Endomorph, Ectomorph, Mesomorph…What’s the Difference?

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a classic mesomorph.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a classic mesomorph, but endomorphs and mesomorphs can look great, too.

Building muscle is a challenging endeavour. It requires a strict adherence to training, proper nutrition and adequate amounts of rest. Adhering to these three areas will help you build lean muscle, but knowing your body type will help you progress even further. The three different body types are endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. Knowing the difference between these body types will help you understand which one you have and how you can use that knowledge to build a stunning physique.

There are three main body types.

There are three main body types: endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph.

Endomorph Body Type

An endomorph is a body type that can gain weight very easily. A person with this body type is usually shorter with a rounded build. Stocky is a term often associated with endomorphs due to their higher levels of body fat. Endomorphs tend to gain weight easily because they have a slower metabolism, which hinders their ability to burn fat. An endomorph may also have a very big appetite, further contributing to fat gain. Another tell-tale sign of this body type is that they tend to get tired very easily.

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If the definition of an endomorph rings true to you, you should focus your training on compound lifts. Squats, dead lifts and bench presses will be your best friends because you will use larger muscle groups and in turn burn more fat. You should train with higher repetitions, focusing on a range between eight and 12 per set. Your exercise frequency will vary depending on your energy levels and motivation. You can choose to workout six days per week, which will be beneficial to you with controlling fat gain, or you can work out four days a week.

As an endomorph, cardio is vital to helping you burn fat. After every workout, you must add a cardio session that last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to use the treadmill, elliptical machine or Stairmaster, but if you want to monitor weight gain you need to do some sort of cardio after each weight training session.

Diet is another very important area to focus on if you’re an endomorph. Your diet should consist of lean protein, healthy carbohydrates, and good fats. If you like to eat junk foods, you should slowly replace those foods with healthier options. Another helpful dietary change would be eating smaller meals throughout the day. This will help you control hunger pangs so you can keep your weight down.

Mr Olympia has been won by men with very different builds.

Mr Olympia has been won by men with very different builds, including endomorphs, ectomorphs and mesomorphs.

Ectomorph Body Type

An ectomorph is the exact opposite of an endomorph. This person usually has a very slim frame and has a difficult time gaining weight. They usually have smaller shoulders, are very thin and have a fast metabolism. Ectomorphs can generally eat whatever they want due to their high metabolism.

The training regime for an ectomorph will be vastly different from that of an endomorph. An ectomorph should focus his training on using heavy weights and keep repetitions low. Anywhere from 5 to 10 repetitions is good and it will help to build more lean mass. Compound lifts will help build muscle faster because more muscles are used for each exercise. The one thing an ectomorph should not do is excessive amounts of cardio. If you are an ectomorph, you don’t have a problem burning fat and cardio is mainly used to burn fat. If you really want or feel you need to incorporate cardio into your training, then you should utilize high-intensity interval training. This form of cardio will give you a good cardiovascular workout while helping you to maintain lean mass.

As an ectomorph, you are lucky because you can eat more than the other body types. Not only can you eat more but you must eat more if you’re going to gain muscle. Your high metabolism makes it necessary for you to consume more calories. Weight gainers will help you put on more muscle as well as eating foods that are dense in calories such as peanut butter, nuts, and carbohydrates. As an ectomorph, you should also consider having meals before bed to help prevent catabolism during the night.

Mesomorph Body Type

This is the ideal body type for gaining muscle. A mesomorph will have an athletic looking body and an ability to gain muscle easily. They tend to have wide shoulders and a small waist. Burning fat is not a problem for a mesomorph, as they tend to eat in moderation.

Training for a mesomorph has no limits. Compound lifts benefit all body types, but a mesomorph will see results faster than other body types. As a mesomorph, you should train in the range between eight to 12 repetitions per set, but you can lower or raise that according to your goals. You can incorporate cardio into your workouts, but it’s not mandatory. As with ectomorphs, high-intensity interval training is a great choice for mesomorphs. It will allow you to burn fat without losing a great deal of lean mass.

Eating healthy food in moderation is the key for a mesomorph. You can focus on a slightly higher carbohydrate ratio, but always remember to eat lots of lean meats, healthy fats and vegetables as well.

Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorph…Which Are You?

Knowing your body type is vital in your quest to gain muscle. Regardless of what body type you have, you have to train consistently and eat healthily if you want to increase lean mass. The only difference is how you train and how you eat. Now that you know your body type, the only thing left to do is train hard, eat right and gain muscle.

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Joe Bensam
 

I am an experienced bodybuilder and qualified personal trainer who specializes in strength training, conditioning and building muscle. I am committed to helping others improve their health, fitness and build through good advice on workouts and nutrition.