To exactly understand what kind of diet and training is suitable for us, we must first ask ourselves a question: What is my body type?
Biotypology is a branch of medicine that deals with the classification and study of body constitution types, also examining the existing relationships between certain morphological and functional characteristics and pathological states.
Some constitutional types, in fact, are more predisposed to certain pathologies than others to biotypes; this aspect, although of medical interest, in the field of personal training is still useful to provide further clues and feedback, especially useful if the person is already suffering from some pathology and / or has been directed to the gym by your doctor.
The identification of the constitutional type of a subject represents the first fundamental step in the evaluation anamnesis of a subject, to establish objectives and needs to be taken into account in the training’s development program.
There are different schools and types of classification, the result of studies developed over the centuries, some of which have been revised and expanded in modern times. Hippocrates is the father of the constitutional classification, since already at the time of ancient Greece he had developed a determination of the 4 somatotypes.
What Is My Body Type?
The topic addressed would deserve a description of all the different parameters that the study on human typologies has produced in the history of man, however it would be impossible to exhaust the topic in this discussion, in which we will try to give an exhaustive description of the main classification parameters used in the current era.
The most widespread bio-typological classification in the West in the second half of the 20th century, but now considered obsolete, is Sheldon’s classification scale.
It was developed around 1940 and later reworked by Heath and Carter. Sheldon’s somatotypes classify the biotypology of man according to three essential physical scales: ectomorphy, mesomorphy, endomorphy.
Characterised by long, thin muscles and limbs, and reduced fat accumulation, usually referred to as thin. The ectomorph is not predisposed to store fat or build muscle, so the degrees of belonging to ecto morphism delineate a subject’s tendency to maintain a thin, lean, not very muscular, and slim body.
- Ankle circumference less than 8 inches (22 cm).
- Pulse circumference less than 6 inches (16 – 17 cm).
- Weight less than 11/22 lbs (5/10 Kg). (inches above one meter in height)
Characterised by medium-sized bones, solid trunk, low levels of body fat, narrow waist, wide shoulders, usually called muscle type. The mesomorph is tendentially predisposed to develop muscles, but not to store fat; therefore, the degrees of belonging to mesomorphism outline the tendency of a subject to muscle development.
- Ankle circumference between 8-9 inches (22 – 24 cm).
- Pulse circumference between 6-7 inches (16 – 18 cm).
- Weight less than or greater than 11 lbs (5 kg). (inches above one meter in height)
Characterised by increased fat deposit, a wide waist and a robust bone structure. The endomorph is more prone to fat storage, so the degrees of endomorphism delineate a subject’s tendency to accumulate lipids.
- Ankle circumference above 9 inches (23 cm).
- Pulse circumference above 7 inches (18 cm).
- Weight 11/222 lbs (5/10 Kg). (inches above one meter in height)
Naturally, the three physical scales above have an indicative value, since it often observes intermediate somatotypes, such as the meso-ectomorphic and meso-endomorphic, with mixed characteristics but with prevailing tendencies towards one or the other biotype.
The degree of muscular tropism of the subject (hypotonic, normotonic, hypertonic) and the psychological aspect (motivation, self-esteem, etc.) must also be taken into consideration before the work path begins.
Often these aspects help the bio-typological identification.
Taking for granted that the general characteristics of Sheldon’s somatotypes (ectomorphic, mesomorphic, endomorphic) are known, it is also interesting to observe, during an anamnesis, the epigastric angle of the subject in question.
An ectomorph, for example, presents a more acute angle as opposed to a meso/endomorph with a more open angle. This angle can be observed by placing the subject bareback in front of the observer, inviting him/her to perform diaphragmatic respirations.
Now that you know everything but everyone about somatotypes, you need to organise your training and especially your diet.