04-11-2019

Yes and No. To accurately assess your body type you would need to follow Heath and Carters, (2002) calculations of anthropometry. Knowing this is extremely time consuming, the android and gynoid ratio can show where you accumulate that fat mass a little bit more. Also by looking at your height in relation to fat mass, muscle mass and body fat % can help.

Somatotype is a classification for your physique type (build) and body shape. There are 3 classifications; endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph. Whilst not everyone will fit into one of these categories, there are often a few dominant characteristics.

Low fat + low muscle = ectomorph

High fat + low muscle = endomorph

High fat + high muscle = endomorph

Low fat + high muscle = mesomorph

Ectomorph

This body type is thin and tends to struggle gaining weight, whether it’s fat or muscle. Ectomorphs tend to have a lean build with small muscles and long limbs. Sometimes this type of body shape could easily be “skinny fat”, leaving them at a normal BMI risk but in the high range for body fat %.

Endomorph

This body type tends to put on weight easily and struggles to lose it. Endomorphs have a naturally wider build than ecto or mesomorphs however, they may have a larger muscle mass and limbs tend to be shorter. Whilst this body type tends to have a lot of muscle mass, they often gain a lot of fat mass in the process. Tracking via a DEXA scan can confirm if muscle mass has been gained or the fat mass.

Mesomorph

This body type tends to be fit and achieve muscle mass with ease. However, this doesn’t mean a mesomorph can do nothing to achieve an ideal physique. It means they will be able to get back into shape more easily than an endomorph or ectomorph. They tend to have wider shoulders and narrower hips with a lower body fat %.

 

Heath and Carter (2002), also produced a detailed instruction manual on how to measure somatotype (as shown in the reference list). This process is extremely time consuming but is an interesting read. It has been adapted over the years since the first version “Anthropometry Illustrated” (Ross, Carr & Carter., 1999).

References:

Carter, J. E. L. (2002). Part 1: The Heath-Carter anthropometric somatotype-instruction manual. From htth/cmvwsomatotypeorg/Heath—CarterManual. pdf [Retrieved 31 Janu-uary 2013], 3-4.