Every person is built differently; while some are taller in stature, others may be shorter. Identifying your specific body type is essential for how you exercise, train, or even if you are choosing to diet.
Each body type is classified in somatotypes. Somatotypes are broken into 3 different categories Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph. Most people don’t know these words, let alone what they mean. So you may be thinking, how do I figure out what body type I have?
By reading through this guide, you will be able to quickly identify what body type you have, as well as how you can choose to structure your workout plan and diet for success.
What Determines Body Type
Whether you are trying to figure out the best workout regimen, deciding what diet may work best for you, or just wanting to learn more about yourself, determining what body type you possess is essential to success. There are many factors that make up each person’s body type, as factors vary from each individual. Some of these factors are.
- Genetics: With certain genetics, you may have inherited a slower or faster metabolism, as well as different body features, including height and build.
- Age: Depending on how old you are also affects how your body continues to grow and move, the younger you are the more flexibility you have with your body type.
- Gender: Females and Males are both built differently; while a lot of women are smaller in stature and build, men can vary with smaller and larger statures.
- Diet: How you eat affects your body exponentially if you have healthy eating habits you may have a clearer understanding of your body type, with unhealthy eating habits, finding your body type may be more difficult.
- Activity Level: Exercise plays a big role in body type, as it helps burn the necessary carbs in order for your body to have energy.
While some of the main factors cannot be changed, such as genetics and gender, if someone with a specific body type would like to change their appearance, they can adjust their diet and activity level with work and dedication.
If you aren’t a very active individual, adding exercise to your lifestyle can make a big impact on how your body responds to weight distribution. You may have a decently healthy diet, but if you have no idea what body type you possess, you may not be catering to your personalized needs, calorie intake, or even nutrition necessities. By identifying your specific body type, you will start to see more results with a personalized workout plan.
Have you always been considered skinny? Are you able to eat whatever you want and however much you want without gaining any weight? Do you often feel hungry all the time and frequently snack? If you relate to any of these questions, you probably have an Ectomorph body type. Ectomorph is the Somatotype that describes a body type that is considered lean and slender. Often Ectomorphs tend to have less body fat and muscle than the other two body types. Ectomorphs often find it challenging to gain weight in either muscle or fat and may have to change various things with their diets and activity level in order to achieve their goals.
Typical Traits of Ectomorph
- Smaller frame and bone structure
- Flat chest
- Small Shoulder Build
- Classic Hard weight gainer
- Lean Muscle Mass
- Fast Metabolism
How to Train an Ectomorph Body Type
Ectomorphs often find it very difficult to gain weight, as their fast metabolism burns calories before training. With a fast metabolism, Ectomorphs have to intake a larger number of calories in order to gain the desired weight. Workouts for this body type are best if they are short and intense while focusing on the big muscle groups.
Supplements are encouraged to help add to the muscle mass that they are trying to achieve. Ectomorphs often have an easier time toning the weight they gain as their fast metabolism burns the fat quicker and leaves the muscle.
The main focus of successful ectomorph workouts is working on big muscle groups in each workout. These include but are not limited to squats, bench press, deadlift, chin-ups, and shoulder press, as these provide enough stimulus for growth. Doing short and intense workouts 3-5 times a week is ideal while focusing on cardio and aerobic exercises.
Recommended Workouts for Ectomorph
Cardio is essential within any Ectomorph workout plan due to how quickly it stimulates muscle growth. Adding cardio into a workout routine three times a week for thirty-minute periods is recommended, as it continues with the short and intense interval workouts that work best for Ectomorphs.
Weight training is also beneficial as it helps sculpt muscle mass, build muscle mass and increase strength. It is critical to add weight training to an Ectomorph workout regimen and progressively use heavier weights doing three to five sets with reps ranging from eight to twelve for each muscle group being worked on during that set.
Do you have broad shoulders or possibly taller stature? When you do gain weight, does it often land on your hips or lower abdomen? Have you noticed a slower metabolism than others? If you relate to any of these questions, you have an Endomorph body type.
Endomorph is the Somatotype that often has more stored fats and muscle already and gains weight fairly easily. With this body type; it is often seen that they have a larger stature, larger bones, and often hold weight on their lower abdomen, thighs, and hips. While they gain weight easily, that doesn’t always mean that they are overweight, it is just that they have an easier time gaining fat and muscle.
Typical Traits of Endomorph
- Gains Muscle and Fat Easily
- Soft and Round Body Shape
- Short and Stocky Build
- Harder time losing fat
- Slow Metabolism
- Muscle is not well defined
How to Train an Endomorph Body Type
With the easy weight gain of Endomorphs, training with weights and cardio is essential. While most of the weight gain is unfortunately not muscle, with the right workout plan, it is easy to turn that fat into muscle. Taking supplements is beneficial as it will help add more nutrition to the diet. Endomorphs benefit from a high protein diet as it helps eliminate unnecessary weight gain and helps build muscle mass.
Resistance and Strength training helps strengthen the muscle that an Endomorph already has as well as what they gain as they continue to train. Aerobic exercises help an Endomorph body increase its metabolism and help boost its overall energy level.
Recommended Workouts for Endomorph
Circuit Training has shown to be most effective with an Endomorph body type, as they are intense workouts that are done in short intervals. Some good workout moves that will help people with this body type are lunges with lateral raises, squats with overhead presses, planks, and pushups with knee drives. If you are unsure of where to start, there are premade workouts below to get you started as an Endomorph body type.
Do you regularly train for sports or activities in your life? Has your body often just stayed the same during your normal everyday activities? If you relate to these two statements, you have a Mesomorph body type. The Somatotype of Mesomorph differs from the previous two body types, as they are neither underweight nor overweight and are often athletic and strong. People that have this body type often already have a regular diet and set activity level.
Typical Traits of Mesomorph
- Athletic and Strong
- Generally hard body
- Well Defined Muscle Tone
- Rectangular Shaped Body
- Gains Muscle Easily
- Gains Fat Easier than Ectomorphs
How to Train a Mesomorph Body Type
While the Mesomorph Body Type is athletic, they often gain fat easier than someone with an Ectomorph Body type, so they must watch their calorie intake. Having a Mesomorph body type, often the foundational work is already laid out with minimal increase to obtain fitness goals. Weight training often shows the most results in a faster manner, especially for beginners. A workout regimen with weight training and cardio is the best way for a Mesomorph to train.
Diets for the Mesomorph body type should be specifically made to match their health and fitness goals. Protein should be the main consumption, with the rest of the calories being made up of a blend of healthy carbohydrates and fats. With this body type, calories can either be increased or decreased depending on what the person’s ultimate weight goal is.
Recommended Workouts for Mesomorph
Adding Cardio into a Mesomorph body type routine will help if the end goal is to lean out instead of bulking up. BAdding30-45 minutes of cardio three to five times a week will help get the desired result. If adding muscle or body mass is the goal, then below are some pre-planned workout routines to build mass.
Combination Body Types
These body types aren’t stagnant like most body shapes, and types can vary. Sometimes these body types can be combined. Most commonly, they are presented as ectomorph/mesomorph or mesomorph/endomorph. When referring to these combinations, you may hear the terms meso-ectomorph or meso-endomorph as you have attributes from multiple of somatotypes. But can you figure out what combination body type you may have? Below we will go over some of the most common combinations and how to adjust to your body type.
The Ecto-Mesomorph body type is becoming much more common in both females and males, especially within the athletic world. This body type is considered the typical “model” body type you may see in magazines or on television. Traits that Ecto-Mesomorphs often possess are V-Shaped torsos, muscular tone, lean and slender, but also strong, without possessing bulky muscle mass.
The Meso-Endomorph body type is the most common combination body type seen. Often most bodybuilders and contact sports players such as football have a Meso-Endomorph body type. Traits that a Meso-Endomorph may possess is a box-looking chest, thick arms, and legs. They usually have muscle mass but aren’t defined or chiseled. Meso-Endomorphs often retain a lot of water or have a layer of fat overlaying their muscle mass.
If a Meso-Endomorph wants to adjust their body type to become more defined, adding resistance training, cardio, and a specialized diet will help with the additional fat loss they would want.
Seeing an Ecto-Endomorph body type is far less likely. This combination body type is often due to poor habits. It is considered a behaviorally acquired body type, gaining a significant amount of body mass by either eating unhealthy foods, lacking exercise, or a combination of similar unhealthy habits.
Some of the most common traits in the Ecto-Endomorph body type are having a lean figure and smaller bone structure but having a softer midsection like an Endomorph body type. An Ecto-Endomorph may also have flabby legs and arm muscles purely from neglect of activity level.
Having a healthy diet is extremely important for someone with an Ecto-Endomorph body type, as it will fuel your success in adjusting your lifestyle. Adding slightly more protein and lessening the fats you intake will help your body burn the necessary carbs to burn fat. Adding resistance training and intense cardio to your routine, as well as healthier eating habits will speed up your metabolism as well as stimulate muscle growth.
Ecto-Endomorphs often end up with a medical condition called insulin resistance; this is when your body isn’t burning the carbs you intake as efficiently due to the unhealthy habits developed over the years. Lowering the carbohydrate intake can help decrease the insulin resistance.
So Which Body Type are You?
With the given information above, you should now be able to easily identify your body type. By identifying your body type, you now have the ability to personalize your goals, workout, and diet regimen to suit your body. Having your specific body type in mind and dedication to your particular workout routine will help you succeed in your fitness goals.