Health professionals have long used several methods to classify human body types. In Ayurvedic medicine, body types and their linked personalities were defined as Pita, Vata and Kapha. In the 1940s, William H. Sheldon introduced his own theory of body types. Sheldon’s system defined the characterized body types as ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
While not every human body fits into one of these three categories, there are often a few dominant characteristics. Once you know your body’s natural shape, you can follow the fitness plan that suits you best. With that said, here are three somatotypes and here's how to train for each body type.
Ectomorph Body Type
The ectomorph body type is thin and struggles to gain weight, whether it's fat or muscle. They may consume loads of carbohydrates and still maintain the same bodyweight. Ectomorphs also tend to have a lean build with small muscles and long limbs. To gain weight naturally, ectomorphs must consume a higher amount of calories than they are used to.
--> Follow a healthy diet that consists of carbohydrates and protein. Increase your weight through strength training and reduce aerobic activities.
Mesomorph Body Type
The mesomorph has a natural tendency to be fit and achieve muscle mass with ease. Does this mean that you do not have to do anything to achieve an ideal physique? No – but you will be able to get back into shape faster than an endomorph or ectomorph.
--> Aim for moderate weights and follow regular aerobic exercise. Targeting your desired areas, such as the arms, the chest or the abs, will help you achieve results relatively fast.
Endomorph Body Type
The endomorph body type tends to gain weight faster and keep it on. Their natural build is wider than a mesomorph or ectomorph. They may have a larger muscle mass and short limbs. While they can have more muscle than any other body type, they often gain a lot of fat in the process as well.
--> Follow a balanced diet with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Get your heart pumping daily with physical exercise for a healthy cardio burn. If you still cannot see results, you might need to watch your diet!
If you are unsure about what type you are, you might be somewhere in between. Once you know your body type or mixture, it's much easier to personalize your exercise and diet.
Author: Jane Hazel.