The Beginners Guide to Somatotypes (Common Myths)

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Today I am going to teach you about somatotypes.

A very confusing topic in the fitness industry, and maybe one that trainers/experts put too much pressure on.

There are 3 different types, all of which make up the “typical” human body. But – there are a lot of myths out there about what each one can eat, how to lose fat and much more.

I remember in college courses being so confused by how a certain height or stature could lead to fat storage and poor biomechanics.

So in this beginners guide I am going to explain what these somatotypes are, and common myths you may have read about in other blogs or forums.

What Are Somatotypes

What exactly are somatotypes?

They are a category each person is assigned to according to their bodily physique – separating you into one of 3 basic “types”.

The three types of somatotypes are Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph.

Endomorph:

more of a rounder shape. Have wider hips and shoulders, but typically short arms and legs. Hold more body fat but can also hold great strength. Typically your body builders and rugby players.

Mesomorph:

tend to be the more natural, muscular build. Broad shoulders, tapered waist, and easily put on muscle tissue. Usually athletic looking – think professional fighters and wide receivers.

Ectomorph:

typically tall and skinny, have a hard time putting on weight, known as the “stick” or “lanky” friend. People with this body type are usually runners or swimmers.

Hopefully that let you create an image in your head of each body type.

You probably even thought about your personal friends/family and named a person in each category – we all do it.

Now that you know a bit about what each somatotype is – let’s dive into a little information about them, as well as myths that have come to the surface that are all that true.

Why Are Somatotypes Important

They aren’t.

Studies have proven that somatotype has no real impact on training type or eating habits.

Previous articles have shared this idea that endomorphs metabolize carbs differently and should eat less.

Ectomorphs need more protein to help with maintaining muscle mass.

None of it is all that true.

What is true is that yes, there are different body types. But body types just let us explain a physique or body better, it does not dictate how things work on the inside.

Genetics plays a large role in this.

So don’t get caught up on your somatotype, or the fact that the internet might tell you that you can never look how you want to.

Somatotypes are just a great way to explain how someone looks – not how they will respond to diet and exercise.

It is true that if you’re short, you’re never going to be tall and lean. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be short and lean.

Let’s chat about some of the myths and debunk them for you so you get a better idea of why somatotypes are BS.

Debunking Myths about Somatotypes

Myth Number 1: Only ectomorphs can easily gain muscle.

False – you cannot tell how well someone is going to respond to resistance training by looking at them.

Studies have shown that those who have never lifted before are able to see strength and muscle size results quicker, but it has nothing to do with somatotypes.

Research also tends to use body types in their verbiage, which makes people assume they are in fact, backed by science. But most of the research is looking at body type across various sports, elite/non-elite and exploring links within performance.

So again – describing someones somatotype is very different then prescribing them a diet or training program based on that body type.

Myth Number 2: Different somatotypes should train in different ways.

False – and here’s why.

Articles talk about how mesomorphs should lift in the 8-12 rep range, while ectomorphs should train in the 5-10 range.

There is not science behind this.

These are mere opinions of others on the internet.

Everyone responds best to training in varying rep ranges, intensity, volume and load.

Myth Number 3: different somatotypes should eat in specific macronutrient ranges.

This also has no science to back the claims.

Our bodies, based on genetics, and lifestyle, are going to break down and metabolize food in different ways.

This doesn’t matter if you are a mesomorph or an endomorph or an ectomorph.

The best nutrition and diet approach for you is one that you can adhere to long term and create consistency with.

There is not right or wrong when it comes to how you should eat. Eating 30% carbs or 50% carbs in your diet is going to solely be based, again, on your lifestyle and activity and food preferences.

You can absolutely follow someones recommendations for macronutrient breakdowns if you want to, but understand there is no scientific research to back it.

Myth Number 4: Somatotypes can show how healthy a person is.

Yikes – false.

How someone looks on the outside is not a direct correlation to how healthy they are on the inside.

Someone can be incredibly skinny and thin, and have very unhealthy habits.

While someone who is shorter, wider and maybe carries more body fat can still be healthy and fit.

There is no death sentence for your somatotype.

Move your body, eat well and decrease your stress. That is the secret to living a long and healthy life, no matter what shape you are.

Now thanks to “The Beginners Guide to Somatotypes (Common Myths)” you no longer have to be confused about what they are, and if the. myths on the internet are true.

As you saw in the guide, there is no real importance of somatotype on diet or exercise prescription.

The only thing it does it helps us to describe a type of body.

Exercise prescription comes from genetics, goals, availability, and health history.

If you are looking for at home workouts that are 20 minutes in length and home based, check out the Collective. We don’t discriminate between body types or race or culture. We are a community of women after one goal…health. And consistency of course.

The link to check it out is here.

Haley Perry January 22, 2021