You may be confused about why your workout plan is not yielding the same results as someone else’s. This is because there are different types of male bodies, each of which looks a specific way and has tailored requirements when it comes to working out. Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of male bodies and what works best for each type.
What Is Body Type?
Your body type, also referred to as somatotype (somato = body), is essentially one of the three universal body compositions that you’re designed to grow into after birth. These types are ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph.
The concept of body type was first introduced in the 1940s by William Herbert Sheldon, Ph.D., M.D. While studying postural photos of naked individuals taken in Ivy League schools during the 1890s–1960s, he attempted to prove that body types impact an individual’s physical and emotional characteristics.
This theory stated that the predominant traits of body types were determined while in the womb based on the development of the endodermal, ectodermal, or mesodermal embryonic layers.
What Defines Your Body Type?
Every body type is generally determined by the physical attributes and personalities of an individual.
Your bone structure, frame, weight distribution, muscle mass, metabolism rate, etc., are physical factors that can be quantified and used to define your body type. Your personality is judged by your demeanor in public settings and towards people in general.
These ideas from Sheldon’s theories have stood their ground and have helped create appropriate applications to determine one’s somatotype.
3 Different Types of Male Bodies
This body type is characterized by a delicate frame and bone structure. Individuals with ectomorph bodies have small shoulders and a flat chest, and a compact build as they have small joints and long, stringy limbs.
Typically thin, ectomorph bodies have excellent metabolism that burns up calories instantly. But this wiry frame also becomes a challenge for ectomorph men as they struggle to put on weight. In order for them to increase their weight, they need to work really hard. However, they can instantly return to their lean muscle forms, given how easily they lose their fat.
As they grow older, their metabolism slows down, thus making them gain weight that they aren’t used to. To get an idea of what ectomorphs look like: celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone, and athlete Usain Bolt have this body type.
Individuals of this body type are also quite introverted, analytical, slightly inhibitive, and sensitive.
This is the largest body type amongst males. Endomorphs have a solid frame with wide hips, are short, and have really thick limbs. They have great muscle strength, especially in their upper thighs. Chances are, they can outperform most of their peers in exercises such as squats.
However, they have a slow metabolism, which leads to them gaining fat rapidly. This fat usually reaches their stomach, thighs, and abdomen instead of being distributed evenly around their body. Thus, they tend to get tired and fatigued easily.
Their stocky build and round physique call for a lot of exercises and supervised meals. But with the perfect regimen down, endomorph bodies can become very muscular! Zac Efron, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pratt are some Hollywood hotties with endomorph bodies.
People with this body type are extroverts who feel relaxed and comfortable in their own skin quite easily.
You could consider mesomorphs as having the best of both worlds. They have the most desired body type — a V-shaped torso with expanded bone structure and a naturally athletic physique that can accommodate large muscles. So, if you’re a mesomorph, you could make a career in bodybuilding.
Their body has well-defined muscles that can be gained easily, and they gain fat a little more easily than ectomorphs do. Their rectangular body shape is quite attractive, and they can maintain their physique with the right combination of training and diet.
Their body might give you the illusion that they’re healthier than the other body types, but they simply have an advantage because of their metabolism. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Will Smith, Matthew McConaughy, and Chris Hemsworth are famous personalities with mesomorph bodies.
These people also tend to have loud personalities, are active, unapologetically assertive, and versatile individuals.
How To Determine Your Body Type
The following methods can be used to figure out your somatotype:
#1. The Trunk Index Method
Developed by Dr. W. H. Sheldon, this method is a simple way to determine your body type using characteristics such as your trunk index, age, weight, and height.
However, this method is a little outdated, given that our weight can fluctuate due to several reasons.
#2. The Heath-Carter Method
Created by Barbara Honeyman Heath and Lindsay Carter, this method is highly popular and used for athletes around the world.
Interestingly, Heath vehemently opposed Sheldon’s method, given his leaning towards eugenics. Associating with the dark history of eugenics during the Nazi era is one of the reasons Sheldon is quite infamous.
After having worked with him, Heath paired up with Carter to create this modified somatotype calculation.
Can Body Types Change?
To date, there hasn’t been enough scientific evidence to prove that body types can be changed. But, you can definitely give it your best shot, provided you have the perfect dietary plan and fitness regimen customized for your body.
You should also know, it is not uncommon for people to have a combination of two body types. In order to lean towards one of the body types, you’ll have to alter your traits to the one you prefer.
Thankfully it isn’t just your genetics that impacts your body type but exercises as well!
Training & Diet Tips for Different Types of Male Bodies
Here are some handy training and diet suggestions for male body types. The result may differ from individual to individual, so you will have to explore your body further and find out what works best for you.
Given their rapid metabolism rate, a high amount of calories provided by carbohydrates like oats, quinoa, rice, and potatoes can be included in the diet. Remember to split the calories between carbohydrate foods and protein/fat foods. Eat every two hours, and include fibrous fruits as well. Nutrient-rich snacks that are warm will ensure smooth digestion.
Maintaining caloric deficit is necessary for males with this body type to lose weight. In this state, your body is burning more calories than it consumes, so the fat in your body acts as its fuel.
Junk food must be religiously avoided and replaced with vegetables. Maintaining a low-carb diet transcends into a lifestyle, so you need to include a lot of protein and exercise into your routine.
Since people with this body type have high muscle mass, they require a high-protein diet to keep up with their lifestyle.
Incorporate lean meats and complex carbohydrates in your diet, and make sure your intake has an even amount of carbs, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fat foods.
Low-intensity cardio exercises should only be performed for 30 minutes or less every day. Focus on resistance training combined with heavyweights if the aim is to build muscles.
When working on specific muscle groups, extra reps help seal the deal. Focus on your chest and triceps, back and biceps, legs and shoulders on different days.
Along with a customized diet targeting fat loss, endomorphs need to work out every day. To burn calories, high-intensity cardio should be done twice or thrice a week with resistance training.
Your resting metabolic rate needs to increase, so focus on developing active muscle tissue by working your larger muscle groups. Higher reps and circuit training can help with building body muscle and simultaneously burning body fat.
Regular cardio done in moderate levels for around 30 minutes thrice a week works best for this body type. It is important to meticulously plan your exercise to avoid unintended weight gain or loss.
Mesomorph bodies are prone to weight gain, given that their body fat percentage can increase if left completely idle. Try combining cardio with weight training to properly define your body. Thankfully, you needn’t rely on free weights in this case.
How To Improve Your Body Composition
Contrary to popular belief, you are, in fact, in control of your body composition. You will have to fine-tune your diet and physical activity to significantly impact your body composition.
Once you have clarity on what your body goals are, pre-plan your days. Laying the groundwork for strict, disciplined routines is vital to achieving that perfect body you’ve been dreaming of.
Start with measuring your body fat through methods like hydrostatic weighing and DXA Scan. Then, you can work on reducing your body fat and increasing your lean body mass through exercises like swimming, cycling, jogging, and strength training.
Stick to your diet religiously and avoid unhealthy habits. Be patient, you will begin noticing results over time!
A Few Parting Words
Achieving your dream body can be quite the rush. It can boost your self-confidence and keep your health in its prime. Different types of male bodies require due attention and care, so treat your body accordingly and watch the magic unfold!