Body Shapes And Bodybuilding (2023)

Body Shapes And Bodybuilding (1)

Each one of us has a genetic composition unique to every one of us. From the wrinkle in the corners of our eyes to the general outside physique that makes up our body, it is all different. Body shapes or the figure of a person can vary for each one of us. This can be attributed to different factors, such as individual skeletal structures and the distribution of muscles and fats in our body. These play specific roles in our body shapes.

Attributes in Body Shapes

There are several factors that are important for us to be familiar with when talking about body shapes.

(Video) The Best Workout for Your Body Type

Physiological Attributes

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  • Facial features. Males more commonly develops facial bones during the puberty stage. Females, on the other hand, typically keep a facial feature similar to the pre-puberty stage.
  • Skeletal structure. Here, more changes happen to females than to males during puberty. Hip bones widen as preparation for child rearing. Upper limbs in females also adjust greatly to accommodate the widening of the hips. Males, on the other hand, goes through the widening of the shoulders during this stage. Ribcage expansion also happens due to the effects of testosterone.
  • Fat distribution and muscle composition. This is dependent on one’s food preferences and habits, exercise enthusiasm, and levels of certain hormones in the body. In women, typically after the menopause stage, the hormone estrogen declines. When this happens, the fats from the hips, thigh, and buttocks, move to the waistline and is later on stored in the belly. Males, on the other hand, generally lacks this hormone, therefore, enabling fats to be deposited around the waists and abdomen. For muscle composition, the hormone testosterone plays a big role. Males, at an average, have 10 times more testosterone compared to females. This puts men at an advantage in building and maintaining muscles through the help of exercise.
  • Weight. Not only does it change the body shape, but it can also affect one’s posture and walking gait.


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  • Fitness activities. It has been proven over time that the performance of certain exercises reduces body fats. Muscles can also be built on specific body parts. This will all depend on the targeted body part for muscle growth. Without exercise though, it is a given, you know what is waiting for you.
  • Diet. Careful and healthy choices of foods can also lessen the accumulation of fats in the body. Your choice of food can determine whether you are gaining that extra belly fat or not.

Types of Body Shapes

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  • The ruler body. Measurements from the bust to the hips is one and the same. The waistline is not well-defined.
  • Pear-shaped body. Imagine a pear. Here, the bust part is narrow and hips tend to be broad. This body shape is also known as the triangular shape.
  • Apple body shape. In this shape, the bust part is broader than the hip section. Shoulders are round, hips, legs and the arms are smaller. This is the inverted triangle body shape.
  • Hourglass body shape. The bust and the hips have a pretty much-balanced measurement. Waistline here has a beautiful definition. Shoulders typically align with the hips. There is a proportion of this body shape.
  • Oval body shape. The bust area is usually bigger than the rest of the body. This body shapes tend to gain weight easily on the belly area.
  • Diamond shaped body. The hips here are broad, the bust narrow and is aligned with the shoulders. This is similar to the oval body shape.
  • Skinny body shape. This is similar to the ruler body shape but with bone structures that are small and light-bearing.
  • Athletic body shape. This is considered the sexiest body shape. There is the presence of well-toned body curves. This is muscular in form with well-built shoulders.
  • Lollipop body shape. Yes, there is such a shape as the lollipop body shape. This is characterized by a full and round bust area. The hips and waist are small, and the shoulders, broad.

Types of Body Shapes and the Training Fit for It

Training for the kind of body shape that one has is like aiming for the perfect shot. Knowing your body shape gives you the idea of what is the perfect approach to building that muscle on a specific body part.

Body Shapes And Bodybuilding (5)


These are usually marathon runner body. It is lean but is short in muscle. This body type has difficulty in building muscles. However, this type has good carbohydrate processing. Energy is always up because of thus and fats are burned easily. The struggle, building the muscle.

To do this, cardio sessions must be kept to a minimum. The focus should be to utilize compound exercises which aid in maximizing the release of growth hormones. Caloric intake should be around 3,000 calories in a day. Make sure to include plenty of starchy carbohydrates and supplement with whey protein. Carbohydrates tend to increase blood sugar levels which in turn drives the proteins to the muscles, for growth.

(Video) WHAT IS YOUR BODY TYPE? - Training With Michael J White


Often pear-shaped, there is a tendency to store body fats all over. There is a struggle as well in packing that dream muscle. But, there is always a light to look forward to in every dark situation. Here, management of weight and overall fitness is the hardest. To achieve a more balanced physique, the focus should be on shoulder development.

Another important focus is stripping away fats, specifically in the lower body. It is recommended to engage in a low to medium intensity of cardio activities. This will help shift fats in the body. Weight training is considered to be the best exercise because it can go on burning calories even after you’re done with the last set. For the nutrition part, a low carb diet should be taken along with high protein and fiber.


The dream. Boasts of well-built and muscular structure. Metabolism is high and the muscle cells are responsive. How lucky can one be? Indeed, the dream body shape. Even without gym time, you already have it. This type does not store much body fat and is the easiest to add up that new muscle.

If you fall under this body type, make the most of it. Make sure you have that progressive plan that will keep those muscles and improve on it. Maintain that strength and power even without the bulky look. Plyometrics – sprints, boxing, vertical jumps – are recommended. The body responses really well even to low reps and power moves. To fuel these exercises, a 2,500 caloric intake a day will suffice. Include plenty of whole grains but limit the fats.

(Video) This Surprising Test Reveals Your True Body Type


Regardless of the body shape that one has, taking care of our physical self is one that we can always be assured of getting positive results. Not only does it help us improve physically, but it also helps us improve our general well-being in an immeasurable way. So get up there, smile and find out what training and nutrition fit your body shape.


Joel Snape. (2017). Ectomorph, Endomorph, And Mesomorph: How To Train For Your Body Type.

Cluebot Ng., (2019). Body Shape.

Charushila Biswas. (2019). 12 Different Body Shapes of Women.

(Video) Best Diet and Workout For Your Body Type | Yatinder Singh


7 Gym Etiquette That You Must Know and Practice Bodybuilding Myths and Mistakes


What body shape is best for bodybuilding? ›

A mesomorph has a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. Mesomorphs are the best body type for bodybuilding. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle.

Does body type matter in bodybuilding? ›

Your body type doesn't matter. At least not in the way you might think. No matter what your body type is, you can still reach your goals. Natural chubsters can have flat abs, skinny hardgainers can get jacked, and you can absolutely crush it in fitness.

Does body type affect muscle gain? ›

In between ectomorph and endomorph is the mesomorph body type. Mesomorphs find it easier to build muscle and lose fat than the ectomorphs and endomorphs respectively. This is why the mesomorph body type means that you do not have to go insanely heavy on the weights to get results.

What are the body types in bodybuilding? ›

Most people are unique combinations of the three body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

Which body type builds muscle the easiest? ›

Mesomorphs build muscles easier than other body types. Bodybuilding comes naturally, and with the right fitness regimen a mesomorph can develop an impressive physique. Easier to lose weight. Mesomorphs may be prone to weight gain, but they also tend to lose weight easier than people with other body types.

What body type is best for weightlifting? ›

What body type is the best for powerlifting? Powerlifter's body types tend to be endo-mesomorphic (a muscular physique). However, other variables, like having proportionally shorter limbs, more muscle mass, and smaller heights overall, will likely give you an advantage regardless of body type.

What body type is harder for muscle? ›

Ectomorphs have a difficult time putting on muscle mass because their metabolism has a tendency to run higher than other body types. In the fitness terms, they are often called “hard gainers” for this very reason.

Why are bodybuilders big but not strong? ›

Generally, the bigger the muscle, the more force it can produce. However, some studies have noted that larger muscles do not have an equivalently large improvement in the specific force. This means that as the muscle gets bigger there is not an equal increase in the quality of the muscle.

Do certain body types build muscle faster? ›

Mesomorphs and endomorphs both gain weight quickly, whereas ectomorphs find it more difficult to gain weight. Another factor is muscle gain. Mesomorphs and endomorphs gain muscle quickly, while ectomorphs do not.

Do bodybuilders have body image issues? ›

The results from this study indicated that 53.7% of bodybuilders had body dissatisfaction, and this result correlated significantly with eating disorder scores (according to EAT-40) (r = .

What are the 4 body types? ›

To get a precise assessment of whether you're an ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, or a combination type, you could go to a lab and have your body fat, bone, and muscle mass measured.

Is it easier to gain muscle when fat or skinny? ›

The higher your body fat percentage, the harder it is to gain muscle while minimizing fat gain. If you have a lower body fat percentage and don't need to lose as much fat, your body is more supportive of building muscle first.

Do genetics play a role in muscle growth? ›

Yes, There Are Genes That Impact Muscle Growth

In fact, there are several genes that affect muscle development and growth. Scientists have discovered many genes involved in muscle growth.

Which shape of body is best? ›

Based on various studies, the ideal body shape is the hourglass type body shape. The amount of these qualities vary between culture and race, but as long as you hold an hourglass shape, then you have an ideal body shape. An hourglass shape has the following qualities: Shoulders smaller than the hips.

Which muscle type grows the fastest? ›

Type llx muscle fibers are what you could call the “pure” fast-twitch muscle fibers. They contract extremely quickly, have the greatest potential for growth, become fatigued in short order, and take a long time to recover.

What builds muscle mass the fastest? ›

Below are 10 of the best ways to build muscle quickly:
  1. Eat Enough Calories. ...
  2. Train With Weights Over Cardio. ...
  3. Train with Heavy Weights. ...
  4. Lift Light Weights, Too. ...
  5. Train a Muscle to Near Failure (Most of the Time) ...
  6. Don't Always Train to Failure With Very Heavy Weight. ...
  7. Supplement with Creatine.

Which body type has the most muscle? ›

Mesomorph refers to body types with a naturally high muscle-to-fat ratio. People with this body type typically respond well to weight training, finding it easier than other people to build and maintain muscle. They may also find it easier to gain or lose weight. Everyone has a different body type.

Is weightlifting mental or physical? ›

It is both a mental and physical exercise. The physical aspect of this connection is focusing on isolating only one muscle group to work in order to lift the weight. The mental aspect is the focus on which exact precise muscle is working while also remaining concentrated on that muscle for the entirety of the set.

Are some people naturally more muscular? ›

It comes down to hormones and genetics. Chances are, you've probably heard before that every body is different, and on a physiological level, that's really true. For example, some bodies are primed to put on muscle more easily than others.

Is it better to strength train or body build? ›

Over time you will get stronger and build muscle both through bodybuilding training and strength training. However, if your goal is to look like a bodybuilder, you should train like a bodybuilder most of the time. And, to get as strong as possible, the majority of your workouts should be focused on strength training.

Is it better to have hard or soft muscle? ›

Myth #1: A Muscle Should Be Hard.

Muscles should always be soft, uniform and consistent. The only time a muscle should be hard is when it is in a contracted state (i.e. when it is actively flexed). If you feel the muscle fibers of a highly developed body builder, you'll notice that the muscle will actually feel soft.

What muscle makes you look the best? ›

Delts (Shoulders)

The "delts" are the big, compound shoulder muscles that include the front, middle and rear deltoids. They go nicely with the chest, arm and back muscles to give that powerful upper-body look. Bulk them out with overhead presses, front raises, upright rows, or an incline press.

Can muscles be strong but not big? ›

“People that have a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers have a greater capacity to produce more force,” Buresh says. Fast twitch fibers also have a greater potential to get big. THE BOTTOM LINE: Yes, it is possible to be strong—and to get stronger—without having enormous muscles.

Why are big guys so strong? ›

People who are overweight do not only have more fat mass but also more fat-free mass [7]. With that, people who are overweight or obese are likely to have more muscle mass and to be stronger compared to people who are not overweight.

Are Natural Bodybuilders stronger? ›

Natural bodybuilders may not be able to put on as much muscle mass as steroid users but they build muscles that are long lasting and sustainable. Besides building muscles that last, they have a better overall health and faster metabolism.

Are big guys stronger? ›

Surprisingly, yes. With the exception of bodybuilders, the average fat person has more upper body strength than the average slim guy. Think of it this way: bodybuilders and strongman competitors are in a league of their own. And average fat guys and slim individuals are in a different league.

What triggers muscle to grow? ›

Muscle size increases when a person continually challenges the muscles to deal with higher levels of resistance or weight. This process is known as muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy occurs when the fibers of the muscles sustain damage or injury.

What makes muscles show more? ›

Resistance training helps grow muscles and define their shape. But you're also going to have to do some cardiovascular exercises (the ones that get your heart rate up) to burn calories to get rid of those extra layers of fat between the muscles and the skin.

Why do bodybuilders feel small? ›

Muscle Dysmorphia is a condition that afflicts at least 10% of male bodybuilders in top physical shape who are chronically worried that they look puny and obsess about being too small and underdeveloped.

Is bodybuilding healthy mentally? ›

Going to the gym can relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Seeing real results can improve your mood and give you a sense of satisfaction to further progress and develop through fitness. Bodybuilding can enhance your self-esteem and confidence by giving you a more positive outlook on your own image.

What are the negative effects of bodybuilding? ›

Negative Effects. Overtime, weightlifting puts a tremendous amount of stress on your joints, tendons, and ligaments. As a result, many bodybuilders have tendinitis, back pains, shoulder pains, and other forms of joint problems. These injuries, if left untreated, will remain and significantly get worse.

What is the most common body type? ›

The most common body type is an inverted triangle or pear shape. This body shape is characterized by a larger hip, with a narrow bust, and subtle waist definition.

Can your body type change? ›

You can't change the body type you were born with, but you can boost your body for the better with the right set of exercises.

Why do Mesomorphs gain weight easily? ›

Mesomorph body types often can lose weight quickly when following a meal plan that is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, and when they are getting plenty of exercise. However, mesomorphs gain weight just as quickly if their eating plan contains too many calories from high-sugar foods.

What is an 8 shape body? ›

She talked about a variation of the stereotypical hourglass called the Figure of Eight body shape. The characteristics of the 8 figure are: Shoulders are curved and are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs; Waist is distinctly narrower than shoulders and hips/thighs (8 -10 inches smaller);

Do Endomorphs gain muscle easily? ›

Building muscle comes easily for endomorphs; however, a slower metabolism and extra body fat make it much harder for endomorphs to stay lean.

Are Ectomorphs weaker? ›

The weakness for the ectomorph is a lack of strength. They can have lighter bones that aren't as strong, as well as less muscle that makes them less able to complete tasks that require strength or heavy lifting.

What fat stops bulking? ›

If you want to gain muscle and strength as quickly as possible and you're at or below 10% (men) or 20% (women) body fat, then you should bulk. And if you want to lose fat as quickly as possible and you're at or above 15% (men) or 25% (women) body fat, then you should cut.

Is it better to bulk or cut first? ›

Summing It Up

It's pretty simple. If you're lean enough to bulk (10-15% body fat or less for a man, or 18-23% or less for a woman), you should probably bulk first. If you're above these ranges, you should cut first. And if you're a beginner who's somewhere in the middle, you should recomp.

At what body fat should you start bulking? ›

Body Fat in the Bulk / Cut Cycle

While advice differs, it's generally said that a bulk should begin when one reaches 10% body fat for men and 20% for women, or under. Of course, this is all up to you. If you're comfortable putting on slightly more weight in fat to get some gains, then that's up to you.

Which race has more muscle mass? ›

Generally, muscle mass is highest in African Americans, followed by Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians, while percent body fat is highest among Asian subjects (Wang et al., 1994; Silva et al., 2010) .

Which muscles are mainly genetic? ›

Skeletal muscle is a highly heritable quantitative trait, with heritability estimates ranging 30–85% for muscle strength and 50–80% for lean mass.

What is considered good genetics for bodybuilding? ›

A person with an “enhanced” genotype is perfect for bodybuilding. An enhanced person will see significant gains in muscle mass, losses in body fat and weight in response to regular strength training.

What body type is the prettiest? ›

According to a new study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, women with a 'low waist-to-hip ratio (WHRs)' – commonly known as an 'hourglass figure' – are seen to have the most attractive bodies.

Do hourglass figures have big thighs? ›

Contrary to the body shapes of most supermodels, the hourglass figure is more round and curvy, with a well-defined waistline, fuller hips and bust/chest and generous thighs.

What body type do girls like? ›

Summary. Women tend to prefer men with fit, athletic bodies. These ideal male bodies are significantly leaner and stronger than average, but not as lean and strong as most men wish to be, and certainly not as muscular as most bodybuilders.

What is the most efficient body shape? ›

Based on various studies, the ideal body shape is the hourglass type body shape. The amount of these qualities vary between culture and race, but as long as you hold an hourglass shape, then you have an ideal body shape. An hourglass shape has the following qualities: Shoulders smaller than the hips.

Which body type is best for male? ›

Mesomorphs have a large bone structure, large muscles and a naturally athletic physique. They find it quite easy to gain and lose weight. They are naturally strong, which means they build muscle easily. The mesomorph body type responds the best to weight training.

Which body type is best? ›

Mesomorph: This body type is generally considered the ideal body type. Individuals usually look lighter and have a more rectangular bone structure, longer limbs, thinner bones and a flatter ribcage. A mesomorph has a natural tendency to stay fit and achieve muscle mass very easily.

Which body shape is best for male? ›

Inverted Triangle body shape is the most desired body shape for men. Most movie stars like Salman Khan, Hritik Roshan, etc possess inverted triangle body shapes. It can be identified from the prominent bulky upper half and a much slimmer waistline. Men with this body type can easily carry off all types of clothes.

What body type is naturally powerful? ›

Mesomorphs tend to be athletic and strong due to their high muscle-to-fat ratio, which might give them a muscular chest, shoulders, and limbs. Their weight distribution around the body is usually relatively even. People with a mesomorph-type body gain muscle and weight easily.

What body type is naturally strong? ›

Mesomorphs. Naturally muscular, mesomorphs typically have moderate-size frames, with wider shoulders and a narrow waist, strong arms and legs, and modest amounts of body fat.

What is the most attractive male physique? ›

When we asked women what body-fat percentage they found most attractive, 58% chose the body with a flat stomach, and 39% chose the body with abs. The average man is overweight, but only 3% of women chose that body-fat percentage.

What makes a male body attractive? ›

The study found that Upper body strength key factor in men's bodily attractiveness. Dr. Aaron Sell from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice said, “The cues of upper body strength make a man's body attractive, including having wider shoulders, being physically fit and having greater handgrip strength.”

What physique is attractive? ›

Summary: Research shows women almost universally prefer more muscular, leaner, stronger-looking men to less muscular, fatter, and weaker ones—to a point. In general, the “ideal” male physique to most women means having moderate (not massive) amounts of muscle in the upper and lower body and a low body fat percentage.

What body type are most models? ›

The Straight Body Shape

This body type is popularly known as the supermodel body. It is also called a rectangular or ruler body. Since it does not have a well-defined waistline, the body tends to look straight.

What are the 3 main body types? ›

Per this classification, there are three different body types:
  • Ectomorph: This is when the body is lean and slender and tends to have less body fat and muscle. ...
  • Endomorph: This is when the body has more stored fat, lots of muscle, and gains weight easily. ...
  • Mesomorph: This is when the body is athletic and strong.
30 May 2022

What is the least common body shape? ›

Hourglass silhouettes are coveted in beauty magazines and pop culture, but it's actually the least common body shape. Women with shoulders and hips that are about the same size have an hourglass figure if they also have a small, defined waist.

What are the 5 male body types? ›

Men's body type categorized into five types:
  • Rectangle.
  • Triangle.
  • Trapezoid.
  • Oval.
  • Inverted Triangle.
10 Jun 2020


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