Although there are three main body types, ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph, most men and women are a combination of more than one. Two of the most common combinations are the pear-shaped ecto-endomorphs with thin, delicate upper bodies and high fat storage in the hips and thighs, and apple-shaped endo-ectomorphs, with high fat storage in the mid-section and thin lower bodies.
However, that’s where most comparisons end.
• Testosterone – promotes protein synthesis, muscle mass growth and strength
• HGH – increases muscle mass and protein synthesis; promotes fat metabolism.
• Estrogen – increases HDL and decreases LDL
• Thyroid hormones – increases Basal Metabolic Rate; regulates protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism; stimulate vitamin metabolism
Both male and female bodies contain the hormone cortisol. Cortisol regulates blood pressure, releases insulin, provides an immunity function and responds to inflammation.
Females have a higher natural body-fat percentage than males do. Therefore, a “low” or athletic body fat percentage in a female will be higher than that of a male. Female require 12% body fat to function properly while males need only 3% body fat.
Males have a larger frame capable of supporting more muscle mass. Females have a larger hip angle with internally rotated knees that lead to instability at the knee.
Males tend to gain weight in the abdominal area. Females have a tendency to gain weight in the lower abdominals – particularly after pregnancy,– and the hips and thighs.