How does the 'Endomorph' size up?

 

Main characteristics


Appearance

Endomorphs normally have softer, rounder bodies – and the tendency to carry more body fat than Mesomorphs and Ectomorphs.

'Endos' are usually strong physically, possessing sturdy bone structures and wider waists.

They however do not 'typically' display pronounced musculature.

Although inclined to store body fat, Endomorphs can build muscle mass more easily than Ectomorphs.

With a regular workout routine and disciplined eating plan, Endos can turn an otherwise burly presence to their advantage, and achieve an excellent body condition – as shown in the image to the left.

 

 

ADVANTAGES

The most significant advantages of this Somatotype are physical strength, and muscle-building potential.

In terms of athletic potential, individuals of this body type have a higher number of fast-twitch muscle fibers, and are ideally suited to sports that depend on explosive strength like Powerlifting or Olympic Weightlifting.

Disadvantages

Almost in direct contrast to Ectomorphs (who find it difficult to add mass) – Endomorphs find it difficult to keep the fat off.

Although not usually considered 'hardgainers', Endomorphs’ slow metabolisms means that due attention is required to keep body fat levels in check.

Metabolism

A drawback of this body type is the slower metabolism. Excess calories are more-than-likely going to be stored as fat. Endomorphs have a greater tendency for energy storage, including both lean and fat mass. 

Although it makes life a little complicated in shedding and keeping the pounds off, by being disciplined and correctly following a suitable nutrition plan, this Somatotype can effectively offset the disadvantage.

Exercise and nutrition considerations for shaping up

Muscle-building potential

This Somatotype generally possesses reasonable to good muscle-building potential. Endomorphs typically have 'fuller' muscle bellies and more favorable muscle-fiber type ratios. (More on that topic here.)

Weight training

Endomorphs looking to build muscle, should focus on gradually gaining lean mass by engaging mostly in moderate to higher-intensity weight training routines (which are more calorie-expensive), supported by a sensible eating plan (see below).

I would discourage the intention of 'bulking up' first, and to 'cut' later.

Why? Because shedding unwanted body fat is not easy for this body type.

Cardiovascular exercise

Apart from the emphasis on proper nutrition, cardio workouts are essential for Endos wanting to cut or shape up, especially those looking to show good muscle definition.

Training activity in this area should be regular and performed at least three times per week—aimed primarily at fat burning. 

Eating Plan

Due attention should be paid to the ratio of carbohydrates to protein, with the intention of keeping your intake of carbs in check. Endomorphs 'usually' have a lower tolerance for carbs and do better on higher protein and fat.

Carbs should be mostly of the complex type, and ideally consumed around workout times. 

Post-workout recovery

As with Mesomorphs, this body type tolerates physical exercise quite well. No particular consideration is required, other than a sensible approach to ensure sufficient rest between workout routines to allow for optimal gains.

A suggested program for shaping up

Regardless of your somatotype, if you share Al's story and want change, then the Sensible Fitness Program can provide an excellent solution if you follow it consistently – and in line with the above considerations.

Notable Endomorph examples

Examples of famous Sportspersons with Endomorphic tendencies are former pro body builders Dave Draper and Jay Cutler.

In terms of celebrities, Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kate Winslet are appropriate examples.