People can’t resist learning more about themselves. There are horoscopes (obviously), enneagram type indicators, and other online quizzes you can take, but then there’s the Myers-Briggs personality test — one of the more robust and popular options out there. You’ve likely come across people’s Myers-Briggs type before: It’s the one that features those four-letter combos like ESTJ or INFP. It sheds light on why you’re always drawn to certain hobbies, jobs, and types of relationships, sure, but you can also use your Myers-Briggs result to figure out your perfect workout.
“Like many personality tests, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is designed to offer an inside look at one’s preferences for how they view the world, take in information, and how and when they make decisions,” Poppy and Geoff Spencer, certified Myers-Briggs practitioners, tell Bustle.
Of the 16 possible types, there are eight main characteristics that you might resonate with: extroversion (E) or introversion (I), aka how you get your energy; sensing (S) or intuition (N), or how you take in information; thinking (T) or feeling (F), or how you make decisions; and judging (J) or perceiving (P), which point to when you make decisions.
If you’re stuck in a fitness rut or are looking to switch up your exercise routine, try taking the personality test to get your four-letter combo. From there, let the results guide you: Read on to learn the best workout for your Myers-Briggs personality type to see if you’re more of an at-home yoga person or thrive in a group fitness class.
The Best Workout For Your Myers Briggs Type
Here, the Spencers explain which type of workout would best fit your Myers-Briggs type, based on your innate preferences. The fitness modality you ultimately lean towards may depend on how strongly you relate to each sub-category — give some a try to discover your match made in exercise heaven.
If your personality type starts with an “E” for extroversion, then you should book yourself a spot in a high-energy fitness class like SoulCycle or CycleBar. According to the Spencers, you live for external sources of energy, which is why the group camaraderie of a spin class will be right up your alley.
You might also feel at home in a busy weight room at the gym. You’ll enjoy lifting kettlebells or using a machine, as well as the opportunity to mingle with fellow exercisers. “It would not be unusual for you to be chatting someone up next to the tricep pull downs,” they say.
If you have an “S” for sensing in your Myers-Briggs type, that means you’re practical — which is why you’ll probably be down for any fitness class that has a scoreboard, like spin. “[You’ll love when] your first name and digital time status is recorded on the board and the instructor’s mic is blaring,” according to the Spencers.
Bonus points if you can find a way to trigger all your senses while working out. As an “S”, the Spencers say you’ll get a kick out of wearing a matching workout set, drinking flavored water, and wiping away sweat with a lavender-scented towel. Details like these will keep you coming back for more.
Practical thinkers — those who have a “T” in their Myers-Briggs — will thrive in a Peloton class since it takes competition to the next level. “You know the exact setting on your bike to achieve the workout you want, and you click in your bike shoes, no problem,” the Spencers say. As a “T” you’ll enjoy staring down the other riders and you’ll know just how to adjust the bike gears to come out on top.
The very organized “J” (judging) types prefer any workout that requires planning. According to the Spencers, you’ll thrive in a class that has a set start time, so you can show up before everyone else and give yourself a pat on the back. For that reason, consider a 5 a.m. kickboxing class. It’ll allow you to indulge in fancy footwork, learn a new skill, and you’ll leave the rest of the day wide open to check more things off your to-do list.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Spencers note that introverts — those with an “I” in their type — are all about more chill forms of exercise. “If you have a preference for the complete opposite of the [above] four functions, and [resonate more with an INFP, then] you’d probably steer clear of CycleBar,” the Spencers say. “Being a yogi is much more your style.”
That “I” lends itself perfectly to quiet, slow, reflective yoga classes, whether you do one at home via YouTube or in a serene, incense-filled studio. “Your preference for ‘I’ where you become energized within your world is much more desired than external noise.”
“N’ means you have a strong intuition, which is why you’re drawn to anything that connects you to thinking about the bigger picture, the Spencers say. No surprises here, but that matches up perfectly with yoga.
“As you bend and stretch your body from downward dog to boat pose, your inner voice is soft and lovely and you can hang with it all day long,” they tell Bustle. Another option? Quiet walks or repetitive workouts like rowing that’ll allow you to enjoy your inner monologue.
An “F” for feeling means you always feel your way through a decision-making process, the Spencers say. This can apply to the type of workout you’ll enjoy, as well as whether or not you’ll even show up. “You might have asked yourself, ‘Do I feel like taking Heather’s class today or Janelle’s?’ And possibly end up staying at home and doing remote yoga,” they joke.
A strong “F” means you listen to your body and what it’s asking for, so feel free to go for any form of exercise that speaks to a specific need. If you crave something calm and want to turn inward, try yoga. If you’re craving strength work, lift weights at home. Or hey, if you’re feeling called to take a rest day, go ahead and kick back on the couch.
Perceiving “P” types have a very relaxed way of going about things — so, if that’s you, then you probably won’t like group fitness classes or workout regimens that require a strict schedule. “Timeliness is not really a priority,” the Spencers say, so give up on the idea that you’ll ever meet a friend at the gym or make it on time to a HIIT class.
According to the Spencers, “P” folks are secretly more into the juice meet-up after the gym anyway, so lean into that vibe by choosing a workout that can be done whenever and wherever. You might enjoy unstructured exercises like running or biking because you get to choose your own course and speed… and then stop somewhere for snacks.