Different Body Types React Differently to Exercise: Let me tell you why and how that happens.

by | Jan 30, 2008 | Article, Workouts and Exercises.

Have you ever wondered why two people can put an equal amount of effort into the same exercise routine and come out with different results? Maybe you and a workout partner have been going to the gym for three months, doing exactly the same exercises and have ended up with very different results. Despite the fact that you were doing identical workouts your bodies reacted in very different ways.

Perhaps you have noticed something else: some people bulk up really quickly while others struggle to put on weight. This is because different body types respond to exercise in radically different ways. Of course how the body reacts to exercise has to do with diet, stress and sleep patterns. But a very prominent and convincing theory in exercise science states that there are three pure body types – and each of these body types reacts differently to exercise. Of course, most of us do not fall neatly into one type. Most of us display a mixture of the different characteristics. Most people however, reflect one body type that is more dominant than the others. The three ‘pure’ body types are: Ectomorph, Mesophorph and Endomorph.

Ectomorphs tend to be long and lean: think of the typical supermodel. Ectomorphs tend to have really good flexibility and can be fast for a short amount of time but lack cardiovascular and musculature endurance and muscle strength. If you are an ectomorph you probably really like flexibility exercises. But if you are an ectomorph you need to step out of your comfort zone and do exercises that promote strength and endurance. Think of increasing the time you spend doing typical strength training exercises like a bench press or a leg press. Use heavier weights and try to incorporate more endurance cardio into your exercise routine.

Mesomorphs are almost the exact opposite of ectomorphs. They lack flexibility but are really good at endurance cardio and have good muscular power and stamina. If you are a mesomorph you probably tend to increase your muscle mass quite quickly. I suggest incorporating lots of flexibility and mobility training into your routine and adding lots of intervals into your cardio routine.

Endomorphs tend to have trouble controlling their weight. They are inclined to hold extra weight all over their bodies but find it gathers especially quickly in their mid section. They could be described as rounded or soft. Endomorphs tend to be comfortable at most exercise routines but they do not easily excel at any of them.

For example they have moderately good flexibility but are not as flexible as an ectomorph is. They have good muscular strength but they are not as strong as a mesophorph. So if your workout partner has been successful in changing his or her shape while you are wondering why your shape remains the same, try figuring out your strengths and weaknesses in the gym based on body type. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your workout.

Perhaps you should be doing a different exercise routine then your friend is. It is also extremely important that you make sure you are not always working within your comfort zone. If you lack flexibility and hate stretching – be brave, try a yoga class. If you always go for long, slow runs trying doing a 20 minute run going as fast as you can. Mix up your routine. Push yourself to try some things you might be unfamiliar with or less comfortable doing. Add some things to your routine that you might think you will hate doing. You might just love the result!