The human body can be defined or considered a wonder of nature, and each person, in fact, is unique in its physical composition. One way to understand and classify body variations is somatotypes . This concept allows us to account for the predominant physical characteristics of a person and their potential in terms of health and physical fitness.
Specifically, somatotypes are categories that describe the physical structure and body composition of an individual. They are based on three main components: endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy. All humans exhibit a unique combination of these three, resulting in different body types .
Likewise, there is a very interesting issue: there is controversy about somatotypes . How or why? Some doctors and geneticists believe that each person is born with a somatotype and that this does not vary; That is, it remains intact over time. This implies that, if you are born with a tendency to obesity, your body will always be prone to being overweight. Others, however, assert that a body type can change throughout life depending on hormones and habits.
What are the somatotypes?
Based on various qualities, we speak of multiple variants or somatotypes . The main three are as follows. Furthermore, there are combinations of these three variants.
The wrestler Kane is an example of a person with a tendency toward endomorphy.
Endomorphy is characterized by a predisposition to accumulate fat and a rounded body structure. People with a dominant endomorph component tend to have a greater propensity to gain weight and store fat. That is, it is not too difficult for them to accumulate fat, since this happens in a more natural way.
The physical characteristics of endomorphy are a greater softness in body shapes, with more pronounced curves, and a fat distribution that tends to be concentrated especially in the abdominal area. A more detailed description of an endoform individual would be as follows:
Fat accumulation: Endomorphs have a greater tendency to gain weight and accumulate fat compared to other people.
Rounded shape: the body structure tends to be more rounded and with less muscle definition. This physical form can be reversed or improved, yes, but you have to make a greater effort to not gain weight than other people should.
Difficulty losing weight: Endomorphs may encounter challenges losing weight due to their genetic tendency to store fat. There is probably at least one family member to whom something similar happens.
- Slow metabolism: the body burns many fewer calories to carry out its vital functions compared to other people.
- They are people with wide and robust bones, which allows the structure to support a large amount of weight (muscle and fat) without problems.
- An endomorph may have an easy time gaining muscle and strength, but they also accumulate a lot of fat.
- The male endomorph will have a rounded body shape, where fat will be accumulated mainly in the midsection.
- The female endomorph will have a pear-shaped body, where the fat will be accumulated mainly in the hips.
Example of an endomorphic girl.
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In the photo, the actor "The Rock" as a teenager already had a mesomorphic body structure.
Mesomorphy implies well-developed musculature and a robust bone structure. Mesomorphic people show an interesting natural ability to gain and maintain muscle mass. Their physical appearance is usually athletic, with broad shoulders and a balanced ratio between muscle mass and body fat.
Both the mesomorph and the endomorph have good capabilities for gaining muscle mass; The difference is that the mesomorph does not accumulate as much fat in the process and remains more athletic. The most typical physical characteristics of mesomorphs are the following:
Muscle Development: Mesomorphs tend to gain muscle relatively easily, which contributes to an athletic and muscular appearance.
Robust bone structure: it is normal for these people to have wide bones and a generally strong bone structure.
Ease of strength training: they respond well to resistance and muscle-building exercises as a result of their ease of muscle strengthening. In general, they acquire an organism that makes it easier for them to practice anaerobic sports such as sprinting, bodybuilding or power lifting.
- It does not require too much exercise to muscle your body.
- Athletic shape by nature.
- The male mesomorph has a "V" shaped body (wide shoulders and narrow waist).
- A mesomorphic woman has an hourglass-shaped body.
Actor Vin Diesel is an example of a mesomorph.
Gymnast Alison Carroll, modeling as Lara Croft, is mesomorphic and muscular.
Peter "The Eel", famous Cuban singer, is a clear example of a pure ectomorph.
Ectomorphy refers to thin bodies, with finer bone structures and difficulty gaining weight and muscle. Therefore, an ectomorphic man usually has a thin appearance and his challenge is to accumulate muscle mass. How many times have you heard that someone has a hard time gaining weight, something that even makes more than one person envious? Well, that's what this somatic type is all about.
Some of the most relevant characteristics of ectomorphs are the following:
Thinness: These individuals maintain a thin build with elongated limbs and a generally slender appearance.
Difficulty gaining weight: They often find it more difficult to gain weight and muscle mass.
Fast metabolism: Ectomorphs tend to have a faster metabolism, meaning they burn calories more quickly even at rest.
- The advantage of the ectomorph is that it is also difficult for him to gain body fat, so he maintains a defined body.
- Ectomorphs are often good at endurance sports like marathons or even calisthenics (body weight exercises).
- An ectomorphic man or ectomorphic woman are usually people with a thin and "fragile" appearance. It is very difficult for them to gain weight.
Ectomorphic person meaning : person with a tendency to be thin by nature. It has a thin trunk and limbs, low body fat and little muscle mass.
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Bruce Lee had an ectomorphic body, with low fat, but athletic and muscular.
Understanding the dominant somatotype can help people adapt their lifestyle, diet, and exercise choices to maximize their health and well-being. Also, it can even help them to know themselves better and understand certain phenomena. Above all, knowing our genetic body type prevents us from becoming frustrated with comparisons and exhausting thoughts like “why can he and I can't” or vice versa. Without further ado, it allows us to be realistic with our goals, knowing that sometimes, even if we give it our all, there are things that we cannot control. That we are all different and have our advantages and disadvantages for certain physical or performance goals.
Who stands out in the sports world?
Those who tend to stand out in most sports are mesomorphs . For example, in activities such as gym or bodybuilding. This is the ideal somatotype for bodybuilding. An ectomorph maintains defined muscles, but has the problem that it cannot gain size. In turn, endomorphs gain muscle size, but also a lot of fat that they then find difficult to lose. Both are difficulties for work and physical development, especially in high demands.
First of all, the mesomorph has a good balance between muscle and fat mass gain, in addition to wide collarbones, a narrow waist and other desirable bodybuilding traits.
Trained athletes: Eddie Hall (endomorphic), Arnold Schwarzenegger (mesomorphic) and Cristiano Ronaldo (ectomorphic).
Can you be of only one somatotype?
Not necessarily. Normally, we are not a pure somatotype , but we can contain a mixture of two or even all three, although always with one predominant, which will manifest and be evident more than the rest. For example, an ecto-mesomorph is a thin person, but with certain athletic qualities.
On the other hand, an ecto-endomorph is a person with thin limbs, but with a tendency to accumulate fat in the abdomen. Or the endo-mesomorph , who would have a tendency to be overweight, but also a wide back and good muscle mass under the fat.
Is there a link between somatotype and personality?
On the one hand, genetics are not chosen and our body's tendencies occur almost by default. However, over the years attitudes and customs are acquired and certain factors appear that influence and produce changes in various aspects. One of them is personality, which is always key and affects even the somatic type , either to reduce or increase its characteristics or to coexist and develop it in various ways.
Some ancient psychologists have commented on the relationship between personality and somatotype . They have proposed that there is a personality type associated with each somatotype . Although this approach is almost obsolete today, it is still interesting to know:
The ectomorph would have an elongated face and a fragile, sensitive or shy personality.
The mesomorph would exhibit a square and angular face, and its personality would be adventurous, brave or brave.
The male endomorph usually has a round face, and a rather innocent and kind person.
The 4 most important aspects about body types
We finish with the 4 most relevant aspects or details that mark a before and after in a person, beyond the somatotype or body that they have had since birth.
Genes play a fundamental role in determining body structure. Genes passed from parents to children influence a person's predisposition to accumulate fat, develop muscle mass, or maintain a lean build. However, the fact that genetics is the most important does not mean that it is the only determining factor. The environment and lifestyle followed over the years have a notable impact on a person's appearance and physical performance.
Lifestyle and eating habits
Lifestyle and nutrition play a crucial role in modulating body composition. The amount and type of food consumed, as well as the level of physical activity, can affect fat accumulation and muscle mass gain. Healthy food choices and participation in regular physical activity help maintain proper balance in body composition.
Physical activity level
Playing sports or doing physical activity is essential and is recommended by any doctor or specialist. The activity level transcends any somatotype . People who regularly participate in physical activities, especially those that include resistance and strength training, are more likely to develop muscle mass and have a mesomorphic appearance.
On the other hand, a lack of physical activity can contribute to the accumulation of fat and a more endomorphic appearance. Although genetic tendencies change the outlook of each individual, sport is always key.
Environmental and cultural factors
Although at first it is complex to understand, environmental and cultural factors also influence body types. As? Food availability, regional dietary patterns, and cultural beauty standards impact the way people develop their bodies. Additionally, the social and economic environment affect accessibility to physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.
In summary, three categories have long been used to encompass the body types that people can have genetically. These are ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs . They are called somatotypes. There is controversy about somatic types. Some doctors and geneticists believe that each person is born with a somatotype and that this will not change throughout life. That is, if a person is born with a tendency to obesity, even if he plays sports and loses weight, his body will always have a tendency to be overweight. Other experts believe that somatotypes can change throughout life depending on hormonal changes and habits.