The body and mind have always been studied together since ancient times. In the indigenous system of Ayurveda dating back centuries, we have the three Doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha which describes the physical and psychological characteristics of a human being with any of the doshas as a dominant part of their physiology and psychology.
In the Western system, one such attempt was made by William Sheldon, an American psychologist to describe types of the human body based on an amalgamation of physiology and psychology. Accordingly, he classified the human body into somatotypes known as the ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. He was criticized for not having a sample size that was representative enough for generalization. However, this system is widely studied even today.
As per the somatotype, different traits could be identified in a person. For instance, Sheldon said that endomorphs with their short and round figures tend to be soft-natured, relaxed and extroverted as personalities. He called it a “viscerotonic” personality. Ectomorphs with their thin and lanky stature were thought to have a “cerebrotonic” personality which meant that they were quite the introverted, sensitive thinkers.
Coming to the Mesomorph, they were thought to be dynamic and agile people with an ideal physique.They exhibit a balanced metabolism rate which makes this type easier to adapt to weight training and cardiovascular training. They are characterized by broad shoulders, large heads, narrow waistlines and a muscular chest, arms and legs.
The human body has different types of structural appearance based on its physique and psychological makeup. William Sheldon, a famous American psychologist, and physician developed a classification system of the human body based on physiology and psychology. The human body was classified into three body types or somatotypes, namely endomorph, ectomorph, and mesomorph. He later used this classification system to explain the delinquent behavior of humans. Although his research was of the avant-garde, it was criticized over the fact that his samples were not quite representative. In this article, we will learn about the mesomorph, out of the three somatotypes as classified by Sheldon.
According to the classification of the somatotypes by Sheldon, various traits have been observed in the body shapes. Endomorphs have a round and soft stature. They mainly tend to possess a “viscerotonic” personality which implies that they are generally relaxed, comfortable and extroverted. Ectomorphs on the other hand are thin and fine-boned. They are said to tend towards a “cerebrotonic” personality which implies that they are introverted, thoughtful, inhibited, and sensitive. A person is said to have a mesomorph body type if mesomorphy is dominant over endomorph and ectomorph in his body.
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A mesomorph tends to develop muscles quite easily. Mesomorph refers to a body type that is characterized by strong muscles. Some references describe the somatotype with wide shoulders, long arms, and a narrow waist. A mesomorph body type has a large osteopathic structure, comparatively large muscles, and a naturally good physique. Mesomorphs are marked by greater muscular development. An example of a mesomorphic person would be a weightlifter or a runner. Mesomorphs generally rank high in speed, strength, endurance, and agility. A typical mesomorph body type is characterized by a hard and muscular body with mature muscle mass. An adult mesomorphic female resembles the shape of an hourglass whereas that of an adult male body is rectangular. The mesomorphs have an excellent posture.
Mesomorphs can also be distinguished from the other somatotypes by their broad shoulders, narrow hips, and comparatively large head. They have thick skin and very little body fat even though they gain fat more easily than the ectomorphs. They also gain muscles so easily that even the digits are muscled. The mesomorphs generally possess a “somatogenic” personality. They are quite active and dynamic in their field. Their assertiveness and aggressiveness can be seen in their intentions and works. The one who has developed the muscles through various body-building exercises can be distinguished from the muscular development of a mesomorph.
Somatotypes often explain how we have a genetic physical predisposition to a certain physique, fat to muscle ratio, and stature. That’s why we require different types of training and various nutritional demands. Mesomorphs respond very well to cardiovascular and resistance training. The endurance and agility level are pretty high. They can even sustain low body fat levels. The muscle growth rate in the case of mesomorphs is epic. As a result, all the muscle groups can be used to derive positive training adoptions. Mesomorphs can easily lose or gain weight depending upon the sports or the activities. The extreme mesomorph body type usually has a massive square-shaped head accompanied by a muscular chest and shoulders. In addition to this, they have a large heart, heavily muscled arms and legs, and minimal body fat.
Some famous athletes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anna Kournikova, Andre Agassi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Venus Williams, and lots more are mesomorphs.
The mesomorph body type is best suitable for weight training. Gains are observed very quickly, especially for beginners. A combination of weight training and cardio is best suited for mesomorphs.
1. What are the Characteristics of a Mesomorphic Body Type?
The mesomorph is a somatotype that is typically muscular. They have a perfectly-shaped, good-looking physique with broad shoulders, long arms, a large head, and a narrow waistline and hipline. Women tend to have zero size figures while men have a rectangular-shaped physique. They are thought to be aggressive and assertive in their personal and work ethics. They are also mentally alert and dynamic as people. Because a mesomorph exhibits good muscular development, they are fit for weight-training and competitive running. Runners are usually thought to be mesomorphs because of their agility and strength. They have thick skin but less fat.
2. What is an Ideal Mesomorph Diet?
Mesomorphs usually do better on high-protein diets with less focus on carbohydrates. Protein fuels muscles and may help with muscle repair. Some choices include eggs, white meats, fish, beans, lentils, and high-protein dairy. Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet for all body types. Whole produce contains fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that help support a healthy system and also muscle repair. Whole grains and fats, such as quinoa, rice, and oatmeal, keep the stomach filled and form round out meals. Fats are just as important and essential. Some choices include nuts and seeds. This is a mesomorphic diet.
3. What Type of Personality Do Mesomorphs Have?
The mesomorphs generally possess a “somatogenic” personality. They are quite active and dynamic in their field. Their assertiveness and aggressiveness can be seen in their intentions and works. Even though they are curious and often love to try out new things, they can be obnoxious and aggressive at times also. According to the constitutional theory by Sheldon, the somatotonic or the mesomorphs can be regarded as extroverts. Unlike the ectomorphs and endomorphs, the mesomorphs are bold, competitive, risk-taking, and adventure-seeking. Mesomorphs are quite fond of thrill and are often filled with enthusiasm and gusto. These are the personality traits of a mesomorph.
4. What are the advantages of being a mesomorph?
Somatotypes tell us how we usually have predispositions physically towards a particular physique and muscle to fat stature. That is why different people have different nutritional demands and require different types of training. Mesomorphs exhibit high endurance and agility levels with the ability to sustain at low body fat levels. This makes them the perfect fit for cardiovascular and resistance training. Because they are prone to being high muscular, their muscular growth rate is high. Hence they respond quite positively to weight training. Depending upon the sport and physical activities they engage in, they can easily gain or lose weight. Usually, a mesomorph on the extreme end of the spectrum will have a large square-shaped head, a muscular chest, broad shoulders, minimum body fat and muscular arms and legs.
5. What are the characteristics of an endomorph?
An endomorph is a somatotype that is characterized by a soft and round body with short limbs. They have larger bone structures and exhibit lower or slower metabolism rates. They gain fat and muscle at the average prescribed rate, however, they lose fat with great difficulty which means if they wish to lose weight they will have to put in additional effort or indulge in intensive sport or physical activities. They tend to have large appetites and display a lack of accurate muscle definition. They might also have short arms and legs with tiny hands and feet. Because of their stature, they might look slightly less fit than the other somatotypes.
6. What is the difference between ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph?
Ectomorphs tend to be thin and lanky while endomorphs have short and round frames. Mesomorphs have a muscular frame. Ectomorphs have a high metabolism, endomorphs have slow metabolism while mesomorphs have a balanced one. Ectomorphs have long limbs, endomorphs have short ones and mesomorphs possess right-sized ones. Ectomorphs are hyperactive, endomorphs might be slower and mesomorphs are dynamic and alert.
7. What are the characteristics of an ectomorph?
Ectomorphs typically have a hard time gaining muscle. They have to eat right more than others to put on some fat and muscle. They tend to have a thin and slender appearance with a small chest. They hardly have any body fat which makes them look skinny. They have a fast metabolism which probably means they can eat anything but they won’t put on weight. They won’t need much physical activity to stay fit. They display long limbs, thin bones and small joints. They lose muscle very easily, tend to be hyperactive but gain body fat and muscle with great difficulty. They might experience troubles with temperature regulations due to a lack of body mass.