In the past, women were typically the only ones concerned about their body shape. Still, with the rise of advertising showcasing male models in underwear, men are becoming more aware of their physique and body type. Three body types – ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph – are also used to categorize women’s body types.
Men, like women, do not necessarily have a body shape that is set in stone. Instead, they can combine a couple of different body types. The combinations usually are ectomorph/mesomorph or mesomorph/endomorph.
Understanding a man’s body type can offer valuable information about how it impacts his weight management, muscle building, and diet and exercise optimization.
You can identify ectomorphs by their physical appearance. They are usually tall and skinny with long, thin arms and legs. They have a small joint structure and lean muscle, which gives them a light build. Ectomorphs are often successful in endurance sports like cross-country running. Some of their typical traits include:
Lean muscle mass
Small “delicate” frame and bone structure
Difficulty in gaining weight
Individuals with an ectomorph body type have a speedy metabolism, making it challenging to gain weight. They generally need to consume a considerable amount of calories to put on some pounds. Men who want to gain weight with an ectomorph body shape should focus on working out their legs, arms, and abdomen – large muscle groups – keeping the workouts brief and intense. They should also aim to eat at least three protein-rich meals daily, with around 30 grams of protein per meal. Each meal should also contain at least a cup of vegetables, 1 ½ to 2 cups of carb-dense foods like whole grain rice, farro, beans, or lentils, and a healthy source of fat like almonds or walnuts.
Men who have a naturally athletic build are called mesomorphs. They tend to have large muscles and bones, which make them well-suited for explosive sports like football or basketball. They often find it easy to gain or lose weight as needed.
Traits of men who are mesomorphs include:
Hard body with well-defined muscles
Rectangular body shape
Easily gains muscle mass
Gains weight and fat easily
Men with mesomorph body types can easily build muscle mass through weight training. However, overeating can lead to excessive fat gain. To maintain a healthy balance, mesomorphs should combine weight training and cardio exercises. Their meal plan should consist of 30 grams of protein per meal, 2 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of carb-dense foods such as whole grains, fruits, beans, and lentils, and a moderate amount of healthy fats.
The third body type is known as endomorph. Men with this physique tend to have a sturdy but soft body, with a shorter build and thick arms and legs. They have naturally strong muscles, making them well-suited for squats, powerlifting, football linemen, or throwing a shot put. However, this body type is predisposed to gaining weight and fat more easily than others.
The typical traits of an endomorph include:
Soft and round body
Gains muscle and fat easily
May have trouble losing fat
Muscles are not as well-defined
Weight gain typically results in fat accumulation for people with the endomorph body type. Preventing excess weight gain is essential for men with this body type, and they are encouraged to engage in both cardio and weightlifting exercises while also making smart food choices that don’t cause rapid weight gain in the form of fat. A recommended diet plan for endomorphs includes consuming 25-30 grams of protein at each meal, 2 cups of vegetables, 1 cup of carbohydrate-rich foods, and a slightly higher portion of healthy fats.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.