Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger?

Ok, so Power Rangers have absolutely nothing to do with this post.  I just like to bring it back to my childhood every once in a while.

I seriously can't believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one so badly.

I seriously can’t believe I liked them so much.  I wanted to be the yellow one.

So if Power Rangers aren’t the topic of today’s post, what is? Body types.  I’m talking about them and had fun doing my research.

All my life I have been that skinny girl.  You know the one that I’m talking about.  The one that can eat whatever she wants and doesn’t gain weight, the one that looks awkward with her gangly limbs, the one people whisper about having an eating disorder because ‘she unnaturally skinny’. Yep, that’s me.  Hi, nice to meet you.

{This is where I would normally insert an embarrassing old photo. Unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have access to any right now.}

But in full disclosure, I don’t want to be that girl.  That skinny girl.  The fact that I can eat anything (even though I’m very particular about what I eat) and not gain much weight annoys the snot out of me and is really the bane of my existence.  While most people workout to burn calories, I’m in a desperate fight to hold onto all the calories I intake.  I crave muscle tone and body mass but can’t seem to build it.  I could seriously workout in the gym for hours on end and only get leaner.

On the other hand, I have plenty of friends who struggle with their weight.  They have to watch what they eat like a hawk.  BUT put them in a gym and they get buff just looking at the dang weights.  (Yes, that was a twinge of jealously you heard.)

So what gives?  Body types.  That’s what gives.  There are three main ones:

  • Ectomorphs
  • Mesomorphs
  • Endomorphs

Ectomorphs (ahem, me) are characterized by the following traits: delicate built body, flat chest, fragile, lean, lightly muscled, small/rounded shoulders, takes longer to gain muscle, thin.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Jim Parsons AKA the fabulously funny Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Mesomorphs are characterized by: athletic, hard body, hourglass shaped (female), rectangular shaped (male), mature muscle mass, muscular body, excellent posture, gains muscle easily, gains fat more easily than ectomorphs, thick skin.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Ah, young Marky Mark.

Endomorphs are characterized by soft body, underdeveloped muscles, round or pear shaped physique, weight loss is difficult, gains muscle easily like the mesomorph, has trouble keeping lost weight off.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

The stunningly beautiful Marilyn.

And just to complicate things a bit more, I should note that you can also be a combination.  To read more about body type characteristics, this is a great article.

So what’s the point of all this body talk?  Because it’s important to know what you are when setting goals for yourself.  A few months ago I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment that I can workout as much as I want, inundate myself with calories and protein, yet still fall short of the muscular body type I so desperately desire.  It’s the same thing with people who are struggling to lose weight.  If you have curves, wonderful, natural curves, you will never get rid of them – it’s kind of hard to change your bone structure.

It doesn’t matter if you’re overly thin or overweight, if you have an unrealistic expectations you most likely will not succeed.  You’ll get frustrated, overwhelmed and end up saying to heck with that goal.

But don’t get discouraged, that’s not the point of this body type talk.   In fact, discouragement is the exact opposite of my intent.  Instead, my point is to empower you to succeed with your goals.  Knowledge is power and understanding your body is key in setting attainable goals.  Not sure where to start or how to set realistic goals?  Consult with a professional; internet research will only take you so far (not to mention it’s wildly unreliable).

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Wow, this post went full circle from body types to goal setting.  It wasn’t quite the body type post I had in mind but sometimes the tangent that I go on is much better than what I was going to write.  Hopefully that’s the case with this one and you learned something new and helpful.  The best version of you is possible.  Hard work, dedication, perseverance.  Don’t let anybody stop you in achieving what you want.

Before I forget, don’t forget to enter my Gymboss giveaway!

Question:  Have you ever taken into account your body type when setting goals?

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24 thoughts on “Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger?

  1. This is actually so interesting. I was never allowed to watch power rangers as a child (sad day… not really). I think the grass is always greener on the other side. I’m not a small build and do have to watch what I’m eating (unless I run like crazy, which I do so in that case I can eat whatever I want) but growing up I always wanted to be like you. But I have friends who are naturally very thin and wish they were like me. It all just depends! The answer is learning to be satisfied with the way we look right now. There’s no point trying to be something we can’t!

    • I hate to admit this but I watched the original Power Rangers. I quickly out grew it but for just a brief period it was oober cool {to me – ha!}. It’s funny how the grass is always greener on the other side. It just reminds me to be happy and content with what God gave me ’cause you’re right, no point in trying to be something else.

  2. I’m a total mesomorph through and through. When I was younger I had a love hate relationship with it.. I was good at sports yet, I couldn’t find pants to fit my muscular quads and shirts for my broad shoulders (still an issue..) once I realized that my body and natural muscles got me to play a sport in college I finally embraced it and now I love to lift because, like you said I gain muscle like no problem. However running is a different story for me..results don’t come easy. Eh, you win some you lose some.

    • Wow I was going to write essentially the same thing about myself! Seriously someone needs to come out with “altheltic mesomorph” jeans! Either they fit my legs and they are too big in the waist or I can barely get them over my legs and then they fit perfectly in the waist (but not worth buying since I’m like a walking paper doll….). Oh yea and same for shirts/blazers with shoulders. I have to do “raise arm test” to see if it will fit right!

      • I just read this comment, Nicole, and said the same thing to Katie. Hopefully someone will come out with a clothing line like that! I know there are lots of girls who have similar problems. I envision the ‘raise arm test’ to something similar to the Incredible Hulk shoulder flex which results in his shirt getting shredded. 😉

    • Muscular quads are actually the one feature that I want the most. I’m cool with skinny arms but I would love to kick butt with some leg muscle. I LOVE that you embrace your body and lift! And who knows, with crossfit becoming so popular maybe clothing lines will start to make clothing for beefy quads and broad shoulders. I know a lot of girls with that problem.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Gina! I learned about this in my PT studies, but can’t really fit myself into one bucket or another! I think my top half is one and the bottom half is something else. My tops has gotten lean and muscular, while the bottom is staying soft and squishy.. lol.

    I hope one day you can find your way to weight gain! 😉 For me, I was stuck at 119 forever. Eating WHATEVER. Chinese food once a week, chips and salsa nearly daily, chicken and pasta 3, 4x a week. But then once I started heavy lifting and upping the protein, weight just started to pack on – in a good way!

    I worry training for my half is going to take away my hard-earned muscle, so can imagine how tough it is for you to eat to support your own lifestyle! Do you ever track calories? How many do you aim for?

    • I love that you already knew this information, Jen!! I’m pretty much a straight up ectomorph but I do have wide hips for my size (that’s about the only curve to me).

      I monitor my calories periodically but only when I’m feeling like I’ve not been consuming enough. As for the amount that I take in, it varies from day to day but I generally try to get 1,800-2,500 calories during the week and then Saturday long runs can be anywhere between 3,000-4,500. Do you know how much food that is for a clean eater like myself?? During marathon training I feel like ALL is do eat. (And it’s not a pleasant thing. It’s a chore to get that many calories.)

      I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your 1/2 training. Just keep working in the weights during the week and hopefully you won’t burn too much muscle.

  4. This is interesting to read Gina. I was never unnaturally skinny and honestly even when running high mileage I’m not a rain. That has always been fine with me. I think no one woman is ever completely happy with their body type and it is certainly interesting to read from someone who is super thin. My best friend from high school (she is all of 5’0 and less then 100 pounds…looks like she is 15 now) was the same way and she would always talk about that.

    • Hopefully this doesn’t come across creepy but your build is pretty much what I would be happy with. Thin but muscular. Although to be honest with you, I’m really not discontent with my body. It is what it is. 🙂 And I can totally relate to your friend. I’m 5’8″ and fluctuate between 115-120lbs. (Usually closer to 115.)

    • Mmmmmm-hmmmmm, you are in great company!! Plus you’re totally awesome anyways. And there’s nothing wrong with squishy; I’m an ectomorph and still have a bit of squish to me. 😉

  5. Ohhh what a great post! I have never thought about my body type while trying to lean up, instead I focus on where I was in life when I was at the weight/physique I loved. Well I was working ungodly hours, running all the time, and lifting “weights” (heavy boxes haha) all day long at work. 8 hours of lifting/squating/moving along with extra running will definitely cause for some slimming up! I no longer do that, and have been blessed (sense my sarcasm) with some extra fluff around the edges and am not trying to redirect my workouts because I can’t stay stuck daydreaming about how it USED to be! This was a random and rambling comment haha.

    • I never really thought about body types either until I stumbled across the different ones. Then a light bulb clicked on and I was like oh, I get it now. And I’m cool with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to work my butt of to get results but I won’t get down on myself when I don’t see them immediately.

      Oh, and I love random, rambling comments.

  6. I’m definitely a Mesomorphs–fused with the flat chested-ness of the Ectomorphs. 😉 My body type works well for playing sports–*cough* swimming, biking, and running *cough*–but I do have trouble finding clothes that fit properly, especially in terms of the broader shoulders/no chest region. 🙂

    • Hello fellow flat chested friend! HA!! I used to get bothered (like teen years) by my lack of upper body endowment but now I’m just stoked that they don’t get in my way. My heart (and back) goes to out to girl runners who have big boobs.

  7. Well Gina, when you turn 30 your body metabolism will start to slow (you are also more likely to start losing very gradually your muscle mass too) BUT the point is that you might be able to get ‘more buff’ when you are older. Just maybe. I hope you do since that is what you want, but you are beautiful the way you are even if your body doesn’t change in the next decade or so 🙂

  8. Thank you my lovely friend! I think I probably should have put in this post somewhere that I’m not dissatisfied with my body. I would just get frustrated at never seeing results. But now I get it and am totally cool with myself. (I’ve always been a person who like to know the why behind stuff.)

  9. Ya I won’t lie, I always wished i was like my sister. the naturally skinny girl who hates to exercise and eats anything she wants. instead I carry lots of muscle, especially in my legs from running. I try to like you said though just stay positive and remember my body type is my body type. Plain and simple

  10. this is such a great post, gina! I really learned so much!! for me, I never thought about any of this stuff, but suddenly body woes make sense and it puts it all into a great perspective! thank you!

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