Training

What Body Shape Are You? | Ectomorph, Endomorph Or Mesomorph?

 

By Myprotein Writer |

Alex Simpson

Have you ever noticed that some people out there just seem to be genetically gifted and blessed with fantastic genetics? There are some people out there that, when following a balanced diet and nutritional plan, along with an effective workout regime, will strip away the body fat whilst piling on the pounds of muscle in the process.

These individuals will make progress every single day, and will wake up the next day looking just that little bit better. It seems as if all they need to do is look at a set of dumbbells and they can gain 10 pounds of solid muscle, whilst you may be there sobbing in the corner, because you just can’t seem to gain any decent muscle mass at all, no matter how hard you train. This is all down to body-type.


Gaining Muscle & Burning Fat

Why some people find it easier to burn fat and build muscle than others, is because of their genetics and the fact that everybody is different. What you may not be aware of however, is that there are different body types for different people, and knowing which type you are, can help you plan your diet and training accordingly.

These body types are known as:

1) Ectomorph

2) Endomorph

3) Mesomorph

Although they perhaps sound like something you’d expect to see in Game of Thrones, understanding these body types can provide you with a key insight into what it takes to take your training and your physique to the next level.


Knowing Your Body Type 

 

As we just discovered, the three main types of body are: endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph, and knowing which type you are will provide you with a whole host of various advantages.mesomorph

To help you get a better understanding, here is a more detailed look:


Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs are characteristically tall, are generally slim, and have long limbs and narrow shoulders. Ectomorphs have incredibly fast metabolisms which enable them to eat virtually anything they want, in the quantities that they want, and barely gain any weight at all.

Whilst finding it tough to gain fat may sound like your ultimate dream, ectomorphs also find it notoriously difficult to gain muscle mass as well, which is why they are sometimes referred to as being “hard gainers”. If an individual is described as being “skinny-fat” they are generally an ectomorph.


Endomorphs

Endomorphs however, are the exact polar opposites of ectomorphs. Endomorphs are characteristically shorter and much stockier, and gain weight much easier.

This is both a blessing, and a curse, due to the fact that, whilst endos do find it relatively easy to build muscle mass, they also have wide waists and gain fat pretty easy as well, and struggle to lose it.


Mesomorphs

Finally, we have mesomorphs, and if you’re a mesomorph you should consider yourself very fortunate indeed.

Mesomorphs are considered to be genetically gifted as they are blessed with the ability to build muscle and burn fat much easier than the other aforementioned body types, whilst also being generally much more athletic.

Mesomorphs have narrow waists, large upper bodies, are more muscular than average, and find it very easy to burn fat, the lucky sods.


Training For Your Body Type

body type training


Ectomorph training

If, from looking at the above, you consider yourself to be an ectomorph, you will need to structure your training accordingly. Whilst ectomorphs find it much harder to build muscle mass, they can still build muscle – they just need to know what to do.

Training

As your primary goal will almost certainly be muscle growth, you should place an emphasis on resistance training, incorporating plenty of compound lifts into your routine.

Your primary objective is hypertrophy, so place an emphasis on free weights as opposed to machines, and ensure you perform plenty of compound movements. Increase your weights and perform fewer reps, and take longer to recover between sets.

You may wish to follow a full-body split 3 times per week, or, if you would prefer to, a heavy 5 day split would also be effective.


Endomorph training

As an endomorph, although you will gain strength and size relatively easily, you will also struggle to lose fat and will find it far too easy to gain fat, which is why your workouts need to be balanced.

Training

✓ Not only do you need plenty of resistance work in there, you will also need plenty of endurance work to help keep your body fat percentages under control, which means that cardio should also make up a regular part of your training.

✓ As an ectomorph, you should base your training around moderate weights, for reps of around 8 – 12 per set. You should also take less time to rest in between working sets.

✓ Again, stick mainly with free weight exercises for size, but, in order to keep body fat under control, on days when you aren’t lifting, you should also perform the dreaded cardio.


Mesomorph training

As a mesomorph, although you will gain muscle and burn fat very easily, that still doesn’t mean that you can slack off when it comes to your training.

Training

✓ For optimal results, you should train for size, strength, and endurance.

✓ Stick with moderate-to-heavy weights, and vary your reps from 6 – 12 reps per working set. Many mesomorphs will switch up their workout programs every 6 weeks or so, to keep things fresh and to maximize their gains.

✓ In terms of cardio, 2 x HIIT sessions per week should be adequate enough to help boost endurance and burn off body-fat, whereas resistance training should be performed 3 – 5 times per week, depending on which split/program you happen to be following.

✓ Most mesomorphs will follow a 5-day split in which they work 1 muscle group for each day of the week, although some will pair up muscle groups I.E back/biceps or chest/biceps etc, and some will follow push/pull splits in which they work pushing muscles on one day, and pulling muscles on the following day.


Take Home Message

Don’t believe that you can’t achieve amazing results because of your ‘genetics’ – simply find out what training is best for you and excel at exactly what your body type is made for!

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