Design Your Workout to Suit Your Personality – Which Are You?

exercise and your personality

Do you feel you’ve fallen off the new year’s excitement/bandwagon treadmill and fallen into old patterns? Can you feel the seasons changing and taken to pulling up the doona instead of your running strides?

Don’t worry you are not alone!

Research is showing that the key to sticking at any exercise routine (and having a positive impact on the rest of your life) could have something to do about choosing the TYPE of workout to suit your personality. And it’s always a bit of fun to discover more about ourselves!!

Psychologists have found many traits makeup someone’s character and grouped them accordingly into five categories – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (OCEAN).

While each one of us has varying amounts of the ‘big five’ we tend to swing strongly more in one area, which is what makes us so unique. Take this simple 30 second ‘big five’ test. My results couldn’t be more accurate and I was nearly off the charts on the conscientiousness characteristic…(no surprises)

So back onto what it has to do with sticking to a workout plan.  Here is what each personality trait means and the best workouts to suit each.

Design Your Workouts to Suit Your Personality


If your a big planner, never miss an appointment or reliable this is you. Regular exercise will be your best bet and doing it solo rather than a team sport. Running, surfing, weight-lifting, swimming etc where you don’t need the stimulation of others and are self-driven to get out the door no matter the weather. You like to control the situation and do what pleases you than conform to others dictating.


You know who you are.. the ones that are chatty and plan all group together/birthday celebrations. The social animals. The extraversion’  thrive on others energy and feel low if they are alone. They are agreeable and co-operative so usually, dynamic group classes and team sports that are not too competitive or aggressive are the way to go.


Not really a nice way to describe people who tend are a bit anxious, uptight and well..antsy…

Ironically, research has found that this personality trait is no disadvantage and people who have high levels of this personality trait exercise to reach weight-loss goals and improve their physical appearance.

Sports such as golf and yoga can be helpful and calm what may be built up through other parts of their life, anything that helps with stress levels.



If you tend to be more impulsive, ‘scatty’ and non-committal, sticking to a workout routine can be harder than any other type of personality trait.

It is helpful to guide this type of person to make a plan/goals and detail exactly what that routine entails. Creating the thought process ahead of time and breaking down the larger picture into bite-sized goals (SMART goals).

Extreme sports or sports that give a bit of adrenalin hit suit impulsive people so big wave surfing, contact sports, sprinting and mountain biking might be examples for you.


Always searching for the next life adventure or big idea? Like to be the first to tell all your friends about something new and beaut? Then you fall into the openness category.

Somewhere that you can explore by running, cycling or even standup paddle boarding will leave you the happiest and serve as a way of stress relief to their perhaps unconventional lifestyle.


Of course, there is always those that are a mixed bag of all of the above ie. an introvert who loves the challenge of being part of a team sport. We are all different which is why there is no set bill to suit each and every one of us.

Don’t feel bad if your friend invites you (or vice-versa) to a try out for a team sport if you don’t feel if it is for you, it’s about finding an activity that makes you happy and at peace within.



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