Does your body type really influence how you respond to diet and training? Fact or Myth? Watch the video below and let us know what are your thoughts on training for your body type.
There are three distinct categories of the human body:
First we have the ectomorph. This is the skinny physique that is distinguished by a lack of bodyfat and a thin build. Ectomorph’s have a very fast metabolism and can usually eat pretty much whatever they want without gaining weight.
The ectomorph’s biggest struggle is to eat enough food to gain muscular size. But the good news is that the gains they do make tend to be lean solid gains.
On the opposite side of the spectrum we have the endomorph. This is the heavy set physique that is characterized by having a lot of excess bodyfat. Endomorph’s have a much slower metabolism than ectomorph’s and they have to constantly watch what they eat or else they will easily get fat.
However, the good news for endomorph’s is that they tend to be very big and strong individuals because underneath the bodyfat they generally carry a lot of muscle mass. Many strength and power sports favour the endomorph body type. A lot of the top powerlifters, strongman competitors, wrestlers, and football linemen are endomorphs.
And then in the middle we have the mesomorph. This body type have the best of both worlds, a lean muscular build. This is the classic bodybuilder physique. When you hear people talking about someone having good genetics for bodybuilding this is what they mean.
Mesomorph body types tend to respond well to changes in diet and training. They can easily gain muscular bodyweight when following a high calorie bulking diet. And they can easily lose bodyfat when following a low calorie cutting diet. All the top pro bodybuilders have this type of physique.
Not everyone will fit in exactly to these body types. Most of us will have a combination of the 3.
For example, it’s possible to have a slim build and yet still have excess bodyfat around the middle. This is often referred to as “skinny fat”.
Some people have a small upper body and a heavy lower body, which is very common among women. Or a big upper body and skinny legs, often referred to as “chicken legs”.
But for the most part you will be predominately one of the 3 main body types and you can take steps to structure your workouts and nutrition program to better meet your fitness goals.
An ectomorph is a typical skinny guy. Ecto’s have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width.
Typical traits of an ectomorph:
- Small “delicate” frame and bone structure
- Classic “hardgainer”
- Flat chest
- Small shoulders
- Lean muscle mass
- Finds it hard to gain weight
- Fast metabolism
Ectomorphs find it very hard to gain weight. They have a fast metabolism which burns up calories very quickly. Ecto’s need a huge amount of calories in order to gain weight. Workouts should be short and intense focusing on big muscle groups. Supplements are definitely recommended. Ectomorphs should eat before bed to prevent muscle catabolism during the night. Generally, ectomorphs can lose fat very easily which makes cutting back to lean muscle easier for them.
A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.
Typical traits on a Mesomorph:
- Generally hard body
- Well defined muscles
- Rectangular shaped body
- Gains muscle easily
- Gains fat more easily than ectomorphs
The mesomorph body type responds the best to weight training. Gains are usually seen very quickly, especially for beginners. The downside to mesomorphs is they gain fat more easily than ectomorphs. This means they must watch their calorie intake. Usually a combination of weight training and cardio works best for mesomorphs.
The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs. Endomorphs find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat.
Typical traits of an Endomorph:
- Soft and round body
- Gains muscle and fat very easily
- Is generally short
- “Stocky” build
- Round physique
- Finds it hard to lose fat
- Slow metabolism
- Muscles not so well defined
When it comes to training endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. Unfortunately, a large portion of this weight is fat not muscle. To keep fat gain to a minimum, endomorphs must always train cardio as well as weights. Usually supplements may not be needed as long as the person has a high protein intake in their diet.