Does Body Type Matter for Building Muscle?

Heads-up, warrior. If you're looking to build muscle and sculpt that dream physique, you better believe that your body type matters. You may have wondered whether body type actually has any impact on the kind of workouts you should be doing. The short answer is: yes, it does.

Here's the deal: Different body types respond differently to workouts. And while we'd never say it's fair to overgeneralize by trying to cram every single shape and size of human into a small handful of "body type" classifications, there is solid logic behind the method.

While everyone is unique, your general body type can 100% affect your muscle-building potential, and govern what types of exercises your muscles will respond to - or not, as the case may be.

Whether you're an ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, athletic build, or have a skinny-fat physique, each have unique strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account if you want to see real progress.

In this guide, you'll discover which body type you most likely fall into based on your physical characteristics, and how to leverage what you've got for maximum muscle gains. 

So, let's cut to the chase and dive into the best muscle-building workouts for each body type.


If you have a slender build and don't easily gain weight, you’re probably an ectomorph.

As such, ectomorph body types often find it tough to pack on muscle mass. 

But don't worry, our lean friends – with the right approach, you can make those gains! 

🔥What Works: 

Your body type thrives on high-intensity, low-volume workouts that target your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Here’s some exercises and eating habits you can try to ratchet up your muscle-building power:  

🔥Focus Exercises:

If you've tried everything and still can't seem to lay down any gains, all hope is not lost. For maximum bulk-up potential, lean body types should prioritize compound exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups - like those found in the Military Mental Endurance Generation Elite™ 12-month Training Program.

Created by elite military trainers who specialize in honing new recruits into lean, mean fighting machines, it's got guaranteed results for lighter builds looking to bulk up. Check it out below and download today for measurable gains in no time: 



This full-spectrum approach to fitness is designed to change the way you think, feel & thrive. It’s packed with structured, challenging bodyweight & gym workouts for functional strength, combat readiness, cardio fitness & more. 

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, Generation Elite™ will help you achieve your physical goals and push your limits.

In addition, you can zero in on your muscle groups by incorporating some extra compound exercises into your existing routine.  A few times a week, try doing 3-4 sets consisting of 8-10 reps of the following: 

•  Deadlifts  •  Pull-Ups  •  Bench Presses  •  Squats

🔥Focus Nutrition:

To stack muscle, ectomorphs need to consume more calories than they're burning. Make sure you’re getting enough protein to support muscle growth, with high-quality protein sources like eggs, lean meats, and protein shakes. Don’t be afraid to incorporate healthy fats into your diet too, such as nuts, avocados, and olive oil.


If you have a naturally athletic build and can build muscle easily, you’re probably a mesomorph.

Mesomorphs, you lucked out! You're naturally blessed with an strong build, toned upper body and responsive muscles. But don't get complacent – you still need to put in the work to achieve your muscle-building goals.

🔥What Works: 

If you're a mesomorph, you have a genetic advantage when it comes to stacking muscle. Overall, your body type responds best to a mix of heavy lifting and high-volume training for maximum muscle gains.

🔥Focus Exercises:

Mesomorphs, you'll get the best results from a combo of compound and isolation exercises, with moderate to heavy weights and reps. Check out the Military Mental Endurance Warrior Bundle™ where you'll get 13 hard-hitting programs that target every focus area you could possibly imagine, giving you a lifetime of gains in one epic bundle.

In addition, supplement your usual workout schedule with these exercises for incredible results: 

•  Barbell Curls  •  Lunges  •  Military Press  •  Dumbbell Flys

🔥Focus Nutrition:

For nutrition, mesomorphs should be eating a balanced diet that includes protein, carbs, and healthy fats. If you want to skyrocket your gains however, go big on the protein to support muscle growth. Focus on lean proteins like chicken, fish, and lean beef. You can also add some healthy carbs to your diet, like sweet potatoes and brown rice.


If you have a stocky build and tend to carry more fat than muscle, you’re probably an endomorph.

Endomorphs, you may have a tendency to store fat, but that doesn't mean you can't build muscle.  In fact, you have the potential to become a powerhouse if you know how to hone your strengths!

🔥What Works: 

Your body type benefits from high-intensity, full-body workouts that burn fat and build muscle simultaneously. This includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT), resistance training, and cardio.

🔥Focus Exercises:

Aim for a mix of compound and isolation exercises, with lighter weights and higher reps. Start with cardio exercises like running, cycling, or rowing to get your heart rate up. Then, move on to compound exercises like squats and deadlifts to bulk up that muscle. 

For measurable gains while trimming down, cut out the guesswork with our Warrior Shred & Run Program. Check it out below and discover why it's the ultimate endomorph fast-track to the body of your dreams:



Experience the complete step-by-step blueprint for melting away pounds of stubborn body fat and building a lean & muscular body.  This program is built around a combination of cardio-boosting running and bodyweight workouts. There's no weights or equipment involved - just you, executing the ultimate strategy for getting shredded.

 Push you beyond your limits with easy-to-learn, yet intense workout practices all in the span of 12 weeks.

In addition to your cardio workouts that burn fat and increase cardio fitness, incorporate these high-yield muscle building exercises into your routine:

•  Box Jumps  •  Burpees  •  Mountain Climbers  •  Kettlebell Swings

🔥Focus Nutrition:

When it comes to nutrition, endomorphs should consume a diet that’s higher in protein and healthy fats, while limiting carbs. Try to cut down on processed and sugary foods, as these can lead to weight gain.


If you fall somewhere between slender and muscular, you're probably an athletic build. 

With a lean physique, low body fat percentage and well-defined muscles, it's rarely a struggle to achieve awesome aesthetic proportions. If you're lucky enough to sport this body type naturally, congratulations - You're already ahead of the game.

🔥What Works: 

Alright, no need to be smug! Even with an athletic build, it doesn't mean you can't make improvements. If you want to wail on your muscle gains and carve out insane definition, your body type responds well to a combination of high-intensity, high-volume workouts and explosive movements. 

🔥Focus Exercises:

Want to get going with some intense, challenging drills guaranteed to level up your definition, tone and overall fitness? Check out our Bodyweight Beast Bundle below, featuring our top 3 resistance training programs specially tailored for athletic builds. 



The Bodyweight Beast Bundle™ combines our trifecta of best-selling bodyweight workout modules to set you up for the ultimate workout training system. This bundle is for you if you want to lean out & increase muscle definition, reveal your 6-pack, and put your greatest asset to work for your gains. 

In addition, try adding these highly effective muscle-stackers to your regular workout routine to push the magnitude of your muscles:

•  Power Cleans •  Box Squats  •  Incline Bench Press  •  Sled Pushes

🔥Focus Nutrition:

It's tough to go wrong with your diet when you're blessed with an athletic build - but be sure to keep your essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals up so you'll keep your energy high. Shoot for around 50% healthy carbs like sweet potato and whole grains, with around 25% quality protein, and about 25% good fats like avocado, nuts and olive oil. Hydration is key when you're working out too, so don't slack on your 8 glasses of water per day! 


If your BMI is in range but you've got more body fat than muscle, you might tend towards a skinny-fat build. 

If this sounds like you, don't fret! You have the potential to transform your physique with the right approach.

🔥What Works: 

So your weight isn't too far off what it should be at based on your height - it's just presenting as a bit of unwanted belly fat or extra baggage around your thighs and glutes. With a couple of diet adjustments and some focused muscle-building exercises, it's not too tough to chisel that spare tire into some abs and bulk up those spaghetti arms - you've got this! 

🔥Focus Exercises:

Your body type benefits from a mix of resistance training and high-intensity cardio. By trimming down your extra weight and working your muscle groups, you'll reveal that muscle definition hiding under any flab in no time. Try our 6 Week Bodyweight Boot Camp to whip your physique into the best shape of your life, fast. Additionally, you can always power up your existing workout routine and get ripped with these hard-hitters for fast results:

•  Planks •  Cable Rows  •  Jump Squats  •  Battle Ropes

🔥Focus Nutrition:

Diet can really help when you're working on turning fat into muscle, so recruit the help of our handy Performance Nutrition Guide below. It's the ultimate add-on to all our workout programs, and the perfect resource to get your diet in line with your physique goals. 

Overall, lean protein with plenty of nutrient-dense veggies should be your focus. Also, be sure to power up before your workouts with quality carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes so you have plenty of energy to get through your grind. 



Did you know that progress in fitness is 30% from training and 70% from nutrition?

With the MME Performance Nutrition Guide, meet the ultimate resource to calculate your peak performance diet. This handbook combines caloric intake formulas for men & women, plus optimized eating habits for your max gains.

So there you have it! Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to building muscle. Adjust your workouts and nutrition to your body type to maximize your muscle-building potential.

Now, go crush those goals!

Fefe | MME Lifestyle Contributor


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