Types of Body Builds


The theory of somatotypes was developed by psychologist William Sheldon in the 1940s. The types correlate with the tissue believed to predominate in the development of the individual, nervous, digestive or muscular, and with temperament.

The Basics

Although all bodies are different, each body can be characterized as one of three types: the ectomorph, the endomorph, or the mesomorph.

The Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are thin and lean. It's difficult for them to gain weight, and they usually have a low percentage of body fat.

The Endomorph

Endomorphs have a difficult time maintaining a proper weight because their metabolism is slower. Endomorphs may have low muscle concentration and have abdomenal body fat.

The Mesomorph

While the mesomorph has a pretty high metabolism, he or she can build muscle easily. Mesomorphs are usually athletic.


There is much variation in the way the types are represented in different people. You may have the characteristics of two body types and be, for example, an ecto mesomorph.

What am I?

If you're still unsure which body type you are, take this simple test built by bodybuilding.com: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm.

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