How to match your workout to your personality

A friend with a firm connection to Sunday's horoscope section sent me an SMS with a link to an online fitness article linking exercise routine to star signs: "OMG. I'm a Taurus, and I've been doing the wrong exercise for years!!!"

I replied that "nine months before you were born, your parents had sex after a drive-in session of Burt Reynolds' Smokey and The Bandit – this does not determine what type of workout you should be performing in 2018, so…GTFOH."

However, different constitutions do respond better to different exercises, but that's less astrology and more often about your personality traits:

You're a morning person

You wake without hitting snooze, and some coffee propels you straight into the gym. You're perfect for HIIT, Spin class, and Tabata training. Try mixing up a Tabata session (four minutes total – 20 seconds of 100 per cent intensity, 10 seconds of rest) with push-ups / box jumps, sit-ups / squat jumps, then burpees / skipping rope. With a minute rest between each set, you're burning serious calories.


Outgoing, you've got magnetic energy, and people like to be around it at work and socially. Yet in reality, you prefer time on your own and can't wait to knock off and get far away from umpteen annoying personalities. You'd like the solitude of running mixed with the intensity of stair runs, bodyweight exercises, and interval training.

You're a night owl

You don't like crowds, so staying up late is preferred. You need space, and you want barbells and plates at your leisure without queues. You're suited to strength and hypertrophy routines – the three sets of 10 type sessions to build mass, power, and size.

Group alpha

Alpha's love competing and only take direction from Alpha's of the PT world, so only CrossFit will do. You'd be challenged by workouts like Fran (timing 21-15-9 reps of 40 kilo squat thrusters straight into pull-ups)  and Murph (timing a one mile run followed by 100 pullups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another mile run).

Outdoors types

You might hike or rock climb, but trail running is where the action is at, burning 10 per cent more calories than a standard jog. Trail running is a full body experience. Hitting the trails requires core and ankle stability while challenging the quads, calves, and mind so much more.

Thrill seekers

You party, jump out of planes, and always have an adventurous holiday planned. Adventure races and their respective training regimes are for you. Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and The Warrior Dash.


Vanity fierce

Your session is going straight to Instagram, and you're more about "less calories" than you are exercise. Mirrors are a must for selfies, so get into the classes. Zumba, Strength, and / or Body Attack. You've gotta be looking your best, but you're dialled in at a 4/10 effort – you'll be  surprised how much you sweat and even happier with the photo-finish results.

Binge watchers

Life revolves around reality TV and Netflix so you're suited for the home session, not missing a minute of GOT or MAFS. During each commercial break, perform 10 squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. Or, between each episode go out back for 100 jump ropes, 20 push ups, 20 situps, 20 squats, and 10 burpees.

You're the dog chasing its tail

You're a foodie. You exercise Monday to Thursday so you can eat, drink, and be merry from Thursday night's Happy Hour 'til Sunday's post-beach drinks. You're social so grab a partner and hammer away at the gym with a varied exercise regime (from HIIT to weights to the classes), and on the weekends you'll be outdoors and hiking…to the bar.

Weekend warrior

The gut hasn't shifted because Wednesday's touch footy at lunch paired with Saturday's soccer and beers with the boys ain't enough. It's time to do more, outdoors or in the gym.

Those OCD tendencies

The exercise doesn't really matter – technology and the apps do. You're counting food calories and charting macros, monitoring heart rate and steps, mapping runs, and tallying calories burned via movement. Your scale won't budge 100 grams because you're always making the numbers work.

Solo sports

Spending time alone suits you fine, so long cardio sessions are the go. You might ride 100 kilometres for triathlon training, or 30 kilometre jogs for an upcoming marathon on a Saturday morning (with Friday night indoors) would suit you just fine.

Unfortunately the most common personality trait in Australia is laziness. Statistics show Australian children are among the least active in the world, and 70% of adults do nothing or report low levels of physical activity. It's time to move more and consume less. I hope this country has the personality and the tenacity to turn it around.

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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