Your body type, known as your somatotype in the world of physiology, will help you determine your own unique needs from workout programs to supplements and diets.
Using a body type calculator, you can find out what your body type is and create a specific workout and diet plans designed for your success.
Are you an endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph?
The 3 body types seem to affect your diet and workout; thus, it’s vital to know where you fit so you can reach your body goals.
1. Endomorph Body
Stereotypical endomorphs are really good at gaining weight – but that doesn’t mean they’re always overweight or full of fat.
They are those who have soft, round bodies with a high proportion of fat. (1)
Oftentimes, this fat is localized around the stomach, hips, and thighs.
These are the ones we typically call big-boned; even if they’re muscular, they’ll look heavier than others.
Endomorphs do not gain muscle quickly. Unsurprisingly, they gain weight easily and have a hard time keeping a fit, muscular body even if they try a variety of healthy food planning and workouts.
This is due to naturally low metabolism and a low tolerance for high-carbohydrate foods. Even a little break from regular exercise (especially cardio) could result in pounds creeping back into those unwanted trouble spots since they have a slow metabolism.
Their physique is characterized by:
- Thick rib cage
- Wide, thick joints
- Short limbs
- Blocky physique
Think you sound like an endomorph? Check your body type with this calculator.
2. Mesomorph Body
Mesomorphs are the lucky ones: they have fantastically good genes in terms of physique and metabolism.
They have compact, muscular bodies.
Mesomorphs are the people we typically call built or in-shape.
They’re the jocks who make pull-ups look perfectly effortless, and according to some, they’ve got the ideal figure.
Mesomorphs have “problems” many of us couldn’t relate to: if anything, they bulk up too much and need to slow down the weightlifting.
Minimal training and exercise can make them lose fat easily, and they can get muscular too fast.
They’re naturally great athletes and can push much harder and longer than other body types.
The mesomorph body type has:
- Wide clavicles
- Narrow waist
- Thin joints
- Proportional physique
Want to find out if you’re a mesomorph? Check out the body type calculator here.
3. Ectomorph Body
Ectomorphs are those who are naturally skinny, lithe, and slender – the exact opposite of endomorphs. (2)
People with the ectomorph body type have lean and delicately built bodies.
Ectomorphs are low on body fat tissue alike. These are the people we tend to call lanky and skinny and have issues with gaining muscle mass.
Typically, ectomorphs have fast metabolism – they’re those friends you hate because they can eat all they want without gaining a pound of fat, while they’re frustrated they can’t seem to gain muscle no matter how hard they work out.
Women who are ectomorph lack those feminine curves, while men can’t grow out of that boyish look.
Ectomorph bodies tend to have:
- Narrow hips and clavicles
- Small joints
- Long limbs
- Thin physique
Does it sound like you’re an ectomorph? Check out this calculator here to get your results.
Training & Dieting tips For Each Body Type
So you understand what characterizes each body type, and you’ve figured out what yours is. But what are you supposed to do with this information, anyway?
As we mentioned before, knowing your body type is a great tool when it comes to designing a workout and diet plan that will help you reach your goals more efficiently and effectively.
Ectomorphs and endomorphs are near opposites when it comes to physique. Naturally, we’re not going to recommend that they eat the same thing and lift the same stuff.
Here are some training tips and dieting tips for each of the three body types.
1. Endomorph Body Type
Typically, the problem you’re going to face is being a little on the heavy side, as endomorphs are great at gaining muscle mass but struggle to lose it because they have a slow metabolism
If you feel like you can’t drop the pounds no matter what diet regime or insanity workout you adopt, you’re not alone.
But don’t worry. There are ways to eat and work out that will help you reach your goals. Below is a list of training and meal plan that you can follow.
Endomorph Dieting Tips:
- Keep full by drinking plenty of water
- Keep full by eating plenty of vegetables
- Cut processed foods
- Cut calories – you simply need less than other body types
- Get in whole grains
- Eat only 30-40% carbohydrates
- Control your portions and eat 5 to 6 small meals
- Get the protein, but stick to lean sources like chicken, turkey, and seafood
- Invest in metabolism boosters like caffeine and performance boosters like BCAAs so you can push through high-intensity workouts - Related: Best Bcaas For Men
Endomorph Fitness Tips:
- Cardio is your friend. Think one or two days a week at the least. Fat-burning is at its best after training, as you’ll have run out of glycogen and your body will have to move into burning body tissue for energy. This will make fat loss easier.
- Rather than jogging along, focus on interval training. Think two minutes fast, one minute slow to get that fat burning fast.
- If you’re looking to gain muscle, go for about four days of weightlifting – the goal is to get as much burn as possible while avoiding overtraining. Challenge yourself to follow and go to failure after around 10 reps.
- You need maximum muscle use, so focus on weight training that hits numerous muscles at once, like squats and deadlifts.
- Go for circuit training: this means a low amount of rest as you alternate between weight training and cardio training in five to six sets.
The endomorph body type isn’t a death sentence, but it does require more food control, workouts, and training that combine compound weightlifting with high-intensity cardio.
As long as you keep an eye on your meal plan and find ways to enjoy regular workouts, you can maintain a near-mesomorphic physique.
Since this type gains weight easily, you really have to put hard work into training and follow your diet plans.
2. Mesomorph Body Type
Mesomorphs have a wide variety of goals – some are looking to avoid bulking up too much while maintaining an athletic lifestyle.
This is especially true for women who want to maintain a more feminine, hourglass physique.
Others are bodybuilding experts and are completely content to continue to bulk up.
Let’s look at how diet and workout plans can help mesomorphs reach their unique goals.
Mesomorph Dieting Tips:
- It’s all about balance, mesomorphs. Don’t go for a high-protein diet unless you want to bulk up. Otherwise, think an equal amount of carbs, proteins, and fats for balanced nutrition. Eva de Angelis, a licensed dietitian nutritionist and health writer, recommends dividing your plate into three sections: 1) good quality protein (such as white meat, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, or Greek yogurt), 2) fruits and vegetables of any kind, and 3) whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal).
- Whole foods over processed foods – this will help you avoid potential muscle melting into fat.
- Even your metabolism is going to slow down easily someday. When it does, you’ll have to learn how to reign in your calorie count to avoid fat gains along with your muscle gains. This does not mean doing away totally with carbohydrates and fats. Registered dietitian Wendy Lord advises including healthy fats and complex carbs such as whole grains which are digested more slowly and could provide sustained energy.
Mesomorph Fitness Tips:
- There’s no need for major and frequent compound lifts unless you’re really looking to bulk up. If you want to maintain your muscular physique, opt for resistance training and low to moderately heavy weights with 3-4 sets of about 6 reps.
- Being a mesomorph means muscle gain, but muscle can turn into fat if you don’t get in cardio a few times a week. If you’re afraid of bulking up too much, more frequent cardio is a great option for weight maintenance.
- Because you’re so naturally athletic, it’s easy to master an exercise routine or sport fast and stifle muscle development. The key is variety.
- You could workout forever, but don’t. Try to keep it under two hours – otherwise, you risk overtraining.
As a mesomorph, it’s less about a struggle to gain or lose weight and more about deciding what you want and adjusting your workout and diet to that goal.
When you know what you want, it’s just a matter of eating and exercising smart. Here are some workout samples you can do if you are a mesomorph.
3. Ectomorph Body Type
Whereas endomorphs would give an arm and a leg to lose some of their fat, ectomorphs struggle to gain fat and muscle alike. (3) This is where protein powders, increased caloric intake, and multivitamins are really important.
Just as weight loss ultimately isn’t impossible for endomorphs, weight gain is possible for ectomorphs with the right diet and exercise plan
If this is your situation, here are a few tips to get a little more meat on your bones.
Ectomorph Dieting Tips:
- If weight gain is what you want, one of the easiest ways to do this is to up your calorie intake, especially when it comes to healthy fats and proteins. Tired of hearing you need to eat more? We’re sorry, but it’s a key part of the bulking process!
- Try to eat every two hours at least.
- Add a lot of protein powder and pre- and post-workout supplements to your diet.
- Go for high-calorie weight gain shakes to get those extra calories in.
- For once, we’re going to tell you not to be afraid of junk food and cheat days. Highly processed foods aren’t good for anyone but don’t be afraid to hit that greasy pizza joint from time to time.
- If you’ve tried out all of these tips and still can’t gain weight, consider visiting your doctor for a check-up and blood work. There may be another issue at the root of your weight like hyperthyroidism.
Ectomorph Fitness Tips:
- Often, ectomorphs are “skinny fat,” meaning they lack muscle mass and have more fat. Getting your body composition measurements is a good starting point to see just how much muscle you want or need to gain.
- Weightlifting is your new best friend. Hit numerous muscle groups with compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and pull-ups.
- Don’t over-train. Hit each muscle group only once a week, and with only a few exercises.
- Keep cardio at a minimum. You really don’t need that calorie burn.
- Give yourself the necessary rest days to avoid putting your muscles through too much stress and failing to bulk.
Bulking up takes a lot of effort, dedication, and calories for ectomorphs, but it’s doable with the right diet and workout strategy. Eat a lot, get lifting, and don’t worry about hitting the treadmill too hard.
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4 Main Women Body Types
Although dividing people into three different body types is an imperfect system, typically, most people fall fairly neatly into one of these categories. When it comes to women, though, the amount of body types can range anywhere from three to eight, depending on who you’re asking. (4)
Here are the four most common types:
1. Apple - Women with the apple body shape have broader shoulders and large chests, while their hips are narrower. Women with the apple body shape would be considered mesomorphs.
2. Banana - Women with the banana body shape have a more rectangular physique. They are lacking when it comes to curves as well. Unsurprisingly, they fall under the category of ectomorphs.
3. Pear - Pear-shaped women simply have larger hip measurements than bust measurements. Often, pear-shaped women are endomorphs with a higher fat to muscle ratio than the average person.
4. Hourglass - This is the ideal feminine form: the hips and bust are nearly the same size, and the waist is thin. Nearly half of women, though, are banana-shaped, and a mere 8% have the hourglass figure.
Usually, women with the hourglass figure fall somewhere between mesomorphs and endomorphs, as they have the curves of an endomorph but maintain the thin waist of a mesomorph.
If you hadn’t heard of endomorphs, mesomorphs, or ectomorphs before reading this article, you’re not alone.
We love to talk about workout as a one-size-fits-all type of thing, but knowing your body type is going to give you that edge to really reach your goals.
Nutritionist and author Lisa Richards highlights the importance of remembering that everyone is different. Individuals all have their unique nutritional needs based on their age, sex, weight, height, and activity level.
Whether you’re aiming for weight loss or gain, muscle growth or simple weight maintenance, your diet and workout plan need adjusting based on your body type.
Are you an endomorph looking to lose weight?
A mesomorph high on bulking up?
An ectomorph just looking to get toned?
Whatever your goal is, try out these tips.
How’s your experience been with your body type?
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