If you’re one of many exercisers having trouble sticking to an exercise routine, you’re not alone. I read a great article on how an expert at the American College of Sports Medicine Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition has a solution: work with, not against, your fitness personality type.
Linda Shelton, a fitness and wellness authority and author, has identified five distinct personality types that exercisers and trainers alike can use to develop personalized lasting fitness regimens and recognize potential pitfalls. Some people may be a combination of more than one of the following types, says Shelton
“Using the personality types is a great way to structure an exercise routine so you’re not just guessing about what might work and might not,” Shelton said. “It’s about knowing what drives a person, and using that knowledge to help someone stick with exercise and even enjoy it.”
Squares: Squares are the most reliable, stable and predictable of the five personality types. They like to have a plan for nearly everything in their lives, and thrive on routine. In general, they tend to be engineers, chemists, and scientists and less social around others.
Potential pitfall: Doing the same exercise routine for years. “Squares tend to develop rigid schedules for themselves, so while they get to the gym, they don’t see progressive results because they hit plateaus,”
Shelton said. “Instead, a Square should try to take baby steps toward sprinkling in new activities weekly that switch up their routines while still giving them the familiarity of the old program.”
Rectangle: Rectangle types are a bit more flexible than Squares, but still like order and routine. They love groups, and perform best with social interaction.
Potential pitfall: Exercising alone. Rectangles should join fitness clubs – like hiking or running groups – and take group fitness classes instead.
Triangle: Triangles are the most competitive and driven of the five personality types. They are task-oriented and maintain detained lists (like sets and repetitions) when working out so they can monitor their progress and revel in their successes.