On this site, I tend to spend a lot of time talking about “ectomorphs”, “mesomorphs”, and “endomorphs” and how these body types (somatotypes) impact everything from how you train to what you should eat. Not everyone believes in somatotypes because they were first introduced for determining psychological characteristics rather than physical so many trainers dismiss body type training.
While I don’t believe you should focus solely on body type training as everyone will have specific and individual characteristics, there are benefits to understanding your body type (even if it’s a generalization).
So, what are the different body types?
There are three distinct body types or somatotypes and these can be categorized as ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. These body types are defined by factors that include: muscle mass, bone size and structure, macronutrient sensitivity, body fat, and muscle fiber distribution.
If you’ve ever wondered about the different body types and which one you might be classed as read on as I’ll be covering them all in this article!
What Are The Different Body Types
You’ve probably noticed that people come in all shapes and sizes. Some are naturally lean and athletic, where others tend to pick up weight easily. So, you might have wondered, “What are the different body types out there? More importantly, what is my body type?”
There are many good reasons to know your genetic body type, as it is the key to achieving the body type that you actually desire to have!
One reason why no single training or dieting solution works perfectly for everyone is that we have different body types. We are predisposed better for specific things, and some tactics work better than others. Let’s take a look at the three types:
An ectomorph is a somatotype characterized by natural leanness, a thin frame, and weight gain difficulties. Ectomorphs tend to be skinny, tall, and with a quick metabolism. In many cases, ectomorphs also have a poorer appetite than the other two types, making it even more difficult for them to eat enough calories for weight gain.
Besides that, ectomorphs appear to have a thinner bone structure, small shoulders, a flat chest, and skinny arms (if this is you, check out: how to get bigger arms as an ectomorph).
Endomorphs are more common – many adults fall into this category. This body type is characterized by a thicker frame and naturally higher body fat. Ectomorphs tend to have a slower metabolism and greater appetite, making it easy for them to gain weight and retain more fat.
Besides that, endomorphs are wider, generally have more muscle mass on their frames, and build strength more easily.
Not to pick any favorites, but mesomorphs tend to have it best. This body type is characterized by natural leanness, but they also find it easier to gain muscle mass when compared to ectomorphs. Mesomorphs are also naturally athletic, have great proportions and well-defined muscles.
Mesomorphs also find it much easier to gain and lose weight, which is a significant advantage for sports like bodybuilding.
The Bottom Line On The Different Body Types
If you’ve read the descriptions of all three body types, you probably have a good idea of where you fall. But here is the thing:
Most people are a combination of two body types. In other words, no person is 100 percent meso, endo, or ectomorph – there are always characteristics from two kinds. You can learn more about combination body types and building lean muscle at www.aleanlife.com.
Plus, no matter where you fall, your genetics don’t have to determine the body that you have. Mesomorphs can get fat, and endomorphs can be lean and look great with good nutrition and regular training. What matters most is that you build good habits and take good care of your body.
With that said, let’s now take a look at some actionable eating tactics for each body type:
Dieting For Each Body Type
As each body type will respond differently to dieting strategies, you can’t have a one size fits all approach. People have different carb tolerances/sensitivities, different caloric requirements, and different dieting strategies needed to achieve individual goals.
As mentioned earlier, appetite, metabolism, and macro ratios will all influence the effectiveness of a diet plan and for each body type, these factors will need to be taken into consideration and manipulated.
Dieting for Endomorphs
Because endomorphs tend to put weight on more easily and have a hard time losing fat, they need to be more calorically-mindful. Specifically, endomorphs tend to benefit from tracking their calories and limiting their carb intake when it comes to macro ratios.
It’s best to leave the majority of their carbs for their pre and post-training meals. In doing so, the body can use most of that fuel for repair and energy and store little as fat. Endomorphs should also maintain a smaller calorie surplus when bulking and avoid gaining weight at an accelerated rate – no more than 200 to 250 calories. That way, they can limit fat gain and remain leaner.
Endomorphs should also consume more satiating foods like fruits and veggies. That way, they can more easily control their hunger and avoid overeating.
Dieting for Ectomorphs
The ectomorph is blessed because they can get away with far greater dietary freedom without gaining any weight. Though, because of their naturally suppressed appetite, ectomorphs rarely feel ‘blessed.’
Still, with some nutritional discipline, it’s entirely possible to gain weight and build a lot of muscle, even as an ectomorph.
Most notably, you need to eat more frequently. This will give you more opportunities to get all of the calories you need to grow. For example, you can start at 7 am and stop eating around 9 or 10 pm.
Besides that, you should also bet on more energy-dense foods that make it easier for you to add hundreds of calories to your intake:
- Nut butter
- Weight gainers
- Trail mix
- Nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish
Ectomorphs should also consume more liquid calories to help bump their daily total: protein and weight gainer shakes, sports drinks, full-fat milk, and natural oils.
Dieting for Mesomorphs
Mesomorphs are blessed because they tend to get the best of ecto and endomorphs. In other words, a mesomorph won’t have such a hard time gaining weight, but they can also lose fat more easily. So, a moderate approach works best.
Mesomorphs should still keep track of their daily calorie intake and avoid going too overboard, but they can also get away with a fair bit of dietary freedom. If you struggle with appetite, you can adopt some of the nutritional tactics of ectomorphs.
Besides that, you should aim to maintain a moderate calorie surplus and go for gradual weight gain as a mesomorph. If you gain weight too quickly, you risk adding lots of fat to your frame. An excess of about 300 calories should be more than enough.
When it comes to fat loss, mesomorphs will rarely feel the need to go on a full-blown cut. Still, being in a deficit from time to time will help trim some of the fat and help you stay around ten to twelve percent body fat year-round. At ten percent body fat, your lean muscle will shine and provide a lean physique.
The Bottom Line
Knowing what the different body types are is vital when deciding how to go about your training and nutrition. While we all share some similarities, we are also different in some crucial ways, and no single tactic will work equally well for everyone.
Hopefully, you now understand how to go about your fitness journey. It’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to live and breathe fitness to achieve good results. But you do need to focus on the right tactics for your body and unique genetic predispositions.
If you are looking to make changes to your physique by either losing body fat, building muscle or looking to maintain a lean physique then sign up to my weekly newsletter below. Each week I send out actionable tips to help you lose that extra 1lb of fat or build that extra 0.5lb of muscle mass on a weekly basis.
If you sign up now you’ll also receive my 28 day body recomp program completely Free. This ebook will be sent straight to your inbox and will provide an intense 28 day program aimed at helping you lose up to 8lbs of body fat whilst also building 2lb-4lb of lean muscle mass in just 4 weeks.
Don’t worry if you’re not ready for an intense program just yet, my weekly newsletter will give smaller tips that when implemented daily, will stack up over time and see you transform your body with seemingly minimal effort!