You’d be forgiven for wishing things would just be more simple and straightforward when it comes to achieving your ideal physique. After all, who wants to sift through pages and pages of jargon and conflicting theories just to end up more confused and clueless than when they began? It’s no wonder then that the notion of body types is such an attractive idea that continues to draw attention. We take a closer look at what it means to be a particular body type and what the best way forward to reaching your fitness goals may be.
Despite the considerable attention and support that the concept of predefined human physiques and body types is getting, it is nothing new. In fact it was psychologist, William Herbert Sheldon, who created the theory back in the 1940s, suggesting that each of us – male or female – can be labelled as one of three different body types:
People with this build are slender; lean with narrow frames, retain little body fat and little muscle. For these individuals, putting on muscle is challenging and requires more effort and focus on caloric surpluses.
In many respects, this category of human physique is regarded as the most ideal and envied. Mesomorphs are naturally athletic and muscular in build. They find it easy to put on weight at will or conversely lose it with relatively less effort than most.
Endomorphs are the polar opposites to ectomorphs retaining significant amounts of body fat but also muscle mass. For these individuals, putting on weight is effortless and easy.
We’re not proposing that this theory is completely irrelevant; rather that it is not readily applicable and could benefit from further research. This is because the quality of any research is always defined by further research that builds upon the shortcomings of the initial study.
A fool proof theory?
As we alluded to these proposed somatotype classifications are not water tight and come with inherent flaws. Layne Norton points out two particular shortcomings:
It’s not black and white
The first glaring shortcoming of this theory is that it is rare – if not impossible – to find someone who can be categorically classified as one of the somatotypes without any crossover characteristics with one of the other body types.
Lacks evidence-based research and practical application
When it comes to dietary suggestions all classes are usually advised to eat high protein diets with ectomorphs being encouraged to eat copious amounts of carbs and fats, endomorphs “less carbs and fats”, and mesomorphs are given the freedom to eat as they please. While there is some truth to maintaining high protein diets and either opting for high/low carbs or fats, this needs to be more specific. It should fall within the confines of your predefined goal oriented macros, ensuring overall daily caloric intake is either at maintenance level, in a deficit for weight loss or a surplus for mass building.
In order to achieve your ideal physique we suggest the following pillars of fitness are firmly in place:
You should have clearly defined goals that allow you to map the way forward and keep you on track.
Your muscles grow and recover when you are at rest; failing to get enough rest undermines the effectiveness of your fitness regime.
Nutrition is key to fuelling the processes your body engages in to build muscle or burn fat. Furthermore, a well-balanced diet will ensure optimal performance during your workouts.
A detailed workout plan will ensure you make progress over time as opposed to becoming stagnant and will challenge your body to change and adapt towards your ideal physique.
Sustainability & consistency
Ultimately, every aspect of your approach should be sustainable, allowing you to be consistent because results will take time. Sustainability and consistency will keep you on course and ensure you don’t lose heart before you achieve your fitness goals.
Powerhouse is your dedicated partner in reaching your fitness goals. We have taken the time and care to hire only the most passionate fitness staff and stock a diverse range of the best supplements on the market. For professional advice, quality equipment and first rate supplements, get in touch today and reach your goals.