According to Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Program, an extraordinary life is built not in just one area, but in many.
And one of the most important places to start when creating an extraordinary life is improving our health and fitness.
Taking up an exercise routine will not only provide the physical benefits of increased energy levels and strength, but it can do wonders for your mental health as well.
But simply throwing yourself into rigorous training might do more harm than good.
Because the exercise routine you choose needs to be tailored to fit your body type.
Here’s what you need to know about training and caring for your individual body type.
How Many Different Body Types Are There?
Both men and women come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. So, you have to wonder: are there really body type categories that we can all somehow be sorted into?
Physician and psychologist William Herbert Sheldon analyzed thousands of photographs to determine the similarities in the human physique. And he concluded that there were only three general body types, which he called somatotypes.
In constitutional psychology, the three somatotypes are endomorphy, ectomorphy, and mesomorphy.
What Are The 3 Types Of Bodies?
According to William Sheldon everyone belongs to one of the 3 body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph.
Depending on your body type, you’ll need a different workout and diet to develop your best body.
If you’re looking to answer the question: what body type am I? Take a closer look at each somatotype in closer detail:
Ectomorphs are relatively lean, with narrow frames and long limbs. Ectomorphs have difficulty building muscle and as a result, are usually more inclined to excel at cardiovascular activities.
They often have a fast metabolism, which allows their bodies to burn calories rapidly. As a result, they’re often quite lean without much body fat.
Should an ectomorph pile on the calories if they’re looking to gain weight? Well, not exactly.
Adding more calories to your diet can help you put on the pounds. But this doesn’t mean you should stock up on junk food.
There are ways to increase your caloric intake by eating more healthy fats and proteins like meat, fish, nuts, and seeds.
What about an ideal ectomorph workout?
At the gym, an ideal routine for an ectomorph will be intense and short.
The name of the game is quick sessions to get your muscles going without putting your metabolism into overdrive. In addition, the workouts should focus on large muscle groups, like the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core.
A small snack or meal before sleep may also help. By eating before they go to bed, ectos can prevent muscle catabolism.
With their exceptional muscle mass, large bones, and rectangular shape, mesomorphs are hard to miss. These natural athletes excel at just about any physical activity they take on.
Mesomorphs have the ability to lose or gain weight, depending on their fitness goals.
Their bodies take well to both cardio exercise and weight training. But mesomorphs still need proper training and nutrition to achieve the results they’re looking for.
A sensible balance of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats is what will help mesomorphs get the most from their bodies.
This diet coupled with a mix of cardio and targeted weight training will yield the best results.
Endomorphs are often shorter than the other two body types. They have thick legs and arms with rounder body. Overall, you may describe them as stocky.
Nevertheless, endomorphs are strong, particularly in their legs. They gain muscle quite easily but can also easily gain fat, which can be tricky for them to lose. The reason for this lies in a slow metabolism, so a sensible diet is an absolute must.
Endomorphs benefit most from planned workouts that are designed to expedite fat burning and define muscles. Weightlifting plus cardio is usually the winning combination.
How Can You Tell Your Body Type?
The quickest way to identify your body type is to evaluate yourself objectively. You can also try a body type quiz, but a quick look in the mirror works too!
These are the traits to look for:
- Ectomorph: You have almost no body fat, a wiry frame, and long slender limbs.
- Mesomorph: You have a proportionate figure with a balance between muscle and fat.
- Endomorph: You have a stocky frame and large, powerful legs.
Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon to actually possess a mix of several body types.
What Are the Female Body Types?
Like males, females can be categorized into endomorph, ectomorph, mesomorph. The characteristics are similar as well.
Female ectomorphs find it hard to gain weight. They have a narrow body frame with thin arms and legs. Cameron Diaz is a great example of an ectomorph type.
Female ectos should always protect their joints while exercising. However, regular cardio combined with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can do wonders for their physique.
Strength training is also a good option, as it helps them build muscle around their lean frames.
Mesomorphs, on the other hand, have naturally curvy bodies with well-defined muscles. They are known to gain muscle quickly, and HIIT training can be an effective way to streamline both their cardio and strength training interests.
A great example of a female mesomorph? Look no further than Jessica Biel or Halle Berry.
Endomorphs are typically pear-shaped and have narrow shoulders coupled with wider hips.
Like their male counterparts, female endomorphs gain fat quickly and have a slower metabolism. But they can use a combination of weightlifting and HIIT to shed excess fat and build more muscle.
A quick look at Kim Kardashian or Beyonce is enough to highlight the typical female endomorph body.
The final word
Determining your body type can help you better understand how your body works and what it needs. But on the quest for greater health, we need more than just a healthy diet and exercise routine.
It’s a journey which requires perseverance, stamina, and willpower. But it will lead you to the realization of your full physical potential.
What are your personal goals? Share your thought in the comments below!