The Beginner’s Guide to Body Types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph
We are all unique.
Yes, even you. Your mother was right!
And you are here because you have questions about your body type and your genetics:
What type of body am I?
How does this affect my workout and diet?
I have bad genetics, how am I doing?
I am a [body type]. Does this mean that I should not do [activity]?
We all have different bodies, genes, reactions to certain foods, strengths and weaknesses, and so we each have different activities and behaviors for which we are predisposed (or struggle with!).
The standard way of thinking tells us that we have three main "body types":
(Do not worry, we'll go into each of those below too.)
However, when it comes to your genetic benefits and gaps, there is so much more than just the category in which your body fits.
As you will soon learn it, it is not because you are predisposed to be good at something or terrible at another that you need to be categorized or limited to what you can do.
With a little help from our favorite RPGs, we will focus on body types, character classes, and ways to deal with genetic lottery.
Whether or not you knew your body type, or have never heard these terms before, I covered you!
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The three main body types
In the 1940s, an American psychologist named William Herbert Sheldon attempted to classify us as non-superheroes into three categories called "soma types":
Over the years, these three body types have become widely recognized as three solid classifications for how our bodies will generally react and grow according to our training and diet.
We will ignore the parts about Sheldon trying to equate people's body types with extravagantly generalized psychological traits, or the fact that he got the photos for his study under circumstances that caused him to feel the same. ;shadow.
The 3 body types created by Sheldon have managed to last and have found a place in fitness, so that's what we're going to talk about today.
Of course, there is this complicated mathematical formula that you can use to calculate your "type of soma", but let's go through the formula and go straight to the things you really need to know.  .
Here are the three types and how they are characterized. I bet you will find your place in one of them:
The ectomorphs are characterized by long, thin, thin muscles and limbs and low fat storage. The ectomorphs are not predisposed to store fat or build muscles.
These are the "hardgainers" who can not gain weight even when they "eat so much".
I am an ectomorph and I fought my genetics for 10 years – I also used this "diagnosis" as a crutch before I finally got over it – I'll talk more about it at the end of l & # 39; section.
Mesomorphs are the "lucky ones". They have medium bones, a solid torso, low fat levels, broad shoulders with a narrow waist.
Mesomorphs are predisposed to build muscle but not to store fat. Aka "lucky AF."
You might know someone who can just look at a weight and seem to get bigger and stronger: this person is a mesomorph.
Endomorphs play the game of weight loss in extreme difficulty. These are people with larger sizes, larger bone structures, and are predisposed to storing fat instead of building muscles.
If you are struggling to lose weight, or if you put on weight easily, you could be endomorphic.
Again, I will explain why the diagnosis is not as important as the way you answer it!
IMPORTANT NOTE: These body types are not to be confused with the fourth classification: Animorphs, which possess the ability to transform into any animal that they touch. .
Animorphs are necessary for the defense of the Earth against the secret extraterrestrial invasion.
What type of body am I?
Although the three categories give us a decent base on which to build, there is a litany of other factors at play.
To begin with, instead of fitting us perfectly into three categories, it is rather a massive scale from 1 to 1000.
Imagine that there is a triangle with each point representing one of the three body types.
We, humans, can exist at any point of this triangle, easily storing fat and not easily gaining weight to properly build muscle. The reality is that we all have parts of each one of them.
What it really means:
Some bodies are effective for burning energy for fuel.
Some bodies are less effective and tend to store more energy than fats.
Some bodies are really effective at developing muscles.
Some bodies are ineffective for building muscles.
Despite our genetics, our lifestyle choices, the foods we eat and the way we train will ultimately determine the shape of our body!
Where does the problem of "types of soma" begin: It is very easy to use its classification as a crutch to be unhealthy or weak.
Let's take a different example: have you ever taken a personality profile for work ("I'm an INFP! You're an ENTJ!"), And then used as an excuse: "Sorry, the test says I'm an introvert, it's not that I'm a donkey, treat him! "
Just as with personality testing, our Soma Type should be a starting point for setting up a plan.
We will no longer use our genetics as a crutch. I did it for a decade until I finally allowed myself to create a different identity!
"I'm an endomorph, so I'm screwed and that's why I'm overweight."
"How lucky he is – he can eat anything he wants and not gain weight!"
"This guy just looks at the weights and gets bigger, he must be nice."
Here's the truth: We all rolled a random character into this game of life. We can not choose our parents, we just have to play the hand we are offered to the best of our abilities:
Some people reach the genetic lottery and can play Life on Easy.
Some people have really shitty genetics and have to play in legendary trouble.
Your genetic makeup is not your fault, but it is your responsibility .
And all this concept of radically different metabolism due to the types of soma is exaggerated, which is GREAT NEWS:
Studies have shown that most people tend to fall between 200 and 300 calories one on the other on the "speed scale of metabolism".  .
Your genetics can only help or hinder you so much – it's the decisions you make after your character has been cast that determines how fast you progress in the game.
What does it mean:
If you are really overweight, you do not have a metabolism as slow as you think. In fact, your metabolism is faster than someone who is thinner than you (your body burns more calories to fuel your extra mass). What it really means is that you probably eat too much in relation to the number of calories you burn.
If you are really inadequate (as I was), you do not have a metabolism as fast as you think. Although you thought you were eating "so much," I bet if we followed it, it's way less than you think.
I will discuss each body type below with specific instructions on how to react!
This is great news, but that means you will have to work for it!
Now, in addition to body types, we also have a lot of questions about muscle fibers and how they affect your fitness …
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Twitch Muscle Fibers: Fast and Slow
To emphasize again that we are all unique snowflakes, our muscles have different types of qualities.
According to your genetic makeup, what percentage of each type of muscle fiber you have, you could have a higher athletic cap when it comes to certain activities.
Again, this is only a starting point; I will see how we can change our destiny later.
Our muscle fibers can usually be classified as fast or slow contraction:
Fibers with slow contractions (Type I): These muscle fibers can carry more oxygen and support longer periods of aerobic activity (activities requiring the use of. oxygen through the muscles) than other types of fiber. . They can contract for long periods, but are weak. Think about: long distance running or cardio hours.
Fast-Contraction Fibers (Type IIb): These muscle fibers can carry less oxygen and function only with short periods of anaerobic activity (activities that require that your muscles burn glycogen ) before exhausting. They have the greatest potential for strength and gain in size. Think: sprint, power lift, bodybuilding.
Fast Contraction Fibers (Type IIa): This is a mixture of Type I and Type IIb fibers, which can therefore be used for aerobic or anaerobic activities.
So, if you are someone who has genetically more fibers with slow contraction than fast contraction, you are genetically predisposed to be a better runner.
If you have more fast-twitch than slow-twitch fibers, you are genetically predisposed to be a better powerlifter or sprinter.
In one way or another, we all have it: as we age, our Type I fibers generally remain unchanged, while our quantities and sizes of Type II fibers decrease.  .
So, were we born with muscle fibers that cemented our destiny, and we can be marathoners or sprinters?
The hell is not it!
We can change our muscle fibers according to our training!
A study conducted on males who had to "sprint" all along a bicycle with a specific training regime for 4-6 weeks reduced their slow-contraction fibers by 57% to 48% while increasing their type IIa fibers. 32% to 38%.  .
In another study of women with a rigorous endurance training program, Type I fibers did not increase, Type IIb fibers decreased, and Type II fibers decreased. have increased significantly. Type IIa fibers are the "hitters" that can be used to increase power or stamina.  .
Although further studies should (and will) be conducted on muscle fibers and how they are affected by training, and how they differ between men and women, here is the conclusion that I shot:
Genetics is damned.
It could be a difficult battle, but we can change our destiny. Body type, metabolism, muscle fibers, they are simply a starting point for discussion.
We can change our size and the percentage of our muscle fibers with the right training, just as we can change the composition of our body with the right diet.
Yes, at the top tier of world class athletes, those with a higher genetic ceiling could have a physical advantage over those with less beneficial muscle fibers.
But for ordinary muggles like you and me, there's no reason why we can not be what we want to be, and look at how we want to look.
To summarize this point, let's dive into online role-playing games.
Even if you're not a gambler, I guarantee you that this analogy will make you "I understand, and damn Steve you're both smart and smart and really handsome and modest."
Role playing games and body types
I remember playing at Everquest (the game that opened the way for World of Warcraft) in 2001.
I spent hours reading the official strategy guide in order to race for my character, Morphos Novastorm, who was to be the most kickass wizard of all Norrath.
Why the magicians? Because they always start lean and weak and end up becoming really powerful. Duh.
According to the guide, my best choice was to select scholars: they had the greatest amount of intelligence to start (INT), and thus would give me an advantage over untrained wizards.
I agonized over this decision and spent hours even before starting the game because I assumed that decision would haunt me forever if it was the wrong one !
And then I started playing.
While I was watching Ogre Wizards, Gnome Wizards, Elf Wizards, Halfling Wizards kick ass serious in the last levels, it made me realize that even if the potential of my character was slightly affected by my race … he had no impact on the quality I was at the game!
There were so many other factors that were more important:
My style of play
The equipment that my character wears
Who is in my group.
Am I amusing and undoing myself in some way?
Do you see the point I'm trying to make here?
YOUR TYPE OF BODY IS NOT DIFFERENT.
Genetically, you can enter one of the types of soma above: ectomorph, mesomorphic, or endomorph (animorph? Call me).
Finally, think about your body type as "race" of your character in a role play:
How you choose to PLAY this character in this game of life makes all the difference in the world.
So we established the 3 types of soma. We discussed muscle fibers and genetics. And then we learned that the difference between body types is minimal and that you can change your muscle fiber composition with workout.
I have some remarks to make, but you might be looking for some recommendations:
I am an Ectomorph, Endomorphous or Mesomorphic. What should I do?
Ok, all right, you've read everything, and now you're wondering what you should do.
Let's say that you firmly believe that you are an Ectomorph, Endomorphous or Mesomorphic, and you want to know the best steps forward. This assumes that you are really the type of soma below.
Know that I bet a lot of people who think they're getting fat easily are not endomorphic, they just have a sedentary lifestyle and bad eating habits! I will cover this below if:
I AM AN ECTOMORPH: Congratulations, you are someone who can not gain weight or muscle! I am too, and assumed for a decade that I was doomed to be as thin as a rail. The reality was that I did not eat enough. I had to break my own identity to go from Steve Rogers to Captain America .
If you are trying to get fat, you should reduce cardio, maximize bodybuilding and, if in doubt, eat more calories!
I also recommend reading the following articles:
I AM A MESOMORPHI: Congratulations, you can play to life in easy trouble! You are more likely to build muscles and not store fat, but that does not mean you rest on your laurels!
You will want to train in strength, and depending on your age, you will have to become more disciplined with your diet. You can cope when you're younger, but by adopting healthy habits at a younger age and keeping your nutrition on the right track, you'll stay healthy as you get older!
I recommend reading the following to help you determine HOW you want to train: How to build the physique you want.
I AM AN ENDOMORPH: Congratulations, you are playing life at a higher level of difficulty. For starters, I want you to remove the stigma from your mind that you are a lost cause.
For starters, your metabolism is not slow, I promise. The truth is that you probably eat more than you realize, and you do not do enough bodybuilding to fight it.
You may also eat unhealthy foods (and / or consume a lot of sugar ) that lead to physiological reactions in your blood that promote fat storage!
What does it mean: you can not use your genetics as a crutch or excuse. It's just "it's what it is." This means that you will need to address both the quantity and the quality of your food. I would like to focus on the consumption of healthy proteins and fats and try to minimize carbohydrate consumption .
When you start exercising and making better food choices, you can change the way your body processes the calories you consume and start modifying your body composition. You can change it from "store fat" to "build muscle", but you have to be disciplined about it!
Can I recommend it:
Regardless of what you THINK, your body type is, and what's your real genetic make-up, it's a tiny piece of the puzzle.
The rest comes in the way you want to play the game!
What happens if I do not like my category?
You might have some last few questions, and I bet they match these categories:
Steve I'm a bit fat, but I hate bodybuilding, can I still run?
I'm skinny and I hate running, and I want to train, is it cool?
Here's what to do if you're not lining up with what your genetics says you'll be good at: recognize them, then move on.
Write your own destiny.
Become the hero you want to be, not the one you're supposed to be.
The truth: Your body will store fat and burn energy in a certain way. Depending on your genetics, your gender, your hormonal balance, your age, and your medical conditions, you may need to pay more attention to your sugar and processed food intake than other people because you might be genetically more likely to store these foods as fat rather than burning them as fuel.
I have come to learn that there is so much more to being healthy than "eating less" and "moving more". It's a complex subject that involves dozens of variables that we do not yet fully understand. Your genetics is the act of opening, and your diet is the main actor of this story.
This is zero, but it's the truth.
Your diet will be responsible for 80% to 90% of your success or failure in weight control. So, the best way for you to change your destiny is to focus on eating the right kinds of foods .
The way you chose to exercise is the other 10-20%. In the end, it comes down to a big rule with the exercise:
Take advantage of it.
We have already covered the different "professions" and how you can be what you want in real life, be it Warrior, Druid, Assassin, Monk, Scout, Ranger or any combination.
Hell, we even built a free character creation system here at NF so that you can actually treat life as a role play!
I can not think of a better example of someone deciding to write his own path than Staci on the NF team.
She recently had her genetic tests done, and discovered that she was supposed to be terrible at powerlifting because of her genetic makeup. Fortunately, she did not listen to this, and now she is constantly eliminating over 400 books:
I am definitely an "ectomorph". I have fine wrists, lean legs, lean ankles, and have struggled to gain weight, be it muscle or fat, for most of my life. I am genetically predisposed to be a good runner, and I am not made for strength training.
I love bodybuilding, so I strengthen.
I do not like running at a distance, so I do not run. I'm training as I wish because it's MUCH more fun for me – I do not care what my advanced genetic alignment says – I want to do the stuff that makes me feel alive. And that's gymnastics!
It's amazing! Freaking is here. Yes, you could have a difficult battle in your hands, but there is no reason why you can not achieve a good level of skill with your desired profession and have fun.
We have a community full of characters of all races that play the game of life at different levels of difficulty … and have fun doing it.
I want to leave you with one last public service announcement.
While we are there, the comparisons are stupid.
I've already written about why we compare to our stars in movies is stupid : their lives are so different, their motives are different, and their situation is different .
This is not a fair fight.
The same is true of comparing yourself to others in the gym or to those you see in magazines.
You could enter the gym and see a guy or girl level 50 absolutely truthful / ripped / toned / thin / anything in the weights section and think, "Wow If only I had their genetics! Must be nice … "
"Must be nice" is one of the most dangerous phrases in the English language. Followed closely by "Hold my beer, look at it" and "Believe me, they do not bite."
The truth is that the people you would like to see, no matter how good their genetics, have reached their high fitness level through constant dedication to regular workouts and healthy eating.
No matter which edge of the watch you could own genetically, you will not see results without hard work.
Do not let the fact that everyone is at different points in their quest be an excuse to blame genetics! You have NO idea what is the genetics of someone – it's just easier to say "it must be their genes" rather than "they work harder and are much more disciplined than me."
We have different genetic make-ups: different amounts of fast contraction or slow contraction muscle fibers, different bone densities, different levels of fat storage and fuel efficiency .
For these reasons, do not compare your "reality" with the enhancement of someone:
If you are an elf of the night, comparing yourself to an Orc when it comes to being a tank / warrior is not going to be a fair fight.
Conversely, comparing yourself to a night elf orca on the theme of speed is a losing proposition.
Just because someone is muscular or skinny does not mean that they are in good health. Just because someone might be overweight compared to others does not mean that they are not in good physical condition.
So the only comparison you should make is who you were yesterday .
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Complétez et suivez votre première séance d'entraînement aujourd'hui, pas de gymnase requis.
Allez. Niveau supérieur.
Et cela conclut la leçon de World of Warcraft sur la génétique.
Rappelez-vous, il n'y a qu'une chose que nous disons à notre génétique: Pas aujourd'hui!
Comme dans n'importe quel jeu de rôle, votre personnage a des forces et des faiblesses dans le jeu de la vie, mais cela ne devrait pas déterminer la façon dont vous jouez.
Ainsi, quel que soit votre type de soma (ectomorphe, endomorphe ou mésomorphe) ou votre composition de fibres musculaires, vous pouvez faire tout ce que vous voulez. La formation et la nutrition correcte peuvent corriger presque n'importe quelle lacune génétique, cela pourrait nécessiter un régime très strict, de la discipline et de l'aide.
Si vous voulez être un guerrier elfe, ou un sorcier ogre, allez-y.
J'aimerais avoir de vos nouvelles:
Et quel "type de soma" es-tu, et as-tu changé ton destin ou décidé de le faire?
Laissez un commentaire et faites le moi savoir!
PS: Alors que nous parlons du Jeu de la Vie, j'ai écrit un livre entier sur ce sujet qui est disponible dans les librairies du pays: Level Up Your Life .
Il est actuellement le livre Kindle du mois sur Amazon ce qui signifie qu'il est en vente pour seulement 2,99 $!