What your workout choice says about your personality, according to a psychologist

man workout class
The type of workout you do can say a lot about your personality type. (Getty Images)

Whether you’re a runner, a pilates enthusiast, or spinning is your jam, the best exercise is the one that you love and can stick to regularly.

Yet, a psychologist has said that the kind of workout you do can actually say a lot about your personality.

"There is a diverse range of character types among gym goers, from the activities that suit more introverted personalities such as yoga or running, to those that are better for more outgoing types, like boxing and HIIT," behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who is working with The Gym Group, says.

"Knowing your personality type and working with it can make those gym sessions all the more rewarding. Alternatively, there may be just as much fulfilment in workouts that are quite the opposite of your personality, so high energy people can enjoy Pilates or Yoga and those that lead more sedentary lives, can try spinning or bootcamp."

Here’s what your favourite exercise says about you.


According to Hemmings, those who like HIIT (high intensity interval training) are goal-oriented, results driven, and have specific fitness goals.

"They have disciplined and determined personalities but are also up for an adventure and are open-minded," she adds.

"They tend to be one of the most competitive types of gym goers, which extends to other areas of their life. They probably enjoy competitive sports events too and may find it hard to regularly let their hair down or relax in a social setting."

Healthy African woman meditating in yoga class with friends in background. Multiracial fitness females exercising in a health club.
Yogis are more likely to be mindful and balanced. (Getty Images)

2. Yoga

A fan of yoga? You are likely to be more mindful and have more balance in all aspects of your life.

"They might be inclined towards the spiritual elements of yoga, but very much live in the present, real world. Patient and accepting, people who practice yoga are often caring and considerate, with little judgement over others, and are especially empathetic and compassionate," Hemmings explains.

"They may not be as spontaneous as other gym goers, preferring pre-planned events they can look forward to."

3. Weightlifting

Weightlifters have good resolve and discipline, Hemmings says, and are generally confident, focused, and persevering.

"They respect the mind-body connection and tend to be resilient and organised in their personal lives, too," she adds.

"They often enjoy the social aspect of lifting weights in a gym setting, which helps spur them on to their next goal. This social side of weightlifting also spills into their personal lives, and they can be relied upon to enjoy a good night out."

4. Bootcamp

"Motivated and driven, people who enjoy bootcamp workouts are highly disciplined, and tough-minded," Hemmings says.

She adds that they often have a positive ‘can-do’ attitude to life and are high energy people who are naturally extroverted.

"They enjoy the versatility of this kind of workout, as much as the social aspect," she says. "They are the life and soul of the party at any social occasion."

Juping Jacks, Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas, California, USA
Love boot camp? You're probably an extrovert. (Getty Images)

5. Boxing

"Boxing involves not just resilience and assertiveness; it also needs a strategic and tactical mind to discern an opponent’s state of mind and next moves," Hemmings explains.

"They have a great deal of discipline to stay physically fit and maintain the necessary controlled aggression to maximise their workout. They may be night-owls socially, as they like to work hard and play hard."

6. Circuit

Hemmings says that circuit trainers are ‘energetic and dynamic’ with goal-driven personalities.

"They enjoy the versatility and variety of circuit training and are positive in their outlook on life, as well as being both self-motivated and good team players," she adds.

"Outgoing and generous-spirited, they are likely to be the spontaneous one of a group of friends, ready for something fun and adventurous at any time."

7. Spinning/Cycling

Spinners and cyclists are disciplined and consistent, Hemmings explains, along with being highly resilient and endurance-focused.

"Energetic and enthusiastic in their outlook, they are excellent team-players and enjoy the social aspect of working out with others," she adds.

"They are also highly aware of their mind-body connection, ready to adjust their pace and effort at a moment’s notice. They may well enjoy being the organiser or planner among a group of friends."

woman in spin class
Spinners are high energy and enthusiastic. (Getty Images)

8. Running

In general, runners are highly self-motivated and disciplined, Hemmings says. She adds that they are also persistent as they often drive themselves to further their goals.

"Being a relatively isolated workout, runners are likely to be independent thinkers and have a reflective and introverted personality," Hemmings adds.

"They enjoy the endorphin high that puts them in a good mood, and prefer to go out with a group of close friends, rather than attend a big party."

9. Pilates

"Pilates enthusiasts are organised and detail-oriented, as their chosen workout requires precision and control," Hemmings says.

"They are balanced and centred and while also being mindful, like their yoga colleagues, they are less spiritual and more stress-resilient and body aware. Their attention to detail means that socially they may not be very spontaneous but are loyal friends and like to know exactly what an occasion or an event might have in store for them."

Exercise: Read more