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What Body Type are You?

Body Types - Which One are You? The Ectomorph, the Mesomorph, the Endomorph, or a Combination?

We have known for quite some time now in bodybuilding that different body types respond differently to both training and nutrition. As a result, it is incredibly important to be aware of what your body type is so that you can design a training and workout program accordingly. In this article, the history of body types and some interesting pieces of information to help you identify them will be mentioned.

William Sheldon

William Sheldon (1898-1977) was an American psychologist who spent his life observing all the variety of human bodies. He taught at several universities and spent his career doing valuable research. As a child he was an avid observer of animals and birds, and as he grew up, this hobby turned into a strong ability to observe the human body.

The basics of body types are listed below:


  • Definitive "Hard Gainer"
  • Delicate Built Body
  • Flat Chest
  • Fragile
  • Lean
  • Lightly Muscled
  • Small Shouldered
  • Takes Longer to Gain Muscle
  • Thin

The extreme ectomorph physique is a fragile and delicate one. The bones are light, joints are small and muscles are slight. The limbs are relatively long in proportion and the shoulders droop. The ectomorph is a linear physique. Straight up and straight down, and may appear longer than he or she really is, due to the length of limbs coupled with lack of muscle mass developed on those limbs. The ectomorph is not naturally powerful and will have to work hard for every ounce of muscle and every bit of strength he or she can gain.

Other Ectomorph Traits

The extreme ectomorph may have long fingers, toes and neck are long. A pencil neck you could say. The features of the face are sharp, and the shape of the face is triangular. The lower jaw is somewhat receding. The skin tends to burn easily. Extreme ectomorphs may suffer from extremes of temperature. Due to the great body area in relation to muscle mass, the ectomorph may suffer from great heat, and due to low body fat, the ectomorph may suffer from great cold. The hair is fine and grows quickly and is sometimes difficult to keep in place.

Famous Ectomorphs

Lisa Kudrow, Kate Moss, Brad Pitt, Seth Green, Edward Norton.


  • Athletic
  • Hard Body
  • Hourglass Shaped (Female)
  • Rectangular Shaped (Male)
  • Mature Muscle Mass
  • Muscular Body
  • Excellent Posture
  • Gains Muscle Easily
  • Gains Fat More Easily Than Ectomorphs
  • Thick Skin

The Mesomorph Body

The mesomorph has well-defined muscles and large bones. The torso tapers to a relatively narrow and low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent. Features of the face are clearly defined, such as cheek bones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad, and is cubicle in shape. Arms and legs are developed and even the digits of the hand are muscled.

Other Traits of the Mesomorph

The skin of the mesomorph is thick and the mesomorph tans well. The hair is heavy in texture.

Famous Mesomorphs

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, the majority of Mr. Universe winners.


  • Soft Body
  • Underdeveloped Muscles
  • Round Physique
  • Weight Loss is Difficult
  • Gains Muscle Easily Like the Mesomorph.


The body of the extreme endomorph is round and soft. The physique presents the illusion that much of the mass has been concentrated in the abdominal area. This may or may not be true. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short in length and taper. This may give the appearance of stalkiness. The hands and feet of the endomorph are comparatively small, and the upper arms and thighs are often more developed than the lower parts of the arms or legs. The body has a high waist.

Other Traits of the Endomoprh

The skin is soft and smooth, and the hair is fine. The head of the endomorph is spherical. The head is large and the face broad.

Famous Endomorphs

John Goodman, Roseanne, Jack Black.

Combinations of Body Types

Very often, people cannot be easily classed as one of the three main body types. Although there are some people who are purely ectomorphs, endomorphs, or mesomorphs with little or no characteristics of the other body types, very frequently, people fall into mixed categories, such as ecto mesomorphs, or endo mesomorphs, where largely, they are like the mesomoph, but with traits of the ectomorph (such as small joints or a trim waist), or traits of the endomorph (such as a tendency to gain fat easily). 

Get to Know Your Body's Genetic Makeup.
It sounds like an endorsement for your local dating service.

But before we go asking you what your personal preferences are, the tall, dark and handsome or the small, blonde, and petite, there’s one other such word of advice:

Get to know your own type.

While individual differences are always important, physical trainers use a generalized body-typing system to assess individual needs and goals. Regardless or age, race, or gender, you likely fit more or less into one of the following body type categories: ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph. These are the three body types that make up the physique in which your body’s genetics are inclined to follow. The conditions of your body type actually have more to do with bone structure and your body’s frame than the muscle tissue itself.

However, there’s one thing we all certainly have in common. We all seem equally unsatisfied with our body types.

The skinny ones want to be beefier. The beefy ones want to be leaner. The bulky ones want to be more ripped while the thin, ripped ones want to be more massive.

One such mistake many body shapers make is to assume that all rules of dieting, exercise, and weight training applies to each and every individual. However, this is not kindergarten. The rules at hand will always vary, depending on your genetic makeup.

Take a look at the three types and determine what your type is and how to deal with the genetic drawbacks.


This type would seem to consist of every man who ever played in the NBA, minus Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal. Ectomorphs are generally lean and mean but have a hard time packing on the muscle.

Thus, the best way to deal with such stingy genetics is to eat, eat, and eat some more. Adding an extra thousand or two calories is not only acceptable, it’s probably encouraged. Five substantial meals a day, favoring the carbohydrates heavily while consuming ample amounts of protein, is the best way to sprout growth into the muscle mass you’re looking for.

When it comes to the weights, do not be stingy. Intensity plus strength equals size, and you should be churning out intensely productive sets, designed to tear up the muscle tissue and spurt new growth.


Now, take every offensive and defensive lineman in the NFL (minus nobody) and you’ll have yourself a nice collection of endomorphs.

Endomorphs are generally what most people consider “stocky” creatures, many of them having short but thick, thick limbs and heavy bones. Many endomorphs desire a leaner, more defined look, and should try cutting the fats down to a minimum. Lean protein sources are generally recommended here, anything from fish and turkey to egg whites. Meanwhile, an endomorph’s intake should consist of about seven smaller-portioned meals throughout the day, a sly method of boosting metabolism and burning fats and calories.

Cardiovascular regimens – anything from swimming to biking – is essential for endomorphs looking to trim down. Thirty minutes per day, four days a week, will keep the jelly out of the belly. Meanwhile, weight training should contain sets of several repetitions at a moderate weight, with limited time spent between sets.


Mesomorphs, in one sense, are the luckiest of the three. Mesomorphs have the tendency to be muscular and ripped, maintaining the best attributes of both the ectomorphs and the endomorphs.

Mesomorphs must basically follow the general guidelines of healthy eating and exercise to maintain the desirable physiques that they’re genetics have so kindly blessed them with. A mesomorph should consume a gram of protein a day for every pound of his or her bodyweight, while taking in around six frequent meals per day. Perhaps the most imposing obstacle for the mesomorph is overconfidence. Because a mesomorph can generally build muscle and shed away fat with considerable ease, he often becomes lazy and apathetic to eating binges and lulls in exercise, maintaining faith that his favorable genetics will bail him out of such consequences. Like anyone else, a mesomorph must blend a sturdy diet and solid exercise program into his everyday routine.


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