Human Body Types
Life is full of ups and downs. The cheat sheet is to enjoy the ups and be courageous during the downs. But in between those times, there are people who would love you, encourage you and tell you, “You are Unique!” Are we really?! Certainly we are! Each one of us are unique, not just psychologically but physically as well. We all have different bodies, genetics, strengths and weaknesses. We even respond differently to certain types of foods. And thus, we follow different activities and exhibit different behaviours too!
Over the years, beyond the Ayurvedic categorisation of body types and their associated personalities as Vata, Pitta and Kapha, there have been several categorisation of human body types. But the one that has gain popularity in the present times is the theory of Somatotypes which was introduced by William H. Sheldon in 1940’s. According to this basic theory, there are three types of human body: Ectomorphs, Mesomorphs or Endomorphs.
Whether or not you have heard of these terms before, we have got you covered! The three types of body that Sheldon spawned, have managed to acquire a place in fitness. So, That’s what we are going to discuss about today! But before digging the topic in deep, No human being fits perfectly in any one of these categories, but contains characteristics of each of the body types. Usually, one of the types is predominant over the other and that’s how it is decided to which category the body belongs to!
Think of Brad Pitt, Think of Ectomorph! The supermodels with linear physique which you see on the fashion magazine belongs to this category.The long and slim body which doesn’t easily put on weight is everyone’s dream body. But do you know they too struggle to build the muscles? They are the hardgainers! Ectomorphs have the ruler body shape: Long arms and legs, small joints/bones, small shoulders, lightly muscled, small chest low body fat and fast, efficient metabolism.Although this type of body is highly regarded, this type of body-bearers have the problems of their own. They lack shape due to low muscle mass and they too have to work hard to achieve their goals such as gaining muscles and fats. However, with the age this nippy metabolism of ectomorphs slows down and since the ectomorphs are not used to exercising or watching their food intake, they gain weight. As a result, the male ectomorphs will have the opportunity to build the muscles like Bradley Cooper and female ectomorphs will have the chance to flaunt their curves just like Kate Moss.Best diet for this body type is one that is higher in calories. Approximately 50-60% of calories should come from carbs, 25% from protein and 25% from fat.
Do you get the jealous look from the passer-bys? Do you have a brawny body without setting the foot in gym and pack on the muscle mass the instant they pick up a dumbell (if at all you go to gym)? Then, you are the proud owner of a genetic jackpot! You are a Mesomorph – just like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hrithik Roshan!The Mesomorphs are somewhere between ‘I’ shaped ectomorphs and ‘O’ shaped endomorphs. Their large head, broad shoulders, narrow waist, muscular body, strong forearms and thighs, least body fat, long torso, good shoulder to waist ratio makes them the most desirable person in the world.The ease of building muscle mass in Mesomorphs has a lot to do with satellite cell-mediated myonuclear addition. In simpler terms, it is the number of cells around the muscle fibers and how well you could train yourself to add more of it.Mesomorphs should be training like an athlete, timing the workouts and set personal bests. What they shouldn’t be doing is giving in to their taste buds, eating whatever they wish for and taking their body for granted. Due to their higher ratio of muscle mass, muscle weighs more than fat making caloric needs of mesomorphs slightly higher than others. Best diet that mesomorphs can follow is dividing their macronutrients into 3: one-third protein, one-third fat(whole grains), one-third carbohydrates.
A body which looks like the alphabet ‘O’ with a good amount of body fat stored in it is an endomorph body. With a medium-large bone structure, small shoulders and pear-shaped body, endomorphs, usually carry their weight in the lower abdomen and thighs rather than evenly distributed throughout the body which makes it a bit harder to lose weight epitomizing them as the “Barrel of fun”. But all’s not bad for an ectomorph, building muscles is easy for them; however they need to work hard for that since they have a slower metabolism and extra body fat makes it hard for them to stay lean.To improve their body shape, endomorphs can aim for a nutrient distribution close to 30% carbs, 35% protein & 35% fat with carbs coming mostly from veggies and high-fibre starches. A low-to-medium intensity cardio plan is also needed along with 1750-calories-a-day diet plan.Leverage the strengths of each body type. Each have benefits and disadvantages, and no one body type is perfect‒ only by understanding your body will you learn to grow and develop your best possible physique. The more, the better is a common thought in the fitness crowd. But is it really so? Different body types need different intensity exercises, fitness regimen and tailored-made diet for them. The type of body doesn’t approve the quality of your health.
Structure your macronutrients, take meals on time, and workout according to the body you have been given and the goals you have in mind. But whichever type of body you are in, love what you got and rock it!