Its human nature to compare one’s success to others and ones disappointments to the more fortunate ones. That applies to everything that we do in life. We get our self achievement when we compare to others. This goes as far as comparing our physique to others. This is somewhat a double edged sword. You see, it’s a good thing to compare and strive to be better no matter what , but if you’re going to compare and not use that as motivation then it hinders your progress and motivation to self improve; be it at the gym or in life.
Everyone at one point of time; once started working out, looked around the gym, peers and random people. There are instances where you are better than what you see and instances when you’re not.
Sometimes you try to follow in someone’s footsteps that has the body u like, be it a friend, a random gym goer and for the most part even celebrities. The problem with that is everyone is different and unique in terms of body structure, frame and genetic makeup.
According to William Sheldon, a psychologist there are 3 categories that people usually fall in (physically and psychologicaly). They are endomorphic, ectomorphic and mesmomorphic. This was derived from his theory which he called “SOMATOTYPING” (Click for Study). He used this study to categorize individuals and link different body types to psychological behavior and temperaments. It’s a very interesting read. Nonetheless we are concerned with the physical attributes of each body type. He defined each body type as follows:
- The endomorphic body type is centered around the digestive system and is easily overweight. The endomorphic person also has a visceral temperament, which means that they are tolerant, love comfort and luxury, and are extroverted – in short he or she loves food and people.
- The mesomorphic body type is centered around muscle and the circulatory system and has well developed muscles. The mesomorphic person has a somatotonic temperament, and is courageous, energetic, active, dynamic, assertive, aggressive, competitive, and often a risk taker.
- The ectomorphic body type is centered around the brain and nerves. These people are slim and possibly underweight. The ectomorphic person has a cerebrotonic temperament, and is artistic, sensitive, apprehensive and highly self-aware. A more negative way to put it is that he or she is introverted and socially restrained.
Id like to take it further and comment more on the physical attributes of each body type;”
Ectomorph is the typical skinny kid in school, through high school and never seems to put on the weight no matter what he ate, sounds like a blessing? That depends; this kind of body type is gifted with fast metabolisms making it hard to gain weight, still can’t see the bad side? If this person was trying to put on muscle, he’d have a hard time doing so because of his elevated metabolism as well as the low strength that comes with it. In the Lifting world, they’re also referred to as hard gainers. A Hardgainer is classified as a person who puts the effort at the gym week on week, month on month yet doesn’t seem to look like he lifts. (A lot of people claim to be hardgainer’s as an easy way to slack off and avoid actually putting in the effort)
Endomorph. This kind of body type is the mid category which I think defines a lot of people in the region and Arab world. This somatype is usually of a medium build, never really thin all their life yet not fat. They have a soft look to them (not as in feminine 😉 ) but usually have rounded shoulders. This kind of body type has a slower metabolism than ectomorphs and don’t have trouble putting on the muscle. Having said that, they are also vulnerable to packing on the fat. The endomorph can put on muscle but has to be diligent with their nutrition if they want to see their abs year round
Lastly, you have the Mesmomorph *sigh* Mesmomorphs have a higher metabolism than endomorphs yet not as high as ectomorphs and are naturally more muscular than their peer groups. You can think of these people as the ones that look like they workout but have never stepped foot in the gym. Mesmomorphs have the greatest potential of adding on muscle with minimum fat gain given adequate training and nutrition.
Now that you’re getting that light bulb moment and trying to match everyone you know to each somatype while saying “now it makes sense” here’s the take home point;
Just like you can’t choose your parents, you can’t alter your genetics (to some extent), work with what you’re given and not against it. It’s the most inefficient and self destructing thing to try to change things you have no control over, instead of doing that, focus on working with what you have and what you can control
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