Most people fall into one of three categories when looking at their body types: Ectomorph, Endomorph, and Mesomorph? Read on to determine which body types there are, what body type you have, as well as what exercises and diet changes you can make to get the body you’ve always wanted.

Although there is a lot of fluidity in body types, most people fall into one of three categories. These body types determine your predisposition to certain weights, as well as what you should do to make changes.

Once you determine your body type and define your goals, you’ll have a clearer path forward than you did before. Ahead are the descriptions of each body type, which will help you get a better idea of where you fall on the spectrum.

Ectomorph

The ectomorph body type is a classic skinny person. They typically have long, thin limbs and petite midsections. An ectomorph can usually eat whatever they want whenever they want without gaining much noticeable weight.

Even when an ectomorph gets a bit older and starts getting a little belly fat, they’ll often maintain their slender frame. Fat will store itself around the belly, leaving the chest, arms, and legs as small as they’ve always been.

In athletics, ectomorphs tend to excel at cardio-driven sports. They don’t have to lug around as much weight as the other body types, meaning they can usually be quicker than some endomorphs and mesomorphs.

Still, for weightlifting purposes, it’s tough to gain muscle as an ectomorph. You may find that your efforts in the gym seem wasted, as your long, stringy muscles achieve a bit of definition but lack the size you’re looking for.

Endomorph

On the other side of the spectrum from ectomorphs, we have endomorphs. Unlike their ectomorphic counterparts, people with this body type will find it difficult to lose weight. They’ll gain weight in all areas of their body instead of just one, and tend to have thicker builds all-around.

When an endomorph gains weight, they’ll often find it incredibly difficult to get it back off. Their wide build supports their weight gain, as they have thicker rib cages and wider hips than the other two body types.

Being an endomorph isn’t all bad, though. If you fall into this category, you may find that you’re stronger than people with other body types. Unfortunately, your body tends to store fat alongside those muscles as well.

Endomorphs have a massive potential for strength training, but building lean muscle will be hard for them. You can get the body you want, but it might take a bit more work than the next body type.

Mesomorph

The mesomorph body type is a happy medium between ectomorphs and endomorphs. People with this body type have broad shoulders and thin waists. They gain muscle relatively quickly and burn fat at a higher rate than endomorphs.

Of course, body types don’t dictate how healthy or fit a person can be. A mesomorph that sits on the couch eating sweets all day won’t be in better shape than an active person that leans towards the endomorph frame.

Mesomorphs do, however, have an advantage when it comes to getting in shape. They’ll find that it’s a lot easier to see results after a few months of work than people with other body types who have the same activity level.

Falling Somewhere in the Middle

Although these are the three recognized body types, ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph aren’t rigid categories. There is a lot of fluidity when it comes to body types.

In fact, a lot of people fall somewhere in the middle between these categories. Some people gain more weight in their arms and legs than they do in their midsection. They might be endomorphic in some areas, and mesomorphic in others.

Similarly, a fit person with small calves and arms might be ectomorphic in those areas. If you want them to grow, you’ll have to pay special attention to them at the gym.

Everyone is a bit different and has genetic predispositions that give them advantages and disadvantages. No single body type will determine your fitness level. It’s all about how hard you work at the gym and what you eat when you’re at home.

Training For Your Body Types

If you’re hitting the gym and aren’t seeing the results you expected, you might be training the wrong way. There is almost too much information online these days, and one YouTube personality with a different body type might steer you in the wrong direction.

There isn’t one plan that will work for everyone. One person might swear by a program that is completely wrong for someone else. You must train in a way that compliments your body type to get the most out of your time in the gym.

Ectomorph Training

One of the biggest challenges an ectomorph will face is gaining size. It might feel like you’re eating more than you have in your life and still aren’t seeing the results you were expecting.

If you’re an ectomorph looking to get better, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from aerobic exercises. You might love running outside, but if you want to gain weight, you need all the calories you can get. Running burns too much fat, and you need that fat if you’re going to increase muscle mass.

You need to focus on heavy, compound movements more than anything. Squats, the bench press, and deadlifts should be your best friends. Make sure you learn proper form before lifting too heavy, though. No body type is impervious to injury.

Endomorph Training

At the gym, you’ll want to keep your heart rate up as much as possible. Use moderate weights and complete longer sets to get the most out of your body type.

Supersets are your best friend, here. They include two or more workouts you need to complete before you rest. This will keep your heart rate up and ensure you’re constantly burning fat.

Mesomorph Training

If you’re a mesomorph, you might want to consider trying a cutting and bulking cycle that will focus on strength for one portion and build lean muscle for another. You’ll be doing a fair bit of cardio during the cutting phase, and more lifting when you bulk.

A mesomorph body type has a lot more freedom when it comes to working out. Set your goals, then do whatever exercise is best to reach them.

Eating For Your Body Type

As many bodybuilders have pointed out in the past, you only spend a small percentage of your week in the gym. Working out is only a single pillar of the fitness tower. It’s what you do outside the gym that makes the most difference.

You need to sleep well and eat right to reach the body you’ve always wanted. Just because your body type causes you to hold a little extra fat doesn’t mean you aren’t in better shape than someone of a different body type.

Most fitness enthusiasts agree that diet is ⅔ of fitness. Learn how to eat for the body type you have and the body you wish to gain.

Ectomorph Diet

As an ectomorph, you’re going to have to do a lot of eating if you want to start gaining size. You may have gone your whole life eating whatever you want, but that probably hasn’t done you any favors.

It’s essential that you stay away from what people call, “dirty bulking.” Dirty bulking is the process of gaining weight through eating terrible foods. Eating burgers daily, and loading up on candy and chips won’t do you any favors.

Stick to large portions of protein and carbohydrates. These foods will sustain you through your workouts and help you increase your overall body mass.

Endomorph Diet

If you have an endomorph body type, are training the right way and still aren’t seeing results, you probably aren’t eating the right way. Your diet will be more restrictive than that of the other body types, but you can allow for some cheats here and there.

Unfortunately, an endomorph will have to pay attention to their sugar, carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake on a daily basis. If you want the sculpted body you’ve been dreaming about, you need to put to work in the kitchen.

Meal prep always helps with healthy eating. If you still need a boost, try intermittent fasting. Fast after a certain point in the night to a specific time in the morning. This will help your body convert fat into energy, thereby helping you shed unwanted pounds.

Mesomorph Diet

A mesomorph might have the easiest time shedding weight, but that doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. As a mesomorph, it’s easy to become complacent with your broad shoulders and get into the routine of overeating late at night.

Mesomorphs are far from immune to weight gain, which is part of the reason some people would prefer a mesomorphic body type. Stick to healthy meals and snacks, and you should be fine.

Training and Dieting Somewhere in the Middle

If you fall in the middle of these body types (as many of us do), it’s critical to determine which way you’re leaning. You could be an ectomorph with big arms and mistakenly dub yourself a mesomorph. On the other side, you could be an endomorph with small arms and end up gaining weight around your midsection.

Follow a diet and exercise regimens that fit whichever body type to which you’re closest. Once you see how your body reacts, you can change or adapt your training and diet plans accordingly.

Head on to our posts to learn more about proper workouts: