Quick Silver (ENTP, ENFP) – Fluid and Flexible
Silvers are energized by new ideas and possibilities. They readily embrace novel concepts and opportunities. Group-fitness instructors are often Silvers, Brue observes. Music and a fun atmosphere often energize them. But if something interrupts their flow, they can get distracted and look for something more interesting.
Motivation: Silvers do best with convenient workouts that maintain constant momentum and demand constant focus. Weight training, with its starts and stops and weight changes, may prove distracting. “If you’ve planned to attend a noon yoga class, don’t check your email one last time before you walk out the door — you’re too likely to get thrown off track and skip the workout entirely,” Brue advises. Another suggestion: Show up at the gym in your workout clothes, ready to go.
Suggested Activities: Tai chi, bicycling or jogging with a group, Zumba, Nia, yoga, group-cycling classes, ChiRunning, Nordic skiing.
Saffron (INTP, INFP) – Making Workouts Into Play
Saffrons strive for clarity, vision and truth in all that they do. They’re represented by a burnt orange hue that commands attention in a warm, comfortable way, without glitz or extravagance. Saffrons are bored easily and struggle with motivation if they aren’t in the mood for something. They enjoy being around like-minded people.
Motivation: Music and location are huge motivators for Saffrons. They go for classes that sound challenging, and it’s important to them to find fitness instructors whose personalities appeal to them. If you’re a Saffron, consider seeking out multiple workout environments (fitness clubs, cycling studios, dance studios). Ideally, find a few options near home and near work so it’s easy to work out whenever the mood strikes. When you’re on a cardio machine, listen to favorite tunes and cover up the display so you don’t see your results until the end — watching the miles and calories slowly tick away can take the fun out of your routine
Suggested Activities: Music-filled classes such as group cycling, Body & Soul, Zumba, Nia, yoga, dancing (salsa, belly, ballroom, jazz, folk — whatever appeals).
White Canvas (INTJ, INFJ) – Visionaries
Whites have a connection to their subconscious that yields an endless stream of ideas and abstractions. They’re a blank canvas, receptive and creative. “Whites like to zone out and let their minds wander,” Brue says. They’re independent and crave familiarity and routine in their workouts so they don’t have to think too hard about what their bodies are doing. They often find it hard to adjust to unexpected changes.
Motivation: Whites are best off hitting the gym during off-peak hours so that they can have space to relax and zone out without talking to people. Tuning in to a custom MP3 playlist or TV screen can help free your mind. You’re best off avoiding personal trainers or classes that require intense verbal instruction or interaction because you may feel jarred by interruptions.
Suggested Activities: Hiking, running, yoga, cardio, strength training alone at the gym.
Royal Purple (ENTJ, ENFJ) – Pursuers With a Plan
Purples are outgoing and confident, and although they’re extroverted, they often thrive when they keep interaction to a minimum during workouts or limit it to a regular workout buddy. They always have a plan and aren’t easily deterred from their goals. “They can walk into an unfamiliar gym and easily figure out what they need to do,” Brue notes. But their routines can get stale over time without their noticing, and they need help bumping up the intensity to achieve their goals.
Motivation: Purples like uncomplicated routines that are easy to replicate, such as 20 minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of strength training. To avoid plateaus and overuse injuries, try new machines and train a variety of muscle groups each workout. Map out what you plan to do ahead of time so you feel confident and focused. Occasionally bump up the incline or speed, or hire a trainer to push you further. If you have the space, set up a home gym or workout area so you can exercise more frequently.
Suggested Activities: Lap swimming, cardio and strength training, running, cycling.
As fitness-personality typing catches on, both Brue and Davis-Ali expect that gyms nationwide will include it as part of their fitness evaluations and personal training. They predict it will become as important as checking body composition and heart rate. But unlike more scientific measures of success, fitness-personality evaluations are closely linked to enjoyment. And isn’t that what exercise should really be about?
Writer Gina DeMillo Wagner is a classic Gold — outgoing yet traditional — and enjoys one-on-one Pilates lessons.