Muscle Sport Magazine

Are You Exercising and Dieting Right For Your Body Type?

By Paul Becker Copyright © 1999 by Paul Becker.


1) My bone structure is:

__ (a) Very Large  __ (b) Large to Medium   __ (c) Small to Frail

2) My body tends towards:

__ (a) Carrying too much fat   __ (b) Being lean and muscular   __ (c)

Being too skinny

3) My body looks:

Men answer here:

__ (a) Round and soft            __ (b) Square and rugged    __ (c) Long and


Women answer here:

__ (a) Pear-shaped  __ (b) Hourglass-shaped   __ (c) Mostly straight up

and down

4) As a child I was:

__ (a) Chubby            __ (b) Normal            __ (c) Too thin

5) My activity level is:

__ (a) Sedentary   __ (b) Fairly Active    __ (c) Over active, can’t sit


6) My approach to life is:

__ (a) Laid back   __ (b) Dynamic    __ (c) Worrisome

7) My metabolism is:

__ (a) Slow   __ (b) Just right    __ (c) Too fast

8) People tell me:

__ (a) I should lose some weight   __ (b) Stay the same, that I look


__ (c) I should gain some weight

9) If you encircle your wrist with your other hand’s middle finger and


__ (a) Middle finger and thumb do not touch   __ (b) Middle finger and

thumb just touch

__ (c) Middle finger and thumb overlap

10) Concerning my weight, I:

__ (a) Gain weight easily, but find it hard to lose   __ (b) Gain or

lose weight fairly easily. Usualy stay about the same weight __ (c)

Have trouble gaining weight

11) I am hungry:

__ (a) Almost all the time   __ (b) Just at meal times         __ (c) Rarely

12) People would describle me as an:

__ (a) Emotional person   __ (b) Physical person    __ (c) Intellectual



Give yourself a 1 for each A answer, a 2 for each B answer and a 3 for

each C answer. Add them up and divide by 12.

Look below at the number you now have. If you come up with a fraction,

for example 1.5, then you are somewhere in-between those two body types.

And recommendations would be a middle approach.


You tend towards being an Endomorph, you biggest concern should be the


of fat and adopting a lifestyle that keeps it off.


Strength training should be done to get a better muscle to fat ratio and

therefore improve metabolism. Use moderate weights at a fast training pace (very

little rest between sets and exercises).


You should lower your calorie intake (but not try to starve yourself)

and should eat frequent but small meals. Sugars, sweets and junk food should be

eliminated from your diet.


Engage daily in some activity like brisk walking, biking, etc., and try

to increase the amount of time you spend each week.





You tend towards being a Mesomorph and have a naturally fit body but to

maintain it or improve it you should exercise and diet correctly for your



Strength training can be done more often and for longer sessions then

would be good for an Ectomorph, but you must still be careful not to overdo

it. You should train with moderate to heavy weighs and at a moderate pace,

not resting too long between sets. You will find you gain muscle quite easy

(some women and even men might not want to get too bulky, but this won’t

happen suddenly. When you are happy with your muscle size simply train to maintain it).


Stick to a good healthy diet to keep you lean and muscular, and watch

for any slow creeping fat gains.


Engage in and enjoy aerobic activities, sports, etc. but do not overdo.



You tend towards being an Ectomorph, you should concentrate on gaining

weight in the form of good lean muscle tissue (some women that are too

thin may also want to put on a little fat to look more feminine).


Weight training should be done but not too often or for too long each

session. Weight should be fairly heavy and workout pace slower (longer rest

periods between sets).


Diet should be high in calories (good quality food not junk) and you

should eat more then you’re used to and often.


Aerobic and other activities (sports, dancing, etc.) should be kept to a


at least until you are happy with your weight and looks.


In the 1940s, Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the theory of Somatypes.

His theory described three basic human body types: the endomorph,

characterized by a preponderance of bodyfat; the mesomorph, marked by a well-developed


musculature; and the ectomorph, distinguished by a lack of either much

fat or muscle tissue. He did also state that most people were a mixture of

these types.


Sheldon’s description of three body types has become an integral part of

most literature on weight loss, fitness and bodybuilding.


The three body types are further described below.





flat chest

delicate build

young appearance


lightly muscled


large brain

Has trouble gaining weight.

Muscle growth takes longer.





hard, muscular body

overly mature appearance

rectangular shaped (hourglass shaped for women)

thick skin

upright posture

gains or loses weight easily

grows muscle quickly.



soft body


underdeveloped muscles

round shaped

over-developed digestive system

trouble losing weight

generally gains muscle easily.


When you know which type you are (or which mixture) and diet and

exercise correctly for that type, you will make much better progress.


While some women may think that Kate Moss is the ideal, from a fitness

view point she really isn’t. And many women who tend to be endomorphic

will save themselves much suffering by not striving to change themselves

into ectomorphs, it’s not going to happen. Conversly a true ectomorph

who wishes to be a Sumo wrestler would also be in for a big disappointment.


Your goal should be to look as close as possible to (or stay looking

like) a mesomorph. With the correct exercise and diet this can be attainable,

and while you may be a bit upset that you have to work hard to look good

while the true mesomorph looks that way naturally, at least you will still be

fit and look good. And even the mesomorph will find, as he/she gets older

that some exercise and diet is needed if they want to continue to look good

and be fit.

About The Author: Paul Becker is a natural (steroid free for life) bodybuilder and fitness consultant. For more information on Bodybuilding and Bodybuilding Supplements visit his website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *