Are You Mesomorph? (How To Determine Your Body Type)

Are You Mesomorph (How To Determine Your Body Type)

Body types are hereditary traits based on your skeletal frame and body composition. Understanding your bone structure, fat/ muscle distribution will help you reach physique goals. But if you the market for in Mesomorph Pre Workout, this isn’t that page. However, we do have a comprehensive blog on the changes of mesomorph pre workout


We Are All Unique

Our bodies are all unique. We have different genetic make ups, and different reactions to stimuli. Body types are not definite and not exclusive. Meaning because you fit one category doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle mass like a different category. And if you don’t completely fit into one category that’s normal too. Sometimes people are a combination and thus benefit from many training styles.

mesomorph body types

What Are The Body Types: History

There are three main body types:

 The concept of categorizing body types isn’t new. In fact some of the first literature on body types was written as early 380 BC, in “The Republic” by Plato. But as of more recently. There was a major contributions to physiology body types written in 1940. Which was published by William H. Sheldon (along with S.S. Stevens and W.B. Tucker), “The Varieties of Human Physique”.

In this book Sheldon outlines the three common “Somatotypes”. Somatotypes is the term that refers to your body types. Sheldon thought you could predict human temperament by assessing someone’s body type. In his finding he associated the body types with personality traits†.


 Sheldon’s methods were for classifying body types wasn’t accepted by everyone in the scientific community. Sheldon used a rated on scales from 1-7 to group participants into one of four categorizes. As a result of the criticisms to his researching methods, Sheldon altered his techniques.

Consequently this to no avail. His methods were no longer used as the standard for classifying body types. Rising the downfall, Barbra Honeyman Heath publicly denounced his methods as fraud and inaccurate. She then went on to build a successful career modifying somatotyping techniques. While participating in projects all over the world(1).


How Do We Classify Body Types Today

Heath’s approach to understanding somatotypes took on a more academic standard. With the help of Lindsay Carter, the created the Heath-Carter method. Which is implicated when assessing the development of college athletes. The main difference between the Heath-Carter method and Sheldon’s is perspective.†

Sheldon believed your somatotype is permanent throughout an adult’s life. Whereas the Heath-Carter method tracks the development of athletes. Which is now preferred because it perceives a person’s physique as changeable.


Limitations With Somatotypes


It’s extremely rare to find someone who is a pure version of one of the three primary somatotypes. Most individuals exhibit characteristics of two or even all three somatotypes. Diet and exercise can result in someone changing their classification over time.

Despite common belief, your body type is more than just your weight. The Heath-Carter method uses various anthropocentric measurements to analyze the body types. This includes skin-folds, weight, height, circumferences, femur breadth and more.

Recent Somatotype Research Studies

body types research

In a 2015 study of soccer players, differences were identified in somatotypes between players’ playing position and within their divisions(2). And in 2017, a study looked into the relationship between somatotypes and performances of volleyball players.
What the researchers found here was:
“Division A1 were taller, heavier, more muscular, and less endomorphic compared to those of Division A2″(3).

So what does this mean?

Well for starters it means that there is evidence that somatotypes may play a role in our overall body composure. And the differences seen between the players playing each position, means that different training styles may be beneficial for each somatotype.


ectomorph mesomorph body types



Ectomorph’s tend to be more lean, with  long, and slim muscles/limbs. They generally have fast metabolisms which makes it difficult to gain weight. Because of this they are often referred to as the “hard-gainers”.

Physical Traits

Ectomorph Micheal Phelps

  • Slender frame
  • Narrow shoulders and hips
  • Narrow chest and abdomen
  • Small bone structure
  • Very fast metabolism
  • Light frame makes them suited for aerobic activity like gymnastics
  • Smaller body surface area also enhances their suitability for endurance activity
  • Their body is better at thermo regulation, important in endurance based sports
Ectomorph Celebrity Athlete


Michael Phelps


What Should Ectomorphs Do More Of ?

The best advice we could provide comes from a special character on the hit T.V. series The Office, Michael Scott.



“K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)”


  • Train Smart
    • If you’re goal is to gain muscle mass, you need to limit your cardio sessions to the minimum. Instead, focus on your resistance training. Checkout our How To Build Muscle Blog for 9 tips you should follow. The main take away is to do a progressive overload(4). If you’re not getting stronger with weeks passing by, you’re not building muscle mass.
  • Rest Appropriately
    • In addition you should also consider reducing your training at the gym. This may seem counter productive but there’s an important reason for it. Training too much may result in expending too many calories. Thus negating your weight-gaining efforts. By reducing your training, we don’t mean you should only train 3 days a week (unless that works for you!)(5). Instead make sure your workout program reflects your goals. So instead of spending several hours at the gym, take 45 mins to an hour or even an hour and a half. And use that time to train functionally (compound movements are your friend).
  • Eat At A Surplus
    • Like with any goal, consistency is key. You need to develop a routine you can stick to, this includes a nutrition regimen. Eating at a surplus is going to be a large factor on how efficiently you build muscle. But what you eat will reflect how you gain weight. A calorie is a calorie but the source still matters(6).


Check out our Time Under Tension Blog for more guidance on training styles and a leg workout.

Mesomorph body type


Right in the middle we have our mesomorphs. People with this body type tend to add new muscle easier than the other body types and don’t tend to store much body fat. But, because your genetics are on your side doesn’t mean you can slack off. Mesomorphs tend to take their naturally athletic builds for granted. Which can result in less than intense workouts and poor diets.

Physical TraitsMesomorph Arnold
  • Medium build, rectangular/wedge body shape
  • Wide broad shoulders
  • Fairly lean with a hard body
  • Can gain muscle easily
  • Are usually strong
  • Muscled arms and legs
  • Respond well to cardiovascular and resistance training
  • Can sustain low body fat levels
  • All muscle groups can be used to derive positive training adoption
  • Dependent on the sports’ needs they can easily gain or lose weight
Mesomorph Celebrity Athlete

Arnold Schwarzenegger

What Should Mesomorphs Do More Of?
  • Train Like An Athlete
    • As a mesomorph you will want to focus on your strength training. Keep in mind that when you’re young, you can get away with having a less than perfect diet and workout routine. But when you’re older you’ll regret not having the discipline to avoid unhealthy decisions. Building healthy habits at a younger age and keeping your nutrition on track means you’ll keep a good physique as you get older.
  • Eat Clean
    • You can’t out train a bad diet! Mesomorphs generally have no trouble eating what they want to eat, as they may lose weight easily. On the flip side, they may gain weight just as readily. Since mesomorphs have a higher muscle mass, they may need more calories than other body types. If you struggle with finding that balance consider tracking your macros.

      endomorph mesomorph body types


On the opposite side of the spectrum we have the Endomorphs. People with this body type generally have a harder time losing weight. The common characteristics for endomorphs include:
wider waists, large bone structures, and a predisposition to storing fat.

Physical Traits
endomorph Lee Priest
  • Usually short in height or stature
  • Difficult to lose body fat
  • Bulky physique, round body
  • Can gain both fat and muscle easily
  • Wide shoulders and hips
  • Size benefits sports such as rugby where bulk is useful, provided it can be moved powerfully
  • Tend to have large lung capacity which can make them suited to sports such as rowing
Endomorph Celebrity Athlete

Lee Priest

What Should Endomorphs Do More Of ?

If your goal is to slim down or tone up there is a ton of information claiming to be the best way to burn fat. So lets buffer through the B.S. and give you the facts on burning fat:

  • Diet = Key
    • In a study done in 2016, researchers looked at how fast they could help their participants get in shape. While making accommodations to their diets and exercise regimens. While all the participants were eating at a calorie deficit, the group eating a high protein content was able to gain muscle while losing weight. Where as the group just eating at a calorie deficit lost weight but did not gain muscle (they also did not lose muscle).
    • Researchers also found that the high-protein group lost more body fat than the other group (7).

(Check out: Fat Burning Food)

  • Find An Exercise Regimen That Works For You
    • In a study done in 2017, researchers compared the weight loss of abdominal visceral fat between high intensity interval training (HIIT) vs prolonged moderate-intensity continuous training. What they found was that there wasn’t a significant advantage between either training styles. However, HIIT may be the preferred training method due to it’s efficiency with relation to time (8).

(Check out: Best Fat Burning Exercises)

  • Stay Hydrated
    • Staying hydrated may feel like a “no-brainier”, but a survey reported in the New York Times states we may be countering the positive affects of drinking water by overly consuming alcoholic and caffeinated beverages (9).  So keep in mind that the calories in your cup still count towards the calories you consume in day.
    • When you’re not hydrated your body expresses this in a few ways. For starters (in no particular order), you may notice the texture of your skin becoming dryer than normal. Secondly, you will notice your urine is a darker shade of yellow than normal. And one of most common signs of dehydration- bloating. When your body is not getting enough water, it starts to hold on to what little it gets. This is, of course, not the only reason for bloating. Therefore staying hydrated helps reduce water retention.

(Check out: Elite Nutrition In 2018)

Combination Somatotypes

As we mentioned, people have traits that cross over. These are considered a combination body types. The information on combination somatotypes as a classification is limited. But some recognized names are ecto-endomorph, ecto-mesomorph, and endo-ectomorph.

mesomorph pear shape shapes
  • Generally are pear-shaped
  • They have thinner upper bodies
  • Fat storage on the lower half
    mesomorph hourglass shapes
  • Easily fluctuate between being incredibly lean or very muscular
  • Tend to have broad shoulders, narrow waists, and “V” shape of the torso
  • Fat tends to be on the stomach, but can also be on the buttocks.
mesomorph apple shapes
  • Generally are apple-shaped
  • More fat storage in the upper body
  • Thinner hips, thighs, and legs

The Take Away

Everyone has different genetic predispositions that may aid or hinder our fitness goals. But these predispositions don’t have to act as limitations. If you’re not happy with your somatotype you’ll have to work a little harder to get and maintain the physique you like. Luckily they are methods and supplements that can help you get there faster.



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