What Body Type Are You?
By Robert Linkul MS NSCA-CPT *D CSCS *D
Arden Hills Strength & Fitness Director
National Strength & Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Southwest Regional Coordinator
There are three body types an individual can fall under when it comes to exercise and the development of a program design (workout routine). Establishing if you are an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph, or any combination thereof, is of particular interest to both you and your certified personal trainer as each body type presents a different set of guidelines regarding to your ability to build muscle or shed fat.
• Ectomorphs typically have short torsos, long thin legs and arms, narrow feet and hands and little to no fat storage. They have narrowness in the chest and shoulders and have long thin muscles, which make muscular hypertrophy (growth) nearly impossible. Ectomorphs are often very efficient at muscular endurance based events (i.e. long distance running, biking, etc.) although their diet is typically the key to either their success or failure.
• Mesomorphs typically have a large chest and a long torso creating a great base to build a solid amount of muscle mass. Muscular hypertrophy, increased strength and moderate to low fat storage (i.e. high metabolism) are other perks of being a mesomorph. This combination makes the mesomorph the ideal body type in that muscles can be developed and body fat can be burned away at the same time.
• Endomorphs typically have a large frame and the capacity to store large amounts of body fat. They have round faces, soft muscle tissue, short necks and wide hips. In many cases, endomorphs make great power lifters (great for strength gain) in that they can develop a great deal of mass to put behind a weight.
Based upon a person’s body type and their fitness goals (i.e. running a marathon, loosing body fat, a bodybuilding show, etc.) a specific program design can be implemented to aid in achieving that goal. What if your goal is outside is not in line with your body type? For example, can an ectomorph be successful at an activity that an endomorph is genetically predisposed to be more successful at?
The answer lies within the training program design. If the program is designed to decrease weaknesses and maintain or slightly improve strengths, anything is possible. The body type is simply the foundation of the house where the program design is the creation of the home itself. With hard work and proper program design anything is possible.