What’s your body type?

by Bexi Wood in Training

There are 3 basic human body types: the endomorph, The mesomorph and the ectomorph. Despite what you might feel like at times, you’re not completely bound to one category or the other. Your lifestyle, genetics, history and training style all play a part in how you look, and you can definitely change it over time.

• Ectomorph– Lean and long with difficulty building muscle.
• Endomorph– Big, high body fat, often pear shape with a high tendency to store fat.
• Mesomorph– Muscular and well built, with a high metabolism and responsive muscle cells.

So, what do these tree terms mean in reality? In short; ectomorphs stay lean despite hours in the gym. Endomorphs struggle to shift their gut, and mesomorphs pack on muscle with ease. Learning which body shape you were born with, and understanding what that means for your training and diet plan, will help you train smarter to maximise your potential and get closer to building the body that you’ve always wanted.

The different body types are simply starting point of what your body is and what you can do with it. Although you can’t change the framework (i.e. you cannot change skeletal structure) but you can manipulate the muscles and fat on top of your skeleton to look like you have changed your shape. Whether you are an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, it is you, through proper diet and workout plans, that decides what your body will become.

Eat and exercise right for your body type! Apart from large doses of will power, determination and persistence, you need to tailor your diet and workout according to your individual needs. Knowing your body type can definitely help you nutritionally. For example, endomorphs tend to be more carbohydrate sensitive than the other somatotype’s and therefore benefit from a lower carb diet. The different body groups also require different types and intensities of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training to reach their goals. There are types of training that you might want to avoid, so that you don’t emphasize parts of your body that you actually want to downplay.

So, the bad news is that you’re stuck with the genetics you were born with, the good news is that knowing your body type is the first step to learning how to work with it and transform it.

Cheat sheet

Ectomorph DOS
• Train with compound moves
• Get enough protein
• Use isolation moves as finishers

Ectomorphs DONTS
• Overemphasise isolation moves
• Do too much cardio
• Ectomorphs have to work harder on the weights in order to gain a toned physique

Endomorphs DOS
• Train with intensity
• Watch your carb intake
• Build your shoulders

Endomorphs DONTS
• Do endless crunches
• Jog for hours
• Drink sports drinks

Mesomorphs DOS
• Train like an athlete
• Time your workouts
• Set personal bests

Mesomorphs DONTS
• Take your body for granted
• Eat whatever you like