Train right for your body type

Train right for your body type
A guide to choosing a suitable fitness plan

Figure out what type of body shape you have, and then choose exercises that best suit the needs of your particular build

Dr Avron Urison
Dr Avron Urison - Head of HealthCare
18 February 2019 | 3 minute read
Body Type

Now is the time to make sure that your New Year’s resolution of getting fit does not fade into a distant dream.

However, sometimes it can be hard even to know where to begin. Once you are off the couch and into your workout gear, what next?

One way to decide on a suitable fitness plan, is first to figure out what type of body shape you have, and then choose exercises that best suit the needs of your particular build.

Ever heard of: Ectomorphs? Endomorphs? Mesomorphs?

No, these are not the names of new characters in a science fiction movie.

‘Morph’ comes from the Greek word for ‘form’ and these three terms are actually the names that medical experts have given to the three most common body types.

Let’s look at each one in more detail:


These people usually have tall and slender bodies. Their lean build means that, at times, they might find it difficult to build up lots of muscle.

In terms of exercise, focus on working the big muscle groups. Train towards using heavy weights, but ensure you always have sufficient rest breaks. Squats and deadlifts are two of your main power moves!


People with this body type are often described as being ‘pear-shaped’ and somewhat rounded. They tend to store body fat and therefore need to be very careful in maintaining a healthy weight.

High intensity cardio training and aerobic exercises are therefore key to ensuring just the kind of fat burning that keeps endomorphs fit and fabulous! However, weight training should also be added to your workout as it helps to ‘slowburn’ those kilojoules away.


Men and women with this shape tend to be naturally quite muscular and strong. In general, they are less likely to have a lot of excess body fat.

Mesomorphs should aim for a combination of both strength training and cardio workouts. Push it like the natural athlete that you are!

Body Types Illustration
Image: runtastic
But remember: we are all unique

However, it is important to understand that these body categories do not make or break a person’s physical wellbeing.

Medical experts came up with these three basic body shapes by looking at our genes. On a very basic level, genes can be understood as the physical and mental characteristics that we inherit from our parents.

While this can play a part in what kind of body shape we have – equally important to our health are our lifestyle choices. This includes what exercise we do and what kind of foods we eat.

In addition, scientists have also pointed out that these three body types are not completely separate from each other – and that most people have combinations of these forms.

As such, the experts warn that while you might try certain exercises recommended for your general type – ultimately, each of us is unique.

Therefore keep track of what is and isn’t working for your body, and adjust your exercise and diet accordingly.

Essentially, common sense is your best guide in this matter: Eating a fridge full of junk food isn’t a healthy choice for anyone, no matter how tall and skinny you are. Similarly, even a brisk half-hour walk can do the world of good for those of all shapes, ‘morphs’ and sizes!

Make your health a priority

Legal&Tax is proud to launch the latest companion to care for you and your loved ones. Our HealthCare Plan is designed to help out when your health hits a hurdle. You can find out more about how the HealthCare Plan can help you.

The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for seeking any form of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it as a result of something you have read on this Website. Legal and Tax Services, their employees, agents and representatives, are hereby indemnified from any damages or consequential loss suffered for any reason whatsoever that may arise out of or in connection with any article published or made in good faith.

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