Know Your Body Type

Your Body Type

How to know your body type. It's not uncommon for folks to be unaware that there are several different types of categories to our body’s physiology.

In fact, there are three distinct types: Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorph, but within this range of body styles there are what I’ll call sub-ranges where some types can overlap others.

Choosing a proper diet strategy for weight loss or weight gain; depends on the set goal. Your body type often dictates the course of the diet or exercise programs’ action and direction to be taken – to see training success.

Why Is It Important To Know Your Body Type?

You may be surprised to know just how important knowing your body type is: this really shows its advantages when it comes to the weight training-umbrella and especially in bodybuilding, this also includes any diet and/or nutrition that relates to any fitness or active lifestyle. 

Sticking with a fundamental approach to training and nutrition in the early years is important until you establish a deeper understanding of what body type you have.

Commonly: different body types respond differently to different training methods including food groups; often what works for one person may not necessarily work for another.

There are three main body types, the generalized terms of characterizing these is referred to as (Somatotypes).  

What Are The Three Body Types?

The Ectomorph is:

Often characterized by a shorter upper body, longer legs and longer feet or hands. Ectomorphs can also be identified by having a narrower chest and shoulders, with a lower capacity to store fat, often accompanied by a more active metabolismand often excel at sports like running, soccer, basketball etc.

Ectomorphs will naturally tend to develop muscle mass/gain weight slowly and may have to work harder at forcing themselves not only to maintain weight, but may have to work even harder to gain it.

For hard gainers: here might be (four) things that may help you out.

Ectomorph Male/Female body type
  1. Keep the basic or compound movements the main focus throughout daily and long-term efforts. Use power movements, intense bursts to recruit and activate more muscle fiber.
  2. Keep training sessions short (45-50 mins), Always rest adequately between sets, giving the body time for full recuperation, (marathon workouts should be avoided), finish every workout you start.
  3. Try to minimize extra activities such as: Jogging, mountain biking, swimming etc. Save expended endurance calories for the gym, if gaining muscle/weight is the primary goal.
  4. Nutrition: you’ll need to take in more calories than you’ve been used to, basic eating such as: complex carbs from sweet potatoes yams’ brown rice as well as extra protein from sources that agree with you. You may also have to consider a protein or weight gain supplement a few times a day.

Always introduce new calories or diet strategies (slowly), giving the body time to absorb different foods and get used them, always monitor progress in the beginning), while being mindful of what foods agree, as well as ones that don't, especially where allergies might be a concern.  

The Mesomorph:

This body type typically has a large chest and longer torso, can also be capable of great feats of strength. The Mesomorph will tend to build muscle easily in the beginning, but may have to resort to a wider verity of training and shaping exercises, to avoid an excessive bulky look, if competitive bodybuilding is the goal.

Three things that should help you get the most out of this body type in and out of the gym are:

Mesomorph Male/Female body type

1.    In the early years of training, Heavy lifting to produce strength and size should be paramount and rest times minimized. As results begin to show and new advancements are made, shaping movements and training verity should take up the bulk of the gym session.

2.    Unlike the Ectomorph, the Meso’s body structure will usually respond faster to training stimulation, extended or prolonged training sessions aren’t as necessary unless a weak body part or other training deficiency is being brought up to par.

3.    As with any body type, protein (1 – 1.5 gr.), per pound of body weight is necessary. The Meso diet should consist of basic eating habits, but can often get away with a little higher fat in the daily diet.    

The Endomorph:

Endomorphs are usually strong and can typically build muscle with some hard work – but the Endomorph’s Achilles, is the ability to show it. This body type tends to carry a larger percentage of body fat. A strict annual diet, should to be adhered to when it comes to building and maintaining the ‘Beach Bod’.

Endomorph Male/Female body type

1.    Higher set and rep ranges (with short rest times) in the gym, are typically what’s used to build muscle and burn-off excessive body fat.

2.    Endomorphs may also experience stubborn body fat stores and may need another form of cardio to follow in your weekly training such as: cycling, jogging even walking 2 – 3 times a week for 15 – 20 mins.

3.    Nutrition should be simple: keep extra calories to a minimum. Avoid excess carbs, except – complex carbs – some at breakfast if your day is going to be physical, or before or right after the training session.

A (Paleo diet) approach for the Endomorph could serve you well, consume leaner sources of protein or even consider a (B complex) vitamin to help maximize metabolism efforts.

Somatotype Sub Ranges 

Somatotypes can often range or overlap one another or even change our body type characteristics.

As were all different; body types can vary, there can be instant’s where body composition needs to be identified, naturally big upper arms and skinny weak legs, should be a no-brainer when it comes to prioritizing weaker body parts.

Lots of guys love to keep training the strong body parts, day-after-day. If you have Mesomorph upper arms, and Ecto., style legs, train them according to what is god given by evening out your symmetry and strength curve and know your body type or it’s sub-range.

Male Somatotypes

Pear shaped body types may want to preform more cardio (walking, jogging some ab training while considering different diet options), also consider using weights or resistance training only for the arms, chest and back and like wise for the lower body keeping rest times to a minimum, with higher rep ranges.

Likewise for Mesomorphs don’t be under the illusion if your naturally somewhat muscular, doesn’t necessarily mean you can train casually and eat anything in any quantity, the laws of physiology are the same… all fat cells are genetically capable of increasing in size.

Female Somatotypes

The Genetic Lottery

From birth were all born a little different; making each of us unique. 

Somatotypes and Genetics

Genetics play a large roll in identifying and deciding our bodies outcome. Sometimes were not always happy with the hand were dealt.

As with most things in life there are Rules and our genetics definitely have them, although they cannot be changed or broken… they can be bent somewhat!

When it comes to weight training or bodybuilding; Never-Ever judge yourself or your genetics to harshly. Surprisingly beneath the skin were all very much the same our DNA from me to you is less than a percent away from being identical.

Each Somatotype, will have it’s draw backs, as well as it’s strong points in any fitness journey.

To see success in weight training; First: know your body type, keep your eye on this fact by eating and training according to your body type.

Don’t let the thought of your genetics discourage your efforts, theirs a simple solution that all serious and successful athletes use to achieve their training goals… (give it your all), because genetics don’t have the final say – you do!

Concluding on How to know your body type?

Sometimes an assessment on which body type we are is clearly evident, other times it’s hard to be sure, so what’s the secret to knowing?

If your really unsure on how to make this assessment check with a family Physician, Dietitian or reputable Personal Trainer for a more professional opinion.

There can be a curse in training and nutritional efforts if proper identification can’t be made. Try to avoid the mistake of being like others and leaving it to chance, by favouring the idea of the type of body you’d like be; as apposed to the type you are. 

Training Success toward any goal is always found hidden in the same place… know thyself, to know your body type.



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