It is important to know what body type you are prior to setting expectations. However, your body type in no way indicates your ability to achieve your health and fitness goals. Let me repeat… your body type in no way indicates your ability to achieve your health and fitness goals. But, setting goals that are in line with the highest and best use of your natural resources is a smart thing to do. It will not only spare you disappointment, but knowing what you are predisposed to will help keep you moving in the right direction.
Have you ever known someone that can eat whatever they want and rarely (if ever) gain weight? (I married one). On the flip side, some people gain weight by simply staring at a particular food too long. What about muscle? The same rules apply, easy for some and almost impossible for others.
Genetics is at the crux of these patterns. Three different body types establish the platform for all body types… ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Understanding all three and knowing which of these different body types you are genetically predisposed to will help you understand why certain aspects of diet and exercise are harder and slower (or easier and quicker) for you than they are for other people.
The main differences between the three different body types are metabolism speed and bone structure. Let’s look at them one at a time…
An Ectomorph body type refers to one of the three Somatotypes. An Ectomorph is characterized by a small frame, slight build, low body fat and is typically accompanied by a high metabolism.
- "Hard Gainer”
- Delicate Built Body
- Flat Chest
- Lightly Muscled
- Small Shouldered
- Long Limbs
A Mesomorph body type refers to one of the three Somatotypes. A Mesomorph is characterized by an athletic sporty frame, broad shoulders, visibly defined muscle and good posture. Mesomorph body types respond the best to weight training, gains are seen very quickly.
- Hard body with well-defined muscles
- Rectangular shaped body
- Gains muscle easily
- Gains fat more easily than Ectomorphs
An Endomorph body type refers to one of the three Somatotypes. An Endomorph is characterized by a solid frame, and strong, well-rounded muscles. Endomorph’s typically gain fat more easily than the other somatotypes.
- Soft and round body
- Gains muscle and fat easily
- Finds it hard to lose fat
- Slower metabolism
- Smooth, round body
- Medium/ large joints/ bones
- Body fat tends to settle in lower regions of body, mainly lower abdomen, butt, hips, and thighs (rather than being distributed evenly throughout body
- Pear-shaped physique
- Can gain muscle easily, but tends to be underdeveloped
- Difficult to keep lost body fat off
- Lose weight slowly
- Have to work hard to lose weight
- Slow metabolic rate