Figuring Out Your Fitness Personality
by Chris Freytag
On my Facebook page, I asked my fans if they thought there’s a perfect workout for their personality type and immediately many responded with their favorite workouts and how those workouts match their personalities. It’s clear that many people feel their personalities are driving the types of workouts they love. Here are just some of the responses I received …
I love kickboxing because I trained in karate.
I love swimming because water gives me peace.
I love to crank up the iPod and hike.
I love your HIIT workout. There is a mental boost I get when I am pushing myself hard for those intense 20 seconds. http://chrisfreytag.com/nutrition-exercise/hiit-dvd-series/
I like variety because I get bored with routine.
I do workout apps on my phone because I can do 3-10 minute workouts whenever I have 10 minutes throughout the day.
I love kickboxing because of the self-confidence it creates.
I like to run because it’s a stress reliever.
I walk outside because I love to be close to nature.
I choose spinning and Pilates because they make me work hard and that’s my personality.
I love triathlon training because it helps me push hard.
I like Vinyasa yoga because I love the rhythm of the breath and the mind body connection of inner strength and balance.
I love that so many people can easily identify their favorite form of exercise and why it appeals to them. The more aware you are of your preferences … nature lover, extrovert, solace seeker, social butterfly, hard worker, introvert, variety lover … the more likely you will be able to find forms of exercise you love. And in my never-ending quest to get more people to exercise, I am always encouraging people to get out there and find a form of exercise they love. Bottom line? You will actually DO exercise you love. How often do you find people avoiding doing things they love?
So stick with your workouts and figure out what you love based on your fitness personality. Not sure of what your fitness personality is? Use these tools to identify your personal style and assess your fitness personality …
Take an assessment. Check out ACE’s App https://www.facebook.com/ACEfitlife/app_345830635501807 and take a 10-question quiz to assess your fitness personality. Another assessment is offered by Suzanne Brue, a personality practitioner and author of The Color of Fitness. Figure out your fitness personality color here: http://the8colorsoffitness.com/book/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
Answer some questions. Ask yourself these questions so you can begin to identify forms of exercise perfectly suited for you.
What appeals to you more—solo workouts or groupworkouts?
Whether you get your energy from being around people or being alone can largely determine the type of fitness right for you. Ask yourself how you recharge. Do you get energized around lots of people or by yourself? Maybe group workouts are more of a pull for you because you like the energy of others, the social aspects and the accountability that people are expecting you to show up. Keep in mind there are different types of groupworkouts—from classes at your local gym, to boot camps, to sporting leagues to working out regularly with a friend or family member. Go for workouts where you can connect with others if that’s what motivates you.
Do you prefer to use exercise as a solo sport for quiet mental reflection with walking, hiking or jogging by yourself? Or maybe you like to work out alone and blast your favorite iPod tunes? Either way, don’t drag yourself to a group fitness class if you’d rather be doing your exercises solo.
Try and figure out which appeals to you more so you can schedule more of what you love. If you are a personality types that love variety and easily gets bored, you just might like both types and that’s perfectly fine too. Gravitate toward what appeals to you when the mood strikes. Mixing it up is always beneficial for your body.
Do you like to compete against yourself or others?
If you enjoy the challenge of competing against others, you may enjoy training for events such as 5K races or even triathlons where you can directly compete against others. Or perhaps a sport is right up your alley like basketball, tennis or cycling. The motivation to compete can be a big motivator to get you to train. Others may have no interest in beating others in a competitive event or sport, but may want to beat their own time or set a new personal best. If that sounds like you, do workouts where you can track your progress and results.
Make a motivation list. If you are still confused on what workout suits your personal style, jot down a few things that motivate you. Intense music? A walk in the woods? A great sweat? A group dance class? A fitness DVD you do in the privacy of your home?
I figured out early in my career that solo workouts** weren’t for me … I’m an extrovert loving sweat freak. I love to be with others and push myself hard. I’m not interested in winning races but I love pushing myself to reach new goals. I’m not one for long distances but I do love “playful” workouts like boot camps where you are running, jumping and doing body weight stuff, etc. However, I do enjoy a nice soothing yoga class as my recovery and self-time. I am into group cross training. The thought of getting up to run by myself is horrible…but I’ll get out of bed at 4:30 am to meet up with my group fitness class and kick some butt. I tell you this stuff about me not because it works for you but because it matches my personality. I followed many of the steps outlined above to figure out over time what my fitness personality is like.
The most important aspect to connecting to your fitness personality is finding movement that will actually get you moving! Go with your gut and find exercise you love.
**Although I do love to run at 5 a.m. alone on the beach!