The Endomorph Body Type: Exercises & Workouts

by Сашка

In the 1940s, psychologist William Sheldon came up with the idea that there are three main body types that people can be. These ‘somatotypes’ have been used as a framework for understanding body shapes and types ever since. Sheldon categorised people into three main somatotypes: endomorphs, mesomorphs, and ectomorphs.

Mesomorphs are characterised by a more muscular and athletic build, with well-defined muscles. Ectomorphs have a lean and slender physique with difficulty gaining both muscle and fat, and endomorphs (which we’ll be focusing on in this blog) typically have a larger bone structure, higher body fat percentage, and a slower metabolism.

While everyone’s body is unique and may not fit neatly into one category (most people find they are a combination of two types), understanding somatotypes can help you tailor workout and diet plans suited to your body type to help you hit your fitness aims.

What Is An Endomorph Body Type?

An endomorph body type is one of the three primary somatotypes (or body types), along with ectomorph and mesomorph. 

If you’re an endomorph, you may find it easier to gain weight and may struggle more to lose weight compared to ectomorphs and mesomorphs. One of the main reasons is that endomorphs tend to have a slower metabolism and may therefore need to focus more on managing their calorie intake and engaging in regular exercise to maintain their weight.

What Are Ectomorphs And Mesomorphs?

Ectomorphs and mesomorphs are the other two primary somatotypes:

Ectomorphs typically have a lean and slender build with narrower shoulders and hips, and they often find it challenging to gain both muscle and fat. They tend to have a faster metabolism and may have difficulty putting on weight or muscle mass despite eating a lot.

On the other hand, mesomorphs are characterised by a more athletic and muscular physique. They generally have a medium-sized bone structure, well-defined muscles, and an easier time both gaining and losing weight compared to endomorphs and ectomorphs. Mesomorphs typically respond well to strength training and can achieve noticeable changes in their body composition with exercise.

Most people have a combination of two or even three body types. 

What Characteristics Do Endomorph Body Types Tend To Have?

There are some key characteristics that define endomorph body types. These include:



  • Higher body fat percentage: Compared to ectomorphs and mesomorphs, endomorphs often have a higher proportion of body fat, which can make it more difficult to lose weight quickly.

  • Larger bone structure: Endomorphs typically have larger bones, which can contribute to their overall heavier and more solid build.

  • Tendency to gain weight easily: Endomorphs might find it easy to gain weight and accumulate fat stores faster, even with relatively small increases in calorie intake.

  • Difficulty losing weight: Due to their slower metabolism, endomorphs often find it more challenging to lose weight compared to individuals with other body types. They may need to be more diligent with their diet and exercise routines to achieve their desired weight loss goals.

  • Struggling to build lean muscle: While endomorphs can still build muscle with appropriate exercise, they may find it harder to achieve a lean and defined physique compared to mesomorphs.

  • Tendency towards certain health issues: Endomorphs may be more predisposed to conditions associated with higher body fat levels, such as heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Managing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is particularly important for helping reduce these risks.

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How Does Being An Endomorph Affect Your Workout Style?

Everyone has different fitness goals in mind, but in general most endomorphs will benefit from focusing on both cardio and strength training. This will help with weight loss if desired, building muscle and strength, and protecting against health issues.

Endomorphs benefit from a balanced workout regimen that includes both cardio exercises to burn calories and strength training to build lean muscle mass.

Cardio is great for weight management and lowering the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Moderate intensity exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming are great for burning calories and improving fitness. You can also benefit from high-intensity cardio workouts (HIIT), although avoid doing these style of workouts too frequently (1-3x a week).

Strength Training

Strength training will help endomorphs to build strength and muscle mass, which can help with overall body composition as well as build healthy bones and joints.

Compound exercises in particular are a good place to start; these build full body strength by working multiple muscle groups per exercise and also burn more calories than other weightlifting exercises.

While exercise plays a role in weight management, maintaining a balanced diet and remaining in a calorie deficit is the biggest factor for weight loss. If you are wanting to lose weight, aim for a moderate calorie deficit and incorporate foods that are high in protein and healthy fats and nutrient-rich to keep you satiated.

It’s worth saying that there’s no perfect endomorph diet. The key is finding a diet that’s easy to maintain and keeps you in a calorie deficit. 

What Types Of Exercises Are Best For Endomorphs?

For endomorphs, a well-rounded exercise routine that combines cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility work is ideal. Here are some types of exercises that are particularly beneficial for endomorphs, considering different fitness goals and workout styles:

Cardio Exercises

  • Moderate-intensity cardio: Activities like brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and using the elliptical machine can help burn calories and improve cardiovascular health without putting excessive stress on joints.
  • Interval training: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be effective for burning calories in a shorter amount of time. Alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and rest or low-intensity recovery periods can help boost metabolism and improve fitness levels.

Strength Training

Prioritise compound exercises for your strength training, such as:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Bench presses
  • Rows
  • Overhead presses

Flexibility and Mobility Work

These exercises are ideal for those looking to limber up and improve their overall mobility and flexibility.

  • Stretching: Include static stretching exercises to improve flexibility and range of motion, which can help prevent injuries and improve overall movement quality.
  • Yoga or Pilates: These practices focus on strength, flexibility, and body awareness, which can be beneficial for endomorphs looking to improve posture, mobility, and overall fitness. Take a look at our yoga and pilates classes.

Looking For an Endomorph-specific Workout Plan?

Although endomorphs, much like mesomorphs and ectomorphs may benefit from a specific workout plan, it really comes down to your personal fitness goals. 

A common workout plan for endomorphs looks to build lean muscle and manage weight through a mix of strength training and cardio. If this is your goal, check out these workout plans:

  • Running and strength training workout plan
  • Full body toning workout plan

For more specific goals, our personal trainers would be more than happy to create a plan specific to your needs. 

Begin your new endomorph workout at your nearest PureGym.

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