Body shape: Could it be the key to weight loss?
Celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts suggests that knowing which body shape you are is very important to know before you sign up for a gym membership this year.
Roberts breaks down all four body shapes and how to best take care of them.
Hourglass body shape
Embodied by Myleene Klass, Kate Winslet or Nigella Lawson – you should focus on their abdominals and go for long jogs or bike rides to help make yourself appear leaner.
What:Known for their curves, hourglass women have shapely chests and bottoms, but slimmer waists.
Do: Running and long-duration cardiovascular work. Try exercise that works the whole body such as circuit training.
Don’t: Don’t try to get rid of your curves, work with them to create tone and definition. Avoid letting your diet slip as hourglasses have a tendency to put on weight easily.
“You’ve probably got a great waistline, shape in your backside and a bit of a bust. It’s about keeping the waistline ultra-thin with torso work and long-duration cardio work as the danger for an hourglass is that you put on weight and it goes on everywhere.”
Tubular body shape
Roberts advises women with body shapes such as Cara Delevingne or Keira Knightley, to cut out cardiovascular work, avoid losing weight and instead do strength-based work to build muscle.
What: A small chest and bottom and little definition at the waistline.
Do: Increase calorie intake to build up muscle and help develop some curves. Split routines are the best forms of exercise as it means you focus on different parts of the body on different days.
Don’t:Try to limit the amount of cardiovascular work you do. Instead go for heavy loading strength work to help with toning.
“You’re trying to create some butt and some bust. Creating enough size where you want it means building up muscle mass.”
Pear body shape
Women shaped like Beyonce and Rihanna, meanwhile, should work on building arm muscle and try out high-intensity interval training such as hill sprints.
What: Most weight on their bottoms and thighs.
Do: High-intensity interval training, as it helps raise your metabolism and burn fat. Upper body weights will help build arm and shoulder definition to even the body out.
Don’t: Lower body weightlifting will increase the areas you are trying to reduce. Instead try toning by doing dynamic lunges and squats. “Go to the park, find a nice big hill, sprint up the hill and walk down again several times. Or go for a run where you do a faster pace for 85 seconds, maximum speed for a minute, then walk for two. In the pool go fast for a length then slow for two. This burns away vast amounts of energy and vast amounts of fat.”
Apple body shape
And if like Catherine Zeta Jones, Melanie Griffith and Drew Barrymore, you are an apple, you can reduce your waistline with core work, long-duration cardio and leg weights to even out your shape.
What:An apple-shaped woman’s best assets are her legs. She will have a small bottom and have more fat around her torso and arms.
Do: Interval training and longer-distance cardio will offer a balance of fat-burning and toning. Focus on the abdominals and building up the lower body using weights.
Don’t: Avoid particularly heavy upper body weights or you will bulk up areas, which are already the largest.
“All the time it’s about leanness and working with what you’ve got. Apple shapes have great legs and small backsides. You can work on the legs really hard as they won’t build size up and it’s all about trying to reduce the size of the waistline where you can, so work on your core.”
Visualizing how you would like your body to look plays a big role, “think, what’s the best version of you? What do you actually want to look like in a year’s time? And have that as your reference point.”
But he adds: “You need to be realistic about what your shape can become. If you look at Kate Moss and say, ‘I want to look like her, she looks great’, well she does. But if you’re an hourglass shape you are an hourglass shape so choose the role model for your shape that’s appropriate. If you get that right you can aspire to be the person you want to look like. Otherwise it is just never going to happen, even with the best will in the world. You’ve got to tweak around your edges, not someone else’s.”
He adds: “There’s three things to do in January that would get you guaranteed results. Stop drinking for four weeks because alcohol is a suppressant and it means we need other things to pick us up again. Also reduce your dairy levels down to being just milk in tea but nothing else. And then look at your sugar levels. It’s only a small amount of time – spend January and February looking after yourself and you can look great, feel great and build towards looking fantastic in the summer.“