The people who are most successful sticking to and achieving their fitness goals are those who create an exercise plan that jives best with their individual personality.
It’s called a “Fitness Personality,” and by figuring out which one you are, you can create an exercise plan that will keep you motivated and consistent.
The idea of a fitness personality first became popular following the publications of a few different research articles.
In her paper “Personality, Physical Fitness, and Affective Response to Exercise Among Adolescents” (2009), Margaret Schneider, Ph.D., associate researcher at UC Irvine, explored the link between physical activity and personality systems.
Ultimately, Schneider found that people’s physiological reactions to activities were, in large part, directed by their own natural personality traits.
Another paper, “Pairing Personality with Activity” (2004), written by James Gavin, a professor of applied human sciences at Concordia University in Montreal, found that physical activity is just another way people manifest their individual traits.
Gavin says people are happiest when they pursue activities that are in-line with who they are.
With that in mind, we rounded up the 5 Most Common Fitness Personalities — and broke down the kinds of fitness routines that will work best for you based on your profile.
No matter where you are, you’re the one flitting around from person-to-person, chatting, and making others feel welcome. It’s not uncommon for you to be referred to as the “life of the party.” You feel happiest when you are around lots of people or with your friends (and you have lots). Your strength lies in your abilities to bring people together.
Group classes are your friend. Because you thrive on other people’s energy, exercising with others will keep you motivated, determined and consistent.
Sign up for a yoga class. Try Zumba or spinning. Go on a group run. The key to your success lies in being around other people.
No, we didn’t say terminator! As a ruminator, you’re a deep thinker and an introvert. Now being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that you are quiet or shy. It’s about where you draw your energy – and when we’re exercising, we want to feel as vibrant as possible! So, if you are someone who is refreshed and re-energized when alone, then you are an introvert. You may be a bit shyer in social situations, you might not. But mostly you prefer interactions with people with whom you are already close. Your strength and motivation comes from within and you feel the most comfortable when you are alone. In life, you tend to be a listener and someone who internalizes things on a deeper level than most.
Staying on-track means finding activities that you can do by yourself so your workout energizes rather than depletes you. Go on an early-morning run or bike ride. Take your dog on a long walk to unwind after work. Go to the gym during less-busy hours. Because you find your strength from within, you are your own best training partner! Keep a log and challenge your personal best times, weights, reps and body measurements. And since ruminators are such fantastic, well, ruminators, you might consider keeping a weight-loss journal. Someone with your keen sense of introspection is bound to learn a thing or two about what works and what doesn't simply by observing yourself.
You’re a planner — you like to stick with things that are tried-and-true. In social settings, you generally like to talk with people you know, but don’t mind spending time getting to know new folks as well. You thrive when you have a specific goal in mind (and a plan to get there), and you are always one to carry it through.
Workout videos are perfect for you because the routines are set and you have an end goal in mind. You might also consider hiring a personal trainer, or creating a workout plan for yourself to follow at the gym. Group fitness classes such as spinning or boot camps are also ideal. Each workout routine turns into a feeling of accomplishment and will motivate you to keep going.
As an administrators, you enjoy accomplishment and checking things off your to-do list, so set periodic, attainable goals, rather than aggressive, long-term ones. Each milestone achievement will reinvigorate your efforts and propel you towards your larger goals.
Competition is what motivates you most in life. You want to win, and your drive comes from being surrounded by people you want to beat. You’re also a doer, not the kind of person to stand by on the sidelines and watch. Life, for you, is all about getting better, stronger and faster. You always want to improve, learn and push forward.
Races are key. Just by signing up, you will kick into high gear. You’ll train harder just so you can come out on top (or close to it) on the big day. Whether it’s running, cycling or swimming, your best bet is to push yourself by entering a competition.
If races aren’t an option, setting a personal fitness goal, writing it down and keeping a diary of your progress will also keep you on-track. Or try enlisting the help of another live wire for a little friendly competition.
For you, life is all about adventure and trying new things. You can’t wait for the opportunity to experience something different and you jump on any opportunity to do so. In social settings, you want to meet new people and learn new things. You thrive on the unknown.
The world is your oyster and extreme sports are your friend. Try mountain biking or trail running if you live close to the woods or mountains. If you live close to the ocean or a lake, try paddle-boarding, kayaking, snorkeling or water skiing. The more you get to explore, the better. You can also search for strange new fitness ideas and try them out, because the newer, the better.
But whatever activities you choose, remember to switch things up regularly to avoid the arch enemy of the opportunist — boredom.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.