The Male Body

Please Note:

Traditionally, the male body has been identified as being inclusive of a penis and testicles. As explained in the diverse-gender section of my website, an individual may have a male-gendered brain but their body contains the sexual organs of female breasts and a vagina. In this section the male body will be focused on from the cis-male body’ perspective.

The sexual organs are not the only defining parts of a male’s body.

There are many different systems for classifying male body types. Classification models attempt to describe not only how different body types appear, but also how they’re able to gain, maintain and lose weight. This is useful information for dietitians and workout trainers, who often use body type models to assess how a client should change a diet and exercise routine. Body type models can also be useful to individuals interested in better understanding how their body works.

Some basic types used include ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.

The Endomorph male body types are the naturally largest. These body types tend to be more rotund, with generous amounts of muscle weight and fatty weight. Endomorph types typically have the slowest metabolism, and therefore have the most difficult time shedding weight. Males with this body type often find that they’re easily able to gain muscle mass with weightlifting routine, although it’s often necessary to focus just as much on cardio exercises in order to trim fatty weight.

The Mesomorph types respond the best to muscle-building exercises. They’re typically better able to gain and shed muscle mass than other body types. Having an easier time at gaining muscle mass has its downsides though — mesomorph types are also more inclined than ectomorph types to gain fat. This means that, with the right workout routine and diet, mesomorphs are the most naturally inclined for weightlifting success. Without careful regulation, however, a mesomorph might be prone to gaining too much fatty weight.

The Ectomorph male body types are lanky and skinny physiques that don’t contain a lot of muscle mass or fat. Such males often have a faster metabolism than other body types, meaning that their bodies naturally burn fat and calories at a higher rate. This makes it difficult for ectomorph body types to gain weight and muscle mass, even with rigorous dieting and workout routines.

It’s common for males to have a combination of body types. Ectomorph-mesomorph as well as mesomorph-endomorph are frequent combinations of male body types. Understanding one’s own body type can be helpful in deciding what workout routine to adopt, as well as what supplements and eating habits to implement into a diet.

There are many other body type classification systems that use different terms to describe the same basic body types. One such system divides male body types into letters, such as type A, G, P, and T. This model uses four body types as opposed to three, which is really just another way of looking at and dividing up the ecto-, meso- and endomorph models.

Some aspects of body shape and size are more closely related to genes than other influences.

The ease that a person develops muscle mass is a highly inherited trait, it is also believe that inherited genes can be responsible for men storing extra weight in the stomach areas.

Studies suggest that while you genes may determine up to 80% of your body weight and body shape, environmental and personal choices still play a significant role.

Societal impact on body weight and shape

Regardless of your body weight and body shape and the reasons for it we all can achieve the body that we are comfortable with, and although exercise and diet are important, your psychological view of yourself is paramount.

Unfortunately we live in a society that views and perpetrates that the only desirable body shape and body weight is muscular and big if you are a male, and thin and petite if you are a woman. A more important issue is that people believe that they have the right to comment on another person’s body! Have you lost weight or have you put on weight? Fatty, skinny.

Teasing and judgement from an early age can have dire consequences on a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence throughout their lives and especially their self-worth. This can affect their relationships, their employment/study, mental health, in fact every area of their life.  The longer a person believes the negative comments about their body and shape and size, the more difficult to change their perceptions of themselves.

Many will continually try to change their body with dieting, weight-lifting, exercise, health supplements, etc. Although exercising and a healthy diet is essential for your over-all health, true acceptance of your body creates the greatest gains.

A lifetime of not accepting your body and negative messaging related to it can be changed but it is not a quick fix.

Body dysmorphia disorder is a mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. The flaw maybe minor or even imagined but it will translate to the person spending a disproportionate amount of time trying to fix it the person might diet or exercise to excess or over-do cosmetic procedures.  The person with this disorder may frequently examine their appearance in a mirror and constantly compare themselves to others.

Dave Wells believes that the human body in all of its shapes, sizes and, abilities is a work of art. Of course when a person hates or is disillusioned with their body, seeing it from this perspective can be impossible, but it is possible to change a person’s mindset towards self-acceptance and create positive change.

Not all people who dislike their body are at a stage of body dysmorphia disorder, it is often a term that is thrown around to label a person who does not accept their body or parts of their body. For those people who are at the extreme end of the body dysmorphic spectrum, anti-depressants combined with counselling may be required to improve the persons thought processes. For others, and ‘integrated’ and ‘eclectic’ therapy approaches blend the different counselling models and particular therapeutic approaches to support the individual through to recovery where they hold a healthier view of themselves and have a greater resiliency  to any ignorant comments made by others.

Although work is always being done to change the attitudes held in our society they will always exist. The only real change that can be made is to hold a healthy view of ourselves.