Do You Know Your Body Type?


Are you having difficulties losing weight? You might gain more weight if you slip from your diet or feel that you can go on eating without putting on any extra pounds.

If so, your body type may have something to do with it. Find out what kind of body type you have and understand how it affects your metabolism and ability to put on fat.

What Do You Mean by Body Type?

Body types are based on the height and proportion measurements. A person with high metabolism would like to have more food compared to others and even there are people that burn calories faster than they consume.

Frankly, body type or the so-called somatotype means that there are three generalized kind of body composition. People are predetermined to have any one of them. This concept was introduced by Dr W.H. Sheldon somewhere in the early 1940s and it was named as ectomorph, somatotypes endomorph, and mesomorph.

For a long time, it was assumed that the somatotype of a person was somewhat unchangeable. Certain psychological and psychological characteristics are determined by whichever a person is aligned to. As per many studies it clearly shows that the endomorphs have bodies that are often round, soft while mesomorphs have somewhat muscular and square body, while the ectomorphs have a fine-boned and thin one. These studies showed that the body types are clearly influenced through the personality of the individual.

Body Types – Stereotype

People tend to answer the question “What is your body type?” with a personal adjective such as “thin,” “big boned,” or “curvy.” This can be subjective since each person may assess themselves differently. However, some people may take an objective assessment and predict their natural-born body type which could include:

Individual somatotypes correlating height, weight, physical strengths and weaknesses, personality characteristics and behaviour were developed in the 1940s. However, there is evidence suggesting that while a person’s physique may be classified as one body type or another on its own, it doesn’t reveal all by itself what kind of person they are. It is true that there

Different Body Types and Their Description


Ectomorphs are usually thin and lean. They have long limbs, narrow hips and shoulders, small joints, and a slender waist. Though they might be hungry throughout the day because of their fast metabolism, they tend to only burn calories quickly without gaining weight or muscle easily.


The mesomorph body type is typically characterized by a sturdy frame with wide shoulders and narrow hips, large muscles in the arms and legs. These individuals are born with naturally high levels of muscle development. They sometimes need to consume more calories than other people do because muscle requires a lot of energy for upkeep, and they may get more protein than most because their body need that.


Women with a large bone structure and more body fat are often called Curvy or Full-figured. Men who have a medium to large bone structure and more body fat can be called Stocky, Doughy, or Round.

Some people have narrower shoulders and wider hips. They often carry any excess weight in their lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. It can be hard to lose weight for these people, but if they eat the right foods and do exercises that work on this area of their body, they can lose weight.


These hybrids are becoming increasingly common in the athletic world, where this physique is prized for its aesthetic appeal. In fact, ectomorphs tend to have a “fitness model” look and are muscular but not bulky. Often with a V-shaped torso (wide upper back, well developed chest and shoulders, narrow waist), athletes can be lean with


People who are more endomorphic or mesomorphic (rather than just average) make up this common hybrid. People with a primarily mesomorphic or endomorph body type include many bodybuilders and contact sports athletes, like football players. If you look at their body, you can only see thick arms and legs with a boxy chest and midsection.

The concentration of fat around these areas may cause the muscles to harden. People who want to get a leaner body should be aware that it will take more work to do. They need to focus on cardio workouts and resistance training as well as diet so they can lose their fat and not build muscle.


Somebody who is an ectomorph has started to have more fat on their body. This can happen if they don’t eat right, or if they are not active enough.

The ectomorph’s narrow bone structure and long limbs make for flabby muscles, droopy chests, and a soft midsection. To improve fitness, body composition, and health—both of which are linked to fat reduction—an ecto-endomorph will likely need both resistance training and high-intensity cardio; the latter promotes muscle growth.

Since ecto-endomorphs may have developed some insulin resistance, their bodies may not be as efficient at burning carbohydrates, so they should follow a dietary plan that’s suited to endomorphs — with a slightly higher protein intake, a medium fat intake, and lower carb levels — until the excess body fat comes off and metabolic function is optimized; then, these hybrid types can switch to more of an ectomorph approach (adding in more carbs).

Learning to Improve the Whole-Body Composition

So, why are we even talking about this? Well because while it looks crazy from a 21st century perspective, researchers did notice that most people share the same proportions. For instance, people with an ectomorphic body type have long and slender limbs relative to their trunk size.

Sheldon’s original idea that somatotypes determined people’s physiological characteristics is now reversed; modern understanding now dictates that a person’s physical features determine future somato-types while the opposite used to be true.No one exists within purely one somatotype; instead, we are all constantly in flux and fall uniquely on a spectrum somewhere between all three.

Keep In Mind Your Body Type Won’t Be a Huge Life Sentence

Today, understanding body types means generalizing the way a person’s physiology is functioning in their current state. The sum of your physical, dietary, and lifestyle choices over time is represented by what is called the somatotype. This includes several factors influenced our genetics as well as those we cannot control like environmental conditions.

For example, at one extreme end of the spectrum, a person who has easy access to high-quality food, makes habitually healthy diet choices, is free of chronic disease, and consistently trains at progressively higher intensities will always have a more functional, muscular, and leaner body composition. Someone who always sits all day and eats a lot of junk food will undoubtedly develop the “soft roundness” described by Sheldon’s original classification of endomorphs.

Do remember, a body type isn’t always a lifelong sentence. If it were, personal trainers, health coaches, and nutritionists would all be out of jobs. At its core, the fitness industry helps people use tools they can control to overcome challenges presented by genetic and environmental factors that are out of their control.

The human body can alter its composition based on lifestyle, dietary modifications, and activity levels. For instance, a person with no diet preferences will have a completely different set of bodily proportions than someone who is on the DASH diet.

This idea is made explicitly clear when looking at the average physique of elite athletes across different sports, who are all grouped together because they share the same consistent training and diet plan.

Learning to Improve the Whole-Body Composition

Many research continues to show that physical training and changing your diet has a big effect on improving body composition. Conditions like hyper or hypothyroidism are fully within the realm of modern medicine to manage and improve, while chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes can be managed by improving your diet and exercise routines. Simply type exercise can impact body composition into your favourite search engine and quickly become overwhelmed with the breadth of research spanning the last century.

The human body is highly adaptable and always seeks homeostasis within its environment. However, it can take a while to break long-term patterns that the body has gotten used to. This fact – that change takes time and consistency – likely lead many people to believe they are stuck in a somatotype; because change is hard, and it’s often easier to chalk one’s body dissatisfaction up to forces beyond their control. A personal trainer and a nutrition coach can help you. They will work with you, even when it is hard.

When following a sensible training regimen and healthy diet, muscle can be gained at an average of one pound per month and fat can be lost at around one pound per week. To ensure that these changes are habitually maintained, you will have to adopt and maintain them permanently – only then will your modified body become the new normal!

Over time new energy intakes will lead to changes in metabolism and appetite. Physical activity becomes an essential part of the day instead of a chore for ectomorphs, endomorphs can expect to gain more muscled traits over time.

Identifying Body Type

To get the most out of your fitness consultation, it’s important to understand what a client’s current-state body type is. A simple observation of their body composition can help you immediately identify any physical issues they might be dealing with and tailor a solution that will freshen up certain aspects first.

Once you identify which somatotype a client most aligns to, consider the structural and metabolic challenges that are associated with it. Then, tailor the exercise programming and dietary coaching to overcome those hurdles. This will preferentially develop the necessary foundation that each client individually requires.

For the typical new client, the initial, overarching goal to “get in shape” will essentially boil down to a desire to shift their current-state body type toward a more mesomorphic physiology.

Obviously, there will be exceptions to this rule – there will always be endomorphs who want to get even bigger to compete in strongman events and ectomorphs who want to keep thin and trim for running ultramarathons – but it rings true for most clients seeking the help of a Certified Personal Trainer or Nutrition Coach.

Considering that average goal, for example, a client who presents predominately as an ectomorph will most likely need dietary and training solutions that focus on muscle protein synthesis and overall mass gain, while typical endomorphic clients will benefit far more from frequent metabolic training and reduced calorie intakes. Hence, look at each individual, critically evaluate whether you are using the right methods for the body type they currently display, and use the following tips to better tailor your programs for maximal success.


  • Stockier bone structures with larger midsection and hips.
  • Carries more fat throughout the body.
  • Gains fat fast but loses it slow. 
  • Naturally slower metabolism; potentially due to chronic conditions (e.g., thyroid deficiency, diabetes) but too frequently the result of a sedentary lifestyle and-


  • Medium bone structure with shoulders wider than the hips.
  • Developed athletic musculature.
  • Efficient metabolism: mass gain and loss both happen with relative ease.


  • Larger proportions in terms of height and girth.
  • Femur bones are much longer than the muscles that give them movement.
  • Those with a fast metabolism can be difficult to gain weight.
  • Potentially indicative of disordered eating (e.g., anorexia, bulimia) when BMI is ≤17.

Making Progress With Body Types

One thing is sure. The consistent aerobic and anaerobic training would assist the endomorphic bodies in increasing the metabolic efficiency. Also, it would boost the daily energy needs of the human body. When there is a smaller metabolism, irrespective of the underlying cause, the surplus amount of stored energy as well as the nutritional solutions of the endomorphic person must be focused on the method in maximizing the fat loss.

That means, when it concerns the kind of body you have, you would get a fair idea of the kind of diet and exercise you must follow. Well, the best part is that you should consult your doctor just before you begin dieting or going for any exercise.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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