T Nation

Am I Neurotype 2b?


#1

Hi CT, just writing because I always feel confused about my neurotype. Some of my característics

  • I tend to over worry. Need to have everything planned in advance.

  • I like structured things.

  • Introvert, hate noise.

  • very good endurance

  • difficult to get mass, recent body fat water test gave 8,4% but I do not look “jacked” as a 8.4%

  • find difficult to sleep when thinking in doing something (that’s why I wrote now at 1 am lol)
    That screems Type 3 but at the same time:

  • Tend to over do. In the gym I have mentality (if 5x5 squats work great, why not 10x5?). Always want more.
    -sometimes I have planned something (diet as example) and cannot finish it because I feel anorher thing is correct
    -I’m highly competitive, I always seek perfection (regarding my studies, college) and want to be the best.

  • I like to be recognized as super good or the best

  • In the gym I like to lift heavy, for me PRs >>>> feel the muscle.

  • I get tired quickly from very heavy lifting routines (3-4 weeks) at 3 rep max or so. Maybe because of overdoing?

  • Don’t need to feel in control with the weight, love to feel like I’m lifting more!

  • when working in groups I’m always the leader, I embrace the role más I’m the hardest worker.

  • I’m a perfectionist, I always want everything to be as good as I can do it.

  • I know my worth and that I’m intelligent. I carry that feeling with confidence.

What would you say? Need more info?
Thanks very much for your time. I really want to know more about my neurotype.


#2

That actually sounds like a 1A (1A can have type 3 traits… each profile is actually a combination of 3 types with one strong dominance).

Type 1A is a combination of Type 1A (dominance), 1B and 3. Furthermore, depending on your upbringing the type 3 can come out in some certain circumstances (psychological profile is about 70% neurotype and 30% learned behavior). If your parents taught you to be structured or were very demanding on you it is possible that you carried those traits even though they are not your nature as a 1A.

The anxiety and stress can also come from an inner stress between your dominant type (1A) and the learned behavior (Type 3) and that can cause anxiety.

But to me the key things are:

*You are very confident

*Always the leader

*When you start something you can’t finish it because you think another way i correct

*Want to be recognized as he best

*Number-driven in the gym

*Cannot tolerate a lot of volume in the gym

These are strong 1A traits and to me they tell me the most about you. The 2 things that have the most importance when making my diagnostic are: level of confidence, level of competitiveness.

Have you ever considered taking an Asperger test? The introvert (especially hating noise) and liking structure part (and high intelligence) make that a possibility IMHO. It would also explain the worrying. Aspergers have been shown to have dopamine and serotonin transporter issues. That could explain why a type 1A would have more anxiety when he is normally relaxed. I’m Asperger (oddly enough 3 of my closest friends, super bright minds in this field, have been diagnosed to… one of them being a Type 1A).and I also always had trouble finding my neurotype… but that’s because of the transporters issue which can give me traits of a type 3 even though I’m a 2A.

Not saying it’s the ONLY explanation though. There can be other underlying issues coming your childhood. But you are a Type 1A who seems to have serotonin or GABA issues. So either a transporter problem or your serotonin/GABA got low over time. This normally happens either when you had one super stressful/traumatizing incident in your life or from a accumulation of stress… but I’m talking constant pressure, like your parents making you feel like you always have to do better, that you are not good enough. Or a sibling (older brother) with whom you always saw yourself in competition with.

See, anxiety is an over-activity of the neurons… your brain is in overdrive, you can’t switch it off (that’s why anxious people have a hard time sleeping)… The neurotransmitters responsible for decreasing neuronal activity are serotonin and GABA. That’s how they help you deal with anxiety and stress. But if you are constantly anxious or stressed you can deplete GABA and/or serotonin and as a result it becomes almost impossible to calm your brain down and you now suffer from anxiety.

My wife is a Type 1B. Type 1 normally deal really well with stress. But she had three traumatizing incidents in a year spend. Her career didn’t work out (she had invested 10 years trying to get there, and that alone was a constant stress), she had a depression because of that, then I left her (we got back together afterwards). Since then she has had problems dealing with stress and even had frequent panic attacks. In her case it was low GABA because supplementing to increase GABA fixed the issue.

BTW liking structure and plans is a strategy that your brain uses to deal with constant anxiety. And constant anxiety is a serotonin or GABA issue. Normally Type 1 don’t have that problem as they naturally have higher serotonin but as I explained, if for some reason it becomes depleted then they will become anxious.

My friend is a pure Type 1A… he is like you, always need to be the leader, high confidence, super competitive. AND he always overdo it. He will do everything to win but after 2-3 weeks he crashes (not just in the gym, in business). So his pattern has basically been overwork for 2 weeks, 5 days vacation. Not ideal of course.


#3

Thanks for your quick answer. All of what you tell me is super interesting. Adding some pieces to the puzzle:

  • what I tried to say is that once I start something I MUST finish it. I cannot be relaxed until I finish it.
  • I have excellent memory (don’t really forget things)
  • I’m super rational. Some people tell me I don’t have feelings lol
  • I have uncertainty. I would like to know everything and make decisions accordingly.
  • I like taking the decisions instead of just following them.
  • I would say that I tolerate high volume and that heavy lifting tires me out quicker. I’m not completely sure as I always overdo. I mean, I have very good endurance. I’m stronger at high reps (relatively)
  • I would say I’m not built for strength, bit ratherfor endurance (low heart rate, better at high reps, can do lots of cardio…)
  • don’t like interacting with people I do not.know (introvert)
  • I have a high IQ (160 in one test) that’s why I’m confidente in my abilities, I KNOW I’m intelligent.
  • my high school was a very competitive place. In my city, students from.my school are considered to be competitive.
  • when young I wasn’t confident. In fact I had problems sociabilizing (would get nervous)and couldn’t really talk in front of people. (Like expositions)
  • I Now like routine and everything structured. I would say It wasn’t always that way. My motheris extremely organized and probably I have that from her.
  • in my family they say I’m a great planner. They say too that “I will argue but I’ll never lose”
  • I love competing but if there is a lot of pressure (maybe my own pressure) or eyes, I won’t play as well (sports).

I’m hard worker and always overdo. As an Eixample I did the best damn plan but wanted to lift heavy. I changed exercises and was doing twice a week squats (rest pause and drop sets) and Deadlift twice (same techniques). Bench twice and OHP too.
I like preparation sets. You will imagine that at week 5 I was fried. (Those technique sets amped me up though. I was feeling excellent after doing a 7-8-12 squat set!!!)
Thanks CT, I really appreciate your work. As a science guy, this makes so much sense to me.


#4

Ok, yeah I misread your firt post. I will review that and ask a few follow up questions


#5

Thank you very much CT, really appreciate.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I love to learn.
I just asked you because I’m really confused and I know you have updated
your ideas about neurotypes (comparing to the first article).


#6

Asperger…very interesting. Geez, CT, the depth and extent of your knowledge continues to surprise me.
Good stuff indeed.


#7
  • Are you “happy” … do you find that you easily become happy or have joy in your life or are you more neutral or merely “content” when something good happens?

  • Are you “a leader” in all the crowds or only the ones you are comfortable in?

  • Do you put a lot of emphasis on exercise quality or only care about improving performance/numbers?

-When you are tired how is your behavior modified?

  • Do you like to eat for pleasure? Do you like eating? Are you a foodie?

  • When you argue are you passionate and emotional or logical and pragmatic?


#8
  • I feel a lucky guy. Overall I’m happy, I enjoy what I do and I recognize that I’m fortunate for a lot of things. I would say that I’m neutral in my attitude, I mean I’m not screaming "I’M HAPPY’ or something like that but I feel pretty good in general (like a calm happiness?)

-I’m usually a “leader” in all of the crowds. However if I recognize that I’m not the better or the most appropriate to lead a group, I’ll let the “most appropriate” to be the leader and I’ll take the beta role. As an example, I know that I’m always the guy who knows the most for all of my classes’ projects. So I’m always the leader and I’m hard on me. I work hard because I know that if I do the work will be better. I play basketball too, and if I know that there is a guy who’s better than me in my team or that is a better leader, I’ll settle in a beta or gamma role without problems, because I know it is better for the team. Understand my logic?
Everything that concerns decisions (that affect me in any way) I’ll always be a leader or fight hard to be recognized as one. I can’t let others decide for me.

-I like improving numbers more that exercise quality but I’m still trying to preserve quality. I think I prefer big lifts and quantifiable methods because it is easier for me to judge performance (I like more establishing PRs on reps or weight because I can quantify progress, rather than feel more the muscle or having a longer hold in weakest point or something like that)

-When I’m tired I just don’t want to do anything, just like being in bed and read. I don’t even want to talk or think about school and things like that. I want to be off.

  • I really like eating. For pleasure or everything. When younger I had an addiction for sugary stuff. I mean, eating bread with Nutella (and only that) every breakfast and “tea time”, from 8 years old to 16 years old. Chocolates, candies, everything.
    As of now I still love to eat and feel flavors.
    I have had problems in “bulking” periods because I start normal and as I’m eating more calories I start degrading my diet, eating more “bad food” and gaining fat faster than wanted.
    I even had some years ago a period when I trained literally 6 days a week,(in the gym) plus around 70 minutes of cardio a day eating super low calories (practically no carbs) and then in the weekend becoming crazy and eating 10000 cals or so in two days.
    Now I control that, but I have had those problems. (I’m still a little obsessed with getting a lot of protein intake though).

  • When I argue I’m highly logical and pragmatic when I start, but if the conversation starts to get longer and the other person doesn’t seem to follow my logic I start to get more passionate (but never to the point of fighting physically as an example.)

Really, thanks a lot for your time!


#9

Sorry for longs answers, but I felt that as you asked precisely those things, I needed to tell everything.


#10

Excuse me for being insistent, I know that you’r very busy but I cannot stop thinking in this.
What do you think about my neurotype? Need more info?
Thanks a lot.


#11

The one thing that throws me off is the competitive thing. Are you competitive because you need to be respected or because you want to win at all cost?


#12

After examining a little myself, I’m not sure but I think it is probably because I want to feel good with myself, feel recognized. Something like that I know that I’m the best and that the rest knows it too.
I think being raised in a highly competitive environment probably make me competitive as a way to feel respected.
Maybe that’s why I’m so perfectionist too, I don’t want other people to find flaws in my work?
Maybe that’s why I like to win discussions, not to feel the loser and that the other doesn’t think that I’m wrong?


#13

It’s like I always want to improve, at all costs, obsessive about getting better, like “seeking perfection” but maybe to get the admiration of other people. That would make sense, as in a competitive environment, that is a way to gain respect, be “the best”


#14

Yes THAT would make a lot more sense. You are a2B. I’ll explain why after Im done with an article.


#15

At first your case was very complex. Normally I can establish one’s neurotype within 5 minutes. BUT that is done talking to them. By text it is a lot more difficult because I cannot see the non-verbal cues nor the tone or word selection.

At first you seemed like an equal mix of Type 1A and Type 3… which is extremely rare because normally both are opposite. Type 1A being very sensitive to dopamine and having high serotonin levels while Type 3 is more dopamine-resistant and has low serotonin.

There are cases where someone will have traits of a Type 1A and Type 3:

  • Asperger personalities who would normally be Type 1A… Aspergers tend to have a disfunction with the serotonin transporters which could make a Type 1A have several Type 3 traits (introvert, OCD, anxious, structured). THAT MIGHT STILL BE THE CASE. But even though I’m Asperger I’m not qualified to make that diagnostic, much less online.

  • Type 1A personalities who have been “drilled” to be Type 3. This actually still makes some sense to me, especially since you mentioned that you might be taking that from your mother. BUT when that happens the person tends to be unhappy and not well adjusted. Think a TYPE 1A extrovert that gets into the military and come back broken. I’m not ruling it out completely BUT some things make me steer away from the 1A profile, more on that later.

  • The opposite can also happen… Type 3 personalities who have been drilled to be competitive. This is often seen for example in Asian families. But it also normally make for really unhappy people (which is why I asked if you were happy). This, to me, makes more sense than the previous theory but I’m not 100% happy about it (pun intended).

After further questions you told me that you were more after recognition than winning. That you were “competitive” mostly because you wanted to be respected, admired, etc. That is a VERY important distinction. In fact to me that is NOT being competitive. That is a DEEP need to be admired to improve your own self-worth (or to prove yourself to someone… like your parents). I’m like that myself. I have a naturally low self-esteem and I’m introverted. BUT I need to be respected, admired, liked, so much that it turns into the need to be the best. That’s why I had published 3 books by the time I was 24 and pushed so hard to make a name for myself.

Just like you I’m introverted BUT when I’m in a group dealing with something I know, I want to lead. BUT if someone is better I will let him lead.

So if we take the competitiveness aspect out of the equation the only thing really left is when you said that you prefer to lift heavy and like setting PRs. But later you mentioned that you are better with higher reps. So to me that also takes out Type 1A out of the equation.

Of course the planning thing and liking structure is a Type 3 traits. But since you mention that it could come from your upbringing we have to take that into consideration. And the fact that you like to lift weights and add weight is slightly “unlike type 3”.

So I don’t think you are a type 3 BUT I wouldn’t rule out either low serotonin or low GABA levels which would explain the anxiety and lack of sleep. When you have had low serotonin and/or GABA for a while you also tend to develop more OCD-like behavior (it’s a self-protective mechanism to reduce anxiety from unexpected events).

Now, the things that lead me to believe that Type 2B is the most likely profile are as follow:

  • Need for recognition… the need to be respected … this is typically type 2… I mean, everybody wants to be respected BUT for type 2, especially 2B it is the number one NEED, their driving force.

  • Better with higher reps

  • Tend to do too much. Type 2B are the biggest stimulus addicts in the gym. Both because the adrenalin potentiates them and makes them feel stronger and more confident AND because they need to be respected, and working harder than everybody else is a way (in their mind) to be respected.

  • You get tired quickly from heavy work. I’m like you. For years I lifted heavy… and the real reason was that I needed to be admired for my strength so I pushed myself to lift heavy all the time. DUDE I cannot tell you how mentally crushed I was pretty much all the time!!! It went as bad as almost wanting to commit suicide because I was so mentally drained! Now that I’m lifting with slightly higher reps, I’m feeling a ton better. A Type 1A will crash because of volume, but not because of heavy lifting. 2Bs will.

  • One thing threw me a curveball. You wrote that you know that you are intelligent and you know your worth and that makes you confident. So I assume that you had a high level of confidence (Type 1A or 1B). BUT when I put it in perspective you are confident BECAUSE you know you are intelligent. But that is not innate knowledge… it is not natural high confidence. It’s a feeling of confidence develop because of an external factor. This is more of a Type 2 thing (they feel confident when someone/something tells them that they are good).

  • You mention that you tolerate volume but that heavy weight burns you, TYPICAL Type 2B

  • You are an introvert. Type 1 are not introverts. Well they can become somewhat closed to the others if they had some severe psychological trauma or crashed their serotonin AND GABA for some reason. This might be the case but I doubt it. 2As are not introverts, they are fun to be around, they love being around people. The introverts are Type 2B and 3.

  • One thing that really helped me was when you said that when you were young you were not confident. That rules out Type 1 once an for all and just confirms that you built your confidence via people’s reaction or objective measures of success.

  • You like eating… and eating for pleasure… and you tend to binge. Type 2 (As and Bs) are the most likely to binge. Type 2B will compensate binging by being overly strict afterwards or overexercise. This is similar to what you mentioned.

In fact your description is a lot like me. And even though I thought I was a 2A that becomes more 2B when under stress (stress decreases serotonin, which increases anxiety and lead to more 2Bs behavior) we suck at evaluating ourselves; the more I give the neurotyping seminar and talk about myself the more I realize I’m a type 2B who tried to act like a 2A!

Heck I once gained 26lbs in 6hours, so your 10 000 calories are NOTHING :wink:

So yeah, factoring everything in, you are a Type 2B. But just out of curiosity I would still get tested for Asperger (most people with a 160 IQ are likely Asperger). Which is not a bad thing, it’s just a word. I’m Asperger and it doesn’t change anything.

How do you do with physical contact?

BTW thanks for you participation, this has been one of my challenging cases and I really enjoyed it.


#16

CT, thank you for all of your time and dedication. I mean, you work really hard and besides that I respect you as a coach because you’re always trying to innovate, (I like research, science stuff, so I like your work), so just having time to learn from you on a 1 to 1 conversation is a joy for me.

I’m open to every single question you think interesting to ask so you can dig a little bit deeper (you probably enjoy this, so a difficult case may be quite good for you, in fact I know it was difficult so that’s why I preferred to ask you directly as you’r the creator of this neurotyping).

Regarding physical contact I don’t hate it but is like I don’t always need/like it.
I mean, sometimes I need a hug, but not very frequently. And if someone I do not trust or know touches me or has a lot of contact it is a little weird for me.
I really like people and I think I’m a good friend and relative to my family, I genuitely care about them, but I’m not affective in a physical way.
It is kind of weird because both me and my sister are that way and our mother is just the complete opposite, so she’s always saying that we should be more affective lol.

Anyway, it is not like I’m scared about physical contact or something like that, I just do not feel the need to express my emotions that way.
In fact, I really care about family and friends, I’m recognized as “a great planner” and “one of the guys that reunites the whole family” but I’m just not an “affective by touch” guy.
In fact, I really like other ways of physical contact like massages, and I don’t mind if someone wants to hug me or touch me, but I just don’t feel the need to express my affection or myself in a physical way.

There is one guy that is asperger in my home university in my country (now I’m an exchange student in the US) and that guy is no way close to me. But he’s like 100% asperger. Doesn’t look at the eyes, doesn’t have any kind of understandings of situations, conversations and how to socialize… But It’s probable that I may have some % of asperger. I mean we both agree that anything is white or black, so I may be a kind of greyish.

Everything you say makes sense to me. In fact I was always torn between being 2B and 3, because all that planning stuff is really a big part of me. But regarding all of the other things it really makes me 2B.
Thanks again, I really appreciate your work and that’s why I’m always looking into your new stuff!!

In another note, what would you recommend me for training? Considering that I like heavy lifting, and compound movements (that’s why I dropped Best damn plan. I just messed up everything doing that big lifts with the special methods. Certainly not sustainable).

I came back to 5/3/1 a few weeks ago, because I figured out that it helps me to:
-have heavy barbell lifts
-establish PRs (reps) at moderate reps (because I have learned I’m not really built to run 3RM every week)
-Some kind of autorregulation, as the max amount for one day is fixed
-Some freedom in the assistance movement area. I’m doing some sets with more TUT, because I would like more mass.
Currently doing a template with twice per week deadlift, OHP, bench and Squat. 4day/week.

Last time I ran 5/3/1 I had good gains until I started to overdo (I was doing 5/3/1 sets, then ramp up to 5RM or 3RM, then heavier singles, just to finish with 5 sets of “volume work”… certainly some weeks in it finished me haha)
Your series of neurotyping really helped me to understand more about how to train, so won’t happen again.

Would you recommend a plan for mass in the future (with “heavy lifts” but at moderate reps) ?
Or some assistance work that may help me?

Thanks a lot again CT, and hope you don’t get bored reading all that much haha.


#17

Very interesting. It seems odd that someone would be Type 2 and Asperger. I had Asperger students who had no recognition of social cues and lacked any ability to sense other’s emotions. Aren’t type 2s usually super observant of social cues and other people’s feelings? Also Asperger individuals usually have good memory for facts
.

I wonder if it may that being Asperger and also type 2 results in higher functioning where the disadvantages of Asperger are negated by the strengths of type2 and the Asperger traits can also be valuable.


#18

I have heard a lot about that attitudes in Asperger people. My classmate is exactly that way.
In fact, What you propose is an interesting theory, as those type 2 characteristics may completely eliminate that problem.
This conversation is getting more and more interesting!


#19

ierazo have you checked this article out?

https://thibarmy.com/german-volume-training-for-neurotype/

the 1a and 2a styles are really cool and you might like it given what you’ve said here…


#20

That would make sense. Good contribution, worth thinking about