Weight Lifting and Your Body Type

A weight lifting routine should be customized according to one’s specific body type. Everyone is genetically unique, and therefore their body types will vary as well. Choosing the proper style of weight lifting tailored to your body type will help you reach your exercise goals more efficiently.

Body Types

There are three main body types, though many people may have characteristics of all three, while others may have most traits of one particular type. These include mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph. Descriptions of each, and their associated weight lifting routines, are as follows:


A mesomorph body type is one that tends to be naturally fit and muscular. Gaining muscle is easy for a mesomorph, as compared to other body types. These athletic body types are naturally gifted with good posture, symmetrical proportions and muscular gains. Mesomorphs tend to have a lot of energy and are capable of lots of physical activity. Fat is also evenly distributed throughout all parts of the body. Weight lifting is a great exercise for this body type.

Weight Lifting for the Mesomorph

Mesomorphs will do well with a heavy weight lifting routine. The best type of weight training would be achieved with moderate to heavy weights, performed with great force and intensity. To maintain their thick, strong muscle mass, mesomorphs should workout more often and for longer periods of time than an endomorph or ectomorph. This is because their bodies are much more capable of handling the heavy weights, intensity and challenge of a weight lifting routine.

The type of weight training recommended for mesomorphs includes a routine that combines an equal amount of exercises per body part. Ideally, three to four sets of 12 repetitions should be performed per weight lifting exercise for optimal effect. Although mesomorphs are more capable than any other body type to prolong a workout session, routines should not last more than an hour since the training is usually very intense. In addition, proper rest is essential to reduce the effects of over-training.


The endomorph body type is much more prone to fat deposits and accumulation than a mesomorph. Toning and muscle gain is more of a challenge for the endomorph, as this body type is not necessarily as strong as the mesomorph. While weight lifting has great benefits for the endomorph, equal focus should be put on diet and cardio to keep fat ratios to a minimum.

Weight Lifting for the Endomorph

One characteristic of the endomorph that is useful in a weight lifting program is the fact that these body types  tend to have wide, strong bone structures. This is a great canvas on which to build muscle, as it will support the weight that is lifted and gained.

A weight lifting routine for the endomorph should include moderate weights, lifted for two sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Heavy weights are generally not recommended, since they will decrease the amount of reps that the endomorph will be able to perform. Keeping up with a weight lifting routine can prove quite beneficial for this body type because muscle gains will ultimately result in increased metabolism, which will help ward off fat deposits. This is because muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, which will help burn calories more efficiently.


Ectomorphs tend to be very thin, low in muscle mass and fat, have petite skeletal frames and are generally underweight. Gaining muscle is very challenging for this body type. Strength and endurance are generally lacking in ectomorphs.

Weight Lifting for the Ectomorph

Ectomorphs should engage in weight lifting routines that involve heavy lifting to focus on muscle mass. Power movements should be incorporated into the workout to further enhance muscle gains. Generally, weight training should be intense, but not performed for long periods of time or too often. Doing so may increase chances of injury, and may put too much stress on the petite frame.

Using barbells and dumbbells – rather than weight machines – will produce better results for the ectomorph because they will allow full range of motion. Taking longer rests in between sets – such as two or three minutes – will allow the ectomorph to replenish energy to continue to perform intense lifts. Ectomorphs should perform three to five sets of eight to 12 reps. Ectomorphs should probably avoid aerobic exercise to reduce the possibility of its effect on decreasing muscle mass.

Knowing what body type you classify under can be very helpful in determining how you should be exercising. A weight lifting routine can be tailored to a person’s body type to maximize the effects of a training regimen.


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