How to Design a Fitness Training Program

By taking your own body type into account, you can follow a routine that's right for you. Find out more about how to design a fitness training program.
How to Design a Fitness Training Program

Last update: 26 October, 2018

Having access to an experienced trainer is always a good thing. Still, you can also design your own fitness training program. Of course, the first step is to consider your circumstances and identify your goals.

“Do I want to lose weight?” “What’s my body type?” “How many times a week should I exercise?” These are all questions that you’ll have to ask yourself before you begin to design a fitness training program.

What’s my body type?

A good way to start planning is by knowing what body type you have. Let’s look at the three main body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

  • Ectomorph: those who don’t weigh much and find it hard to gain weight. They tend to burn fat easily due to their metabolism and can easily define and tone their body.
  • Mesomorph: also called the H structure, these bodies keep a balance between muscle and body fat levels. They’re men and women with broad shoulders and small waists, which greatly facilitates physical fitness.
  • Endomorph: those who have a bigger bone structure and tend to store more fat. They can gain muscle mass quickly, but have a slow metabolism. As such, they’re more prone to obesity.

Knowing how to identify your body type will greatly determine the type of workout suited to you. In general terms, this will allow you to set goals and define the objective of each exercise.

Design a fitness training program

Defining your goals with exercise

Ectomorphs mostly need to gain muscle mass as well as some weight. It’s likely that even women will have to gain muscle to have better-looking legs or glutes. If this is your case, you should design a fitness training program that’s quick and intense.

Otherwise, endomorphs should focus on losing weight and burning fat. Doing so will give them a toned and balanced body, which is their biggest challenge. In such cases, they usually train more days a week, spending many hours at the gym.

On the other hand, mesomorphs have to exercise according to their objectives. Some will need to gain strength and design workouts that will lead to muscle fatigue. They’re the ones who are satisfied with their muscle mass and who want to tone and vice versa.

How to design a fitness training program for each body type

An ectomorph should concentrate on weightlifting exercises. The weights they lift should be the highest possible. Their sets should have a few repetitions and long breaks (two to three minutes between sets). For their goals, it doesn’t make much sense to do aerobic exercise.

Woman at gym doing lunges

A mesomorph’s routine will vary more, since their body type is more suited for advanced conditioning. Its structure will enable them to gain muscle mass while toning at the same time. As a result, there are different routines, techniques, and weights involved.

In contrast, endomorphs will first have to eliminate excess body fat. The goal here is to increase repetitions and use moderate weights. In addition, each workout should include aerobic exercise.

Targeting muscle groups according to body types

Indeed, all three body types should plan a complete workout to target all muscle groups. Still, there are certain areas you might need to focus on.

For example, those who are thinner should work more on large muscle groups, such as the legs and back. On the other hand, endomorphs tend to work more on their limbs, due to the number of repetitions that are required.

Those with H body types have a little more freedom. In general, they should target all muscle groups, but can focus on wherever they feel they need to. This is very normal since body types have a lot to do with your genetics.

With all this in mind, you can design a fitness training program for your back, chest, legs, arms, and shoulders. Remember to always put a little more effort into areas that you find more difficult to develop.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.