- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2002

To look at Gene Gadaire in the gym is to see a physique sculpted by endless hours pushing and pulling cold iron weights.
It hasn't been easy. Dr. Gadaire, a dentist, somehow finds time to follow both a strict diet and directions from Yaz Boyum, a District-based professional bodybuilder.
Besides time, Dr. Gadaire has another factor working against him.
He is an ectomorph, one of the three basic body types that dictate the shape of our bodies. His body prefers to stay lean and light, so packing on muscle demands a more rigorous regimen than someone with a fleshier frame would need.
The three main body types, established by American psychologist William H. Sheldon in the 1940s, are ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs. Endomorphs are the opposite of ectomorphs. They produce higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, the fat in our blood, and tend to be heavier than people in the other two categories.
Mesomorphs, the third group, retain calcium better; that helps build stronger bones and thicker muscle mass. They also have more testosterone (even if they are women) than the other two types.
Ectomorphs stay slim, in part, because of their higher metabolic rates. They possess sinewy physiques, much like "Sex and the City" starlet Sarah Jessica Parker. They have a hard time packing on weight and must follow precise workout regimens if they wish to add significant muscle.
Ms. Boyum, a professional bodybuilder and physical trainer who is a member of the International Federation of Bodybuilders, has helped Dr. Gadaire do that.
"His physique has just changed significantly. He's still a tall man with large arms and legs, but more muscle hangs on his frame now," she says.

Ms. Boyum considers medical history, body-fat percentage and current activity levels when evaluating a new client. She also sizes up his or her body type before preparing a workout routine.
She cautions new clients that their body types will play a role in their fitness goals.
"If they're tall and want to get massively built I explain their structure isn't conducive to that physical development. It's not realistic," she says.
Each body type requires a different training routine.
The ectomorph's diet, Ms. Boyum says, has to be very thorough. Skipping meals isn't an option if muscle gains are the goal. She suggests a split training exercise routine, working out separate body parts on separate days. A diet rich in protein is a must.
Her ectomorphic clients, particularly the older men, often reach a level where her training advice meets a dead end. At that point, she may suggest over-the-counter supplements such as creatine, which is produced naturally by the body to fuel muscle growth but also can be purchased in powder form.
Endomorphs, like Rosie O'Donnell, tend to be less athletic. They present the greatest challenge for a personal trainer, Ms. Boyum says. Endomorphs must watch what they eat.
Endomorphs would still want an elevated level of protein, she says, but should reduce their carbohydrate intake while increasing their cardiovascular work.
Mesomorphs, like the Washington Redskins' Bruce Smith, can follow a basic exercise routine and see results more quickly than the other two types.
Ms. Boyum says bodybuilders come from all three body types, but the most successful tend to be shorter and boast a mesomorphic frame. Modestly sized bodybuilders typically have more symmetrical bodies and, Ms. Boyum says, "they have shorter levers to work with," which makes building muscle mass easier than it is for lankier bodybuilders.
The different categories aren't set in stone. "There are meso-endos," Ms. Boyum says.
The biggest mistake people make is ignoring the nutritional needs of their body type when working out.
Pasta, for instance, should be eaten in extreme moderation by endomorphs, who have a harder time burning those calories. "The endomorph doesn't process the carbohydrate intake as efficiently," she says, because an endomorph's metabolic rate generally is slower.
Ms. Boyum says a person's body fat and lean muscle mass can be improved with the proper training and diet.
"Each body type requires a specific exercise routine designed for that individual to assist them in reaching their maximum potential," she says.
That said, she wouldn't talk a mesomorph into a career as a runway model.

Dr. Gadaire, 53, began lifting weights partly to look better, but also to cope with the rigors of his profession. Bending down to inspect his patients' teeth all day long takes its toll.
"I compromise my posture all day long. Basic strength gives me the endurance to make it through the day and be fine," says Dr. Gadaire, who began weight training seriously three years ago.
Until six months ago, though, his body type restricted his progress. He wasn't satisfied with the level of definition in his body.
"It wasn't that I was really fat, but the little bit of girth on your midsection was hiding all the definition and muscle tone we'd been building for two years," he says.
In recent months, he increased his cardiovascular work and adjusted his diet. He lost about 15 pounds and went from 23 percent body fat to about 14.
For many people, fighting their body type will be a losing battle, says Cynthia Sass, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and a registered dietitian with the University of South Florida in Tampa.
"It's highly genetic," Miss Sass says. "Sometimes people try to convert their body to a different body type, and its not possible."
"For an ectomorph," she says, "it's not going to be possible to achieve the hard, chiseled body type of the mesomorph. There's a lower limit to the muscle they can build. There's nothing they can do to change that."
Achieving a body type out of one's reach could be a problem for young men looking to emulate the physiques of their favorite athletes. Steroids might be seen as a last resort in such cases, she says.
Also, just because a person appears a few pounds heavy doesn't mean he or she isn't healthy. Having an aesthetically pleasing form might turn heads at the pool, but it doesn't guarantee physical fitness, she says.
"There are some people who are highly fit they have a low resting heart rate, yet they may not achieve that perfect-looking body," she says.
"You can be an 'endo' and be extremely fit and healthy," she says.
Knowing body types might help someone deal with his or her overall health, but the knowledge doesn't give much information to the medical community.
Dr. David Pearle, a professor of medicine at Georgetown-Medstar and director of its coronary care unit, says weight gain, not body types, is the big risk factor facing people today.
"There may be some tendencies for people to be leaner or more muscular, but the whole population is getting fatter," Dr. Pearle says.
Some initial data, though inconclusive, suggest that being very thin lengthens one's life span, he says, while being obese does the opposite. A man with a fat-induced 40-inch waist, no matter the body type, is putting a strain on his heart, he says.
Further muddying the issue, though, is the country's penchant for tweaking our bodies artificially.
Between breast implants and steroids, people are reshaping their bodies and further blurring the importance, medically, of body types, he says.



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