24 November 2020

Male Body Types: What's Your Shape?

The male body can be said to come in three different basic types: endomorph, ectomorph and mesomorph. Most men can be classified as one of these, though nothing is set in stone. We are all combinations of one or more; we all bear traits of a couple, or even all three.

Different body types: focus on men


Ectomorphic men tend to be long and thin, with long limbs and slim frames and little muscle mass.

It will be a struggle for ectomorphic men to gain weight, either from fat or muscle. Though their caloric intake and training regime can influence their weight, they will always tend to be on the skinny side. In weightlifting circles, they may be referred to as hard gainers.

Ectomorphs should focus on heavy weight training and high caloric intake if they want to put muscle on. There is a strong chance they won’t have to worry too much about keeping fat levels down, though a slight caloric deficit will enable to do this very easily.


Endomorphic men sit at the opposite side of the spectrum. They will find it easier to put weight on, being naturally stocky, with wider builds, broader hips and chests, thicker ribcages and shorter limbs. They will probably be quite naturally strong, though they will also likely find it easy to maintain healthy fat levels- it will be easy for them to put body fat on and hard for them to keep body fat levels down.

Endomorphs should focus on high-energy work like HIIT and sprints, as well as mid- to high- rep weight training. Their diets will need to be incredibly strict, most likely with regular deficits.


Mesomorphic men are often thought of as the best of both worlds. They will find it easy to maintain relatively high muscle mass and relatively low bodyfat percentages. They will tend to have narrow waists, broad shoulders and slim joints, and will respond well to even quite light athletic stimulation.

male body types

How to figure out your body type

In addition to natural traits, lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can influence how we look, meaning that we can escape our natural body shapes to a degree. However, all men will quite naturally fit one body shape more than the others.

All you need to do is ask what characteristics you possess. Are you short, strong and stocky? You’re an endomorph. Are you effortlessly athletic? You’re a mesomorph.

If you possess traits of a couple, that’s normal. If you find it hard to put fat on, easy to put muscle on, and are long and thin, you’re a bit of a mesomorph/ectomorph cross. Heavy lifting and plenty of calories will yield fantastic results. If you’re stocky and strong but don’t tend to put fat on, you’re a mesomorph/endomorph cross. Lift to high intensity with a low caloric surplus.

Follow the training advice from above that sits most in line with your type.

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