Do you know that people have three different body types? Each has its characteristics, along with a few positive and negative traits too. The kind of body you have determines all sorts of factors like the best exercises for you and the types of foods you should eat. If you aren't sure which of the three different categories best describes your body, read through the information on this page. You will find details about each of the three body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. I've also included a quick body type quiz to help you in assessing which body type you have in less than two minutes.
Keep in mind that most people will have characteristics from two or even three of the categories. Because of this, you should also use the Heath-Carter scoring method, which we explain later on this page. Your score tells you how to best plan your exercise and diet based on your characteristics.
Tall and slender
Difficulty building fat or muscle (known as a hardgainer)
People who have an ectomorph body will have trouble gaining both muscle and fat. To counter this, focus on moves that use more than one muscle group at a time. Exercises that engage just one group of muscles at a time won't be nearly as practical for this kind of body. Though, it's best to incorporate some targetted moves into your workout routine, try mostly movements that work several different muscles at once. For example, a biceps curl works only one muscle, whereas performing chin-ups work several. Check out my review on Jason Ferrugia muscle gaining secrets workouts plan. It is specifically geared toward helping skinny guys to build more muscle.
The best foods to include in your ectomorph diet are complex carbohydrates for many reasons. Complex carbs are considered the 'good' kind that takes longer for your body to break down. In other words, you get steady energy, you stay fuller for longer as opposed to simple carbs that break down fast, turn to sugar in your system and make you tired soon after.
Foods to avoid are candy, soda, cookies, and even energy drinks which overload on simple carbohydrates. Whereas, foods like potatoes, corn, black beans, and lentils offer plenty of complex carbs (the kind you want to eat). Here's a complete list of the best carbs source, they are the best for your health, energy and employed often for doing a clean bulk or for fat loss.
The beautiful thing about a skinny body type is that you can eat more carbs than the other body structures without gaining too much-unwanted weight! In fact, I advise you to eat a little more compared to others mainly because of your calorie-burning machine aka your fast metabolism. Though you should still focus on eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Middle body type
Both lean and muscular at the same time
Good muscle definition
This athletic body type has less trouble building muscle mass than the other structures and has less trouble losing fat. Mesomorph bodies achieve the same results with minimal effort and lift less weight while still gaining muscle. Including aerobic exercises is an excellent way to get your heart rate excited, and your blood pumping harder. Combining both aerobic and strength training moves yields tremendous results for this body.
If you are a mesomorph type, you want to eat equal parts protein and fat. Carbs need moderation, but not complete elimination. Complex carbs are an excellent choice for this structure, just like ectomorphs. It's all about balancing the right workout routine with the best kinds of foods for your shape.
Greater muscle & fat
Strongest of the three
Difficulty staying lean
Endomorphs have the slowest metabolisms of the three body types. Meaning they need to work harder to stay lean and fit. They need to shock themselves into burning more fat with intensive aerobic exercises. Interval training, like high-intensity interval training, is strongly recommended to maintain a slender appearance. Too much focus on specific areas won't have desirable results, which are why focusing on a whole-body routine is the best choice.
A low-carb diet is best if you're an endomorph! High protein and fiber intake are recommended to keep you healthy and energetic. You also want to include nutrients that help the fat burning process kick into gear. Green tea and spinach are two great choices to kick your metabolism up a notch, or two.
Body Shape Quiz
Here you can take the quiz to find out which of the three body types you are. Generally, most people have characteristics of at least two types so if you find that you match with two different types, you're probably a combination. The three human body formations are ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph. Now it's time to see where you fall in the three! Ask yourself these five questions and assess which one best describes yourself.
Q: Are you a male or female?
A: Gender is significant because it helps you plan your perfect fitness method. For example, men who are mesomorphs benefit from weightlifting workouts. However, females do best with high-intensity interval training.
Q: What do you look like in the mirror?
A: Ectomorphs are long and lean in appearance, while endomorphs are prone to softer, circular bodies. If you appear to have a square or even triangular shape, you're probably a mesomorph.
Q: How big are your hips compared to your shoulders?
A: Endomorphs tend to have much larger hips than shoulders, appearing in a pear-shaped appearance. Mesomorphs yield broader shoulders than hips, particularly for men. Ectomorphs are often blessed to have a proportional bone to shoulder ratios.
Q: What about your hips compared to your waist and shoulders?
A: Mesomorph women tend to have an 'hourglass' shape while the men have broad shoulders offset by a narrow waist. Ectomorphs frequently have proportionate hip, shoulders, and abdomen. While endomorphs battle with a small mid-section and broad shoulders.
Q: Where is your 'problem' area that holds extra weight?
A: Endomorphs often hold extra pounds in their inner thighs and hips. Ectomorphs are the lucky ones who don't store practically any weight! Mesomorphs have even weight across their bodies.
What if I'm between two categories?
Despite there being three categories, it's nearly impossible to find someone who fits purely into one of the three. Everyone has aspects of two or three types, which makes it even tougher to assess which one you fall. There is a scoring system in place to make it easier for you to find your structure which mixes the types you are. Called the Heath-Carter method, it involves scoring between one and seven for all three possible categories. Your scores read like this: endomorphy first, then mesomorph, followed by ectomorph. What you get is a number that looks something like this: 2-6-4 (a taller person with minimal body fat). Using this rating system makes it easy to find the most accurate information about your shape. The two categories with the highest score are the ones that you should regard. If you score within one or two numbers on all three, then you should combine diet and exercises from all three. Doing this helps you find the most balanced exercise routine and diet to maintain your ideal health and weight.
Hopefully, this article helped you find your frame and take away valuable information. Finding out your body shape is the first step towards a healthy you. You must work with yourself to achieve the best results and pay attention to recommendations specific to your structure. Depending on your structure, you may struggle with different things. For example, you might concern about holding extra weight around the thighs, while your friend might be struggling to gain weight. You might think the other person is 'lucky' to be skinny without having to try. But, being underweight isn't healthy either! Each body build has positive and negative aspects, but with the right exercise routine and diet tailored to your needs, you can make the most of your body.
Ectomorphs have the fastest metabolism, which means they consume the most calories and carbohydrates without gaining weight. For that reason, having a nutrition plan for your specific body type is a must. You also struggle to build muscle mass because you aren't eating enough or struggle to eat enough, which is why you should include compound exercises to put all chances on your side. In contrast, endomorphs have the slowest metabolism and have to work twice as hard to stay lean and fit. Endo's are the strongest of the three structures but struggle to maintain a slender appearance. You want to focus on low-carb diets high in protein and fiber. Fat-burning nutrients like green tea and spinach will help you stay leaner by boosting your metabolism. The middle structure, mesomorph, is lucky enough to be both lean and muscular at the same time! Meso's find it easier to lose fat or to build muscle. You want to eat a healthy balance of protein and fat while limited simple carbs and munching on complex carbs throughout the day.
After learning the characteristics of each body structure as well as their pros and cons, which body type are you?