In the 1940s, Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the theory of Soma-types. His opinion described three basic human body types: the endomorph, characterized by a preponderance of body-fat; the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed musculature; and the ectomorph, distinguished by a lack of either much fat or muscle tissue. He did also state that most people were a mixture of these types. Sheldon’s description of three body types has become an integral part of the most literature on weight loss and fitness.
The three body types are further described below.
Endomorph: The biggest concern is shedding body fat and adopting a lifestyle that keeps it off. Strength training is the best investment to achieve a better muscle to fat ratio and improve metabolism. Using moderate weights at a quick training pace with very little rest between sets and exercises will produce the best result with the least amount of time. Lowering your calorie intake, eating frequent small meals, engage in a daily activity such as brisk walking and strive to increase the time training each week to optimize metabolism and reach your goal weight.
- Soft body
- Round shaped
- Trouble losing weight
- Gains muscle easily
Mesomorph: A naturally muscular body. Strength training can be done more often and for more extended sessions. Should train with moderate to heavy weighs, at a moderate pace, not resting too long between sets. Stick to a proper healthy diet to keep you lean and muscular. Engage in aerobic activities to round out the training program and follow the CV system fit.
- Hard, muscular body
- Rectangular shaped (hourglass shaped for women)
- Gains or loses weight easily
- Grows muscle quickly
Ectomorph: Should concentrate on gaining weight in the form of lean muscle tissue. The load is best reasonably heavy with a workout pace slower with more extended rest periods between sets. Eat more than you’re used to and often to assist in the muscle development.
- Flat chest
- Delicate build
- Has trouble gaining weight
- Muscle growth takes longer
When you know which type you are (or which mixture) and exercise correctly for that form, you will make much better progress with your training program and yield better results toward your physical goals.
While some women may think that Kate Moss, tall, lanky, thin is the ideal body type, from a fitness viewpoint she isn’t. And many women who tend to be endomorphic will save themselves much suffering by not striving to change themselves into ectomorphs; it’s not going to happen. Conversely, a pure ectomorph who wishes to be a Sumo wrestler would also be in for a big disappointment. It is essential to look at ourselves with a discerning eye of appreciation and celebrate our bodies; it is the only one we have ~ let’s make the most of it!
With a well-balanced exercise strategy and lifestyle plan, we can make the most of our genetics and live happily in our skin.
What is your natural body type?
Are your health and fitness goals in alignment with your natural body type?
Have you set a realistic goal for yourself concerning your genetic makeup?
With a well-balanced exercise strategy and lifestyle plan we can make the most of our genetics #LivingFitLifestyle Click To Tweet
I am more like a mesomorph but not exactly classic. I am more naturally athletic and until I hit middle age could always eat without worrying about weight gain. Not so much anymore!
I am a classic mesomorph — what about you?
Endomorph…hands down…thanks mom and dad. :/
I would have to say a fairly even split between ecto and meso
I am somewhere between a mesomorph and endomorph. I get strong fast, but tend toward curves and an hourglass figure. I will never be long and lean, so I need to work with my curves!
i am an ectomorph. i walk often but, i definitely need more weight training added to my workouts.
OK — I am a classic mesomorph — I hated growing up having to wear ‘husky’ jeans… because my thigh muscles were too large for the slim jeans… now I still have those old feeling but, at least I intellectually know the difference and can celebrate my muscles! I just have to look for a different cut of jeans 🙂
I mean ectomorph. Really hard to believe.
ok, so I’ve been told by HQ, aka, my health coach/health angle, that I am a mesomorph!
I certainly don’t have trouble gaining weight, but I do have a flat chest and fragile bones, etc. So new plan is to use heavier weights and workout slower and longer!
I am a true endomorph and with reading the information above it reiterates that I need to re-incorporate weight training in my exercise plan. Soft body:Pillsbury Dough Boy
Since I think I am a mesomorph,when I am cleared for weight training, I will focus on using moderate weights with higher repetitions at a brisk pace. I hope that time is not too far away. Currently I am working on rehabbing.