Ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph: how to determine the type of physique

The effectiveness in bodybuilding, powerlifting, weightlifting, depends not only on the intensity of training and balanced nutrition, but also on the physiological characteristics of the athlete - on the type of physique.

Ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph: how to determine the type of physique

Classification by Sheldon

William Sheldon (1898-1977 ) - American psychologist, doctor. Known for works describing the relationship between the type of figure of a person, his character and mental deviations. In the forties of the last century, Sheldon analyzed 4,000 photographs of young men. In the pictures, each person was photographed from three positions - front, side, rear.

In the study of the images obtained, the scientist introduced the concept - somatotype .

The term defines the type of body structure, characterized by three indicators : skeletal development, muscle tissue volume and the presence of subcutaneous fat. Their combination underlies three somatotypes: endomorphic, mesomorphic, ectomorphic.

Sheldon’s classification was not revolutionary, as it was based on the typology of the German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer, but had differences. Kretschmer argued that all people can be classified into three distinct categories.

But by the thirties of the twentieth century, it became clear that the theory was untenable - most did not fall into the designated categories.

Sheldon's somatotyping differed from the work of his German colleague in that it implied the existence of not only three basic types of figures, but also many transitional ones. Therefore, Sheldon's typology has become so popular.

But, despite the wide distribution, the classification of the American scientist also had its opponents. Many researchers disagreed with Sheldon.

The main argument of the critics was that the body changes over the years, which means that the somatotyping system must be modified.

In addition, the technique was not suitable for determining the figure in children and had errors in the classification of female somatotypes. In the end, scientists came to a unanimous opinion - Sheldon’s typology is conditionally suitable for the final assessment of the physique of people aged 20-25 who have a normal lifestyle and have a normal diet .

Characterization of the ectomorphic type

Features of the constitution of the body:

  • equal ratio of the width of the pelvis and shoulders;
  • short body and disproportionately long limbs;
  • thin bones;
  • low content of subcutaneous fat deposits;
  • underdeveloped muscles;
  • narrow thoracic region;
  • weak joints and poorly stretched ligaments .

Women with this type of figure stand out for their thinness and harmony.

Muscles are weakly expressed, angular outlines predominate in the body. As a rule, most female models are ectomorphs.

The strengths of the character of people with such a figure include logical thinking, a constant desire for new knowledge, and the systematization of surrounding processes.Therefore, ectomorphs can be revealed in those types of activities where attention, analysis, ordering of information, and work with technical documents are required.

It is difficult for people with an ectomorphic type of figure to gain muscle volume, so it is advisable for them to abandon aerobic training and devote all their attention to regular strength training with weights.

The following principles are recommended:

  1. Duration . Due to the small reserve of muscle endurance, ectomorphs need to train no more than 1.5 hours. If you load the muscles longer, the opposite effect may occur: stopping progress and losing already low weight.
  2. Frequency .

    The number of visits to the gym largely depends on the person’s work. If labor activity is associated with heavy physical exertion, then you should train 2 times a week, if not - 3 times.

  3. Training methodology . The basis of the program is strength exercises: squat, deadlift, bench press. It is advisable to train large muscle groups no more than 1 time per week.

    The number of approaches and repetitions: 3-4, 8-10.

An important factor in the success of mass gain is rest. Ectomorph muscles recover for a long time, so pauses between training elements should be from 2 to 3 minutes, and breaks between classes should be at least 24 hours. On recovery days, you need to get enough sleep and, if possible, minimize physical activity.

One of the reasons that prevent an ectomorph from gaining weight is a high metabolism.

Therefore, the nutrition "to the mass" should be high-calorie. Recommendations:

  1. The basis of the menu is complex carbohydrates (50% of the total diet). These products include: millet, rice, oatmeal, buckwheat, whole grain bread, pasta of the highest grade.
  2. The ratio of protein to fat - in approximately equal proportions - 25% of the entire menu.
  3. Fractional diet.

    There should be 5-6 times a day, every 2-3 hours.

The recommended calorie diet for male ectomorphs is 3000-3300 kcal / day, for girls - 2200-2400 kcal / day. Gainers and creatine can be used as an additive to the diet.

Famous ectomorphs bodybuilders: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Flex Wheeler, Sue Gaffner.

Characteristic of the mesomorphic type

Features of the body's constitution:

  • the shoulder girdle is much wider than the hips;
  • proportional structure;
  • strong bones;
  • minimum presence of subcutaneous fat;
  • well-developed muscles.

Mesomorphic women have a solid physique, while the volumes are formed mainly due to muscle tissue, and not fat accumulation. The circumference of the chest and hips is approximately the same, the waist is narrow. In general, the figure resembles an hourglass - the most desirable silhouette among the fair sex.

Distinctive features of the character of the mesomorphic type are self-confidence, courage, adventurism, assertiveness, desire for leadership.Therefore, such individuals feel good in leadership positions, in business, in professional sports.

People with a mesomorphic physique are predisposed to power disciplines. They easily gain muscle volume and increase strength. Features of the training:

  1. The basis of the classes is weightlifting exercises performed with large weights. Basic elements are recommended to supplement 3-4 insulating.
  2. Due to the fast adaptability of the muscles, the mesomorph must regularly change the principles of its training: the number of approaches, weights, the angles of the elements, the duration of the training, the number of classes per week.

  3. To increase muscle volume, the mesomorph should limit long-term aerobic exercise. It is allowed to combine strength exercises with 1-2 intense runs a week. Such training will help get rid of subcutaneous fat and will not interfere with muscle growth.
  4. The number of lessons per week is 3-4. There should be recovery days between workouts.

    Otherwise, there is a high probability of overtraining.

The preferred structure of the training of mesomorphs is three or four-day splits with the distribution of large muscle groups in separate classes.

People with a mesomorphic body type have a fairly high metabolism, which allows them to absorb large amounts of protein food. Basic nutritional recommendations:

  1. Consumption of 2 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.
  2. The carbohydrate content in the diet should be selected individually in each case.

    Experienced athletes recommend starting with 3 g per 1 kg of their own weight.

  3. Fats should be reduced to a minimum (0.5 g per 1 kg of athlete's weight).

The required calorie content of the mesomorph menu is 3000-3200 kcal / day. As an additional source of nutrients, you can use whey isolates, amino acids, vitamin complexes.

Well-known mesomorph bodybuilders: Phil Heath, Dexter Jackson, Kai Green.

Characterization of the endomorphic type

Features of the constitution of the body:

  • broad hips and shoulders;
  • massive, heavy physique;
  • relatively short limbs;
  • well-developed muscles;
  • excessive subcutaneous fat.

Female endomorphs have a full figure, short legs and slightly expressed waist lines. They have excess subcutaneous fat, which is deposited mainly in the thighs and buttocks. Outwardly, this physique resembles a pear.

By the nature, endomorphs are friendly, kind people with a low level of aggressiveness. They easily make acquaintances, feel great in the team, love communication. It’s hard for such people to force others to do anything, therefore endomorphs are not suitable for positions related to stress and personnel management. It is best for this type to engage in creative professions.

Having a high percentage of subcutaneous fat, endomorphs should focus on aerobic training aimed at losing weight.

A combination of moderate cardio loads and weight training in the fitness room is allowed. Recommendations for training:

  1. Using average weights for a large number of repetitions (12-15).
  2. The duration of the training can be up to two hours. This is necessary to make the muscles "burn", which will form the desired relief.
  3. Insulating loads must be added to the base elements.

The recommended number of classes for endomorph is 4-5 per week. This will help speed up the metabolism.

The main problem of the endomorphic type is slow metabolism. Intensive training alone for its “dispersal” will not be enough, you need an appropriate diet. Nutrition tips:

  1. Fractional menu - 5-7 meals, in small portions.

  2. Consumption of 2-3 g of protein per 1 kg of body weight.
  3. Reduction of fat in the diet by 10-15%.
  4. Refusal of all sweet foods, preference - complex carbohydrates (rice, buckwheat, cereals, pasta, whole grain breads).
  5. Use of vegetable salads instead of starchy side dishes.

The calorie content of the diet should be lower than the "energy costs" in training.

It is selected personally. For this, the athlete determines for himself a menu for 6 weeks. If at the end of the period it was not possible to lose at least a little weight, the diet is adjusted.

Famous endomorph bodybuilders: Jay Cutler, Steve Davis, Evan Centopani.

How to determine your somatotype?

As a rule, there are few pure somatotypes in nature.

Most people have mixed constitutions, for example, endomesomorph or ectoendomorph. Therefore, each person will be able to find in himself different traits of all three types.

For self-assessment, most often a simple examination and correlation of appearance with characteristics of each somatotype is used (see above).

You can also use the Soloviev index. To determine, measure the circumference of the wrist with a centimeter.

For ectomorphs, the measurement result should be less than 18 cm (women - less than 15). Mesomorphs - 18-20 cm (women - 15-17 cm). Endomorphs have more than 20 cm (women - more than 17 cm).

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