Written by Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer
It's hard to categorize any one person, but when it comes to exercise, there are some defining personality traits that could affect your workouts and your ability to stick to a routine.
Take our short quiz (write down your answer for each of the eight questions) to see what type of exerciser you are--and how you can use your fitness personality to your advantage!
A) In my home, or wherever and whenever I can get them in
B) In a high-energy atmosphere with other exercisers
C) In a calm, relaxing environment
D) Wherever suits my mood that particular day
E) On the field or court
F) Wherever I can best challenge myself
A) Walking during my lunch break, or doing a DVD at home
C) A Pilates-yoga fusion class
D) A crazy obstacle course
E) A game of pick-up basketball
F) A really difficult boot camp or circuit workout
A) A home gym
B) A 10-class pass to my favorite group fitness class
C) A new high-end yoga mat
D) A session of rock climbing
E) Tennis lessons
F) A one-on-one session with Jillian Michaels
A) "Taking care of business and working overtime." - Bachman–Turner Overdrive
B) "I get by with a little help from my friends." - The Beatles
C) "Who can say where the road goes, where the day flows." - Enya
D) "It's not about winning, it's about fun." - Spongebob Squarepants
E) "Put me in, coach. I'm ready to play!" - John Forgerty
F) "Harder, better, faster, stronger." - Kanye West
A) Completing a workout DVD system (such as "Insanity" or "P90X"
B) Setting up a regular running group
C) Holding crow pose for more than a minute
D) Climbing a mountain in another country
E) Winning a basketball tournament
F) Completing an Ironman or marathon
A) Knowing it gives me the energy to cross things off of my to-do list
B) Having workout buddies to exercise with
C) Finding my inner calm
D) Trying new things and having a good time
F) Pushing myself to my limits
A) I work out whenever I can squeeze it in
B) I plan my workouts around my social calendar
C) I work out during the time of day when I feel the most centered
D) I don't schedule my workouts--I do them when I feel like it
E) I work out when the court or field is available
F) I work out when my energy is at its highest
Calculate your score (total number of As, Bs, Cs, Ds, Es, and Fs)
Pros: Whether at home or on your lunch break, you make the effort to squeeze exercise into your busy life, which is commendable--and no easy task!
Cons: By always doing two things at once (walking while on the phone or doing a quick home workout in between chores), you're prone to stress and never get a moment to relax.
How to make the most of it: While you should keep parking farther away from the store and doing lunges on your lunch break, look at your life and see if there are unnecessary things you're doing. Set aside 10-minute chunks of time just for you to relax and fit more focused exercise in. And to really please the Multitasker in you, choose to incorporate moves into your workout that combine multiple muscle groups at once, like squats with bicep curls or a lunges with a lateral raise.
Pros: You are most motivated to move when there are others moving right along with you. Bringing your friends along (or making new friends) during exercise helps you stay motivated and accountable, and makes fitness fun for you!
Cons: As a social butterfly, you might spend more time chatting, and less time sweating. It can also become easy to count on others too much; it's important to find intrinsic motivation as well so that when your friend bails on your morning run, you're still able to fire yourself up to do it solo. Plus, if your friends are less motivated than you, it can be difficult to stay focused and on task.
How to make the most of it: Keep moving with your friends! However, if you love working out with a buddy, but know deep down that you could be pushing yourself harder without their company, step outside the box! Schedule a few good sweat sessions by yourself during the week in addition to your group workouts.
Pros: You are highly committed and focused during your workouts. For you, exercise is like a moving meditation where you work out your mind as much as your body!
Cons: Because you're so mindful, sometimes you're too aware of your body's response to exercise and may not push yourself hard enough. You may confuse any burn or challenge in your muscles with pain. Also, you may favor yoga and Pilates and miss out on other more intense forms of exercise that would round out your workout routine.
How to make the most of it: Tuning into that mind-body connection is a powerful way to find peace and reduce stress while staying fit. While yoga, Pilates and meditation are most known for this because they focus so much on the breath, open your eyes to running, barre workouts and lifting weights. All of the latter require extreme focus and control, and will add more variability to your workouts.
Pros: You like your workouts to be an experience. Whether you're running a themed race or hanging out at the rock wall with friends, you love integrating fitness with your leisure time.
Cons: Fitness tends to a lower priority than living your life to the fullest. Although you enjoy pursuing fitness activities, the fun factor often wins out over exercise intensity. You're also not much of a planner, which means that your exercise sessions may be sporadic.
How to make the most of it: You have an admirable attitude toward fitness--not many people have mastered the kind of balance that you have between fun and exercise! However, make sure that when you do work out, you're pushing yourself to your highest potential. Try signing up for a new self-defense class or join a hiking club to challenge yourself and make fitness even more of a priority on a regular basis.
Pros: You are driven by your love of sports and need to compete. This allows you to push yourself harder than most people.
Cons: If you aren't active in a league or don't have a regular sports buddy to play with, you can go days or weeks without working out. When you try to work out on your own, you can feel lost--and bored.
How to make the most of it: Use that competitive drive to your advantage by setting up regular games with a few friends or joining a league that plays at least weekly. Supplement your sports play with one-on-one lessons or sports-specific workouts to help hone your skills. From yoga for athletes to suspension training for golfers, there's a specific workout for you no matter what your sport. Ask a personal trainer at your gym to help you find a workout that's best for you.
Pros: Hardcore exercisers are intrinsically motivated to do their best and reach their goals. Whether it's running a marathon, swimming a mile or dead-lifting twice your weight, you can do anything you put your mind to!
Cons: Because you are so committed to your fitness and your goals, sometimes you have trouble taking a day off or ignore signs that your body might be in danger of injury or overuse.
How to make the most of it: Keep taking on those big ambitious goals, but be sure to work in at least a day (or two!) of recovery each week. Never do two really intense workouts on consecutive days. You don't have to push it to your max every day--in fact, you'll improve your performance by giving your body time to recover. Try swapping a weight-lifting session out for some power yoga, or go for an outdoor hike instead of running sprints. Your body and mind will thank you!
There is no right or wrong workout personality, and all types of exercisers can learn from each other! What type of fitness personality are you? (Tell us in the comments below!)
You will earn 5 SparkPoints