Mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph - how to determine?

When playing sports, and bodybuilding in particular, it is very important to know your body type: mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph or mixed. Depending on it, the training program and the nutrition system should be built. Only taking into account these features, you can achieve good results in the construction of your body.

The concept of human somatotype

Somatotype is a type of constitution of the human body, which is characterized by certain features of the development of its skeleton, muscles, and also subcutaneous fatty tissue, genetically determined by the peculiarity of metabolic processes occurring in the body.

The founder of the system of somatotyping, U. Sheldon, proposed the main body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph. The proposed theory of the main somatotypes of the human body is based on anthropometric measurements carried out using photographic techniques.

The concepts "mesomorphs", "endomorphs", "ectomorphs" were borrowed from embryology and correspond to the names of the germ layers:

  • endoderm - inner leaflet;
  • mesoderm - middle leaf;
  • ectoderm - outer leaflet.

In accordance with the theory of development of the embryo, the endoderm gives rise to the development of internal organs, the mesoderm - muscles, bones and blood vessels, the ectoderm - the hairline, nails, nervous system and brain. Sheldon identified seventeen measurements, which were calculated on a seven-point scale and described using three main indicators.

Types of builds according to W. Sheldon

  1. Mesomorphic (1-7-1). Type of people with a proportional development of the body, good physical development and mental stability.
  2. Endomorphic (7-1-1). People with excessive development of internal organs and overweight due to body fat.
  3. Ectomorphic (1-1-7). This type is characterized by weak development of internal organs, low body mass, fragility and refinement.

With the same detection of individual criteria in a person, the physique qualifies as mixed (1-4-4).

General characteristics of the main types of body constitution

Each type of body constitution - ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph (photos are shown below) - has its own, inherent characteristics.

mesomorph endomorph ectomorph

Representatives of ectomorphs are energetic and hyperactive, but not strong enough and enduring. They are thin, have narrow shoulders and chest, elongated limbs. The neck of the representatives of this type is long and thin. Their muscular mass is poorly developed, the articular apparatus is small, the bones are narrow and thin. People belonging to this somatotype, not exhausting themselves with various diets and physical exertion, have a weakly pronounced layer of subcutaneous fatty tissue. Due to the accelerated metabolism, a weighty problem for them is weight gain and muscle building.

Mesomorph differ slender figure. Their osteo-articular apparatus is of medium size, the limbs are proportional to the body. The fatty layer is evenly distributed throughout the body. Effective metabolism allows them to easily build up muscles or lose weight when using physical exertion.

Endomorphs are characterized by natural strength and endurance, but often they may experience bouts of fatigue.Representatives of this type have a rounded body shape with a predisposition to obesity and excess weight. Wide hips and narrow shoulders in combination with a high waist make their figure look like a pear. Slow metabolism creates problems when you lose weight.

Advantages and disadvantages of each body type

Whatever somatotype is dominant in man (mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph), it has its advantages and disadvantages.

mesomorph endomorph ectomorph how to determine

The low muscle mass of ectomorphs is the cause of flat chest and boyish figure in women. Men of this type, in order to gain muscle mass, must make significant efforts in diet and exercise. Over the years, the metabolism of ectomorphs slows down, which is often the reason for gaining excess weight, provided that the diet is not followed and physical activity.

Being a mesomorph is a great luck, as representatives of this somatotype can easily lose weight and gain excess weight without making such significant efforts in diet and exercise, unlike other types.

To lose weight and achieve the desired result, endomorphs will have to make enough effort.Only one diet to lose weight they will not succeed. To achieve this goal, you also need persistent training.

Somatotype and health

Due to the nature of the body, mesomorphs, endomorphs, and ectomorphs are prone to various diseases.

ectomorph mesomorph endomorph how to find out

Mesomorphs have a predisposition to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract associated with low acidity, respiratory diseases and lower blood pressure.

Ectomorphs are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, liver disease and diabetes, as well as various metabolic disorders.

Endomorphs often have high blood pressure and also suffer from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract associated with high acidity.

The overwhelming majority of the population does not refer to specific somatotypes, in the constitution of their bodies, ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs are expressed to varying degrees. How to find out if a person’s body is in line with existing somatotypes and not to be mistaken For this purpose, special verification methods, indices and various tests have been developed.

Wrist index

As noted above, only a small percentage of people have a particular type of constitution of his body (mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph).How to determine the body type, without delving into the atlases and not making calculations? This method was developed by G.A. Solovyov. This technique gives information about the thickness of the bones of the skeleton and is called "Determination of the Solovyov (wrist) index". To do this, measure the circumference of the wrist in the thinnest part of it.

  1. Wrist index in men. Mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph men have indicators of the circumference of the wrist, respectively, 18-20 cm, more than 20 cm, less than 18 cm.
  2. Wrist index in women. Endomorph, mesomorph, ectomorph women have wrist circumference, respectively, more than 17 cm, 15-17 cm, less than 15 cm.

Body Testing Composition

In addition to simple testing methods, there are various types of body testing by composition for determining the somatotype (mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph). The test shows the ratio of the level of subcutaneous fat with muscle mass.

endomorph mesomorph ectomorph women

The following tests are most often performed:

  • Testing skin folds. In different parts of the body, the thickness of the subcutaneous fatty tissue, which is used to calculate body composition, is measured with a caliper.
  • Testing the body immersed in water. The technique is based on weighing the human body in the usual way and in water. The residual lung capacity is also determined. Further, using a special formula, the necessary calculations are carried out.
  • Test for electrical resistance. This method of determination is based on a different level of resistance of the body’s tissues (in particular, adipose tissue and water) to the electric current passing through them.

Having determined the type of constitution (mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph), girls and guys who want to achieve certain results in improving their own figure, are obliged to follow certain physical exercise rules and diets, corresponding to their somatotype.

Features of training and diet for ectomorphs

This type of people, given the high level of metabolic processes taking place in their bodies, should build physical activity in such a way that the number of calories burned is minimal. The basis of their workouts should be basic exercises. Each workout is conducted in a power mode for a single basic exercise.

ectomorph mesomorph endomorph photo

Power loads, an increase in working weight, repetitions and approaches are carried out gradually and gradually. A very important point is the rest between workouts: the body must be fully restored. Loads should be intense, but short in time.

The diet should be high-calorie, with frequent meals, with a high content of complex carbohydrates (50-60%) and plenty of drink (up to 1 liter per day). The protein content should be about three grams per kilogram of body weight.

Features of training and diet for mesomorphs

Since the mesomorphs are well adapted to various training programs, in order to achieve a good result, they need frequent changes in the pace of strength exercises in combination with a constant change in the number of repetitions. A good effect is achieved when combining basic fast paced exercises with formative exercises.

body types ectomorph mesomorph endomorph

Since for this type of people, muscle growth is not a problem, the mesomorph diet should be primarily balanced. The protein content should be about two grams per kilogram of body weight.

Features of training and diet for endomorphs

Since the endomorph easily accumulates fat, the main point is the high frequency of training. The positive effect is achieved when working with small weights and minimal rest between sets. Very important is the high intensity workouts.

mesomorph ectomorph endomorph girls

Endomorph diet should be balanced, but with a lower calorie content. Fats should be no more than fifteen percent of the diet, carbohydrates - no more than thirty.


The article discusses important questions about the characteristics of the human body: the main somatotypes (mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph), how to determine the somatotype, the advantages and disadvantages of each body type, features of training and diet for each. This allows everyone to draw conclusions and decide on the tactics and strategy of developing their own bodies.

Proper assessment of the constitution of your body (mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph), as well as the processes occurring in it, will allow you to develop an optimal plan of work on its improvement.

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