Obviously we all recognize that everybody is not equal when it comes to body types. We can be short, tall, skinny, fat, thick-boned, tiny-boned, oddly shaped, pear shaped, x-shaped, v-shaped, muscly, jelly, skinny-fat, noodle-armed, and on and on… I bet you didn’t know this, but all the aforementioned characteristics are actually true scientific terms. As are, “guy that looks ridiculously jacked but turns out to be a weakling” and “holy crap, that girl is TINY, how in the world is she squatting 300 lbs?” And, lest we forget, “old-man strength,” the term given to 55+ year old men who, though seemingly soft, aged, and suffering from beer belly-itis, have Herculean strength and endurance. Like THIS 52 year old skinny guy who BENT A CAR DOOR FRAME to save a guy from a burning car… awesome!
On to the relevant part now. The important thing is to understand what type of body you have and then train specific to THAT body type. If you have worked out hard for years using a cookie-cutter approach and eating relatively “healthy” but have not seen the results you think you earned, or had results for a while and then plateaued, this is why. THIS article will help remedy your problems. You need to know and do what is right for your genetically pre-determined makeup. SO, today, I will give an overview of the 3 major body types, their characteristics, and how that affects you.
The 3 Body Types
- Skinny, long limbs
- Naturally lean
- Fast metabolism , a seemingly bottomless pit
- Able to thrive on a high carb diet
- Sometimes difficult to maintain weight, gaining weight is a challenge
Overview: As you can see, the ectomorph has both “pros” and “cons” in relation to body characteristics. Whether male or female, an ectomorph will generally have a hard time gaining strength and muscle mass. This can be a psychological burden (despite others who may judge them as “blessed” for being skinny) because hours and hours of gym time and forced-feedings are still not giving them the results that their more muscular friends have (even with less work). On the plus side, the muscular definition and striations of an ectomorph are almost always the most well defined of any body type. An ectomorph who succeeds in their muscle building regimen will have a very lean, hard, vascular and muscular appearance. Ectomorphs makes PHENOMENAL endurance athletes, especially runners, so give that a shot. It will be worth the effort!
- Naturally muscular with little-no training
- Square shoulders and small waist
- Efficient metabolisms
- Tolerates carbs well
- Gains strength and muscle mass easily
- Can gain fat easier than an ectomorphs
- Can lose body fat quickly
Overview: Honestly, I am jealous of mesomorphs. Again, and as always, this is MY opinion and preference on body types. I am an ectomorph that JUST barely borders some hybrid mesomorph characteristics, however, I have always wanted that “thick” and muscular look that many bodybuilders have… and they are almost always mesomorphs. “The grass is always greener” certainly applies here, but we must ALWAYS remember that we have the body we have. Training and eating like a body type that you or I are NOT, will not make us turn into that magically. You need to gain confidence and train for YOUR best body. You cannot attain another body, to the full extent you may wish. So, the “pros” of a mesomorph… basically everything. If you really want a think look, or to be a great runway model, or to skateboard or something else where light, thin body types excel, then yes. But for exercise, mesomorphs generally have an advantage at speed, strength, size, and many other things. It doesn’t mean to throw in the towel if you are not a mesomorph, it just means do not be jealous if others can get better results in less time than you. Just be humble, work harder, and be your best body type.
- Naturally high levels of body fat
- Thick, round or pear shaped bodies
- Very carb and insulin-sensitive
- Tendency to lose fat slowly, even on very “clean” diet
- Respond better to diets with high protein and very low carbs
- Require lots of cardio to lose body fat
- Ability to build muscle fairly quickly
Overview: Endomorphs are on the other end of ectomorphs. Instead of tall and lanky, endomorphs are thicker and shorter. While the “cons” here may be easy to spot, there are actually a ton of “pros” in this category as well. Again, you are who you are who you are! If you fall into this body type, you could say “oh, I was born to be fat” or “dieting does not work on me.” Those are false statements, just excuses to offset hard work. Just as it is hard for an ectomorph to gain, it is hard for an endomorph to lose. BUT, endomorphs are generally very strong, and can gain muscle easily. An endomorph who exercises hard and eats very clean will have a very powerful presences composed of large muscles with great strength. Endomorphs can excel at explosive lifts, power sports, and more, when properly trained. They can also attain great muscle definition while maintaining impressive size and muscle, pending they diet well and do cardio.
Well ladies and gents, there you have it for today! Now that you know WHAT type of body you have, the next step is to train and eat appropriately. I alluded to some diet and training tips above, however stay tuned for my next article this week which will break down a training and eating program for EACH body type. I will expound further on today’s general overview. I want you to understand these 3 body types first so that you can also help friends and family who may be struggling with their health and fitness. Have them read this and come bak for their programs. I guarantee you will LOVE the results when you finally learn how to train properly for your body type.