Are you a mesomorph? How about an endomorph? Or could you be an ectomorph? Do you even know what any of these terms mean? If not, you’re not alone. Most people have no clue what their body type is. But it’s vital to know what somatotype – that’s body type – you are in order to train accordingly. There are three main somatotypes most people fall under: ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. While most people are a bit of a mixture, your body structure lends itself to being predominantly one category. For example, you could be 70% mesomorph and 30% ectomorph.
Here’s how to spot each somatotype.
Ectomorph (aka “The Skinny Bro”)
You know your thin, tall friend who can eat a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts seven days per week and not gain a single ounce of fat? He is an ectomorph. Ectomorphs are usually low on body fat and have difficulty gaining muscle mass. In general, ectomorphs have muscles that are long and thin in appearance, particularly in the leg and arm areas of the body. Most basketball players, such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, are classic ectomorphs.
Ideal training for this body type: If you’re a skinny bro, then adding muscle should be high on your fitness priority list. Performing 3 sets of 8-12 reps with a moderate-heavy weight for each muscle group three to four times per week should do the trick. You should limit cardio to walking only.
Endomorph (aka “The Short, Stocky Bro”)
You remember that short, stocky kid in your high school weightlifting class that was as strong as an ox? He was an endomorph. Endomorphs characteristically have a short, round look and are often described by as being “stocky”. They tend to gain muscle easily but gain fat just as easy. Most powerlifters and football linesman fall into this category (Note: an endomorph can be tall and stocky too though).
Ideal training for this body type: If you’re an stocky bro, then weight loss is where it’s at. Lift a moderate-heavy weight for each muscle group for 3 sets of 12-15 reps four to five times per week. Cardio needs to be your best friend. Perform high intensity interval training (e.g. sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 90 seconds) for 15-20 minutes outside or on the treadmill at least 3-4 days per week.
Mesomorph (aka “The Naturally Athletic Bro”)
Your childhood friend who excelled at pretty much any sport he tried out for? Or that boy who had eight-pack abs in your eighth grade P.E. class? Those dudes are mesomorphs. This body type is the one most athletes and fitness models fall under. Most male actors who play the superhero in the flicks are mesomorphs. Mesomorphs have little trouble losing body fat while having the ability to rapidly pack on muscle. In other words, if you’re either of the other two body types, you probably envy the mesomorph (admit it!).
Ideal training for this body type: If you’re the naturally athletic bro, why in the hell are you reading this article? (Just kidding!) Seriously though, despite possessing the ideal body type, your physique will eventually falter without consistent, challenging exercise. To maintain (or enhance) your athletic frame, I recommend lifting heavy weights for 3 sets of 5-10 reps three times per week. For cardio, do some high intensity interval training 2-3 times per week.
Make sure you know which body type you are and that you are doing the right type of training to go with it. Remember though, most guys are a hybrid of two of them.