I’m Working Hard, But Still Not Toned

I have been working out hard for the past six months, but I am not seeing the sleek toned body I desire. Why? I am working so hard!

It’s definitely discouraging to put in such an effort and not see the results you desire. Aside balancing your basic input (food) and output (exercise) there is another factor you can consider when you take a look in the mirror: Body type.

Body typing dates back to the 1940’s and a doctor named William H. Sheldon. His theory described three basic human body types: the endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Dr. Sheldon’s descriptions of these three body types are a fundamental part of understanding your body’s response to exercise. Keep in mind, Dr. Sheldon’s original descriptions stated that most people were a mixture of these types.

The ectomorph is distinguished by a tall thin frame, which lacks both muscle and fat, the chest and hip areas are small. A fast metabolism helps them loose weight easily, however it also makes it hard to gain muscle. This body type will appear naturally fit, but lacking muscular definition.

An ectomorph should concentrate on gaining weight in the form of good lean muscle tissue. Weight training is an ideal exercise regime for this body type. Weight selection should be fairly heavy and workout pace slower ensuring long rest periods between sets.

The endomorph, sadly, is often described as having a propensity for body fat and a somewhat round appearance. Although their metabolism is slow, they are naturally strong and have very strong bones. This body type can rapidly gain muscle.

An endomorph should focus on losing the fat and keeping it off. Strength training should be done to get a better muscle to fat ratio and thus improve metabolism. Training should be done at a fast pace using moderate weights, rest periods should be kept short. Exercise should involve daily cardiovascular activity such as hiking, jogging, cycling or power walking.

The mesomorph has a well-developed muscular structure and athletic appearance. Their frame is rectangular for men and hourglass for women. They gain and loss weight easily and respond well to exercise. .

Although the mesomorph has a naturally fit body it needs to be not only maintained but improved with exercise. Weight training should be done with moderate to heavy weights, with moderate rest intervals, and can be done 3-4 times per week. Mesomorph’s gain muscle quite easily. When your desired muscle tone is a achieved, switch to a maintenance strength-training regime and engage in aerobic activities such as running, racquet sports, or jumping rope.

Your body type comes from your genes (if you blame your mother, she can blame hers). It does seem unfair that some people can get sleek and toned after only two weeks and others exercise daily for years and never get those results. The good news is that the longer you exercise, the easier it will be to make changes to your shape. It may take as little as 2-3 weeks for you to notice a change in your body, or as many as 6-8 weeks. Most of us have to put in a good 2-3 months before others notice. Focus on how your feel, not what the scale says.

Embrace your body type and plan your fitness program accordingly. It is a common human desire to want to look like someone else. Re-read the above descriptions, find the mixture of body types that best describes you, follow the fitness recommendations, be patient, and enjoy the subtle changes in your body.

Author by Sarah Brown