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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Series #1 - Article #1 - Body type training– are we slaves to our ‘body type’ genes?

 As I move forward with this blog and try to create a sense of information sharing; I thought I would pass along so of the information I have gained throughout my 30+ years in Paralympic sports.

When I started training years ago I was working with a coach named Tudor Bompa out of York University. Great coach, great guy! One of the things he first trained me on was understanding my "somantotype" was I endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Also, once we discovered my Somantotype was it going to be possible to change my type in order to meet the need of the sports I was participating in.

Throughout my career and my changing of sport, I contribute my success of being able to change sports and be successful in those sports to understand my samantotype and what samantotypee is best suited to which sport. I have created a series of articles I would like to share with you guys and get your feedback on. If successful or if there is continued interest I will post more of the series then seek out more information from the top trainers/coaches so we can all benefit in our knowledge and/or performances.

So he we go...were I started 30 some years ago. Series #1 Understanding somantotype and how it can affect the way we train, diet and perform.

Body type training– are we slaves to our ‘body type’ genes?

The human body comes in a huge array of different shapes and sizes, but should your natural body type dictate the sport you choose or the way you train?

In a particular sport or event within a sport, the participants will often share a similar body shape. For example, male sprinters tend to be relatively tall and be proportionately muscled, whilst female gymnasts tend to be relatively slight with very low body fat and shot-putters relatively round with more body fat and large muscles. These sports’ body shapes quite closely reflect the three derivative ‘somatotypes’ (body type classifications). The sprinter fits the typical mesomorph body type, the gymnast the ectomorph, and the shot-putter the endomorph. In this article, we’ll consider the relationship between body types, sports performance and training response. In wheelchair curling most body types fall in the “Endomorph” and “Mesomorph” classes

Somantotype, body classification and ‘typical’ training response

Figure 1

As indicated there are three main body types or somatotypes: endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs. This basic classification derives from the work of the psychologist William Sheldon in the mid 20th century. In everyday terms these types can be described as ‘fat’, ‘athletic’ and ‘thin’ (see figure 1). Sheldon believed that each somatotype had distinct physiological (and psychological) traits.

Although his work is perhaps overstated it provides a useful starting point for the analysis of male and female body types. This is because it’s possible to identify the ways that these types will typically respond physiologically to training and the way they are represented across various sports.

Most athletes (and non-athletes) are actually an amalgamation of the three main body types and there is a further level of somatotype classification that describes a body type in terms of ‘parts’ of the three. This is known as ‘dominant somatotype’.Sheldon identified ‘seven parts’, 1-7 for each somatotype, with 1 being the minimum and 7 the maximum number of parts attributable to that somatotype. For example, 2-6-3 indicates low endomorphy, high mesomorphy and low ectomorphy (note variations to this system exist which use decimal points).

to be continued....

1 comment:

Johnpaul said...

shared article is very helpful thanks for sharing endomorph