body type

What body type are you? How to find out – and why it’s important

When deciding how to approach a nutrition and fitness plan for your objectives, working out which body type category you fall into can help to significantly improve your chances of achieving the results you want more efficiently – and in a shorter space of time. Read on to learn how to determine your body type and why it’s so important – especially when you have specific fitness goals and targets in mind.

What different body types are there?

There are three basic human body types – endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Whilst this may sound like a static state, we aren’t necessarily defined by one particular body type at any given time. Some individuals are a combination of two – others can change their body type over time either deliberately or as a result of health issues, dietary changes or ageing. Multiple factors are at play – and whilst genetics make up a portion, lifestyle, history and training style all contribute. This is good news – as it means you can absolutely alter your body type over time in line with your personal goals.

How to determine your body type

Even when we are a combination of two body types, most of us have more characteristics of one than the other. Here’s a quick run-down of the main characteristics of each body type, to help you to easily determine which category you may fall into:

Endomorph – Endomorphs have a tendency to gain weight – and once it’s on, it’s not easy to shift. They have a naturally wider build compared to the two other body types, typically sporting a thicker ribcage, wider hips and generally shorter limbs. Endomorphs actually tend to have more muscle than other body types, but muscle acquisition and growth can be difficult to achieve without added unwanted body weight and fat. In short, it’s tougher for endomorphs to achieve a lean, toned physique – but strength advantages arising from greater overall muscle mass can be beneficial when bulking up.

Ectomorph – Ectomorphs aren’t unfamiliar with being labelled on the ‘skinnier’ side. They’re the ones with the often jealousy-inducing ability to eat whatever they want in any quantity without changing shape. This can be problematic however when it comes to making gains or bulking up as Ectomorphs struggle to put on weight – either as body fat or muscle. Long, lean limbs often mean that Ectomorphs look skinny even following weight gain, especially on the legs and arms. It’s worth noting that this body type shouldn’t be synonymous with weakness – in fact, ectomorphs can be remarkably strong and can still be healthy, fit and muscular with the right nutrition and fitness regime.

Mesomorph – Mesomorphs are fortunate enough to enjoy ‘the best of both worlds’. This body type is characterised by wider shoulders, a narrow waist, relatively thin joints and rounded bellies. Whilst mesomorphs can ‘bounce back’ into shape more easily, they’re not necessarily healthier or fitter than ectomorphs or endomorphs.

How can tailoring approach based on your body type optimise workouts?

Once you’ve determined which body type category you fall into, you can then begin to gather information to help you to tailor and tweak workout plans and techniques, alongside a nutrition strategy suited to you. It’s all about personalisation – maximising physical activity by choosing methods that have been shown to be effective specifically for others of the same body type. This is a much more efficient and effective approach, as going in ‘blind’ could actually set you back if you employ techniques and strategies that won’t gel well with your body type.

Training efficiently for your body type

You can find plenty of body type-specific workout plans and dietary guidance online – but the most successful way to train efficiently and effectively based on your body type is to enlist professional support from an experienced personal trainer. As we have the wealth of knowledge and expertise necessary to help you we can save you time, money and the risk of injury or setbacks.

Ollie Lawrence