How to pick a workout that will give you the best results, based on your body type

If you’re having a hard time reaching your health and fitness goals, especially after eating clean and getting on the mat for gruelling workouts, it could have something to do with how your natural build responds to exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. The three basic body types are endomorphs, mesomorphs and ectomorphs, and can define different types of diets and exercise protocols for each.

Avni Talsania, a Mumbai-based yoga teacher, suggests that the three body types actually synchronise with Ayurveda’s ancient dosha categorisations. “Vata corresponds to ectomorph, which is lean and long, with difficulty building muscle. Kapha corresponds to endomorphs, which has a tendency to store body fat, while Pitta is similar to mesomorphs, which are muscular and well-built, with a high metabolism and responsible muscle cells,” she says.


This body type is characterised by more body fat that is stored in the lower body. The metabolism tends to be slow, and the bone structure is wider than other body types. On the other hand, endomorphs tend to have a better stamina than others, so they can hold postures or work out for longer time periods.

  1. “Those with endomorphic bodies should try doing SST (steady state training), that is longer sessions of moderate to low intensity exercise which includes walking, jogging and swimming,” states Ayush Arora, Delhi-based fitness trainer and certified functional training instructor. SST makes your heart more efficient, getting oxygen to the muscles faster and improving recovery time. It is also great for developing your aerobic fitness level and increasing your cardiovascular endurance.
  2. Interval training, which revs up the heart rate and improves calorie burn, is a great workout form for endomorphs. It is an efficient form of cardio and requires a shorter time commitment. Plus, intense effort you put in creates an after-burn, so you’ll burn more calories in the 24 hours after an interval workout than you would after a steadier, slower-paced workout.
  3. Experts say that muscle building work, with a mix of conditioning can strip away unwanted body fat as well, as muscles increase calorie burn too.
  4. “Endomorphs would benefit most from power packed ashtanga yoga and dynamic heated vinyasa practices that picks up their heart rate and jumpstarts the metabolism. Fast paced pranayama helps to combat sluggishness and dullness,” suggests Talsania.


Those with an ectomorphic body type find it harder to gain muscle, and have a fast metabolism. “Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism and can easily stave off fat from accumulating in the body,” says Amaresh Ojha, CEO and founder, Gympik. But it can be really hard to bulk up due to their thin-boned body structure.

  1. People of this group benefit more from a high caloric diet and a fast and intense weight training routine, focused on big muscle groups. Ojha advises that the fitness regime for ectomorphs can be designed with more focus on compound exercises like walking lunges, box squats and burpees.
  2. The ideal routine could be two-three days of weight training and two days of a low-intensity cardio like walking, as anything more intense could make the body lose more calories and prevent muscles from being built.
  3. Strengthening poses are best for building muscle mass. “I recommend holding postures to build strength with a prop support for stability,” advises Talsania. According to her, those with ectomorphic bodies should avoid fast-paced vinyasa yoga.


As a mesomorph, you will be well-built and muscular without having to spend too much time at the gym. Mesomorphs are able to build new muscle, and don’t store body fat.

  1. “Mesomorphs are naturally strong because their muscles are thick and dense. Lifting moderate-to-heavy weights, with limited rest in between sets, five days a week is ideal to stimulate muscle growth,” says Arora.
  2. Ojha believes that it is easiest to maintain weight with minimal efforts for this body type. He suggests bodyweight exercises that build strength and muscle with low reps and explosive moves. “This not only helps them develop athletic capabilities but also improves muscle mass. For this, plyometric exercises such as box jumps, jump squats, sprints are more effective workouts,” adds Ojha.
  3. For a more holistic approach, those with mesomorphic bodies could gain flexibility and strength by practising the slow hatha yoga that helps to cool down the internal agni or metabolism. “The less recommended style would be Bikram yoga, due to the excess of heat in the room,” says Talsania.

Experts are quick to point out that these regimes are indicative rather than conclusive. “Although our body types can have innate strengths and weaknesses, it’s about balance,” says Talsania. Plus most people don’t fit into one single body type, so mixing and matching, experimenting and listening to your body (and a pro!) is important before diving-deep into one style.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

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