I read in a book about somatotypes, and how
they may affect muscle growth and ability to play certain sports. For
example, I read mesomorphs were good at sports using a lot of power, like
wrestling and baseball, while ectomorphs were more suited for tennis. I
was curious of whether there was anyway, like nutrition, exercising, or
hormone treatment to change your somatotype at least a little. I
know this sounds like a question that should be asked in fitness sites, but
I wanted people who knew their subject answering. Thank you.
I suppose you are referring to Sheldon's body types. Such classifications
are quite arbitrary when related to genetic/physiological makeup because the
individuals who might fit these different body types can come from quite
different physiological/genetic classes. On the other hand if one just looks
at oneself and asks whether they are determined by their birth to be of a
certain body type that is another question.
This is a hot area of research and by no means is there a clear picture.
Are there certain genetic complexes which tilt certain people to being of a
certain weight class more so...yes. Does diet have an effect on these
people as well as others ...yes. Does exercise play an important
role...yes. I will say that with very few exceptions of people with
extreme physiological/genetic anomalies diet and exercise can make a person
close to the normal weight fro their height, gender and frame. With regard
to diet it is a fact of itermediary metabolism and biochemistry that
glycemic foods stimulate the release of insulin which will interrupt the
mobilization of fat stores. The intake of very low fat in the diet will
also slow the mobilization of fat. Thus those diets like that of Barry
Sear's Zone diet which attempt to lower intake of glycemic foods and
maintain a balance of fat, protein and complex carbs will usually lead to a
proper weight for a person of any countenance. Those diets that take this
to an extreme I think are just what they seem....extreme.
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Update: June 2012