Mesomorph refers to body types with a naturally high muscle-to-fat ratio. People with this body type typically respond well to weight training, finding it easier than other people to build and maintain muscle. They may also find it easier to gain or lose weight.
Everyone has a different body type. However, according to one theory, there are three main body types, and most people fit into one or a combination of these categories.
There are broad distinctions between the body types. These mostly relate to how easily someone gains weight or muscle, as well as the natural shape of their body.
In this article, we discuss what a mesomorph body type is and the best diets and workouts for people with this type.
The mesomorph body type tends to include a medium build with higher-than-average muscular development and relatively low body fat. People may describe it as a naturally athletic physique.
William Sheldon first introduced the term mesomorph in the 1940s as one of three body types, or somatotypes. These somatotypes are general categories that many people might feel describes their body type.
Some people may think that they have a combination of somatotypes, while others might not fit into any of the categories.
Mesomorphs tend to be athletic and strong due to their high muscle-to-fat ratio, which might give them a muscular chest, shoulders, and limbs. Their weight distribution around the body is usually relatively even.
People with a mesomorph-type body gain muscle and weight easily. Typically, they are able to lose weight quickly, but they can also find it easy to gain fat. Therefore, mesomorphs may need to watch their calorie intake or stay active to avoid gaining weight. A combination of weight training and cardio usually works best for mesomorphs.
People with mesomorph-type bodies tend to be suited to sports and have good posture. For example, many studies suggest that athletes in basketball, boxing, martial arts, strength training, swimming, track and field, and volleyball typically have mesomorphic characteristics.
Sheldon also introduced ectomorphs and endomorphs as other possible body types.
Ectomorphs have low muscle and fat. They usually have a lean body shape with long limbs. People with this body type might struggle to gain weight or muscle.
Endomorphs have high body fat with a curvy figure. They can gain weight and muscle quickly, but struggle to lose it again.
In reality, many people might have a combination of these different body types. For example, ecto-endomorphs keep more fat on their lower body and have thinner upper bodies. This weight distribution creates a pear-shaped figure.
Endo-ectomorphs have more fat on their upper body with a slimmer lower body. Other people might feel as though they have features of all three body types.
Some people will have a good idea of what body type is closest to their own. For others, it is less clear.
It can help to think about how easy it is to gain weight. Mesomorphs and endomorphs both gain weight quickly, whereas ectomorphs find it more difficult to gain weight.
Another factor is muscle gain. Mesomorphs and endomorphs gain muscle quickly, while ectomorphs do not. An endomorph would have a rounder or curvier figure than a mesomorph.
The best diet for a mesomorph will depend on their health or fitness goals. Mesomorphs tend to gain weight easily. Therefore, they may need to be careful to eat a healthful and balanced diet or keep active to avoid excess body fat.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the calorie needs of people with a mesomorph body type are slightly higher than those of people with other body types. They generally respond better to higher protein diets.
Those who have put on weight may wish to reduce their portion sizes and calorie intake. However, those wishing to gain muscle should aim to increase their calorie intake while sticking with healthful foods.
A healthful diet should include a variety of foods. For mesomorph body types, the ACE suggest splitting meals into thirds: one-third protein, one-third vegetable (or fruit), and one-third whole-grain carbohydrates (or healthful fats).
To achieve a lean and muscular physique, it is important that people incorporate both cardiovascular and weight training into their workout routines.
A person with a mesomorph body type who wishes to lose weight should prioritize cardiovascular exercises.
For optimal results, ACE recommend high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT involves alternating bursts of intense exercise with intervals of lighter activity or rest. People with low fitness can start with lower intensity forms of cardio, such as walking.
Mesomorphs who wish to gain muscle can prioritize resistance exercises, such as weight training. Generally, mesomorphs tend to respond well to weight training and gain muscle quickly.
Depending on the person’s fitness goals, weight training should include a mixture of exercises that target different muscle groups. For optimal results and muscle gain, people should perform a low-to-average number of reps with moderate-to-heavy weights.
It is also important to change the workout routine regularly and ensure adequate rest and recovery.
Everyone has a different body type. Some people will feel that theirs is closest to a certain type, such as mesomorphic. Others might feel as though they have a combination of body types or do not fit into any category.
Being familiar with their somatotype may help a person determine their health and fitness goals. For example, mesomorphs may require more calories than others and may find it easier to gain lean muscle mass if they perform certain exercises.
People may wish to consider consulting a nutritionist or fitness professional to create an effective diet and exercise plan for their body type and goals.