So many people have questions about body types: how they should eat for their body type, how they should train for their body type, and what it means to have a specific body type. I hope we'll be able to get those questions answered.
There are three distinct body types that you need to be aware of. Bear in mind that it is possible to have a combination of two body types, but you're probably going to be one of them than any of the other body types. When I say body types, I mean muscular and skeletal structure. Body types have nothing to do with the disposition of body factors where your body stores body fat—any one of the body types can store body fat in different areas.
What I mean is that some men can have a big breast when they’re extremely overweight and some men may have a big stomach when they’re extremely overweight. Likewise, some women may have big thighs and hips and some women may have big belly, so everybody stores fat differently—it has nothing to do with his or her body types. If you were at zero percent body fat, although that is not possible, it would be easier to see yourself as a skeletal muscular structure of your zero percent body fat and maybe you could see a visual picture of your body type.
The first body type we’re going to talk about is the mesomorph. If you were to picture the mesomorph store so from the shoulders leading down to the hips it would look something like a triangle. For example, they have a broad shoulder that tapers down to a narrow waist because they developed more androgen receptors in the upper body, which allowed their body to convert protein into muscle a lot easier than some other body types. Mesomorph body type tends to have higher testosterone output. Also, none of these body types are gender specific, meaning any one of the body types can be either sex. There are Mesomorph females and there are mesomorph males, so Mesomorph body type isn’t gender-specific.
Mesomorphs strength are upper body; from birth they're going to have a very strong upper body that includes shoulders, arms, back, or anything that has to do with upper body strength they are naturally going to be good at.
A mesomorph can have little to no training and still have a better developed upper body then another body type that's been training for many years. Mesomorphs body type naturally has a very muscular upper body; they have a slow metabolism, and they have a slower metabolism because the more muscle you have the slower of a metabolism you have. What I mean by that is the faster your metabolism is, the faster it’s going to go through chemical substrates, and then it's going to go through bodily tissue, body fat, and muscle. So, if you have a fast metabolism you probably don't have a lot of fat, but you don't have a lot of muscle either. So, Mesomorphs have slow metabolism. It’s not the slowest of the three, it’s the second lowest of the three.
The next body type is the ectomorph. The body frame of an ectomorph looks kind of like a rectangle. The width of ectomorph shoulders and the width of their waste are even. Ectomorphs have the fastest metabolism out of any body types. So typically, an ectomorph is not going to be more than 45 pounds overweight. Most ectomorph doesn’t gain weight at all--ever. Ectomorph bodies types can typically eat what they want in maintain a pretty small muscle size on their body frame. This can be a curse because if you're focused on weight and you’re not focused on health you are going to continue to eat what you want since you don't gain weight and diseases are going to manifest just is as if you were overweight.
Even though ectomorphs have a fast metabolism don't mean you can just eat junk foods all the time. Because ectomorphs body type is not likely to be overweight, poor diet stills can cause the chaos in your body that it causes an overweight person. Ectomorphs since they don't have a muscular upper body and they don't have muscular lower-body, these people are what you would consider skinny. Upper and lower body isn’t going to be their strength since they have less active tissue to work with. Ectomorphs’ body type strength is cardio; these people are typically runners.
A mesomorph has more active tissue, which means there's more tissue that requires blood and oxygen, so as they are running with their big upper bodies it's going to take two, three, or even four times the fuel it would take an ectomorph to run the same distance. So, mesomorph body type typically isn’t going to be good at running. At that, ectomorph will wake up out of bed, never been training their entire lives, and run faster for long-distance. Ectomorph’s power is cardio because there are not a lot of active tissues. Ectomorph body types are hard to gain weight, hard to gain muscle, if they are overweight; they're going to find it very easy to lose that weight.
The last body type we're going to talk about is endomorph. And if we talked about mesomorph having broad shoulders and narrowing down to a tape tailored waste. Endomorphs body type is the exact opposite.
Endomorphs have wide waist that Taylor's up to narrow shoulders. Did I mention the exact opposite of mesomorph?
Endomorphs have the slowest metabolism of all three of the body types, its second-fastest lowest metabolism of the three body types. Endomorphs have more androgen receptors in their lower body, which means the same thing it means for the mesomorph in the upper body. Endomorphs are more likely to be able to build more muscle on the lower body because of the androgen receptors located in their lower extremities. Typical Endomorphs body type have a bigger cast, bigger quads, bigger glut, bigger hamstrings, bigger adductors, bigger abductors, these things are naturally going to be better.
Typically, an endomorph can walk into a gym and squat and maybe deadlift more than an ectomorph could after five years of training just walking in with never training in their lives. That doesn’t mean that you feel bad that you can't do that, it just means that you know your body type. Same thing with a mesomorph, a mesomorph could probably walk into the gym without ever training their entire life and bench press more than ectomorph could bench press after training for five years consistently; this doesn't mean that an ectomorph would feel bad about not being able to do that, it just means that you know your body type.
Mesomorph would never feel bad about losing to an ectomorph running. They’re probably not interested in running so much knowing that they can't run long distance.
The problem with this is if you’re overweight it's very hard to judge what kind of body type you have because if these three examples all stored fat the exact same way it'd be very hard to tell what body type you have. Any one of these body types can be overweight, yes Endomorphs are typically overweight, mesomorphs are typically overweight and ectomorphs are typically not overweight, but that doesn't mean that an ectomorph can’t get overweight. All these body types can have way too much fat to be considered healthy. What this means for your body type is that if you know where you are if you get to the level of body fat where you can kind of see your frame then you'll know what you're good at and what you might need to work on.
This doesn’t mean that a mesomorph can't get good and endurance, they absolutely can get better endurance, but probably not as good as an ectomorph if they were training the same. This doesn't mean that an ectomorph can't get good at squats like an endomorph. They probably could but they're probably never going to get to the level that an ectomorph would get to with the same training.
So, what I’m saying is it's important to know what kind of body type you have and it’s important that you don't feel bad based upon what you can and can't do. There’s room for improvement for sure, but you're going to have limitations based upon your body type.
References: Brendan, at Spartan Fitness