How to Train for Your Body Type

Are you tall and slender? Short and curvy? Or somewhere in between? No matter what type of build you were born with, we have a training program that's right for you.

Women Working Out
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Genetics. You can be blessed with damn good ones, or be damned by them. In the gym, you see some lucky souls who do little more than lift a few weights every couple of days and build a tight, toned physique. On the other hand, some less-fortunate folks have made working out almost a religion...and are looking as though they're considering a change in faith. Even though all successful athletes have to work very hard to achieve their greatness, most—if not all—start off ahead of the pack thanks to a very generous gene pool. Well, you can continue to lament your bad luck, or you can buckle down and make the best of what you've got.

Every woman has a genetic blueprint that dictates what type of body she has. But don't be fooled into believing that what you see in the mirror can't be manipulated and molded into something more. By carefully dialing in certain training variables based on your body type, you can enhance your workout program and speed your progress in the gym.

The bottom line is that an overweight woman who wants to drop significant body fat and still build muscle shouldn't be doing the same type of resistance-training program as one who's stick-thin and looking to fill out her frame.

Body types can roughly be divided into three basic categories: ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. An ectomorph is naturally lean with a fast metabolism. While this body type tends not to gain fat easily, muscle is also hard to come by. An endomorph, on the other hand, tends to gain weight rapidly and has a tough time losing body fat. Other characteristics typically include a large bone structure and a slower metabolism. Lastly, a mesomorph has a relatively easy time building muscle and keeping body fat to a desirable level. A person with this body type sometimes makes looking good look almost effortless.

Click through to get the scoop on each body type and for body-type-specific tips on hitting your goals.

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