What to Know About the Endomorph Body Type

Medically Reviewed by Dany Paul Baby, MD on August 25, 2022
4 min read

The concept of somatotypes is based on the understanding that everyone is born with a body type. Body type, or somatotype, is inherited and expresses itself as skeletal structure and body composition. A greater muscle and fat content characterize the endomorph body type. These people are heavy but not necessarily obese. If you have the endomorph body type, you know it's easy to gain weight but hard to lose it and build muscle. Special diet and workout plans can help you achieve optimum health and fitness.

The concept of body types was first proposed about 80 years ago. Experts are now questioning the idea that body type is unchangeable. Inheritance determines much of your body structure and metabolism. But with skillful guidance and determination, you can rise above the predetermined body type and achieve your body shape, health, and fitness desires.

Endomorphs have softer bodies with curves. They have a wide waist and hips and large bones, though they may or may not be overweight. Their weight is often in their hips, thighs, and lower abdomen. Endomorphs often have lots of body fat and muscle and tend to gain weight easily.

You may not fit precisely into the endomorph description, of course. Having characteristics of more than one somatotype is common. Many people are combination endomorphs, with delicate upper bodies and fat storage in the midsection or hips and thighs.

Exercise is vital for good health. This is especially true as an endomorph, as you tend to store fat easily and have difficulty losing weight. You may need a specialized diet plan and fitness method to reach your health goals and an appropriate weight.

Endomorphs have narrow shoulders and fat deposits in the lower abdomen, hips, and thighs. This distribution of body weight and fat makes it challenging to reduce weight and needs precise training methods. Of course, you must combine these with a suitable diet to lose weight.

Exercise is crucial for endomorphs. It helps build muscle and enhance metabolism. The endomorph somatotype comes with a slower metabolism and additional fat. You must commit to a lifelong exercise plan to achieve and sustain lean body mass.

A workout plan for endomorphs must include both cardio and weight training. Building muscle is not hard, but you must be careful about overtraining. Since your body type tends to put on weight easily, your workout plan should burn calories and create a negative calorie balance.

Cardio training. This is a vital part of your workout plan. You should include 30 to 60 minutes of cardio exercises at least 2 or 3 days a week. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a good option and will build your stamina and burn calories.

Apart from these formal exercises, you should make it a habit to keep moving through the day. Resist the urge to chill, and instead find ways to be active. Rising early, watching less television, and developing a list of fitness goals will improve your health.

Weight training. It has three advantages for you:

  • Building lean muscle mass
  • Losing body fat
  • Speeding up your metabolism

The higher muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate and stimulates the use of fat for producing energy. A good workout plan for you focuses on the large muscle groups (legs and back). Try for at least 15 repetitions (reps) of each exercise. Circuit training with short intervals between sets is best for you.

Some good moves for you are:

  • Squats with overhead press
  • Lunges with lateral raise
  • Push-ups with knee drives
  • Planks with triceps dumbbell extensions

Endomorphs tend to gain weight easily, and your diet should have a higher proportion of protein and fewer carbohydrates. A diet with 35% protein, 35% fats, and 30% carbohydrates will be the most appropriate for you. Be careful about choosing healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.

The carbohydrates you consume should be from vegetables and fruits with a higher proportion of fiber. Avoid cookies, bread, cakes, and processed foods high in calories and fats. Every meal should have protein and some vegetables.

Endomorphs have varying degrees of insulin and glucose sensitivity. Any carbohydrate-rich foods you eat will be digested as glucose and converted to fat. This is one reason for the high body-fat proportion. It puts you at risk for hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, gall bladder disease, some cancers, and depression. You need to reduce body fat with a controlled diet and appropriate exercise.

Any surplus calories you consume rapidly convert to excess weight on your body. Consult a dietician to formulate a diet plan low in calories and fat and rich in protein. Endomorphs need a great deal of discipline regarding their diet to avoid obesity and associated disorders.

Being an endomorph is not all bad. Endomorphs have thick and wide bones and put on muscles easily with proper training and diet. There are several advantages to being heavily built and strong, especially in sports.

The endomorph look is desirable in the arts and entertainment field, too. Marilyn Monroe and Oprah Winfrey are examples of endomorphs successful in these fields.

Endomorphs are also well-adjusted emotionally and psychologically, being social, emotionally stable, extroverted, easy to communicate with, and courteous to others.

You can't change the body type you were born with, but you can certainly make it the best it can be. You can increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. A good workout plan will improve strength, endurance, and skills. 

The slow metabolism associated with the endomorph body type often results from sedentary habits and long-term positive calorie balance. Your resolve and capable guidance can change both your habits and your health. Diligence and consistency go a long way in achieving good health and a desirable body shape.