Training for Your Body Type

People come in all different shapes and sizes. We all have diverse body types with differing limb lengths, heights, skeletal structure, abilities to gain muscle and fat and many more. This means that you should know your body type to get the most out of your training.

What are the Different Body Types?

There are 3 main body types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. Each of these categories defines characteristics of our bodies which determine how our bodies will react to different forms of exercise.

  • Ectomorph – An ectomorph is someone who is naturally thin. They are quite often tall, have a higher metabolism, smaller frame with smaller muscles. An ectomorph often has a hard time gaining muscle mass, they are often referred to as a ‘hard-gainer’. Ectomorphs require a higher calorie diet to feed their fast metabolisms and support their daily activities. This body type is suited to sports such as cycling, long distance running and other endurance sports.
  • Mesomorph – A Mesomorph is someone who has well-defined muscles and a larger frame. A mesomorph easily gains muscle and is often described as having ‘good genetics’. Mesomorphs make good all-round athletes. They require a controlled diet to support their daily activities, however need to monitor their intake as fat gain is possible with little daily activity. This body type is suited to most sports and is quite adaptable to different exercises.
  • Endomorph – An endomorph is someone who has a larger frame and often carries much of their bodyweight as fat. Endomorphs have shorter limbs and wider waists, giving the illusion of a more ‘stocky’ look. They require a strict diet which is lower in calories as fat gain is often easy due to their slower metabolisms. This body type is suited to sports such as weight lifting, various football codes and other power-based sports.
  • Some people may be a mix of more than one of these body types.

Now I Know my Body Type, How Should I Train?

Once you know your body type it is easy to create a workout plan which is individualized and will maximize your potential. Follow these simple rules to maximize your results:


  • Workouts should be short in duration and be high in intensity
  • Focus on the major muscle groups (Legs, Back & Chest)
  • Very little cardio should be performed if trying to gain lean mass
  • Focus on an increase in caloric intake to support growth and recovery


  • Perform compound lifts to support/build natural strength
  • Higher volume training is beneficial
  • Accessory exercises can be used to support flexibility & symmetry
  • Perform a mix of both cardiovascular training and weight training


  • Boost your metabolism by performing a higher number of repetitions
  • Shorten your rest breaks between sets/exercises
  • Perform multiple exercises with no rest in between (superset, giant sets)
  • Focus on a diet that puts you in a caloric deficit (intake is lower than expenditure)

No matter what your body type, once you know how to plan effective workouts the results you’ve been looking for will come much easier. Couple this training information with an individualized diet plan and success is inevitable!

For information on how to calculate your daily caloric needs see our article on caloric intake & expenditure.