New to exercise? Here are 5 things you absolutely NEED to know (Part 2)
September 5, 2016

New to exercise? Here are 5 things you absolutely NEED to know (Part 3)

Know your Body Type

There is a very good chance that when you made the decision to embark on your fitness journey you had some very clear goals in mind. And while diet & exercise includes a host of health benefits and contributes to one's overall well-being, they can also transform your body aesthetically and/or help you improve dramatically for a sport.

The path to achieving your ideal body, or realizing a certain level of success in a sporting discipline however, needs to be tempered with accurate knowledge and realistic expectations. See the thing is that depending on your body type, your goals may not be easily attainable or may take a much longer time than you might be bargaining for.

One of the key factors to remaining dedicated and consistent in any long term pursuit is to have realistic goals and expectations. This guards against the type of frustration and demotivation which derails many people from persevering in their endeavors. When it comes to your fitness goals, it is no different.

In this article we will talk about the different body types and what works best for each type in terms of nutrition, exercise and sport.


Ectomorphs are characterized by their long, slender builds, small joints, narrow shoulders and naturally low body fat percentages. Ectomorphs have high metabolisms which makes it harder for them to gain weight and easier to lose it than the other two body types. In bodybuilding, an ectomorph would typically be known as a 'hardgainer', as people with this body type encounter the most difficulty with putting on and keeping lean muscle mass.

Training & Sports

These characteristics make ectomorphs particularly well suited for endurance type training therefore they excel in sports such as long distance running, cycling and swimming. They are also suited for racquet sports such as squash, badminton and tennis where long limbs are advantageous.


In terms of diet, an ectomorph would need to consume more calories in order to maintain or gain weight than the others. Since their bodies are naturally predisposed to shed fat quickly, it is advised that an ectomorph aiming to gain weight eat before bedtime to maximize their daily caloric intake.


Mesomorphs have a naturally athletic looking, well built physique and tend to be of average stature. Their characteristics include broad shoulders and defined muscularity. Mesomorphs gain muscle more easily than ectomorphs but they also gain fat more easily as well. It does not take much effort however for a mesomorph to manage their body fat percentage and keep off excess weight.

Training & Sports

Mesomorphs respond best to a combination of strength and aerobic training which makes them good at sports which require both endurance and explosive power such as rugby or football. This body type is particularly well suited to resistance training which makes it ideal for bodybuilding.


In terms of nutrition a mesomorph would need to pay closer attention to their caloric intake than their ectomorphic counterparts depending on their goals and training schedule. A relatively high metabolism can make it a bit difficult for a very active mesomorph to gain muscle mass however poor diet choices and neglect in training can also easily lead to excess body fat more quickly than it would an ectomorph.


Endomorphs are characterised by a round physique and stocky build. They have tend to have shorter limbs and a thicker bone structure. Endomorphs are naturally very strong especially in their upper legs. They gain muscle the quickest of the 3 body groups but they also gain fat the fastest due to their slower metabolisms. This means that they often have the hardest time losing fat and keeping off excess weight.

Training & Sports

Due to their tendency to gain and keep body fat you find the majority of endomorphs focused on cardiovascular training. However, due to being naturally strong endomorphs also make great strength athletes; and sports such as powerlifting, shot put and hammer throw are dominated by this body type. Long distance swimming (due to natural buoyancy and insulation) is also a suitable sport, along with rowing and American football, which favors larger, heavier athletes.

An endomorph needs to pay very keen attention to their diet and always maintain a strict regime in order to keep fat to a minimum due to their slow metabolisms. The plus side of this is that not much effort is required in order for them to bulk up such as dietary supplements and high protein diets.

So which type are you?

You may not fit perfectly into any of these categories but the information above should help you identify the traits you exhibit most. Many people are a combination of two body types with the characteristics of one type being more dominant than the other in some cases.

What is important is that you train and eat according to your body type and have realistic expectations about fat loss and building muscle mass. With enough hard work and dedication though, even ectomorphs can put on decent amounts of muscle mass and endomorphs can stay lean. It's boils down to how willing you are to strive for your goals.

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