I think it’s so important if you’re on a fitness journey to learn about your natural body shape. I struggled for years (and, admittedly, still am not 100% confident) with being athletically curvy. I was never a super slim type girl; I was always running in soccer or in a permanent squat position in field hockey. Hello, muscular thighs. But with me now being a Beachbody Coach and therefore working in the fitness world, I want to show everyone that each person does have a unique body “shape,” which is based primarily on your genetics. Now, it’s NOT to say that because you are a certain body type you’ll never be slim or never grow muscle… false. It means you have to understand your body in order to train it most effectively.
Here are the 3 most common body types & exercises that will most effectively work for each type:
Ectomorph: An ectomorph is a typical skinny person. 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
- Flat chest
- Small shoulders
- Lean muscle mass
- Finds it hard to gain weight
- Fast metabolism
Ectomorphs 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.
2.) Mesomorph: 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:
- 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. Remember, typically MEN gain muscle bulk due to testosterone while WOMEN get leaner and tighter when lifting. 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.
3.) Endomorph: 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
- Slower metabolism
When it comes to training, endomorphs find it very easy to gain weight. 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.
I believe I’m a mesomorph, and weights and cardio training are my forte. But I also love the flexibility of yoga, and believe that it’s the combination of cardio, strength and flexibility that leads to optimal fitness training.
So– which body type do you think you are? Do you do the workouts associated with that body type?