How to Change Your Body Type to Ectomorph, Mesomorph, or Endomorph

An Introduction to the Body Types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph

The three main body types are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

  1. An ectomorph is a hard gainer. They have trouble gaining fat and muscle because they have a fast metabolism. Ectomorphs are skinny, light, weak, and have small shoulders.
  2. A mesomorph gains or loses muscle and fat easily. They are lean and muscular, heavy for their size, strong, hard, and have large shoulders.
  3. An endomorph gains fat and muscle easily. They have trouble losing fat because they have a slow metabolism. Endomorphs are thick, heavy, strong, and soft as well because they have a lot of fat.

You might have one of these body types or a combination of any two types. Your body type is determined by genetics and by your behavior. However, because it's not all genetics, it is possible to change your body type by changing some of your traits. Changing your body type takes time but you can do it. You may not be able to completely change your body type but you can change it enough to look and feel like you did. Learn how in this article by focusing on your calorie count, diet, and exercise. Good luck!

Changing Body Types: Where to Start

If you want to change body types, start by deciding if you first want to lose or gain weight.

  • To gain weight, do more weightlifting and less cardio. If your appetite increases, then eat more food. Eating less often also helps.
  • To lose weight, do more cardio and less weight lifting. Also, try to cut down on the junk foods and high calorie drinks.


The main difference between the body types is how efficient they are at burning calories.

  • When you are burning a lot of calories, then it is hard to gain fat or muscle.
  • When you are not burning very many calories, then it is easy to put on fat and muscle.

So, if you want to change your body type then you need to focus on burning calories either faster or slower. How can you affect the rate at which your body burns calories? By focusing on diet and exercise, as discussed below.


Me doing side planks.
Me doing side planks.
Body Type
Cardio and Weight Lifting
Weight Lifting

To shift your build towards the body type you desire, you should start doing the exercises that people with that body type normally find most comfortable.

  • Skinny people tend to mostly do cardio exercises that increase your heart rate and burn a lot of calories, like running, biking, and jumping rope.
  • Lean, muscular people tend to do a mix of cardio and weight lifting.
  • Thick people with a lot of body fat tend to lift weights.

Ectomorphs are more likely to do exercises that burn a lot of calories, endomorphs are more likely to do exercises that don't burn many calories, and mesomorphs are more likely to do a combination of the two.

Me doing dumbbell curls.
Me doing dumbbell curls.

Focusing on Your Diet

Your diet and eating habits are key when it comes to changing body types. Keep these things in mind during the process:

  • Skinny people and lean muscular people tend to eat frequently. Your body does not need to store as much fat when your body does not go for long periods of time without food. People that have trouble keeping the fat off tend to eat a few big meals or don't eat enough food to feel satisfied when they eat. As a result, their body tries to store more fat and they are less likely to exercise regularly.
  • How much time you spend being hungry affects how good you are at burning calories. Endomorphs are also more likely to overeat and to eat a lot of junk food. Overeating does not mean eating more than someone else or eating a lot. It means eating more food than your body needs.

Me doing negative reps with a dumbbell to build up my forearm muscles.
Me doing negative reps with a dumbbell to build up my forearm muscles.

I Changed My Body Type From an Ectomorph to a Mesomorph

My personal story and notes about mesomorphs and ectomorphs:

I went from an ectomorph to a mesomorph by adding weight lifting to my cardio regime—mesomorphs have athletic bodies because they do both types of exercise. They are athletic and they maintain a healthy diet to help keep the fat off. As I did more weight lifting, my appetite increased and so did the size of my muscles. Now I have an easier time gaining muscle and fat, like most mesomorphs. The downside to being a mesomorph is that mesomorphs have more trouble getting rid of fat than ectomorphs do. Mesomorphs need to work at keeping the fat off and the muscle on.

Since I need to eat a lot, I am not a pure mesomorph, more of a combination of mesomorph and ectomorph. However I still do more cardio than weight lifting. If I reduce the cardio then I need less food. So I become more of a mesomorph. If I wanted to look more like an endomorph, I might eat less often and consume more junk food and high-calorie food.

No matter what your body type is, fat comes from consuming more calories than you burn and muscle comes from regular exercise. You need to strain your muscles to make them bigger and stronger and if you don't continue to work them hard enough then you lose muscle.

Body Type Is Influenced By Exercise, Not Just Genes

People often assume that a person who has a lean body was just lucky enough to be born that way. They assume athletes have athletic-looking bodies because of their genes, not because of their diet and exercise routine. They assume a person doing yoga was just lucky to be born with that flexibility. But the truth is that what you do changes your body.

People who do a lot of biking, for example, usually look like they do a lot of biking. They are usually lean and have large calf muscles. I myself have large, hard calf muscles from biking long distances.

A person with large broad shoulders wasn’t necessarily born that way; my exercise routine, for example, made my shoulders, chest, and back muscles significantly bigger.

You may think body traits run in a family because of genetics, but often a family shares these traits because family members have similar habits.

People you see may have have worked hard to look the way they look, or they may look that way because they did not make an effort to maintain their bodies. Take some responsibility for the way you look by focusing on your diet and exercise.

© 2013 Michael H

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Comments 1 comment

rafl 13 months ago

ectomorphs , weak? Now thats going a bit too far. Maybe some are , Im an ectomorph myself and I'm pretty strong .

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