Types of body shapes – Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph

Body types are classified into three types : ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. People may belong to one of these types or to a combination of these types. There are a lot of factors that are responsible for your overall body shape like genetics, lifestyle, diet etc.

People rarely belongs to a single body type and are mostly a combination of two body types.

types of body shapes

Types of body shapes:

Body Type Characteristics

1. Ectomorph

People falling in this body type are lean, slim , have angular body shape and a narrow waist. Ectomorphs have small muscle bellies and they are also called as hardgainers (i.e. they struggle to gain muscle or weight).  People in this category can eat a lot of food and still look the same without gaining much weight.

Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism which means that they burn fat very quickly. Even if people in this category gain weight they may not look much masculine especially in the calves and forearms.

To gain muscle or weight you need to keep cardio sessions at minimal and focus on compound workouts which will maximize your testosterone production. You also need to consume a lot of calories in a day including both carbohydrates and protein.

Ectomorph Characteristics:

  • Small joints
  • Low fat, lean, skinny
  • Small build (small body frame)
  • small waist, shoulders, small muscle bellies
  • can eat a lot an still do not gain weight
  • Get full easily
  • Hardgainers (difficulty in gaining muscle or weight)
  • Fast metabolism

Examples of Ectomorhps:


  • Brad Pitt
  • Bruce Lee


  • Cameron Diaz
  • Kate Moss

2. Mesomorph

Mesomorphs have strong muscular build with slim hips and well-developed shoulders. They tend to have a narrow waist, relatively thin joints and round muscle bellies.

Mesomorphs are in between ectomorphs and endomorphs and can lose or gain weight and muscle mass much easily as compared to the other types. They have the qualities of both types like they have larger frame (bone structure) like endomorphs and low body fat percentages like ectomorphs.

Mesomorph is the perfect body type and you can say that most of the people aspire for this body type.

Mesomorph Characteristics:

  • Symmetrical build
  • well developed shoulders
  • small waist
  • Easy gainers (gains muscles easily)
  • Low body fat percentage
  • Round muscle bellies

Examples of Mesomorphs:


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Sylvester Stallone


  • Jennifer Garner
  • Tina Turner

3. Endomorphs

Endomorphs have round bodies and a larger build as compared to the other two body types. They have slow metabolism which makes endomorphs gain weight and look very bulky. They may have more muscle mass as compared to the other two but they also have more fat percentage.

Due to slow metabolism weight loss is very difficult for the people falling into this body type. Endomorphs tend to gain a lot of weight just by eating very less calories.

Endomorph Characteristics:

  • Very Slow Metabolism
  • High body fat percentage
  • Hunger craving
  • Large frame (bone structure)
  • Easily gain weight even without eating much

Examples of Endomorphs:


  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • John Goodman


  • Beyonce Knowles
  • Jennifer Lopez

Can you change from an endomorph to a mesomorph?

Well as the body type is genetic so there is not much you can do to change your body type. If you are born as an ectomorph you can’t change that no matter what you do.

But it does not mean that you can not look masculine and good. It is possible for you to look the way you want. The journey is difficult but possible. You need to change your lifestyle, nutrition and workout plan according to the need of your body type.

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