T Nation

Only Ectomorphs and Endomorphs Know Somatotype is Not a Myth


The people who don't gain weight no matter what, and the people who gain weigh even just eating water and lettuce, only those people know ectomorphism and endomorphism is REAL

yet they have to endure all those ignorant comments of: "hey John, don't eat a cow daily and you will lose weight" or "hey jack if you want to gain weight eat something pal"


if you are trying to lose weight, then eating a cow daily would be counterproductive.

If you want to gain weight you need to eat something, pal.

I don't see what is ignorant about either statement.


So what's the point of your post? Are you looking for advice? Do you feel you fall into one of these categories? If so, what are you planning on doing about it?

You should read this article by @Chris_Colucci. Seriously, read the whole thing.

Regardless, I disagree with you 100%, for the simple reason that unless someone has an underlying medical issue, you can't argue with the science of weight gain or weight loss. People who feel they have these problems simply don't take the time to learn enough about their body and what type of nutrition works for them.

Regarding the "hard gainers" who can't gain weight, I call shenanigans on you and WISH I had that problem lol. If you want to gain weight, eat more. Literally, it's science and extremely simple. If you feel you're eating a lot, and not gaining weight, obviously you're not eating enough, or you'd be gaining weight. 9.9 times out of 10 when someone tells me they can't gain weight (usually a very skinny person), but they just eat a TON, I ask them to write down everything they eat for a day. You know what? It's not enough, ever, otherwise they'd be gaining weight. You may need to eat 4,000 calories a day to gain, but if you feel you "eat so much" and aren't gaining weight, I will guarantee you you're not tracking your macros, calories, or eating as much as you think you are, otherwise you'd be gaining weight. There's no such thing as someone who can eat an infinite amount of calories and not gain weight. Let's move past this whole "I can't gain no matter what I eat" mentality.

Regarding those who "gain weight no matter what", again it's just a matter of understanding your body. These people typically have naturally slower metabolisms (like myself), lead a sedentary lifestyle, and eat more than they think they do. So, these folks should hit the weights harder and more frequently, will have to incorporate more cardio than someone with a faster metabolism, and be more strict on their diet.

Additionally, the same overall caloric intake with a different macronutrient breakdown might have dramatically different results. For me, I've found if I have moderate carbs and moderate fats, I'm more likely to gain adipose fat. So, I keep protein steady, and on days when carbs are higher I lower fats, and vice versa.

I certainly don't have a naturally fast metabolism and am prone to gaining weight easily if I'm not very strict with my diet, but I've taken the time to figure myself out, REALLY figure myself out, which mostly came with my recent contest prep, logging weight every single day for 9 months, and slowly tweaking my nutrition until I found the right formula for me, and I'm still learning and always will be. Anyone who believes they have an unsolvable nutrition problem just hasn't taken the time to learn how to eat properly and work on themselves.




I've worked with a few self proclaimed "hard gainers"... The reality is each of them think they're eating more than they truly are. Just because you sit down and hit one meal hard doesn't mean you're eating "big".. As a matter of fact it just fucks the rest of your day up.

Another common thing: Guys try to bulk with 90% of their foods are high volume low Cal.

Track what you're eating, and adjust accordingly - If you're not gaining, chances are your NEAT is higher than the average person or you're eating like a bird.


There are no people like this. There are people who can't gain weight with the current amount of calories they're taking in. Those people need to make an effort to increase their daily calories.

There are no people like this. There are people who have slow metabolisms, often due to having little muscle tissue and/or some degree of metabolic damage. Those people need to make an effort to eat and train in a way that builds muscle mass, burns bodyfat, and improves their insulin sensitivity.


A) You're wrong. Sorry, but you are.

B) Even if you were right (which you aren't) so what? What are you going to do about it? Shall we start correcting for "bodytype" at meets? How about different competitions? One for ectomorphs, one for endomorphs and one for whatever the last one is.

C) Even if endomorphia (that's the right name, right?) was a real condition, and everyone in the world accepted it as a valid excuse, guess what? If you want to get bigger and stronger, you'll still have to lift heavy stuff regularly and eat appropriately, and if you want to get leaner you'll still have to control your diet.

In conclusion: stop playing the victim and do the work.


Bang on the money. Do the work in the gym and the kitchen and you get results.

The whole body type idea is an excuse for the lazy. Here's the thing though: no-one apart from you cares if you you get bigger or leaner or whatever it is you want, so if you go on about being a certain body type meaning you can't achieve your goal, the only person interested in listening is you. If you want to achieve your goal enough, you'll do what it takes. If you're not prepared to do what it takes, you don't want to achieve your goal enough.


There's definitely people who are predisposed to putting on fat rather than muscle and the other way around. You can definitely do something about it but some are going to have an easier time than others (especially long term).


There's three types of people:
1. People who don't eat enough,
2. People who eat too much
3. People who track what they eat and accomplish shit.

I've spent 90% of my life in camp #2. After ingesting 2 chipotle burritos I would proceed to eat a pint of Ben and Jerrys, as one of 3 or 4 meals all of similar size and portion. I had a buddy in college who ate one chipotle burrito for brunch then wouldn't eat until dinner, which would be a hotdog or something. He's always been skinny.


Like Dagill said - this kind of attitude does not help a thing.

What's the problem after all. People are different, some need less calories, some more. Some thrive with low carbs, some need less fat. There's probably 1000000 things to consider (genes, enviromental stress etc.) when thinking about ones physiology. That's whhy principles are what matter since they're same to everyone.

Lift, eat, sleep. If getting fat - change something, if not getting any gains - change something.


I absolutely agree. But this is a combination of a million different factors, including to a large extent your history of eating and exercising effectively. It's not a "body type", this is just a simplified picture of things that are/where largely within your control. Genetics is great and all, but your own actions over the long term are by far and away the biggest determining factor in how big/strong/lean you are.


Individual differences in most of the population will not vary to any extreme degree. If that is not the case for you, I can't really say I sympathize since I fall quite far toward the end of the spectrum when it comes to the ability to gain weight . Yet today I am maintaining more than 100lbs above my starting weight(adult height).

The point is, it's the end result that matters. I don't whine about my rather horrible experience with force feeding myself daily because it's immaterial to my end goal. People who are quick to put themselves into simplistic classifications while constantly feeling the need to remind you of their (real or perceived) struggles will probably never get to theirs.


I've yet to see the gold medal be awarded to the guy in 7th place because had worse genetics.


Seriously, shut the fuck up and train hard.

...is what I had to tell myself after years of moping about my "body type". Interestingly, I had never stuck to a training plan or a diet, and I was convinced I was naturally "skinny fat". Nope. I just didn't train or eat enough food, or the right foods. I was a lazy whiny self-entitled prick who thought everyone who put in more work than I had only got there because they had it easier. Now I see people look at me in the same way. Funny how things come around.

Let me give you a tip: if you feel as though your "body type" is holding you back, outwork everyone else. Not for days, weeks, or months. Outwork everyone for years. Out-will everyone for years. You'll be amazed at how your "body type" transforms into all those people you envy (who have all been working at it for years, by the way).


Christ ....Somatotype is more than about if a person is skinny or fat.


Truth bomb.

Same thing happens to me. Eat 3 big meals for a few days, then skip a meal (or 2!) for 4 days. Even assuming they do track their calories and macros... "I eat soooo much!"--people get fixated on a number. "I eat 3,000 calories a day!" Great, so does my 140 lb female athlete client. You're 180 lbs and male? Well then....maybe you should not focus on the specific number and then eat more. I have personally tracked my calories to upwards of 6,000 a day for short periods of time.

It is true that people have different metabolic speeds and different metabolisms gifted (or cursed) to them through genetics and the environment they were raised in as well as the activity and what they have done to tune or detune their body's hormonal and epigenetic landscape. It is not true that these can be rigorously and scientifically identified as "ectomorph" and "endomorph". Those descriptions are largely external descriptions of a complicated and CHANGEABLE internal biological reality--like saying 'that guy's a natural athlete' or 'that guy is definitely no ____'. And yet non-natural athletes still make it to the top levels of sports in all categories (Jordy Nelson, the walk on, Larry Bird, and others come to mind).

You can change your tastebuds. You can change your hormonal environment and biological signalling processes. Don't believe me? Diabetes is proof, as is metabolic syndrome.

And for the guy in the example that is eating only lettuce and water and not losing weight....yeah it's probably a clue the metabolism has been near killed. I just finished with a client who had plateaued in weightloss: he was 370+ lbs, came down to 235 and abs on his own without help from me. Plateaued. Came to me--he was eating less than most 130 lb girls I train. I jumped his calories UP and his cardio DOWN...and he lost another 2 inches off his waist and another few pounds. Flash forward 4 weeks from when he started with me: up 13 lbs of muscle, down 2 inches off the waist, not starving, and not dying to cheat on his diet all the time. Strength is way up too.

The lesson isn't that I'm some great coach. The lesson is that your body isn't a simple machine constrained to ONLY its genetics and unable to change, and that it isn't a good idea or scientifically valid to broadly categorize people into these 3 somatotypes. It can be a useful shorthand description, but it simply isn't the sum total of that person.


The truth is there are three types, skinny fucks, fat fucks, and fit fucks. Skinny fucks don't eat enough and need to learn to train properly. Fat fucks eat too much and need to learn to train properly. Fit fucks used to be one of the former.


This should be on every commercial gym wall.


Ok.... word of advice. Go to your parents and slap them for passing on poor genetic traits to you. Now after that STOP feeling sorry for yourself and play the cards you have been dealt. Now im not going to be one of those guys who claims that genetics dont mean shit... you cant turn a freaking CHIHUAHUA into a ROTTWEILER no
matter what you do. Now am I saying you cant reach or exceed a level you thought you couldn't reach ?.....not at all.

Maybe .. you might want to think about another activity which might be more suited to your own physical traits