and legs to form some shape in that lower region.

My Body Type

I used the body type test on to check what body type I am. It turns out I am somewhere
between an ectomorph and a mesomorph which I find pretty cool, it sort of makes
sense, I was skinny but muscular and sort of strong before I started working
out, I was always good at sports. I found it easy to gain
, had a fast metabolism and ate a lot of food but did not gain
weight until I started lifting weights. If you see my development I am not tall and narrow I am more rectangular
shape now even though my shoulders (and v taper) needs work in order to be
considered broad.

How to Increase Metabolic Rate

Besides working out to build more muscle to increase metabolic rate there is another way to do it. Rusty Moore of fitness blackbook recently shared a way to boost and fix metabolism in his 3 part series on Eating to Increase Your Metabolism.

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