Everything you need to know about body types.

Written by
Jonathan Steedman

Ectomorph, endomorph, it really doesn't matter.

Body types or “somatotypes”, if we’re being fancy, were developed by American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon in the 1940s as a system for classifying people’s body types into three broad camps; ectomorphs, endomorphs or mesomorphs.
He then went on to try and associate actual psychological characteristics with them such as a person’s intelligence, morality and potential which… fairly unsurprisingly has been thoroughly debunked. We’re not going to talk about that today (or ever again) though. Instead, we’re going to focus on the physical traits associated with these body types.



Ectomorphs tend to be taller, leaner, weaker and more gifted at endurance style activities than endomorphs



Endomorphs are quite the opposite and tend to be short, heavier and stronger, making them more suited to strength and power activities.



Mesomorphs are jerks because they get the best of both worlds. Lean but still carrying decent muscle mass, whilst excelling at various styles of training. You can probably think of a couple of them off the top of your head, and I want you to know those feelings of hatred that bubble up simultaneously are well founded.


Is classifying yourself useful?

I don’t think so.
If someone can tell me exactly what value they will gain out of being classified as an endo, ecto or mesomorph than I’m open to changing my mind but, as far as I can see, it’s mostly just going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe it’s hard for you to lose weight because you’re an endomorph… you’re probably going to be correct.
I think they’re mostly used to sell dumb diet approaches. Things like “carb cycling for endomorphs” or “mass gaining diets” for ectomorphs pop up all the time, because they sound fancy and therefore will obviously work.  
Instead, focus on things you can control, like eating a bunch of nutritious food, moving regularly, getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and patting more dogs.

Doing these things consistently is going to help you potentially “change” your somatotype anyway.

Imagine if someone told Christian Bale he was an ectomorph and he just needed to accept it?

But if you must use these classifications then treat them as a spectrum, not three distinct classifications. You’re probably somewhere in between 2 of the three types, and there’s also no reason you can’t change that. You’re not stuck.

Disclaimer – I saw someone else use this picture as an example but I can't for the life of me remember who... so thank you to whoever it was I guess.

Thanks for reading! Why not subscribe to our mailing list for more great content.