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Getting my run on.

Exercising for Body Shape

Over at Bodies in Motivation, Karen posted her first entry to start her blog last week. In her first entry she mentioned that her doctor told her that for her pear body shape she should focus on 20% cardio and 80% strength during her workouts. A few of us in the comments were intrigued by that. Should you really change up your workouts based on your body type? Since I’m an apple shape (I carry all my weight in my stomach. My hips and thighs are relatively slim and trim. No saddlebags here. Just hideous belly fat.) I was wondering if that ratio would be different for me and what that ratio should be.

Of course I had to go off and google the crap out of that! I found a few articles that verified the claim that apples and pears (and other body shapes) should exercise differently. Interesting. To summarize:

Apples:

  • Stairclimbing
  • Walking on an incline
  • Running (Hey – I do that!)
  • Leg Squats, Leg Presses, Deadlifts

Pears

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical training
  • Leg lifts and dips
  • Push-ups, chin ups and shoulder presses

Why do this? Why vary your exercise for your body shape? I guess it depends on the results you want. Me? I want to avoid all the health issues that apples are more susceptible to like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and others. (To be fair, there is also this article saying body shape is not a factor – what do you believe?  Either way, who wants a fatty liver?  I don’t want a fatty anything!)  This is even more important to me given that my paternal grandmother died of a stroke at age 64. And that my father is on medication for high cholesterol. It’s important to me to decrease my waist measurement and it’s not all vanity. OK, there’s a lot of vanity in that desire, but there’s a fair amount of health concern too.

In order to lose this awful belly fat the fastest and most effective way, I’ll continue running and put in some leg squats now and then.

How about you? Are you an apple or a pear and do you care? Does it influence your exercise routines?

4 Comments

  1. by Karen, on June 18 2009 @ 12:57 pm

     

    Kristina, thanks so much for writing about this. I haven’t been back to my doctor to confirm whether or not I dreamed her telling me about the 80/20 weigh-training/cardio thing, but you can bet that I’ll be clicking on the links you posted. I did my own research after I posted over on BiM, and didn’t find as much as I thought I would to confirm my doc’s point. I promise to post after I see her again in August.

  2. by Kristina, on June 18 2009 @ 3:30 pm

     

    Thanks Karen! I didn’t find anything about the specific ratio (80/20/) but I did find a difference in intenstiy (apples get high, pears gets low-moderate) and specific workouts noted! Great – I get to do high intensity forever!

  3. by Pam, on June 22 2009 @ 11:04 am

     

    I actually got a comment from my personal trainer that I should NOT run as much as I do, since my thighs are actually getting bigger. So, I suppose it also depends on what your desired results are and how easily you build muscle. I build it pretty easily apparently.

  4. by Kristina, on June 22 2009 @ 12:00 pm

     

    Good info Pam! I think it definitely depends on what you want out of your exercise plan. For me, my thighs are fairly slim while my belly is my beast so I think I can keep running to get the total body work out that running provides – and hopefully get a flatter stomach while doing it!

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