T Nation

New phys ed prof @ skoo & what he does

At school there’s this new prof who everyone’s making a big deal of for some reason. He says that his research is on introverts & extroverts & how their personalities affect their success in the gym. He says that extroverts are more likely to be successful & like exercising more than introverts in general. (btw he said he was more of an introvert which probably explains why he looks like a scrawny dork) Does anybody agree with that? I think if someone’s successful in the gym, it would give them confidence & maybe cause them to be more extroverted, but I don’t think that being outgoing, etc makes someone more into exercise. If someone’s more outgoing would that make them want to go to the gym to gossip or what? If I went to any gym I’d look really lonely/shy because I’d only be into my workout of course. Maybe that’s not what he means though. What’s every think of that? What are you people like in real life, not in the gym?

Drax. Your new professor is most likely referring to the introverts and extrovert as identified by the Brigg-Myers Personally test. You may want to take this test before you guyess at your type. I don’t agree with your professor, an is most likely to send his or her time externally focused rather than focusing on the job at hand.
PS - When take the test I score as a leader or as a motivator. Give the test a try, there are a number of sites that will test you for free on the internet. Heck, ther is even one that will tell you your Star Wars personality type.

hmm interesting… I’m an introvert, and I like working out, my brother is an introvert and he likes working out too. Only difference is that I workout at a gym and he works out at home (bowflex). Now before he got the bow flex I was like: dood come with me to the gym you’ll see how cool it is. He was like: some other time (aka never). Anywho he wasn’t all that serious about working out at that point, then he gets a bowflex, now a few months later I’m like: dood come with me to the gym it will be cool. He: ya that’s a good idea. Point is… at first he didn’t want to work out with other people, but now he’s like well my at home gym kinda suxs, I understand now that I need better equipment to work out (no room at home for it) so a gym is a good alternative for now untill I buy a HUGE FREAKIN house. So there may be something to his study… tho I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. Both in real life and in the gym I keep mostly to myself, tho I’m making more of an effort lately to be more sociable, tho one some days I just don’t give a damn.

No one is simply an introvert or extrovert. If your prof is generating these terms from the Briggs-Myers he should have explained the other personality traits as well. This test examines and categorizes tendencies. So one may tend to be more extroverted for the most part but still lean to the introvert side to a degree.

The “extroverts” in my gym spend hours in the gym talking to everyone else, sometimes i pass by them and ask them if their goal is to achieve hipertrophy of the tongue. They do not find this joke funny at all, go figure. They don’t look that good either.

Is that Brigg-Myers thing old school & is there something more accurate now? I always thought that if someone got into exercise & then quit it was because it turned out that it’s a lot harder than they think & give up right away. When I was reading the paper I sort of wondered if he was trying to read too much into it. I think the reasons people do it & the reasons people give up seem really obvious & it doesn’t have anything to do with being an introvert or extrovert.

i don’t think that people quit working out because it’s too hard. I think that most people quit in 2 situations. First, they don’t ever really get started. They go off and on and never really get with a real workout/nutrition/rest plan. After a few weeks/months/years, they give up due to lack of real results. The other group gets with the program and busts ass. They get amazing newbie gains and feel great. Then complacency sets in. Former fatties and skinny guys start enjoying the newfound attention their physiques bring and forget what got them there. When the gains are coming quickly and you see visible results, it’s easy to stay motivated but many people don’t realize that some maintenance is required to keep your muscle gains/fat losses. They begin to eat crap and skip workouts. Their progress stalls but they still like what they see in the mirror generally. Depending on the individual, they maintain a pretty decent body compared to their “before” stats for a while so they don’t recognize the damage being done. By the time they are fat or skinny again, they have lost the ingrained habits that helped them before and the idea of starting all over again is too daunting. I quit the gym 2 or 3 times for the first reason and am back now after quitting for the second reason. I hope I have learned something this time and plan on making this a lifestyle instead of a quick fix.

I think the research may be correct or at least have some base. Introverts are more likly to be intimidated by otheres in the gym…leading to less effort and a greater chance to stop lifting. Extroverts are more likely to ask for advice and try to improve to meet the challenge. I’m not an expert but from my experiance in coaching…the meek rarely inherit the earth!

I think that MORE introiverts would go to the gym. WHY?

Extraverts would just be drinking and having parties, while loners (introverts) are hitting the gym.

Dorian Yates was an introvert. Guess what! He is Mr0 6 times.

Last weekend, I was on the rowing machine and two chicks got on the machines next to me. They didn’t look all that fit and one of them had pretty bad form. I was doing intervals and setting a brisk cadence. The one with poor form struggled for a few minutes then got off the machine. I wonder how much was due to her own inability and how much was due to the unintended intimidation from me. Maybe that’s one more reason why many people fail to stick with an exercise program. On top of laziness and ignorance they have to contend with feelings of inadequacy in comparison to the more established trainers. Hmm… are they introverts or extroverts? Well, they talked quite a lot before and during the row, so based on this brief observation, I would guess extrovert. fwiw, the ones in my gym who don’t talk much (loner, self-reliant introvert?) and focus on their workouts seem to hold up better and get more decent results. Ouster

Is your prof arguing for correlation or causation? I could see it being correlated, as people who work out more feel better about themselves and might even become more extroverted because of gym success – or, conversely, they may be less apt to feel inadequate about braving the gym to start a new program. It would not seem that he could show that being an extrovert caused gym success though – at least not without controlling for the change in confidence being in good shape would bring about.

It is false to conclude that introverts get intimidated easily, or that we are meek. As an introvert I simply prefer to be alone, independent - it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with fear of other people. If something isn’t working for me I don’t feel the need to ask, I can look it up myself. It’s not going to hinder my progress, and I feel I get a better understanding that way besides.

According to the Myers-Briggs test, I did one that is based on Star Trek since I’m a nerd, I’m an INFP(Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver). BTW, I always wondered why I liked Garak : ). I’ve been working out seriously for over ten years and my current stats are 5’10", 250lbs, ~12%BF. I don’t necessarily believe there is a strong correlation between the two, at least not in my case.

I’ve never believed that there was a “black and white” issue when it comes to people’s personalities. I look at it this way, my favorite color is red. Let’s say I’m in a room with 15 other people who’s favorite color is red. However there are hundreds of different shades and tones of red. I like blue-toned reds, someone else may prefer brown-toned reds, gold-toned reds and so on. 15 different shades/tones of red.

So, by just saying someone is an extrovert - you're missing on also: are they able to focus, are they committed, are they goal-oriented? You can have 15 extroverts in a room and have 15 totally different personalities. I am, simply, a extrovert. But you couldn't tell that by how I am in the gym. I'm focused. Same as when I'm in my art studio - focused.

BTW: I'd like to take this test. Maybe learn a few things about myself....

Bump for anyone else brave enough to post their personality type. : )

JavaDood I am INTJ, the bestest of all the personalities cuz we roxor joo all!

I strongly agree with 3-L Tman about correlation vs. causation. I find it funny that no one has jumped on t-levels as a cause for both gains and extroversion (sp?). During high school and college years athletes are still making the transition from being natural athletes to being trained athletes. The more natural T a person has greatly influences agression and personality, and,during the preceeding years, has caused that person to excell in sports. A person with higher T levels becomes a trained athlete earlier beecause of more coaching; and still has the agression and personality to excell in endeavors that tend to draw a crowd-(sports). The extroversion is a byproduct hence the correlation. The the athleticism, motivation and skillset is -IMHO- directly caused by naturally high T levels during childhood.
Summary-God is good!

I think the first test I took was inaccurate. I did some research on the web and every INFP description didn’t match my personality. I took a different test to confirm and it came back as ISTJ, I then took another and it too came back ISTJ. Therefore, I’m pretty sure the first was inaccurate, the ISTJ seems to fit. Regardless, I think there is little correlation between extroversion and bodybuilding success.

I’m an INTP.

I was absolutely amazed in reading some
of the explanations that have been written
on the INTP personality type how accurate
they were. I was “nailed” repeatedly.
Everyone else who read them agreed they
were right about 99% of the time.

A surprising conclusion from this is that
I’m actually not weird: instead, perfectly normal for my personality type. It’s just an
unusual personality type.

Seeing as how this thread is now about personality types, I figured I would chime in again.


I looked up a test site on google just to see what you all were talking about (FYI for anyone else who wants to take the test, here’s the URL : http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp – as always, delete any spaces).

Apparently I'm an ENTJ (Extrovert iNtuitive Thinking Judging), which the Keirsey explanation told me was extremely rare (2%). The description seemed fairly accurate, but it painted with some fairly broad strokes that didn't always hit the mark. I guess that's to be expected from something that apparently tries to capture every single person's personality in several broad categories.