Should You Be Training For Your Body Type?

Frequently discredited, but still used as shorthand for how to train, endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph are three ‘body types’ that are used to describe people, their physiology and their propensity for muscle or fat gain. Originating from pseudo-scientific work in the 1940s, an Endomorph is typically described as someone with higher body fat, lower stature and a slower metabolism. An ectomorph is tall, lean and might struggle to gain muscle and the mesomorph is athletic and muscular with an efficient metabolism.

The suggestion being that an endomorph training plan would differ significantly to that of an ecto- or mesomorph. 

Resident training expert and G+C Sherpa, Mike Russell dispels the myths.


The problem with body type-casting

Broadly categorising people according to their body shape, weight or height is troublesome for a few reasons but we’re going to focus on result and enjoyment to start with.

You might find your talents lean more towards certain sports or exercise than others and that can have something to do with your natural make-up (if you’re tall, it might be easier to hit the net in basketball; if you’re lean with a quick metabolism running might seem a good fit), But it’s the work you put in and the joy you get out that will keep you in the game, highly motivated and with improved mental + physical health. 

Focus on the activities and exercises that bring you joy and improve your wellbeing. For me, and for so many others, training is as much for my mental health as it is for my physical health and so I am doing it out of pure enjoyment and not because it suits my ‘body type’. Being active is the first goal and enjoying the activity will keep you motivated to do more. 

What exercise should I focus on?

Bottom line, if you have an interest in something you will be far more likely to stick with it, (even if you’re not very good at it). Pursuing an activity that you like will have far greater long-term health benefits than doing something that might ‘suit’ your physical shape but that you never wanted to do in the first place.

Set yourself up with a training plan that suits you, your personality, likes and goals. Try not to focus so much on whether you’re training for a mesomorph, ectomorph or endomorph ‘shape’.

For anyone who has  an interest in the gym but is concerned with their fitness level or strength, introducing some light cardio and weight training is a great place to start, but don’t feel confined just to this!  Introduce some  HIIT workouts or take up a dance class to shed any unwanted weight, increase aerobic activity and smile while you’re at it.We need to get rid of the ideas of “body types” and instead focus on the body we would ultimately be happy with, work on achieving it in a sustainable fashion and enjoy the process while you’re at it. 

Where do I start?

For those that might be nervous of the gym but want to get moving, doing a bodyweight workout at home is a great way to work up a sweat, burn some calories and release your endorphins. 

Take a test run on the following 12-minute EMOM (Every Minute, On the Minute) to get the blood pumping. And remember, this is about you, and what makes you feel good.

12-minute EMOM Circuit

  1. 20 Air Squats
  2. 8 Burpees
  3. 20 Jumping Jacks

If completing these reps is a level up from where you're at right now, try working for 30 seconds and then take 30 seconds rest. This will give you a good gauge and target to hit.

Looking for a little more motivation? Check out our blog on why training with others has so many benefits, here.

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