What is Your Body Type and Why it Matters?

Jeff Baldelli
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Ectomorph

The skin and bones ectomorph is often described as bird-like in appearance. Ectomorphs tend to be easier to put muscle on versus fat that it’s usually easier to drop the extra weight by just not eating.

All ectomorphs are not created equal, though. Some are blessed with naturally high metabolisms that make it easier to stay lean and maintain muscle mass. They also have to work extra hard to put on muscle without also adding a lot of fat.

Your body is your operating system. It’s made up of the sum of your DNA structures. If you’re built with a naturally high metabolism, then it’s more difficult to put on weight.

Ectomorphs tend to be naturally lean. Combining that with their propensity to put on fat easily, ectomorphs are always fighting the battle of body fat. If they’re not using an effective plan that includes quality exercise, they’re more likely to become out of shape.

In fact, many ectomorphs tend to take to dieting too quickly without exercising, which can have dire consequences.

Before getting into a diet, make sure that you’re already doing 60 minutes of exercise a day. This will put you in a better position to control your diet and maintain your weight.

Ectomorphs should focus on building muscle before lowering body fat. Then, you can lower your body fat without also inadvertently lowering your muscle mass.

The idea is to avoid the muscle loss that can come with repeated dieting. Losing 20 pounds over and over may seem healthy, but continually losing muscle mass lowers your metabolic rate, which isn’t healthy at all. Skipping the muscle loss is a lot less painful than taking the time to replenish the muscle mass.

When adding muscle, it’s best to go for compound exercises rather than isolation exercises. For example, lifts like squats and dead-lifts are great because they build muscle in all of the major muscle groups of the body. These are also compound lifts that require balance, coordination, and mobility, which promotes strength.

When there are a limited amount of training sessions in a week, high-intensity workouts will pay off more than low-intensity workouts.

Endomorph

Endomorphs are usually larger than mesomorphs with a propensity for fat accumulation.

Compared to other body types, endomorphs find it difficult to gain lean muscle tissue but find it easy to gain fat mass.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs are natural athletes who develop lean or muscular body types at an easy rate.

They respond to training with increased muscle mass and lowered fat mass.

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are generally thinner than mesomorphs and endomorphs with a fast metabolism. As a result, they tend to have lean muscle tissues that tend to be smaller than average.

Their smaller body types do not result in a decreased strength capacity that other body types find. Examples of ectomorphs can be found with successful sporting professionals in endurance and sprinting events such as running, rowing and cycling.

Body Composition Scales

BMI stands for body mass index and is used to measure the percentage of fat and muscle in your body. There are many methods to calculate your body fat percentage but here we will discuss 3 of the most common methods.

Body Fat Scales – These scales use an electrical charge to determine body fat. It works by sending an electrical charge into your body and then measuring your impedance. The impedance is then translated into your fat-free body mass index which is then displayed on the screen.

Skinfold Calipers – Skinfold calipers are used to measure the thickness of your skin at different parts on your body. By pinching fat folds and noting differences, these calipers can calculate your body fat percentage.

Bioelectrical Impedance – This method uses a small electrical current to measure the amount of resistance in your body. Then, by calculating the amount of excess water in your body, the percentage of fat in your body can be determined.

It is important to note that although skinfold calipers are considered the most accurate method, bioelectrical impedance (EIM) is the most popular method because of its ease of use. The drawback to this method however, is that it does not provide a direct measurement of body fat.

The Different Fitness Tests

There are several fitness tests that are conducted in the fitness industry to measure endurance, strength, speed, power, and agility.

Mesomorph

Let’s start off with the body type that is generally the most easily benefitted from weight training, also commonly referred to as bodybuilding. Given that the muscles on a mesomorph’s body are naturally well-defined and firm, it is pretty obvious why they make great candidates for weight training.

Because they have naturally good muscle development, their bodies are able to work harder when under a greater workload. This means that building muscle naturally comes easily to these people. Moreover, they are genetically gifted with the ability to add large quantities of muscle in relatively short amounts of time.

Endomorph

Now we’ll take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum, endomorphs. Due to their naturally higher BMI (or Body Mass Index), these people need to perform more aerobic workouts in order to achieve the same results as a mesomorph.

Alternatively, they can include weight training into their workout strategy. Going back to the mesomorph example, maybe the hard-gainers who have a much harder time gaining muscle should be more patient with their workouts.

In addition to the genetic predisposition of endomorphs, another factor that has been found to play a role in muscle gain is heredity. An endomorph who is not naturally predisposed to gain muscle will have an even harder time doing so. While genetics can’t be changed, it does explain why some people end up with a body type that is harder to change than others.

While endomorphs may have trouble gaining muscle, they are very good at losing fat compared to the other two body types. Since weight training will do little for fat loss, endomorphs should try to combine cardio and weight training.

Their bodies are enriched with large quantities of muscle, but they lack the fat around that muscle that would give them a somewhat leaner look. For this reason, endomorphs do well at having relatively balanced body types.

Ectomorph

The ectomorph is the skinniest of the three body types. Because of their naturally lean body type, they may struggle with low levels of body fat, even after adding muscle to their frame.

The same strategy that works best for endomorphs also applies to ectomorphs. A body type that has trouble gaining muscle should take smaller steps while lifting and focus on strengthening.

What Does Your Body Type Mean Fitness-wise?

Your body type is a simple concept. It explains how your body type relates to your height, weight, and body fat percentage.

Body type is pretty useful for when you’re trying to figure out which exercises you should be doing for maximum growth. While your body type is just one piece of the fitness puzzle, it can be helpful if you’re not familiar with your body.

One of the most popular systems when determining your body type is called somatotype. It was developed by a psychologist named William Sheldon.

In short, Sheldon proposed that you could use three different body types to find out why people are the way they are. He claimed that we can find the answer to fundamentally important things like why certain people are more prone to becoming alcoholic or why some are super smart while others are dumb. He even hypothesized that we could use somatotyping as a way to find out why some people would have a higher risk of getting sick from certain medical procedures than a different person who was similar in many ways.

The three body types he proposed were the endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph. Even though the back and forth argument over whether or not somatotyping is useful for psychology is still pretty fierce, the three different types have been shown time and time again to be an effective way to find out your fitness and health weaknesses as well as strengths.

Even if we know you don’t want to use these body type systems to solve complex psychological traits, they do tell you which types of exercises work best for the body you have.

The Endomorph – People with an endomorphic body type are generally known to be a bit bigger than average. They tend to be shorter and suffer from a higher body fat percentage. However, this isn’t always the case. If a taller person with an endomorphic body type is well-built, but they have a bigger chest and arms, shoulders, and love handles, then they will resemble an ectomorphic body type instead.

In general, people with an endomorphic body type tend to have smaller muscles and a slower metabolic rate. That means that they get tired faster and sometimes struggle with weight loss and getting rid of stubborn fat that is often stored in their glutes, thighs, and abdomen.

Exercises to avoid:

  • Eccentric-type training
  • Heavy-weight training

Endomorph Profile

This is the most common type of body size and shape. Individuals with this body type are often referred to as carry-around people.

This body shape is characterized by excess body fat, but also well-defined musculature.

An endomorph can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, which is desirable for aesthetic reasons.

Many pro athletes are endomorphs as they are naturally gifted with a build that makes them very strong and powerful.

Endomorphs have a high activity level and are slow to fatigue. They are good at endurance

Endomorphs have a higher recovery rate from exercise than any other body type. When over-exercising, they will lose muscle and gain fat.

Endomorph Advantages:

Endomorphs are good at regenerating energy. This helps them to produce a lot of energy during movement.

Endomorphs are well suited for endurance sports such as cycling and rowing.

Endomorphs have better recovery ability than any other body type, making them the best bet for long distance racing or circuit training.

Endomorphs do not have a problem putting on muscle mass. They often have larger, stronger muscles than other body types.

Endomorphs usually are in good physical shape, making them more able to endure the impact of high-intensity running.

Endomorphs are good at all manner of team games.

Endomorph Disadvantages:

Endomorphs lack the body power to drag their body a long distance or take on intensive exercises at the gym.

Endomorphs are usually out of condition when they start a training session. One can expect to feel tired and low on energy for the first few days when starting a new exercise routine.

Endomorphs can become bulky, making it hard to fit into their clothes.

Endomorphs have a slow metabolism. This means that because they easily gain weight and have difficulty losing it, they are more susceptible to unhealthy weight gain.

Endomorphs are the slowest to recover from injuries.

Ectomorph Profile

This body type is characterized by its slim and lean physique and is often referred to as a hard body.

An ectomorph is naturally endowed with the following characteristics:

  • Low muscle mass
  • Slow metabolism, making weight loss a challenge
  • Notoriously lean physique
  • Low activity level

Exercise

Is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, and finding the right type of exercise for you is important. Armed with an understanding of the three main body types, you should be able to figure out the ideal method for staying healthy, fit, and looking great.

Your body type describes how your body looks physically, and it can be divided into three categories:

Endomorph: The largest population of people, consisting of about 60% of the global population, will be classified as endomorphic. This body type is mostly characterized by a large size that is hard for most people to lose, even when they engage in regular exercise.

Mesomorph: The majority of the professional athletes you’ll see in any type of sport will be this body type. About 30% of the population falls into this category.

Ectomorph: Last but definitely not least, the ectomorphic body is the smallest body type category, representing about 10% of the overall population. What these people lack in size, they make up for in speed.

The personalities, lifestyles, allergies, and family backgrounds of the people in these categories can vary greatly, but the physical traits remain.

According to the best body type for each gender, the endomorphic body is said to be perfect for people with a dominant physical activity lifestyle; they’re naturally well-suited for an everyday activity that requires endurance. The mesomorphic body is a good match for a physically active lifestyle; its characteristics fit well with people who tend to be more active for sport rather than exercise or fitness. The ectomorphic body is believed to be a good body type for those who spend a lot of time keeping the body fit.

The key is to find the unique ways that your body is suited for a healthy lifestyle. Whatever you may do to stay fit and active, remember that the right type of exercise is the one that will be conducive to your body type, and if you’re not performing the right exercises for your type, you won’t get the results that work for most people of your same body type.

Some general guidelines of the types of exercises you should be performing include the following:

Endomorphs: Since they tend to have little fat on their body, endomorphs should be engaging in more endurance. Activities such as cycling, walking, running, or using a treadmill will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Sports

Are you specifically training for running, swimming, or something else? This is important because you’ll need to adjust your workout regiment appropriately to meet your goals.

For example, someone who sprints short distances should only be concerned about maximal power and speed. They shouldn’t be worried about super resistance training to develop strength and muscle mass.

In fact, someone training for sprints would likely have to avoid strength training altogether. This is because the metabolic stress of heavy lifting could slow him or her down. That could mess up their stride and timing.

Mix Things up and Keep It Fun

Nothing will kill your dedication faster than boredom. That’s why it’s important to mix things up and add variety to your workout regimen. This can be as simple as mixing up the length of time that you run, or as detailed as including intervals of bench presses between miles of jogging.

Mixing up your routine makes workouts more fun and interesting. It also makes a workout “fresh,” which is crucial to continuing to be motivated to workout.

Be an Early Bird

Did you know that if you wake up early, you’ll find it much easier to lose weight? A study done by researchers at Northwestern University found that people who wake up earlier are less likely to be overweight.

The study correlated the weight of those studied with their sleeping habits, which concluded that people who wake up early are more likely to have a physically active lifestyle. They also tend to eat healthier, get more sleep, and have a lower BMI.

If you don’t have time to fit exercise into your daily routine because you wake up later, consider making some changes. It’s also worth noting that the majority of people who rise early enjoy the day more, which could be a reason to get up and get moving.

Better Sleep Means Better Health

We’ve already established that body fat is directly related to sleep. During sleep, hormones and proteins are created that will contribute to both how you feel and, more importantly, how you look.

The circadian rhythm is a cycle that influences everything from what you eat to what you feel, think, and do. We also know that the circadian rhythm is interrupted by artificial light.

Mesomorph Profile

People with a mesomorph body type are built for power and strength, making this the heavenly body type for athletes and fitness buffs.

They have thick bones and connective tissue, and are typically medium to tall in height. They are often larger than those who are ectomorphic or endomorphic, and have a fast metabolism and typically high energy levels which make them great all-around athletes.

But, their smaller bones and joints make them more vulnerable to injury, especially in extreme sports. Because of their larger frame, they have a limited range of mobility and tend to pick their battles whenever possible.

Ectosmorph Profile

People with ectosmorphs are typically tall and lean, with long limbs and are generally not very muscular. They are usually very flexible and usually have fast metabolisms that help them lose weight quickly and easily.

However, while they may have a fast metabolism, they tend to store a surplus of calories as fat. They also have smaller joints and bones, and their connective tissue is often weak. These weaknesses make them the easily injured type.

Their smaller bones also make it more difficult to compete in sports like weightlifting and power lifting.

Endosmorph Profile

People who are endosmorphs are typically short, stocky and have a wide-set build. They are usually strong, but prone to injury as a result of their many weak areas. They also have smaller joints, which is an advantage in sports like boxing and kickboxing when you need to take a punch.

They have stocky limbs which makes them stable, but can also make them slower in long-distance running. Additionally, they have thick bones, connective tissue, and muscle mass which make them great for strength sports.

7-Minute Workout that Will Rip You in Half

The 7-minute workout is a great starter to build up a routine after coming back from a period of inactivity. It's also perfect for people who live super busy life and cannot allocate more than 20 minutes for their workout.

1-Minute Warm-up (Easy Jogging)

Perform a full-range of motion on the stretches for 10 seconds, twice on each move:

  • Squat
  • Lunge right
  • Lunge left
  • High lunge
  • Overhead squat
  • Donkey kick
  • Prisoner squat
  • Switch lunge

Exercise

Is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, and finding the right type of exercise for you is important. Armed with an understanding of the three main body types, you should be able to figure out the ideal method for staying healthy, fit, and looking great.

Your body type describes how your body looks physically, and it can be divided into three categories:

Endomorph: The largest population of people, consisting of about 60% of the global population, will be classified as endomorphic. This body type is mostly characterized by a large size that is hard for most people to lose, even when they engage in regular exercise.

Mesomorph: The majority of the professional athletes you’ll see in any type of sport will be this body type. About 30% of the population falls into this category.

Ectomorph: Last but definitely not least, the ectomorphic body is the smallest body type category, representing about 10% of the overall population. What these people lack in size, they make up for in speed.

The personalities, lifestyles, allergies, and family backgrounds of the people in these categories can vary greatly, but the physical traits remain.

According to the best body type for each gender, the endomorphic body is said to be perfect for people with a dominant physical activity lifestyle; they’re naturally well-suited for an everyday activity that requires endurance. The mesomorphic body is a good match for a physically active lifestyle; its characteristics fit well with people who tend to be more active for sport rather than exercise or fitness. The ectomorphic body is believed to be a good body type for those who spend a lot of time keeping the body fit.

The key is to find the unique ways that your body is suited for a healthy lifestyle. Whatever you may do to stay fit and active, remember that the right type of exercise is the one that will be conducive to your body type, and if you’re not performing the right exercises for your type, you won’t get the results that work for most people of your same body type.

Some general guidelines of the types of exercises you should be performing include the following:

Endomorphs: Since they tend to have little fat on their body, endomorphs should be engaging in more endurance. Activities such as cycling, walking, running, or using a treadmill will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Sports

Are you specifically training for running, swimming, or something else? This is important because you’ll need to adjust your workout regiment appropriately to meet your goals.

For example, someone who sprints short distances should only be concerned about maximal power and speed. They shouldn’t be worried about super resistance training to develop strength and muscle mass.

In fact, someone training for sprints would likely have to avoid strength training altogether. This is because the metabolic stress of heavy lifting could slow him or her down. That could mess up their stride and timing.

Mix Things up and Keep It Fun

Nothing will kill your dedication faster than boredom. That’s why it’s important to mix things up and add variety to your workout regimen. This can be as simple as mixing up the length of time that you run, or as detailed as including intervals of bench presses between miles of jogging.

Mixing up your routine makes workouts more fun and interesting. It also makes a workout “fresh,” which is crucial to continuing to be motivated to workout.

Be an Early Bird

Did you know that if you wake up early, you’ll find it much easier to lose weight? A study done by researchers at Northwestern University found that people who wake up earlier are less likely to be overweight.

The study correlated the weight of those studied with their sleeping habits, which concluded that people who wake up early are more likely to have a physically active lifestyle. They also tend to eat healthier, get more sleep, and have a lower BMI.

If you don’t have time to fit exercise into your daily routine because you wake up later, consider making some changes. It’s also worth noting that the majority of people who rise early enjoy the day more, which could be a reason to get up and get moving.

Better Sleep Means Better Health

We’ve already established that body fat is directly related to sleep. During sleep, hormones and proteins are created that will contribute to both how you feel and, more importantly, how you look.

The circadian rhythm is a cycle that influences everything from what you eat to what you feel, think, and do. We also know that the circadian rhythm is interrupted by artificial light.

Ectomorph Profile

Ectomorphs (ecto for short) are also known as marathon runners. They have thin limbs and are typically long in stature. They have a difficult time gaining weight and are naturally lean. They use very little protein. While this is a disadvantage for ectomorphs, it is worth noting that many elite endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, are ectomorphs.

In terms of metabolism, ectomorphs’ metabolism is classified as fast-twitch. This means that energy is more efficient, which is great if you are looking to lose weight in a short amount of time. Physiologically, their bodies are geared towards long, low-intensity activities in which they can benefit from burning fats and carbohydrates.

How You Can Tame the Ectomorph

Maybe you are looking to gain muscle. Maybe you want to increase your agility and coordination. If so, then you need to move your metabolism from primarily burning fat to new methods of improving your body composition.

When it comes to your ectomorph body type, it is probably much easier than you think. All you have to do is introduce resistance to any exercise that targets your upper and lower body. You can do this by doing sets with a weight, by tubing, and/or with resistance bands. As you get more fit, you will begin to recruit your muscles and enhance recruitment. The best way to get started is to register for a gym membership near you.

Endomorph Profile

Endomorphs (endomorphs for short) are also known as the marathoner’s best friend. They carry around a few extra pounds and have a physique that is similar to the ectomorph body type. They typically store as much as 30% of fat and burn 20% carbohydrates.

These individuals are often described as pear-shaped, displaying a larger belly. As far as the endomorph body type goes, their metabolism is a mix of fast- and slow-twitch fibers. Based on the body-building definition, fast-twitch fibers come into play when the body is in an anaerobic state.

While endomorphs can progress to a certain degree with weight-loss-only programs, they are most likely to succeed when paired with a more physically demanding workout program. With the combination of dieting and in-the-fitness-center exercise, endomorphs can transform their diet plan, shape, and appearance.

Exercise

Is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, and finding the right type of exercise for you is important. Armed with an understanding of the three main body types, you should be able to figure out the ideal method for staying healthy, fit, and looking great.

Your body type describes how your body looks physically, and it can be divided into three categories:

Endomorph: The largest population of people, consisting of about 60% of the global population, will be classified as endomorphic. This body type is mostly characterized by a large size that is hard for most people to lose, even when they engage in regular exercise.

Mesomorph: The majority of the professional athletes you’ll see in any type of sport will be this body type. About 30% of the population falls into this category.

Ectomorph: Last but definitely not least, the ectomorphic body is the smallest body type category, representing about 10% of the overall population. What these people lack in size, they make up for in speed.

The personalities, lifestyles, allergies, and family backgrounds of the people in these categories can vary greatly, but the physical traits remain.

According to the best body type for each gender, the endomorphic body is said to be perfect for people with a dominant physical activity lifestyle; they’re naturally well-suited for an everyday activity that requires endurance. The mesomorphic body is a good match for a physically active lifestyle; its characteristics fit well with people who tend to be more active for sport rather than exercise or fitness. The ectomorphic body is believed to be a good body type for those who spend a lot of time keeping the body fit.

The key is to find the unique ways that your body is suited for a healthy lifestyle. Whatever you may do to stay fit and active, remember that the right type of exercise is the one that will be conducive to your body type, and if you’re not performing the right exercises for your type, you won’t get the results that work for most people of your same body type.

Some general guidelines of the types of exercises you should be performing include the following:

Endomorphs: Since they tend to have little fat on their body, endomorphs should be engaging in more endurance. Activities such as cycling, walking, running, or using a treadmill will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Sports

Are you specifically training for running, swimming, or something else? This is important because you’ll need to adjust your workout regiment appropriately to meet your goals.

For example, someone who sprints short distances should only be concerned about maximal power and speed. They shouldn’t be worried about super resistance training to develop strength and muscle mass.

In fact, someone training for sprints would likely have to avoid strength training altogether. This is because the metabolic stress of heavy lifting could slow him or her down. That could mess up their stride and timing.

Mix Things up and Keep It Fun

Nothing will kill your dedication faster than boredom. That’s why it’s important to mix things up and add variety to your workout regimen. This can be as simple as mixing up the length of time that you run, or as detailed as including intervals of bench presses between miles of jogging.

Mixing up your routine makes workouts more fun and interesting. It also makes a workout “fresh,” which is crucial to continuing to be motivated to workout.

Be an Early Bird

Did you know that if you wake up early, you’ll find it much easier to lose weight? A study done by researchers at Northwestern University found that people who wake up earlier are less likely to be overweight.

The study correlated the weight of those studied with their sleeping habits, which concluded that people who wake up early are more likely to have a physically active lifestyle. They also tend to eat healthier, get more sleep, and have a lower BMI.

If you don’t have time to fit exercise into your daily routine because you wake up later, consider making some changes. It’s also worth noting that the majority of people who rise early enjoy the day more, which could be a reason to get up and get moving.

Better Sleep Means Better Health

We’ve already established that body fat is directly related to sleep. During sleep, hormones and proteins are created that will contribute to both how you feel and, more importantly, how you look.

The circadian rhythm is a cycle that influences everything from what you eat to what you feel, think, and do. We also know that the circadian rhythm is interrupted by artificial light.

Conclusion

As you can tell, “burning fat” does not mean one thing. With all of the information we have provided you with, you should now be able to choose the best exercise plan for you. The most important thing is to remember your body type and to stay consistent with your plan!

Cardio workout routines require few exercises and are great for fat loss. These exercises should be performed at an intensity level above the resting heart rate, but below your anaerobic threshold.

HIIT is a powerful fat loss workout routine. Although it requires trainers to control your intensity levels, it is very effective for burning maximum calories and fat.

Performing steady-state cardio is still a valuable part of a fitness program. This style of exercise should be performed at the same intensity level (for example, 100 maximum heart beat level) for a minimum of 30 minutes.

When starting a workout routine that includes cardio, get approval from your doctor. This is important for individuals with known health risks or previous injuries.

Popular Examples of Cardio Workouts

When most people think cardio, the most common activities that come to mind are running, cycling, and swimming. If you take a broader view of all of the sports, hobbies, and gyms out there, then cardio can consist of anything from jumping rope to boxing.

A lot of cardio workouts can be done outdoors and with little to no equipment, although fitness gear like step counters, running apps, and compression leggings can enhance your ability to perform cardio workouts.

Entire industries are dedicated to creating new and innovative types of cardio equipment for your home or gym, with the most popular being treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes, and stair climbers.

Track Your Progress

Most people are familiar with Jerry Seinfeld, the comedian. What you may not know about him is that he developed a motivational practice to help you reach your goals. His “Don’t Break The Chain” practice is a way to establish consistency with anything that you do in life.

The way it works is that you set a daily goal. Make it achievable. When you reach that goal, mark a large X on that day on your calendar. Within a few days, you’ll want to keep going just because you don’t want to break the chain on the calendar.