The Types of Fitness Personalities
Professional athletic trainer, James Crage, takes a look behind the four basic types of “fitness personalities” that each individual possesses. These include the thinker, the feeler, the socializer, and the provider.
Throughout time, I have heard every excuse in the book on why people quit exercising. It varies from not being able to find a good workout program, having a bad day, too busy, etc. Some people even feel that working out is a punishment, as it drains away most of the body’s energy, consequently feeling soreness afterwards. Though the soreness and pain may feel torturous at times, the later consequent is quite satisfying. Like humans, muscles adapt. It is in our biological nature to. New movements or high intensity motions that have long been avoided can be repeated in such a way for muscles to adjust, or “get used to.” Allowing the body to get the exercise it needs is rewarding in it’s own way. Even taking thirty minutes out of the day to take the dog out for a walk can be absolutely beneficial to one’s overall health and well-being.
Whatever the excuse to avoid the gym is, personality traits play a role behind them. Professional athletic trainer, James Crage, takes a look behind the four basic types of “fitness personalities” that each individual possesses. These include the thinker, the feeler, the socializer, and the provider. Each one of these personalities provides insight on struggles that a person may face, and strengths that person has to overcome those struggles. Which category do you fit into?
The Thinker – Thinkers love to analyze specific details in a workout. They are usually more concerned about the “hows” and “whys” in a workout program rather than actually doing the workout itself. They are also typically perfectionists. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; however, any unplanned event can be an excuse to quit or skip going to the gym. Challenges that this personality type may have are making up logical excuses to quit, not sticking to a workout regime long enough, or jumping from one exercise to another. Since consistency and time are HUGE factors for progress, thinkers oftentimes find it difficult to stick to one workout plan. Instead, they try shortcuts, or different workout plans if progress is not shown in a short amount of time.
Advice: Set a routine, and continue doing it. Noticing details are a strong asset, but may hinder progress if over analyzing. Patience is also key. Shaping and toning a body, shedding a few pounds, or even trying to build muscle takes a while. The body needs enough time to adjust to a certain workout plan. Depending on how intense the workout plan is, along with an accommodating diet, results will not likely be shown within a week or so.
The Feeler – External stimuli heavily impact feelers. This could vary from a rainy day to getting in a fight with a friend. Because feelers are easily influenced by emotion, motivation often only kicks in on good days. They also have emotional ties to unhealthy foods because they associate these foods with good feelings and warm memories. This oftentimes harms fitness goals if they binge too much on eating unhealthy foods. Feelers may also be self conscious while at the gym. Instead of focusing on working out, they may be too worried of what others will think of them.
Advice: Try getting in the habit of associating healthy foods with happy memories. When a huge crave for sugar kicks in, eating something sweet yet beneficial may help. For example, instead of binge eating ice cream, try binge eating fruits instead. Though fruits may still have a high sugar content, the excess water makes the stomach more full. This causes the feeler to eat less of the fruit, yet still satiate the craving. Also, try making friends with other gym-goers to be less self-conscious. Going with a group of friends really makes a person feel less noticed at the gym. Education is the most powerful tool a person can use to overcome any issue. Doing more research on specific workouts can build confidence in the gym. The Internet is a magical place of knowledge right at the fingertips.
The Socializer – Socializers are often found in the company of others. There is no doubt that they are the life of the party, the center of attention, and the most talkative of the bunch. Most people who fit into this category have jobs that involve entertaining, service, or any job dealing with others face to face constantly. Most socializers drink plenty of alcohol, and eat out at restaurants regularly with friends. These party-goers love going to the gym with their other socializing friends. Though it is healthy and more fun to workout with a friend, it can also be hindering in a way. Unfortunately, most socializers cannot obtain their goal because of this. Instead of focusing on the actual workout itself, conversations dominate most of it. Don’t get me wrong, working out with a friend is always a good thing! However, working out together to get the best results involves hard work and most importantly, sweat. When sweat isn’t involved in the workout, it just simply means the workout isn’t efficient enough. When there is still enough energy to have a full out conversation, the energy is used on that conversation rather than the workout itself.
Advice: Find a gym buddy with a different mindset. Feelers and socializers tend to benefit very well from each other. Feelers will be less self conscious at the gym with a socializer’s company. Meanwhile, socializers will be able to get in a good workout with a partner who isn’t as talkative. It’s a win-win situation. Also, try a reward system. Maybe skip the restaurants for a week or two, or try choosing the healthier choices on the menu. Maybe drink socially rather than get wasted on the party days. Cut down the bad choices little by little. If you succeed, reward yourself with a glass of wine or sample the dessert.
The Provider – Providers often struggle with making time to go to the gym. Most are career focused individuals who work long hours every day. Oftentimes, providers feel obligated to spend time with their family or friends instead of spending time at the gym. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Providers are selfless people who feel guilty when time is spent on themselves. They would rather give their time away to please others, and feel it not necessary to spend their own time at the gym. Providers also worry about their money. Since the gym itself is an investment in time and money, providers would rather spend it on their loved ones or keep it for themselves.
Advice: Define what hard work means. Since providers are usually hard workers, their commitment is towards their job and family. Hard work can also be aimed towards attaining a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes it is okay to be selfish in wanting something that will enhance living. Prioritizing what is important can be difficult at times. However, finding that balance between a job, family, and health can really enhance overall mental and physical state. Maybe even make fitness a family thing. Once a week, go to the park with loved ones, throw a Frisbee in the backyard with the dog, find a nearby hiking trail, or even make up an exercising game with cards.