Body Type Training – Still A Thing?

What Are Body Types Or Somatotypes?

Body types or somatotypes refer to a set of categories used to categorise the bodies of individuals according to their shape. The categories are known as:

  1. Ectomorphs, who are characterised by a relatively small frame (with long arms and legs
  2. Mesomorph, who are characterised by a large, muscular chest dominating the abdomen and with prominent bony joints
  3. Endomorph, who are characterised by a relatively large body and short arms and legs

The Use Of Somatotypes In Physical Education? 

The concept of body types or somatotypes has been taught in physical education since at least the early 2000s till now. While the concept of somatotyping can be interesting as a kind of history lesson, applying somatotyping to exercise can be unrealistic as it contradicts many common concepts taught in exercise science. In more recent times, the push to clear up the misinterpretations on somatotypes has been made more successful due to media platforms like YouTube and many other social media. However, we still see articles and social media content promoting somatotype-based training methods online.

The Problems With Somatotyping

Somatotyping or categorising someone into a body type suggests that their body type is fixed and unchangeable. If this was the case, the whole fitness industry would be a lie; sustainable fat loss transformations would not happen and muscular athletes would have to be scouted from a young age instead of developed holistically. Social media content promoting a somatotype or body type training method may still be harmless. However, practitioners or coaches who train clients a certain way because of their body’s appearance while disregarding science may be sabotaging their clients results, or worse, causing harm.

Instead Of Body Type Training, Go For Evidence-based Training!

While the idea of body type training may be harmless, there is certainly no strong scientific basis for partaking in it. Instead, opt for an evidence-based approach to training, where training is done based on scientific principles and blended with training experience. Educated coaches with a strong understanding of exercise science follow principles that ensure sustainable, long term changes to the body are created through exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes.

Body Types Do Not Dictate Fat Loss

Fat loss is often a reason for why clients engage in personal training or start exercising. It is important to note that, whether you are an ecto- or endomorph, fat loss requires a caloric deficit resulting in negative fat balance. If a coach tells you that since you’re an endomorph, you must train a certain way and that losing fat is hard or impossible, find yourself an evidence-based practitioner who can help you set up a proper fat loss program instead.

Body Types Do Not Control Muscle Gain 

Building bigger, stronger muscles is also another reason for finding a personal trainer and hitting the gym. Being told that someone is an ectomorph and a “hardgainer”, where building muscle is difficult due to claims of “genetics”, is still fairly common in the industry. To gain muscle, you need to be consuming enough protein and nutrients and training hard enough to cause the muscle on the body to grow. When it comes to growing muscles, genetic factors such a bone size can influence how big the muscle gets, such as the hip bones influencing the size of the glutes. However, there is no such thing as genetically ectomorphic or endomorphic hips; in this example, a well-planned glute training program alongside a working nutritional strategy will result in the glute gains you want.

body types do not dictate exercise

Forget Body Type Training Nonsense With The Gym Pod!

Rather than outdated or misinformed training methods such as body type training, we take consideration of your individual needs and goals to tailor a working plan. If you have goals to fulfill, get in touch with our well educated Gym Pod Academy personal trainers, who can dispel myths and bridge the knowledge gap for their clients.What are you waiting for, book a consultation now!