men's body types - ectomorph mesomorph endomorph
Fitness

Men’s Body Types | Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph

The concept of somatotypes was proposed by a psychologist by the name of William Sheldon in the 1940s. According to William Sheldon, all human bodies can be classified according to three basic body types:

  •     Ectomorph
  •     Mesomorph
  •     Endomorph

Your body type affects the way you train, your diet, and how your body responds. Let’s check it out. 

Ectomorph Body Type

Ectomorph Qualities

Pure ectomorphs are tall, skinny, and awkward. They have small joints and narrow hips. They also have a fast metabolism which means that they burn off extra calories rather than storing them on their bodies. They have more muscle definition than the other body types.

Ectomorph Diet

Because they have fast metabolisms, ectomorphs need to eat more than the other two body types. In order to pack on muscle, they should eat an extra 750 calories above their daily maintenance level.

They should follow a healthy diet on lean built around protein intakes such as chicken, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, and oats. They should also make use of weight gainer powders. 

Ectomorphs should take in more carbohydrates than endomorphs or mesomorphs. A good macronutrient ratio for ectomorphs is 45 percent protein, 30 percent carbs, and 25 percent fat.

Healthy fats are important but often neglected. food group for ectomorphs. Include such sources as olive oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, seed butter almonds, and avocado slices.

Ectomorph Exercise

In contrast to endomorphs, ectomorphs should jump directly into a hypertrophy training exercise plan designed to increase lean muscle weight. The focus should be on the quality of muscular contraction with reps pyramiding down to heavy sets at 6 reps.

Rest between sets should be around 2 minutes to allow the muscle to sufficiently recover so that it can use maximum force on the next set.

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Ectomorphs should restrict their cardio workouts so that they don’t burn off calories needed for muscle gain. Cardio training should be restricted to one or two times per week. 

The most natural sports for ectomorphs are those where a lighter body mass is an advantage. These include running, cycling, and rock climbing. However, if they are trying to gain weight, they should cut back on physical activity. 

Mesomorph Body Type

Mesomorph Qualities

People with a mesomorph body type are strong, muscular, and lean, with an impressive natural shoulder girdle to hip ratio that gives them a V-shaped upper body. They have a naturally athletic body and a higher percentage of muscle. 

Mesomorph Diet

People with a mesomorph body type have the ideal physical make-up for muscle gain. They are able to get away with a little bit of junk food every now and then without it going directly to fat storage. They should follow a medium protein, low carb, medium fat balanced diet, with meals spread evenly throughout the day.

As well as 3 main meals, they should have a couple of snacks that are protein dominant. After a workout, a mesomorph is able to enjoy some high glycemic carbs to replace glycogen stores.

Mesomorph Exercise

People with a mesomorph somatotype generally do not need any preparatory training before jumping into the type of training that is in line with their goals. They are starting with a naturally athletic physique.

As a result, they are in a better position to go directly to strength, muscle gain workout plans.

Keep in mind, however, that, as previously pointed out, no one is completely one somatotype. So, a person who is predominantly mesomorph may still have a bit of excess body fat to get rid of, requiring some cardio workouts.

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When it comes to sports, the mesomorph body type is generally well suited to all activities. Most professional athletes and pro sports players will have a somatotype that tends towards mesomorph.

Endomorph Body Type

Endomorph Qualities

The endomorph body type has shorter limbs and carries more bodyweight and has a high percentage of body fat. Endomorphic bodies have narrow shoulders and wide hips. which produces a pear-shaped body. 

Endomorph Diet

Endomorphs have a natural tendency to store fat, producing a high percentage of body fat. As a result, they have to really be on top of their nutrition in order to control their weight and transform their body.

High glycemic index carbohydrate intake should be cut back as much as possible with a low-carb diet. That means cutting out sugary foods, energy drinks, and traditional junk foods. 

Endomorphs need to make sure that they end up within a daily caloric deficit. That means that each day, they are burning off more calories than they take in. Aim to consume 750 fewer calories than your daily caloric maintenance level.

People with endomorphic bodies should follow higher protein diets. Protein is very satiating so that it fills us up better than carbs or fats. So, when you feel peckish, have a hard-boiled egg. It will fill you up for a couple of hours while also providing the amino acids to build muscle mass. 

Endomorph Exercise

Endomorphs have a tendency to store body fat more readily than the other two body types. As a result, the endomorph needs to focus on fat loss to change their body composition first before they switch to strength building.

Circuit, metabolic, and HIIT cardio workouts are the most efficient way to burn calories to reduce body fat. Cardio sessions should be done 4-5 times per week. 

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Endomorphic body types should also increase your non-exercise activity as much as possible by walking more rather than driving, spending less time on the couch, and taking the stairs rather than the elevator.

When it comes to sports, endomorphs are generally better suited to those that require both strength and size. These include football, powerlifting, and rugby.

Final Thoughts

The myth that our physical change is limited by our body type has been debunked. It is possible to dramatically change your body shape in terms of gaining muscle and losing fat regardless of your somatotype.

While there is a whole raft of factors that combine to determine our body shape, the most transformational ones are environmental.

Environmental factors are things that we have control over, such as exercise and nutrition. That means that your somatotype does not determine how your body will look in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which body type is strongest?

The strongest body type is the mesomorph. This person is naturally stocky, with a bone structure that is suited to strength training. He will also build muscle faster than an ectomorph or an endomorph.

Can you be a mix of endomorph and mesomorph?

Yes, you can be a mix of endomorph and mesomorph. In fact, very few people are purely one body type; instead, most people are hybrid body types. Very few people are a pure somatotype. A rating scale between 1 and 7 for each somatotype produces a 3-digit somatotype rating. People who have a ‘normal body type will have a somatotype of 444.

Are all mesomorphs muscular?

No, not all mesomorphs are muscular. Muscle must be earned through resistance training and nutrition. However, all mesomorphs are naturally stocky and have more potential to build muscle than ectomorphs are endomorphs.

Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen is a former gym owner and personal trainer based in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness, and fat loss.

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