The Definitive Guide to Endomorph Body Type (Best Workouts & Diet)

By Mark / a few months ago

Find out if you actually are an endomorph and discover the optimal way to build an impressive endomorph body quickly and easily.

Which Body Type Are You?

Understanding your body type is essential if you want to make the most of your bodybuilding potential. Misunderstand this key issue and you could spend hundreds of hours slaving away in the gym, yet achieve next to nothing.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that if you truly understand your body type you can reverse this. You can create an optimal body growth plan that enables you to build muscle and lose fat quickly to achieve impressive body composition.

Knowing and understanding your body type puts you on the fast track to bodybuilding success.  So what are the body types, and which one are you?

Way back in the 1940s, an American psychologist named William Herbert Sheldon postulated that all human bodies fall into one of three main ‘soma’ types:

  • Ectomorph
  • Endomorph
  • Mesomorph

The easiest way to understand these three body types is to see how they typically look for men:

male ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph

...and how they typically look for women:

female ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph

To put it simply, ectomorphs are the taller, skinnier guys, while endomorphs are the shorter, broader type. Mesomorphs are the lucky ones in the middle who have the ‘Goldilocks’ combination - not too tall or too short, and not to thin or too broad.

As a result, people with each of the three body types build muscle in different ways, and end up with a very different look:

endomorph body type

The optimal bodybuilding plan for you will largely depend on which body type you are. So it’s important to find out which category you fall into. If you’re not sure, you can take a simple test to find out.  

The Classic Endomorph

If you find that you fall into the endomorph category, then this article is for you. We are going to delve deeper into the best ways to build an endomorph body that will look truly impressive.

Let’s start with a definition of the endomorph body type from the Encyclopaedia Britannica:

Endomorph, a human physical type (somatotype) tending toward roundness. The extreme endomorph has a body as nearly globular as humanly possible; he has a round head, a large, round abdomen, large internal organs relative to his size, rather short arms and legs with fat upper arms and thighs, but slender wrists and ankles. Under normal conditions the endormorphic individual has a great deal of body fat, but he is not simply a fat person; if starved, he remains an endomorph, only thinner.

What does that mean in practice? To give you some idea, here are some characteristics of the endomorph category.

An endomorph can be generally described as ‘a shorter, fatter person’ - at least compared to the other two body types.  They are typically:

  • Big-boned
  • Shorter
  • Heavier

Generally speaking, endomorphs are likely to have more body fat than other body types, and will often gain weight easily. You may not have too much trouble building muscle, but you will constantly struggle to lose fat and keep it off.

So while both workouts and diet are essential to a good bodybuilding regime, endomorphs need to be pay more attention to diet. You are likely to get good results in terms of muscle growth without too much effort. But balancing your body composition with low levels of fat may be a real challenge.  

Best Diet for Endomorphs

If you are an endomorph, then, you diet choices will be focused around the need to manage your levels of body fat. You will be much less concerned with the nutrition needed to build muscle, and certainly won’t want to run the calorie surpluses that work for ectomorphs.

Because endomorphs have a higher percentage of body fat, you need to understand how fat is stored in your body - and how to control it. You will have visceral fat surrounding your organs, plus subcutaneous fat under your skin.

One of your key goals will be to get rid of the visceral fat, as this is the more dangerous of the two types. As well as giving you an ugly beer belly, visceral fat is clearly linked to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases.

The good news is that visceral fat is easier to lose than subcutaneous fat. So a good diet plan can do a great deal to get your weight management and associated health problems under control.

Here’s what you need to do:

Run a Calorie Deficit

You can’t escape the mathematics. At the end of the day, you can only lose weight if you are burning more calories than you consume.

Many endomorphs make the mistake of trying to burn fat by undertaking more and more exercise. The truth is, they would probably get much better results by focusing on reducing the calories going in.

To lose one pound of body fat, you need to reduce your calorie consumption by 3500 calories over a period of time (if your calorie burn remains constant). So even a modest reduction in your calorie intake can make a big difference to your weigh over a period of time.

However, you should not go onto a very restrictive diet, as this may be counter-productive. Endomorph bodies are likely to go into energy conservation mode when calorie intake drops dramatically. The result is that you end up holding onto fat, instead of burning it away.

Make the Right Food Choices

So how do you lose weight if you can’t go on a strict diet? The answer is to eat the right foods at the right time.

Start by cutting out all the junk calories in your diet. Eliminate sodas and other sugary drinks, and stop adding sugar to tea and coffee. Eat fresh, whole food instead of packaged and processed junk. Choose lean protein foods such as:

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Lean red meat
  • Soy products
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Whole grains

This change alone can make a huge difference to your look and body composition. Keep away from the cakes and cookies, sodas and snacks - you will be very glad in the long term.

Intermittent Fasting

Another great way to burn fat is to adopt intermittent fasting. Many people have reported excellent results as a result of adopting one of the many fasting strategies that are now in use.

The idea behind intermittent fasting is to keep your body in a fat-burning state for longer periods of time. Every time you eat - especially carbs - your body switches into fat storage mode, making it impossible to burn fat.

After a meal, it make take six hours or more for your insulin levels to drop, allowing your body to switch back into fat-burning mode. So if you are eating regularly throughout the day, your body is constantly in fat storage mode. You may only be able to burn fat in the early hours of the morning, before breakfast.

With intermittent fasting, you skip meals so that your body is able to switch into fat-burning mode for longer periods of time. An easy way to do this is to simply skip breakfast.

If you consume only water, black tea and black coffee (no sugar) all morning, you will be stretching your overnight fast for a few more hours. That means a few more hours of fat burning, which can make a real difference.

Some people take this further and eat only one meal a day (OMAD), or fast for several consecutive days. Experiment and find what works for you. But when combined with a healthy, whole food diet, intermittent fasting is a great way for endomorphs to deal with fat loss problems.

Endomorph Diet Plan

For endomorphs, a good diet plan is all about getting the nutrition you need without creating a calorie surplus that will lead to fat storage. Here are some suggestions for meals that would make good choices at any time of day.

Meal #1

  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1 toasted whole-wheat English muffin
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter

Meal #2

  • 1 small banana
  • 1 pot of non-fat yogurt

Meal #3

  • 1 cup of vegetable soup
  • 5 whole-grain crackers
  • ¼ cup of hummus
  • 1 cup of sliced peppers
  • 1 handful of almonds

Meal #4

  • 1 ounce of low-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat bread
  • 1 small apple

Meal #5

  • 3 ounces of grilled tuna
  • 1 cup of roasted red potatoes
  • 1 cup of roasted cauliflower

Meal #6

  • 3 cups of air-popped popcorn
  • 20 peanuts

Workouts for Endomorphs

As an endomorph, you will probably find it relatively easy to put on muscle. So the key to your training regime is to balance your weight training with exercise designed to burn fat.

Here’s how to do that:

Cardio Training

Your workouts should include a good deal of aerobic exercise. Be sure to mix cardio into your weight training regime, with the aim of burning as many calories as possible.

A great way to maximize the benefits you get from cardio training is to focus on high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT). This has been shown to be a more effective way of burning both visceral and subcutaneous fat.

The key to HIIT training is to alternate between short periods of intense activity and more moderate activity. In running, for example, you might sprint hard for 30 seconds, then slow to a moderate pace for the next two minutes - then repeat the cycle over and over again.

HIIT fools your body into thinking that it is operating at maximum capacity all the time, and so it burns more fat accordingly. So you can achieve more fat loss in 20 minutes of HIIT than in an hour or more of regular training.

Strength Training

If you want to build a lot of muscle, that is certainly within your power as an endomorph.

In order to burn calories as well as putting on muscle, you should aim for endurance. So do longer sets with 10-15 reps, rather than focusing on heavy weights that you can only manage for a smaller number of reps.

Once you start becoming comfortable with that weight, move up to a higher weight and maintain the same number of reps.

The Ultimate Endomorph

So if you have been frustrated by your results to lose fat to date, don’t give up. With a different approach to working out, plus a more effective diet plan, you can turn things around and starting building the body of your dreams.

Here are some more great tips for losing fat and building muscle when you are the endomorph body type:

Is this going to be easy? No! But is it doable? For sure!

If you want to build the ultimate endomorph body, the opportunity awaits. Get started today, and you may find yourself looking at a stronger, more muscular person in the mirror just a few months from now.

You may also enjoy reading:

Endomorph, Ectomorph, Mesomorph (What’s the Difference?)
How to Gain Weight Fast for Men: Works for Endomorphs, Ectomorphs and Mesomorphs
The Definitive Guide to Ectomorph Body Type

About the author


Hello, I'm Mark. I'm a bodybuilding champion and have been active in the industry for over 10 years. I created this website to provide fellow bodybuilders with useful information to help them achieve their dream physique.