Body TypesMan pointing at the 3 body types with a sign that reads scam that covers the 3 body types.

The body type quiz that now dominates search engines and social media advertisement results is a giant scam. And I want you to protect yourself or your friends from believing it. 

The idea goes that there is a best workout for your body type.

But, much like many things in the fitness world, this idea has been created by marketers who want to take advantage of your insecurities and ignorance about what it takes to workout and achieve your goals.

This is how this scam works.

You’re shown an ad that hints at the idea that there’s a best workout for your body type.

And the only way to determine your body type, according to this scam, is for you to put your information in an online body type quiz.

After you go through a serious of questions in this body type quiz, you’re magically told that you’re either one of three different body types.

The body type quiz goes on to classify you as either a mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph, based on the answers that you put into the body type quiz.

By Granito diaz, CC BY-SA 4.0Link

In other words, you kind of self-select what your body type is based on your own answers.

Anyway, once you’re told what your body type is, you’re then told which workout plan is best for your body type.

And of course, conveniently, the same company that administers the body type quiz is the one that recommends the one workout that you should do for your body type.

But it doesn’t stop there.

They also recommend the supplements you should take for your body type, which, by the way, base on your goals, you definitely may not need.

But here’s the thing, the body type quiz is going to recommend the same supplements and probably the same workout for your whether it identifies you as a mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph.

The more supplements you buy, whether you even get to the workout our not, the more the fitness marketers get paid.

The scam, officially classified, is just a classic online marketing funnel. 

Meaning, it’s a way to get you and a lot of other people to engage with their content, in this case the body type quiz, so that you and a few other people can pay for either the body type workout subscription plan, their supplements, or both.

I call it a scam because it’s  a deceptive practice.

It’s just a way to take advantage of your lack of understanding about the fundamentals of what it truly takes to shape your body type into what you want it to look like.

And a scam, by definition, is a deceptive practice.

The workout you do should always be based on your goals, not on what your body type is.

But let’s back up.

Where did this idea of body types even come from and why am I even discussing it? 

Am I just a hater? Let’s find out.

Without the concept of there being a specific body type, scammers can’t really construct a body type quiz, so it’s important that we dig a little deeper into its merits.

So, what is a body type?

You’ll find many articles online that suggest the first body typing was done by Dr. William Sheldon in 1940, but the first classification was done back in 1925 by Ernst Kretschmer, a German psychologist. [1] [2]

Kretschmer classified four main body-types and attempted to associate the different body-types with different personalities, or on the extreme end, personality disorders.

In the early 1940s, a psychologist and physician named Dr. Sheldon took Kretschmer’s ideas a bit further.

He identified what he called somatotypes, or different body types in human beings, and described three different body types.

But, again, his research investigated the body types in an attempt to predict personalities and personality disorders.

In 1940, he was most descriptive of the somatotypes and how he derived them in his book titled, The Varieties of Human Physique: An Introduction to Constitutional Psychology, but he went on to write two follow up books as well.

In 1942, he wrote The Varieties of Temperament: A Psychology of Constitutional Differences. And in 1954, he wrote his last work that kind of summarized the previous works in his book called, Atlas of Men: A Guide for Somatotyping the Adult Male at All Ages. [3]

He identified and classified people according to three body types: the ectomorphic, mesomorphic, and endomorphic body types.

But, again, his theory called, Constitutional psychology, was an attempt to associate different body types with different personality disorders [4].

He suggested that the size and shape of a person’s body indicated intelligence, moral worth and future achievement. [5]

He further suggested that slim endomorphs were relaxed and sociable people, mesomorphs were active and assertive, and ectomorphs were quiet and restrained. [6]

His research did not begin or end by researching the best workout for your body type, and he certainly didn’t use a body type quiz to determine his classifications.

So, how did he gather his data for his study?

The Nude Posture Photo Scandal

Dr. Sheldon gathered up about 4000 pictures of nude, white male, college-aged students, from a pre-existing program, studied their physiques, and assigned them 3-digit numbers based on how loose or strongly correlated they were to what he derived as the three predominate body types. [7] [8][9]

And the reason why I bring up skin color is because we now have people basing their body types on a research study that wasn’t even inclusive of their ethnicities.

Perhaps, if there was a more representative study, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in, and there wouldn’t be a body type workout quiz.

Furthermore, A New York Times article written by Ron Rosenbaum in 1995 titled, “The Great Ivy League Nude Posture Scandal” alleges that Dr. Sheldon used the nude pictures of these college students without their permission. 

The pictures were taken under the pretense that were used to gauge posture, detect scoliosis, and address other correctable body issues.

Rosenbaum investigated the case after an unsuspecting employee of Yale University opened a long-locked room in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium and stumbled upon an enormous cache of thousands upon thousands of photographs of nude young men. 

If you want to go down that rabbit hole, you can read the article on the New York Times website.

And if you don’t have access to the New York Times website, you can buy the article on Kindle for $1.99, read it for free if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, or get the Audiobook version of the article on Audible. [10]

And if you really want to be appalled by Sheldon’s fallout, if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find some of the pictures of some of the most prominent students ended on on eBay. And, most the pictures given to and stored at The Smithsonian Institute in their National Anthropological Archives, before they eventually, allegedly shredded them. [11] [12]

But all of this is a story for another day.

As far as his theory of associating body types with personalities, it has been debunked for years.  However, his classification of physiques has unfortunately stuck around since the 1940s and has been adopted by the fitness industry to sell you products.

Instead of the fitness industry telling you that you are more prone to become a criminal because your body type is mesomorphic, according to Dr. Sheldon, they found a more profitable way to use the information against you.

But now that the scandal is out of the way, let’s talk more about the 3 proposed body types in a bit more detail, and then we’ll discuss what the fitness industry wants you to believe about them, through their online body type quizzes.

What are the 3 Body Types?

As I stated earlier, Sheldon used a 3-digit classification system to determine how much an individual skewed towards one of the classifications.

The endomorphic body type is the round or fat type, the mesomorphic body type is of a muscular type, and the ectomorphic body type is characterized as slim or linear type [13]

He used a 3-digit numbering system that used numbers that ranged from 1 to 7. [14]

For example, an extreme endomorph body type or somatotype would have the number 711, the extreme mesomorph would have the numbers 171, and the extreme ectomorph would have the numbers 117. 

It’s important to point out that Sheldon’s system was not a absolute system, and it was rare to find someone who was at the extreme end of one body type over another. In practice, finding someone who was an extreme of any one type was rare or nonexistent. Meaning, there were a number of people who were classified with the numbers 444 or 222 or 521.

Yet, here we are, scamming you into thinking you are one of 3 different body types, and then telling you which supplement or workout you should do, based on that knowledge.

How to Create a Workout Plan for Your Body Type

So, is there a workout for your body type? The current online scam suggests the follow body type workouts.

Endomorph Workouts

Since endomorphs tend to have round or fat type bodies, it is suggested that the endomorphic workout should predominantly focus on fat loss techniques, with the goal being to burn calories while preserving muscle. And it is said that the way to do this is by using compound exercises, heavy weightlifting, and progressive overload. [15]

Ectomorphic Workouts

Since ectomorphs tend to be slim or linear, it is suggested that the ectomorph focus on muscle building techniques, with the goal of putting on mass. And it is said that the ectomorph workout should be a hypertrophy workout where maximal strength should be prioritized with a greatly reduced focus on cardiorespiratory training. [16]

Mesomorphic Workouts

Since mesomorphs tend to be of the muscular type, it is suggested that the mesomorphic doesn’t have to work out as hard as the ectomorph or endomorph. And it’s further suggested that the mesomorphic workout should predominately focus on compound exercises, heaving weightlifting, and progressive overload, just like the endomorph workout. How convenient, right? [17]

So, there they are. The three different types of workouts for the three different body types, although I’ve already discussed that according to Kretschmer there are actually 4 different body types, and according to Sheldon’s own research, however flawed it may be, you wouldn’t necessarily fit into one absolute body type.

So, am I just a hater?

What’s the problem with having people self-select as one of three body types? 

Well, my biggest gripe is that it leads to further confusion in the fitness industry, making things more complex for you than things need be.

For example, the reason why I even created this video/article is because of a conversation I had with someone in my local gym who is studying to become a personal trainer.

I was discussing how personal trainers aren’t really allowed to suggest to their clients what to eat, even though what clients eat is what gives them 90% of their results.

But he flat out told me that the way he skirts around telling people what to eat so he wont get in trouble is to tell people to just do a body type search on the internet, and from that search to find out how they should eat, based on their body type.

 Crazy right?

You are not your body type!

The other problem is that the the body type quiz  seems to be hitting a massive upward trend in online searches, and I want to get ahead of it.

Ideas are contagious, and false ideas can be dangerous.

Imagine if Sheldon’s original ideas took off and every time you saw someone who you classified as endomorph, you immediately assumed they were extroverted, lazy, and selfish?

Or worse, you immediately classified someone who skewed towards a endomorphic or mesomorphic body type as a person prone to manic depression.

All this to say, ignore those stupid body type quizzes and stop classifying yourself as having one of these stupid body types.

The Best Workout for Your Body Type

You don’t need a body type quiz to determine the best workout for your body type. The best workout for your body should only ever be based on your fitness and body goals.

For example, if you want to compete in a power lifting competition, no matter what your body type is, your focus should be on using a strength-based training program that will train you to get stronger and better skilled at the specific lifts you want to compete in. A program that his you lifting in the lower rep, higher weight range, and focusing on progressive overload over time.

If you want to compete in a fitness modeling competition, no matter what your body type is, your focus should be on building your muscles using a hypertrophy training program. A program that has you using moderate to high volume, lifting in the 10-12 rep range, and focusing on progressive overload over time.

Otherwise, if your goal is just general fitness, just do workouts that you’re going to enjoy. Try Crossfit.

The Best Diet for Your Body Type

You also don’t need a body type quiz to determine the best diet for your body type.When it comes down to the best diet for your body, again, it will always depend on your goals.

Most of the time, reaching a specific fitness or body goal will be based on not only how you work out but how you eat outside of the gym during the other 23 hours you’re not workout out.

For example, if you identify as someone who is thin and want to be bigger with larger muscles, you must select the right workout for this goal, and you must eat more calories than your body requires for it to maintain its current weight.

If you identify as someone who is larger and want to get smaller but also want a more muscular look once you get smaller, you must select the right workout that helps you build or maintain your existing muscle while eating fewer calories than your body requires for it to maintain its current weight.

And you must work out and eat for the goal that you’re trying to achieve, consistently for as long as it takes you to reach your ultimate body goal.

It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than this.


In conclusion, stop falling for the body type quiz scam. You are not your body type. No body type quiz can predict which is the best workout for your body type because the best workout for your body is based on your individual body goals. And your individual body goals are usually going to be based on what you do outside of the gym—like proper eating and sleeping— rather than what you do in the gym.

So, more important than having a body type workout quiz determine how you should workout, your first step should be to figure out what your actual fitness and body goals are.

Stop getting scammed and letting a calculator tell you about a workout you should do that you probably won’t even enjoy. 

All that being said, if your goal is to lose fat, build muscle, and get lean, just buy my program, Build Muscle Get Lean. It’s a results-based program that covers exactly how to work out and eat to reach a specific goal to lose fat, build muscle, and getting lean, regardless of your body type.

Not only do you get the program, you get free access to a community that I’m trying to build. One with like-minded people who are all aiming for the same goal. You can check out the program details at, or in the description section of this video.

And if you stayed to the end of this video, I know you’re going to want to hear about the “You need high testosterone scam”, so subscribe to my channel so you’re notified when that video drops. 

Until then, always remember, you’re already going to the gym, so why not get results, because results are exactly what Build Muscle Get Lean helps you achieve. 

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