Our body type goes well beyond the age-old, archaic, and dare we say slightly offensive comparisons to fruit. We are humans, not pears, apples, or anything else for that matter. In fact, the breakdown of our body types in terms of how we lose or gain weight comes with far fewer cutesy names, and a lot more substantiated information.
We determine this information based on our somatotypes. Studies explain that somatotyping can help athletes understand how their body type could influence their training and performance. This is crucial to note, even for non-athletes, because we are constantly fed information about what is healthiest, what works best for weight loss, and so on, but we aren’t taking into consideration how varied we all are, and that our bodies respond differently to different types of training or diets.
An ectomorph is a somatotype characterized by a lean, thin build. Typically ectomorph bodies have a high metabolic rate, meaning they burn calories at a quicker rate than others. This makes it difficult to both add muscle mass and gain weight from fat. Ectomorphs tend to have small joints and longer limbs—or at least the appearance of such from being so lean.
Mesomorphs have a sturdier bone structure than ectomorphs, and that tends to be perfect for supporting lean muscle mass, which is why many bodybuilders have this somatotype. Someone with a mesomorph body type may be described as “athletic” looking. It’s easy for them to both gain and lose weight, especially muscle weight; however, because of this, they have to be more careful about what they eat as it could easily tip the scale from strong to soft.
Endomorph body types tend to lean on the softer side. Weight from fat is easily gained, and not as easily lost. This build is typically shorter, with shorter limbs as well. But just because us endomorphs are soft doesn’t mean we aren’t strong! Endomorphs are naturally strong and have a great ability to gain muscle—it’s just harder to reveal, because losing the weight from fat is a bit more of a challenge.
For some of us, reading this makes our body type glaringly clear, but for others, it’s a little confusing. Medical journals show that we don’t have to fit perfectly into one somatotype—we can be a blend of two. If gaining muscle has proved difficult or way too easy, or losing weight has been incredibly challenging, understanding your somatotype may be a really helpful clue in getting to the bottom of your personalized plan.
See a professional to get a concise percentage when it comes to your exact somatotype. But to start, in the comfort of your own home, try this quiz to get a general idea and start assessing how to approach your own personalized plan for workouts and weight loss. There is no one-size-fits-all plan to total wellness. And when it comes to our own body goals, sometimes a little science on what is realistic can give us a fresh perspective and self-love.
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