Three types of physique: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph

types of physique

types of physique

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Three types of physique – this is what you would like to understand and how to find out what is relevant to you?

Our blog explains exhaustively every type of physique and general attributes for each type of physique. Each type of physique is explained in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Each type has its own, so you can make decisions playing with your own weak and strong sides and apply it to your workout.

What are body types?

Body types are a conditional classification of the most common types of human figures divided into ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. The theory of somatotypes was developed by William Sheldon in the 1940s and was based on a statistical analysis of the anthropological parameters of male students. Moreover, the physique characteristics of women were not initially considered by scientists¹.

An ectomorph is a lean and tall person, a  mesomorph  is distinguished by a classic athletic physique, and an endomorph is a somatotype that is full and predisposed to overweight. Separately, Sheldon noted that in the “pure” form these types of physique are practically not found – real people have more pronounced and less pronounced characteristics of all three types.

Each of these body types has distinctive characteristics of metabolism and muscle function. In the end, the endomorphic component often provokes a set of fat, while the mesomorph can remain in sports form for the rest of its life even with a minimal level of physical activity. In turn, ectomorphs are difficult to gain weight in general and muscles in particular.

How to determine your body type?

It is believed that one of the key characteristics for determining the type of physique is the density of the skeleton and the direct thickness of the bone and wrist. It is also important that the girth of the wrist remains unchanged regardless of the amount of fat or muscle mass in the body. Typically, classic ectomorphs have thin bones, mesoforms are medium, endomorphs are wide.

In most cases, for male ectomorphs, the wrist girth (measurements are taken on the bone just above the location of the watch) is less than 17 cm, for mesomorphs – 17-20 cm, for endomorphs – more than 20 cm. In the summary table below, you will find other physical characteristics of somatotypes, as well as the pros and cons of each type of physique.

Body Types:

  • Ectomorph – Wrist less than 17 cm; narrow shoulders and flat chest, thin and long limbs, thinness and a minimum of subcutaneous fat. The advantage of the ectomorphic body type is the ability to quickly pump up the press , as well as the lack of the need for constant dieting. The downside is the difficulty with weight gain and an increased level of cortisol .
  • Mesomorph – wrist from 17 to 20 cm; broad shoulders and a developed chest, middle or large bone, low fat level with noticeable muscles. The advantages of the mesomorphic body type is a high level of testosterone (in men) and an innate love for sports. Cons of mesomorph – a tendency to increase cholesterol and problems with blood vessels.
  • Endomorph – wrist more than 20 cm; large bone and massive limbs, short arms and legs, wide waist and hips, excessive fat deposition. The plus of the endomorphic body type is the powerful bone structure, which allows achieving great results in sports. The downside is the tendency to be overweight and the risk of developing diabetes when consuming fast carbohydrates.
Types of physiques

Ectomorphic type of physique

Ectomorphs can be seen in any gym. They are always below average weight as for their growth and they always have a skinny appearance.

Ectomorph is a person thin about nature, characterized by long limbs and problems with weight gain (and muscles). Ectomorphs have an accelerated metabolism and poor appetite, and their muscles do not have enough glycogen for training, which significantly reduces the effectiveness of strength training and limits the ability to restore and grow muscle.

The strategy of the physical training program for thin ectomorphs should be based on rare, but on intensive basic exercises and on training with a low number of repetitions (no more than 8 repetitions of an exercise in each set). The key point is increased calorie intake and special attention to the carbohydrate window immediately after training.

Ectomorphs tend to have a very high metabolism and often complain that they have relentless eating and, at the same time, almost no weight gain. What is the hormone testosterone?

General characteristics (parameters) of the ectomorph include:

  • Small joints
  • Skinny appearance
  • Hyperactive
  • Fast metabolism
  • Can eat whatever they want
  • Easy to Eat
  • Small breasts and buttocks
  • The complexity of building muscle mass
  • The difficulty of gaining weight
  • Low percentage of body fat
  • Narrow body (“pencil case”)
  • Has typical characteristics of a hardgainer

Outstanding ectomorphs:

Guess what type of physique?
Guess what type of physique?

Examples of male ectomorphs include:

  • Brad Pitt
  • Bruce Lee
  • Toby Maguire
  • Chris Rock
  • Edward Norton

Examples of ectomorph women include:

  • Kate Moss
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Callista Flockhart
  • Gisele Bündchen

Tips for training for the ectomorph:

  • Harder to train in the range of 5-10 repetitions
  • Take longer breaks for rest (due to the use of heavier weights)
  • Make composite ups
  • Do not do aerobic exercise (cardio)
  • If you have to do cardio, make sure that this is a high-intensity interval training

Nutrition tips for the ectomorph:

  • Eat high density dieters to add calories
  • Try high-density foods such as almonds, avocados or peanut butter
  • Break up calories into several small meals if you can not digest large meals.
  • Eat at least 50-60% of carbohydrates
  • Drink plenty of milk
  • Eat food that you like, even if it is a little unhealthy (in reasonable side-altars)
Body types for men
Body types for men

Endomorphic body type

The endomorphic type of physique is the exact opposite of the ectomorph. Such a person will usually be externally larger with a heavier accumulation of fat and with a weak muscle relief. They find it difficult to lose weight, even if they try a few diets or training programs.

Endomorph is a body type prone to weight gain. Among Europeans, endomorph is one of the most common. Such people have a slow metabolism, natural inactivity, as well as a love of sweet and fat. The combination of these factors quickly leads to a set of subcutaneous fat, even with moderate calorie intake.

The key to creating a sports body and losing weight for endomorphs lies in the constant observance of the diet – they should carefully monitor the glycemic index of carbohydrates consumed (limiting them as much as possible in the evening), as well as regularly engage in cardio and other fat burning exercises. Endomorphs lose weight fastest when doing circular workouts.

General characteristics of endomorphs include:

  • A huge amount of fat accumulation
  • Often easily tired
  • Insatiable appetite
  • Try various diets and exercise programs to failure
  • It seems that he can not lose weight
  • Eats more portions or several
  • Low relief of muscles due to fat deposits
  • Wider housing

Outstanding endomorphs:

Examples of endomorph men include:

  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • John Goodman
  • Luther Vandross
  • Jack Black
  • Wayne Knight

Examples of endomorph women include:

  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Quinn Latifah
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Beyonce

Tips for training for endomorph:

  • Train in the range of 15+ repetitions
  • Rest only 30-45 seconds between sets
  • Perform as many as possible of aerobic exercise (cardio)!
  • Do compound movements (lifts) to burn as many calories as possible.

Nutrition tips for endomorph:

  • Follow these proportions in your meals – the size of one serving is equal to the size of one clenched fist.
  • Eat 30-40% of carbohydrates
  • Eat unprocessed foods and consume whole grains (unprocessed corn).
  • Eat plenty of vegetables to keep yourself toned.
  • Do not use a flush (modern, ultrafast, fake) diet (exclude addictions – alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction)
  • Divide your daily calorie intake by 5-6 meals
  • Eat 200-500 calories less than you used to
Body types

Mesomorphic body type

Everyone will recognize the mesomorph. He’s pitching graduation classes that seemingly just a glance at the heaviness builds up muscle mass, while it looks very lean in physique.

Mesomorph is a sporty body type with an innate tendency to engage in various sports. Mesomorphs are characterized by elevated testosterone levels and rapid metabolism against a background of good appetite – all this allows them to quickly gain muscle mass. Practice says that most professional athletes are mesomorphs from nature.

A plus of this type of physique is the fact that the mesomorph body requires significantly less time to recover – mesomorphs can train not three times a week, as recommended by ectomorphs and endomophras, but four to five times. This is the strategy for training sports mesomorphs – the more training, the more noticeable the result.

Mesomorph is something between an ectomorph and an endomorph, essentially representing qualities from both. He has a larger body (skeleton structure) than an ectomorph, with a lower percentage of fat than an endomorph. It can be said that this is the type of physique that everyone wants to have initially or to which each aspire.

General characteristics (parameters) of the mesomorph include:

  • Symmetrically folded
  • Wide shoulders
  • Thin waist
  • Low percentage of fat
  • Developed musculature
  • There is an impression that it easily acquires musculature
  • It seems that it easily burns fat
  • Eats in moderation

Outstanding mesomorphs:

Examples of male mesomorphs include:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • George Clooney
  • Bruce Willis
  • Mark Wahlberg

Examples of mesomorph women include:

  • Jennifer Garner
  • Tina Turner
  • Halle Berry
  • Angela Baschet
  • Anna Kournikova

Tips for training for the mesomorph:

  • Train in the range of 8-12 reps
  • Have a rest in the region of 0.5-1 minutes between the approaches
  • Perform enough cardio to stay lean, but not obese

Nutrition tips for mesomorph:

  • Adhere to 40-60% carbohydrates
  • The serving size should be equal to your palm Break your meals by 5-6 throughout the day
  • Eat enough calories to maintain muscle mass

Combinations of body types:

Now it is not only possible that you combine the combination of the above types of physique in yourself, but most likely! Think about it, what are the chances that you fall under one of the three ideal types? Most likely, that you can identify yourself to one type of physique more than to another. In doing so, you can still have the qualities (parameters) of some others.

The three main body types
The three main body types

In fact, it is rare to be one of these “pure breeds.” When you are pure ectomorph and low in stature it can be a great advantage to professionally pursue jumps as a jockey, while the endomorph is open to the sumo struggle. Negative stigma of the body type takes place only if you allow it yourself. There are many advantages of pure breeds that cast doubt on individuals who have a combined body type.

For example, the diagram below shows from a pure ectomorph to a pure mesomorph on the right. Combinations exist between two types of physique.

Diagram from ectomorph to mesomorph
Diagram from ectomorph to mesomorph

Change your body type

If you are one of many who are looking for how to make a transformation of one type of physique to another, let me say that it will be a tough journey – absolutely impossible at the same time! You will need to start a new life style complete with food and exercise. Our blog plans to release a comprehensive guide and plan for building muscle mass and reduce weight to prepare for the summer. If you are interested, please subscribe to our free newsletter, because our subscribers will be able to receive information with confirmation from authoritative Western sources!

You can also find that sports nutrition or supplements can help in achieving faster results than just diet and exercise. If you are looking for an effective way to improve muscle tone and reduce body fat, consider taking and acting anabolic steroids.

Do not let your type of physique restrain your growth indicators

Do not let the physique be the decisive factor in choosing which activities to exercise, or decide the limitations that you can physically achieve and what not. Some people have to work more than others to quickly gain muscle mass and burn fat. Strengthen your self-esteem by setting realistic, achievable goals, and track your progress in the training diary to see what works for your body (get rid of the habit of copying the training and nutrition programs that your idols use with very different initial data and capabilities).

Regardless of your body type, with a properly designed training program (you can do it yourself or with a coach),the distribution of the load among training days in the week and the diet for bodybuilding, you can get this state of health, as well as the relief, volume and strength of the muscles that you dream about.

In the hope that this quick introduction to such a subject as three different types of physique will help you succeed in your bodybuilding and fitness goals! Ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs must follow very different regimes in order to achieve success. Write the comments below if you have already achieved success in the transformation so that the rest can benefit from it!