What Body Type Are You?

Billy weight 2

Female ectomorph by Billy Coleman.

Did you know that there are three main body types – ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs? You want to determine your body type so you can tailor your workouts and diet according to what you are. This is not always as easy as it may seem. See, the majority of people fall into a mix of the types. In other words, it’s not that common that someone is a pure ecto or a pure endo. To further complicate matters, years of training and eating healthy or the reverse, having a desk job and eating junk, can change the outward appearance of one’s body. You want to go with the body type you most resemble naturally, and after reading this article I hope you’ll find it easier to figure out what type you are.

Ectomorph: This body type is characterized by longer, thinner limbs and smaller joints.


Paula Radcliffe, winner of 2007 NYC Marathon and an ecto. (By Ed Costello)

They have low body fat and difficulty building muscle, and they tend to have a “straight” figure – the lanky kind with little shape to it. They have a tendency to slouch. A lot of fashion models belong in this category. Think Gisele Bundchen, Cameron Diaz, or Kate Moss for women, and Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, or Howard Stern for men. They tend to be hyperactive and do well on high carbs due to their fast metabolism. They should eat less fat and a medium amount of protein. If they stick to around 55% carbs, 25% protein, and 20% fat, they’re good. Ectos should focus on doing lots of heavy weight training to increase their muscle mass and gain more curves/shape. No cardio necessary, as they tend to be hyperactive and run around a lot anyway.


Unknown male mesomorph

Mesomorph: Telltale signs someone is a mesomorph are their good posture and athletic body – even if they don’t work out much. They have an easy time building muscle, staying lean, and have medium bone structures. It’s easy for them to lose weight, but it’s also easy for them to gain. Often, people with this body type take their “genetic gift” for granted and let themselves go because they’re so used to being strong and looking fit. Meso men have the envied V-shape – wide shoulders and narrow hips – while meso women have more of an hour-glass figure – wide shoulders, skinny waists and a shapely butt. Famous meso women include Jennifer Garner, Anna Kournikova, and Madonna, while some known men are Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mark Wahlberg. They do best on 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat. Meso women are the ones who could get a little bulky if they do too much weight training. Therefore, focusing on doing primarily cardio to keep their body fat percentage low is ideal for the meso.

Endomorph: If you’re purely this body type, it’ll feel like you can barely look at a pizza


Fifties movie stars like Marilyn Monroe were typically endos.

before you gain weight. Endos tend to have medium to larger joints, longer trunks, and carry a lot of body fat. They have a smooth, round look and shortish limbs. They have probably struggled with their weight most of their lives and have more of a pear-shape (even the men). They tend to be naturally less active.  You should not despair if you feel you belong primarily in this category. Lots of famous sex symbols are endomorphs. Think Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez. Russell Crowe and Bruce Willis are male endos. In order to make the most of this body type, you should eat low carbs and high fat and protein – around 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. This body type does great on a mix of weight/resistance training where you use the entire body with few breaks, as that builds muscle at the same time as it keeps the heart rate up, which burns lots of calories. Interval training is ideal for them.

You can typically tell what body type you are by measuring your wrist:  Encircle your wrist with the other hand. If the thumb and long finger overlap, you’re mostly ecto; if they just touch, you’re mostly meso; and if they don’t touch, you’re an endo. Again, remember that most people are a mix of the types.



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