Men’s body shapes – realistic expectations

Following my latest stats, I thought I would have a look around at what body type I would be classed as and get some ideas about where I want to be.

Search for men’s body shapes/types and you’re met with an overwhelming choice!


When I was growing up fitness books would refer to just 3 body types – Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph, which my gym teacher would incorrectly simplify to skinny, normal and fat!! But times move on and both fitness and fashion magasines can now refer to men’s bodies from a variety of mathematical shapes (circle, square, triangle…) to various fruits, vegetables, animals and objects……


It’s mad! For the main part fashion mags use them in order to “teach” us how to dress according to our body shape and to accentuate or hide attributes and flaws.  I’m not sure how useful referring to our bodies in this way actually is.

Being someone that enjoys fashion, over the years I’ve learnt basics like, horizontal stripes shortening/widening, vertical stripes slimming/lengthening etc. but at the end of the day I wear what I like the look of and feel comfortable in. I don’t know if I like the thought of my body being like an aubergine or a brick  and they don’t exactly have any “aspirational” or “positive” connotations.


My other slight annoyance, is that although our bodies can be classified in these ways – there is nowhere I’ve found so far that says the benefits/consequences of each type, or what you can do to get to another catagory, or what is realistically possible.

Pick up any magasine and the image of the “ideal” man’s body that is pushed via aftershave/clothing ads is the “athletic” one. Every month we’re told how you can get a cover model body in anything from 6-12 weeks and apparently it’s all so easy and everyone can achieve it. But that’s the advertisers ideal – not mine!

I was reading one such article yesterday where the average guy in the office was able to pack on 20lbs of muscle, lost 12lbs of fat, all by simple switches to his diet, and 4 hours of gym time – that he could fit into his lunch hour at work so as not to interfere with his social life – really?!

In truth, his diet was quite heavily restricted, only had 1 glass of wine per week and had a personal trainer for the 12 weeks. How he managed to fit an hour’s gym time into a 60 minute lunch break is anyone’s guess – with travel/change/shower time – I would need 2 hours.  I’m sure if I could do all that they suggest then yes I might also see similar benefits – but the reality is as we all have different body shapes, starting points, genetics, age and lifestyles that all bear an influence – if I’m 5′ and skinny as a rake I am never going to get to be the size of the Hulk.  I may be able to do a lot to get an approximation of it – but it will take a lot longer than someone who is 6′ and a natural “endomorph”.


For me (using the body types 2.0 suggestions) I think I’m currently what would be termed as “skinny fat”  🙂  I’m fine with it – that’s my starting point.


Proportions also take their part – I’m surprisingly fairly proportional – although my left side seems to be a little  higher placed – lol.

Setting some realistic expectations I think the “Otter” or what I would class as “Fit” would be where I would like to be as this seems achievable. In 12 weeks? Highly unlikely – but that’s the point in this blog. I want to see what is possible for a normal person that can still enjoy a few bevvies, chocolate and days when you really can’t be bothered.


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