Ectomorphic. Endomorphic. What kind of somatotype do you have?

Everyone probably met with a general division into three somatotypes – ektomorphic, mesomorphic and endomorphic. People like to throw themselves into one type and then look for excuses like “I can not put on weight because I’m an ektomorphist!” Or “I’m building a pure muscle mass – I have to be a mesomorphic”. Unfortunately, it is not so easy. I will try to explain this division in the following article.

  1. Do not give your somatotype strength

The division into somatotypes can find people perfect excuses. How many times have you met with the saying that someone is overweight because he is endomorphic? There will be separate excuses for each somatotype that people like to be attributed to. Because it is easier.


Everyone is jealous of these mythical mesomorphics, who happen once in a million, and they can lie on the couch, and their level of body fat will drop, and muscle mass will grow. Unfortunately, this does not work.

This popular categorization system is so often encountered, because it is simply easy to customize for a given person. It’s very simple. If you look like this, you belong to this category, and your inconveniences look like this, so you have to do it and this”. You can insert appropriate fields for the appropriate somatotype. That is why it is so popular for practitioners. You can call it a system of built-in excuses. Unfortunately, this division does not work as easily as it looks at first glance.

Somatotypes were classified by dr. William Sheldon around the 1940s. He used them to determine personality traits because he was a psychologist. It had nothing to do with determining the physicality of a given type, but it showed the difference in the body structure of individuals.

Previously somatotypes were also used by Dr. Ernst Kretschmer (Dr. W. Sheldon based on them). The research showed that the thicker (endomorphic) people were more happy and the emaciated (ektomorphic) people were often more nervous. It did not translate into training or predispositions about food, but it is worth noting.


For people who are just starting to train, it can also be motivating. It’s good to know that Frank Zane was an ektomorphist and three times he won. Olympia. On the other hand, looking at the powerful figure of the four-time winner Mr. Olympia – Jaya Cutler, you can deduce that the endomorph can also be sculpted.


One thing is certain, there is nothing to rely on only who has the somatotype. You have to take care of yourself and look at yourself as an individual. If you are 190 cm tall and weigh 70 kg, it does not mean that you have to eat like an ectomorphic and train like an ectomorphic. It means that you have to eat a lot and train hard. You probably have a quick metabolism and you will need to eat more, so that’s why you are currently skinny. Test and check. If you do not eat – you eat too little. There is no other, simpler way to check what will be more appropriate.

On the other hand, if you weigh 120 kg and you are 170 cm tall, it does not necessarily mean that you are endomorphic. You’re just overweight. If you do the right training, you will follow the diet and abide in your decision, you can easily improve the look of your figure. It’s only a matter of time and approach to your decision. There is nothing “endomorphic” about it.

Each ektomorphic, mesomorphic and endomorphic, which has achieved a success in succession, combine the three most important points. There is nothing individual for the group in them.

These points are

– everybody trained at 110% of their abilities,

– everyone stick to their diet plan,

– everyone stayed in their decision for many years.

Three simple points that change so much. However, sticking to these assumptions is very difficult for most of the trainers.


  1. Endomorph

Endomorphics are people who are usually “big”. They easily gain body fat, but on the other hand, they are the strongest of all groups. They have powerful joints and easily build muscle mass.

Typical features

– stocky body,

– difficulty in maintaining a low level of body fat,

– slow metabolism,

– “round” silhouette,

– naturally high strength.

The biggest downside to endomorphics is the very easy assumption of fat, so their diet must be very carefully observed. They are most suitable for strength sports such as strongman or powerlifting



  1. Ectomorphic

It is commonly believed that an ectomorphic is simply a skinny person with smaller bones and a finer one. These people usually do not have arms set too wide apart, so they are not powerful at first glance. Usually, we say about such people that they are skinny.

Typical features

– shoulder girdle not much wider than hips,

– fast metabolism,

– low level of body fat,

– little muscles,

– flat chest, small joints, laxity.

Ectomorphic cells have a fast metabolism, which means they burn more calories. Their nature shows that they are more mobile and their NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) is higher than in other groups. They need a lot of calories to build muscle mass, but on the other hand, it’s easy to keep them lower fat levels and lose them during the reduction.



  1. Mezomorph

Mesomorphics are people who are strong by nature, have a widely spaced shoulder hoop, easily build muscle mass and are able to find a good standard in any sport.


Typical features

– athletic silhouette.

– naturally higher level of muscle mass,

– force,

easy to build muscle mass.

Mesomorphics respond best to strength training. Their bodies are ideal for bodybuilding. The downside is that it becomes easier than the ectomorphics to gain body fat, so their diet must be respected more.


  1. Common features

Here we come to a problem. It is very difficult to classify someone only into one somatotype. Often, somatotypes are mixed. It is very difficult to find 100% mesomorphic or 100% ektomorphic, etc. These types often mix, so someone who has a fragile body structure does not have to have a slow metabolism. Things get a bit complicated when someone with the construction and the silhouette of a typical mesomorphism says that fat gets fat easily.

There are many people in the world who are created to be bodybuilders, and to a larger extent, these are typically mesomorphic figures. Just look at people like Szymon £ada or Peter Molnar. On the other hand, what category do we include Usain Bolt – an absolute record holder in 100 meters sprint?

It is worth noting that both endomorphic and ektomorphic cells may have a slow metabolism. For example, both of them can take adipose tissue in the least optimal areas of the body with a diet of 3000 kcal. The structure of their body will differ radically, but the metabolism will be the same. Then categorizing a given individual will be very difficult. It will be possible to assume that, for example, an ectomorph is an appearance only, but when it comes to its metabolic changes, we will call it endomorphic.

I would like to emphasize here that the look at the somatotype should be rather superficial. You can not believe certain ideals and try to choose everything for a given type of figure. It will sooner or later bring a negative effect, and that’s not what it’s all about.



  1. Summary

To sum up, do not treat somatotypes too literally. Training and diet for a given person should be adjusted individually – this is true, but basing mainly on the somatotype is pointless. The diversity of people in terms of structure, metabolism, genetic predisposition and skills is boundless. Let’s remember that apparently two of the same people may differ diametrically. Just as in medicine, results are not treated, only the patient is treated – here we should approach the given person as much as possible individually and look more broadly at the whole issue of body building.

During my beginnings at the gym, I weighed 66 kg at 180 cm height. Everyone said it was not possible for me to build muscle mass, because I was very skinny by rapid metabolism. After several years of training in the gym, I managed to gain weight of almost 30 kg while maintaining a fairly low fat level. It’s worth thinking about it.