Finding a workout plan you can actually stick to is the million-dollar challenge. Your friends tell you they're obsessed with cycling or hiking or rowing, so you try it. But after two weeks, you're back to your sedentary lifestyle. What gives?
Before you blame yourself, consider this: It might have something to do with your personality. In reality, we know that the real secret to sticking with a fitness regimen long-term is good, old-fashioned daily discipline. But experts agree that finding a workout that meshes with your personality is also key. Acknowledging your social tendencies when choosing your activity of choice makes it easier to stick to it regularly, fosters a more enjoyable experience overall, and will make you feel inherently more comfortable while working out.
To help you find a fitness plan that will complement who you are as a person, we spoke with Molly Owens, founder and CEO of Truity, to give us insight on the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types and the best workout routine to accompany each one. (If you don't know what your personality type is yet, take the Myers-Briggs test.)
Meet the Expert
Molly Owens is the Founder and CEO of Truity, a leading provider of scientifically validated online personality and career tests. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master's degree in counseling psychology.
Keep scrolling to find out your ideal workout based on your levels of introversion, intuition, and more.
Your Workout: Running, Scheduled Gym Time
Your quiet, contemplative, and responsible qualities position you perfectly as a runner. Because you tend to achieve success through order and dependability, a consistent, no-frills running routine will serve you best.
“Consistency helps build many a successful fitness regimen, but ISTJ types thrive even more than most with a set exercise schedule carved into their calendar,” says Owens. “It is important for these types to remember to try workouts within their scheduled gym time (i.e. trying HIT on Mondays, running on Wednesdays etc.).”
Your Workout: Traditional Yoga, Walking
Your personality tends to be low-key but friendly, and you live your life striving to create order and harmony. When accomplishing tasks, you are always accurate and thorough, which makes you a perfect match for the tranquil yet precise poses of yoga.
“ISFJs enjoy routine, and may also like to keep it social,” says Owens. “Walking while chatting on the phone with a friend, helps them kill two birds with one stone. They also like to push themselves toward perfection, so they may also choose a single workout— running, HIIT, yoga— to get better and better at.”
Your Workout: Bikram Yoga, Peloton
As an insightful and conscientious person, you seek meaning and connection in your activities and relationships. The transportive, spiritual experience of hot yoga will nicely complement these attributes. Plus, committing to a class, such as Bikram yoga, will ensure you stick with it.
“INFJs are great at investing in a routine and committing to it, whether that’s signing up for an exercise class, or buying a Peloton,” explains Owens. “Sinking a little money into it also might go a long way for their motivation.”
Your Workout: Dance, HIIT
You are committed, independent, and goal-focused, and you hold yourself to a high standard when performing a task. You also have a knack for seeing patterns, both cerebral and physical, meaning you'll enjoy and excel at a dance-based workout like Zumba or high energy exercises like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
“INTJs will probably settle into an exercise routine that makes sense, maximizing both enjoyment and results. They might enjoy HIIT training or long-distance running, which tests endurance and gets results,” says Owens.
Your Workout: Outdoor Biking, Rock Climbing, Barre
“ISTPs love to be outdoors and have adventures. Hiking, biking in nature, rock climbing, and surfing will help them enjoy both nature and movement,” says Owens. “Research shows you are more likely to stick with exercises you love, so get outside and get moving.”
If the weather isn’t cooperating, a stretch and toning focused workout like barre is another good choice. You are a silent observer who is tolerant and flexible by nature—bendy mind, bendy body.
Your Workout: Hiking, Yoga
You are sensitive and kind and live for the present moment. Because you prefer to operate on your own schedule and in your own space, the liberating nature of hiking is a perfect fit for you.
"ISFPs are dreamers and may enjoy exercise as a way to detach and think, as well as be mindful," says Owens. "Yoga or hiking can help them get the best of both worlds."
Your Workout: Kickboxing, Pilates
“INFPs don’t like set routines and may prefer to build movement in their day-to-day lives,” says Owens. “Their exercise preferences depend largely on their mood. Sometimes, they want to take a walk in nature. Other times, they want to take a kickboxing class with friends and let off steam.”
Because INFP’s are idealistic, curious, and adaptable by nature, you'll thrive in a workout that helps ground your core. Pilates will enhance your already flexible qualities while strengthening you both physically and mentally.
Your Workout: Weightlifting, Spinning
“INTPs may prefer spending time in their head to working out. They should gravitate toward exercises they enjoy, and may prefer to mix it up,” says Owens. “Routines that engage their mind, such as Pilates and weightlifting may excite them.”
Spinning is another great match for you for so many reasons. It will work out in one of two ways: Either you'll choose a traditional Spin class and get lost in thought from the repetitive movement, or you'll choose a cult cycling class like SoulCycle, which will challenge you to throw your logical tendencies out the window and let go.
Your Workout: Boxing, Hiking With Friends
You approach everyday situations with raw energy and enjoy spontaneity and being active with other people. A social, high-energy workout like boxing will keep you stimulated and excited about working out.
“You don’t need to convince an ESTP to exercise as they are constantly on the move!” says Owens. “They will probably enjoy a variety of exercises, from hiking with friends as a social activity to running solo just to get those steps in.”
Your Workout: Group Exercise Class, Swimming
“ESFPs move a lot and are constantly on the go,” says Owens. “They may derive energy from others, preferring classes and encouragement to working out solo, whether that’s a Peloton instructor’s encouragement, a Zumba class, or playing a team sport with friends.”
Swimming is also tailor-made for your personality, as you can make it as social or orderly as you wish, depending on whether you're taking a few laps by yourself at the local swim club or splashing around at a friend's pool.
Your Workout: Rock Climbing, Team Sports
You are highly imaginative and spontaneous and thrive on both giving and receiving a lot of support from others. Rock climbing will stimulate your thirst for adventure and collaborative nature.
“ENFPs get bored easily, so any workout regime that’s too routine will bore them. Team sports are great, because they require more mental energy and varied skill than something like running or biking,” says Owens.
Your Workout: TRX Training, Weightlifting
You are alert and outspoken and get bored very easily, so a workout routine that requires you to do the same thing the same way every day won't stick. Your ideal workout is something versatile, like TRX, a suspension training workout developed by Navy SEALs. This workout requires the use of a TRX Suspension Trainer, a simple tool that can be used to complete hundreds of exercises and keep you on your toes.
“ENTPs are great at maximizing their payoff for minimal effort, and probably want an exercise regimen that speaks to that side of their personality,” explains Owens. In addition to TRX, she says you should consider weightlifting or Pilates, where one can target specific muscle groups.
Your Workout: Boot Camp, Spin Class, Home Workout
You value efficiency and like to get things fully accomplished in the shortest period of time possible. A challenging boot camp class that combines interval cardiovascular exercise with strength training will allow you to get in the most effective workout in the least amount of time.
“ESTJs are creatures of habit, and will likely choose an exercise routine to fit into their busy schedules — emphasis on routine,” says Owens. In addition to a boot camp class, Owens says ESTJ’s may choose yoga or a spin class before work in the morning, or you might jump into an at-home workout class before bed.
Your Workout: Tennis, Running With Friends
You are cooperative and warmhearted and play well with others, meaning a collaborative, fun workout like tennis will suit you best. Because you accomplish tasks best in a group setting, you might even opt to play doubles.
“ESFJs are social creatures, so the best exercise motivator is a workout with friends or companions,” says Owens, who also suggests a jog outside with friends or even a walk on the treadmill while taking a phone call. “Workout buddies are now proven to be key motivators, so ESFJs should lean into the trend!”
Your Workout: Power Walking, Swimming
A natural leader, you are sociable and highly attuned to the emotions and needs of others, so a group workout would suit you best. Try putting together a power walking club or joining a recreational sports team, where you can exercise your leadership qualities.
“ENFJ's will enjoy routine, especially if it helps keep them social and it’s something they can get better and better at as they love growth and self-improvement,” says Owens. “They may enjoy picking up a new sport or exercise regimen with a friend, like swimming or yoga, trying to perfect every move.”
Your Workout: Martial Arts, CrossFit, Triathlon
“ENTJs push as hard in their workouts as they do in all areas of their lives, so they’ll probably want to master a regimen that’s going to give them the same high as a win at work— think CrossFit, triathlon, or long-distance running,” says Owens.
You are decisive and goal-oriented and enjoy long-term planning. You also like to learn and expand your mind with everything you do. For these reasons, a workout that's also a skill, like Muay Thai or another martial art, will be your ideal workout.