Fitness Exercise Depends On Your Body Type

Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the theory of Somatotypes. His theory described three basic human body types: the endomorph, characterized by a preponderance of body fat; the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed musculature; and the ectomorph, distinguished by a lack of either much fat or muscle tissue. He did also state that most people were a mixture of these types.

Here are the characteristics of the three body types and the form of exercise they should follow:


  • Fragile
  • Thin
  • Flat chest
  • Delicate build
  • Young appearance
  • Tall
  • Lightly muscled
  • Stoop-shouldered
  • Large brain
  • Has trouble gaining weight
  • Muscle growth takes longer

Ectomorphs should concentrate on gaining weight in the form of good lean muscle tissue . Weight training should be done but not too often or for too long each session. Weight should be fairly heavy and workout pace slower with longer rest periods between sets. Diet should be high in calories and you should eat more than you’re used to and often. Aerobic and other activities like sports, dancing, etc, should be kept to a minimum, at least until you are happy with your weight and looks.


  • Athletic
  • Hard, muscular body
  • Overly mature appearance
  • Rectangular shaped (hourglass shaped for women)
  • Thick skin
  • Upright posture
  • Gains or loses weight easily
  • Grows muscle quickly

A Mesomorph has a naturally fit body but to maintain it or improve it they should exercise and diet correctly for their type. Strength training can be done more often and for longer sessions than would be good for an Ectomorph, but you must still be careful not to overdo it. You should train with moderate to heavy weights and at a moderate pace, not resting too long between sets. You will find you gain muscle quite easy, but this won’t happen suddenly. When you are happy with your muscle size simply train to maintain it.


  • Soft body
  • Flabby
  • Underdeveloped muscles
  • Round shaped
  • Over-developed digestive system
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Generally gains muscle easily

An Endomorph’s biggest concern should be the losing of fat and adopting a lifestyle that keeps it off. Strength training should be done to get a better muscle to fat ratio and therefore improve metabolism. Use moderate weights at a fast training pace (very little rest between sets and exercises). You should lower your calorie intake (but not try to starve yourself) and should eat frequent but small meals. Sugars, sweets and junk food should be eliminated from your diet. Engage daily in some activity like brisk walking, biking, etc., and try to increase the amount of time you spend each week.

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