Four Exercise Personality Types

How you react to a stress, whether it be physical or mental, chronic or acute, reveals a lot about a person. As a trainer, I've come across 4 distinct personalities with regards to workout ethic. The funny thing is these 4 distinct workout personalities are found outside of the gym as well and permeate all aspects of society.

1) The Yeah-But: This is the person who looks for every excuse not to do whatever it is you recommend that he or she do. Trainer says, "To lean down, you'll need to diet."

Yeah-But says, "Yeah... but... I don't want to diet. I just want to exercise the weight off."

I purposely avoid training these people, because they rationalize a way to lose before every battle in their life.

2) The Intellectual Masturbator: This person suffers from analysis paralysis. He would rather learn and yak about the theory of exercise and diet, instead of hitting the gym and pushing his body to its highest potential. Although I always encourage questions and clarifications, the intel masturbator will question everything in order to stall the program. These folks need a beeping countdown timer to make sure they stay on track in their workout.

3) The Balls to the Walls Trainee: This person is the complete opposite to both 1 and 2. He or she will actually do more than is recommended - extra workouts, extra exercises, more reps, more weight, etc.

While this person's drive is admirable, his foresight and ability to follow directions sucks. The concept of 2 steps forward, 1 step back is foreign to this person. It's not about how hard you train in the gym, it is whether or not you obtain your physique and strength goals. There are times when you have to pull back in the intensity of your training to allow your body to supercompensate. And that means sticking to the program. No more, no less.

4) The Alpha Asian: My favorite exercise personality. Once shown, he or she follows the program to a T. This person clarifies any ambiguous aspects of a program, accepts the expertise of the trainer (if the trainer demonstrates him or herself to be an expert), and just does it.

Whereas the Balls-to-the-Walls trainee focuses on his motivation and drive to solve all problems, the Alpha Asian focuses on method and results. The Alpha Asian personality is quite rare in any field.

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