T Nation

Why Type 2 is Low in Norepinefrine, but Type 1 is "Adrenalin Junkie"?


#1

If Type 2 is born with small amounts of noradrenalin, why he is not novelty seeker and adrenalin junkie?

If 2A likes changing training often (Everything works but not for long time), this is not novelty seeking?

I think I am 2A but I really like adrenalin situations, without it I feel bored, like it´s not even life :smiley: Is it normal, or I´m mix of 1 and 2, or i wrongly classify myself?


#2

2A like high adrenaline situations… they are super sensitive to adrenaline (that’s why they have a small amount of it… just like when you are sensitive to insulin you don’t produce a lot… because you don’t need to).

I’m a type 2A and I perform my best when adrenaline is high (when I give seminars for example). I had my best presentation ever at the SWIS symposium 2 years ago because there were 300 people in the crowd, Dorian Yates, John Meadows, Scott Stevenson, etc. were all in the crowd.

Saying “adrenaline junky” can refer to either high adrenaline OR high dopamine situations… both are neurotransmitters that speed up your neurons (excitory neurotransmitters). The “novelty seeker” classification was developed by Dr.Cloninger and although his system is the foundation for the neurotyping system, I moved away from his classification terminology.

Type 2A is a Dr.Jekyl - M.Hyde or Banner - Hulk person: when adrenaline is low they have a lower level of self esteem and they depend on the perception of others to feel good about themselves. But when adrenaline is pumping they morph into an alpha male personality.

The two types that need the most variation are type 1B and type 2A… and both can seem fairly similar. 1B tend to prefer variation in terms of exercises and 2A in term of technique/methods/training approach. The main thing that separates them is their level of confidence. 1B are very confident, have no self-esteem issues and don’t make decisions based on what others will think of them. Type 2A have a lower level of self-esteem at rest and what other people think of them is super important. Type 2A also tend to change their personality depending on the person they are with and they don’t like taking decisions.

Just looking at whether you like high adrenaline situations or not and if you need variety is not enough to know if you are a type 1B or 2A… it basically tells us that you are sensitive to one of the excitory neurotransmitters (dopamine / noradrenaline) and that you likely have a high acetylcholine level. To know if you are 1B or 2A you need to know how you are as a person…

  • Are you super confident or do you have a lower self esteem?
  • Is what other people think of you important?
  • Do you need to be the leader or do you prefer to be “second in command”?
  • Do you like to make decisions or is it hard for you to do that?
  • Does your personality remains the same with everybody or do you change it depending on who you are with?
  • Do you want to win because you NEED winning in itself or is winning more of a way to get respected or admired?
    Etc.

#3

Wow, thanks, now everything makes sense! 2A definitely. I really like your model, even outside physical training.

With presentations I have it same, more people = usually better speech.

I try to meditate a lot to free myself from opinions of others little bit. Now I will really strive for ADRENALIN LIFE to stay Hulk most of the time.

When nothing is happening it s like I lost access. Cold shower always helps.


#4

So question is just: do you consider good idea for 2A to create very adrenalin lifestyle? Or can it have some side effects?


#5

It easily lead to adrenal burnout. Just be aware that you function better when there is adrenaline… But ironically these guys are also prone to chocking under pressure (especially 2Bs) because they can get so hyped up that they start to have A DECREASE in performance because of more anxiety, overthinking, reacting too fast and excessive muscle tension.


#6

Great explanation Coach…

Defenitly I am a 2A person…

Be like water!, Chameleon style.

sometime it sucks. very frustrating. but there are good times too.

I just read what you write Coach, that having a good body is not going to change what you are, but I think it helps.

thanks.


#7

Yep, in fact the chinese element of 2A is water


#8

Will you ever write something about context with Braverman/Poliquin? Why you choose this and not him, and if your types have parallels in other models?

For example I am 2A in your model, but in Braverman´s I am Dopamin dominant (40) and GABA deficient (28). It is possible, or I wrongly asset myself? (As you very well know, there is no norepinefrine in Braverman.)

(In coach Poliquin´s system he describes Water like: “There is a good chance that a water type individual would not fall into the category of “an athlete.” They are typically associated more with serotonin dominance”.)


#9

I used Charles’ model at first. But I don’t agree with many interpretations. I also think that the Braverman assessment is limited at best and likely doesn’t measure the right thing. I worked about 70% of the time. That’s why I used Cloninger’s model as my foundation, which is more valid scientifically. But I adapted it based on my studies and experience.

I talked to Charles about it as he was pissed at first. But we have a good rapport. I told him “Charles, I can promise you two things: 1) we will not agree on everything 2) I will never disrespect you”. So we have our own system. I’ve had plenty of people coming to my seminar who also did Charles’ and they saw both ends. But out of respect for everybody involved I won’t say what their opinion was in general.


#10

That’s one of the problems with the Braverman… a dopamine dominant result could also indicate a nor-adrenaline dominance (both are neural activators and show several similar effects). So really, someone who has a high dopamine score on the Braverman could be 1A, 1B, 2A , 2B!!!

I use four angles to assess a neurotype: 1) a questionaire 2) in-person assessment 3) analysis of non-verbal cues 4) physical traits. Now I can assess someone in 5 minutes and I’m pretty much never wrong and people are flabbergasted. I’ve had people cry, burst out laughing and have light bulbs light up above their head when I present. I fixed the training of a lot of people who thought they were “dopamine dominant”.

BTW one of the reasons why I don’t like the Braverman assessment is that it measures YOUR OWN perception of yourself. Which is rarely accurate. When I talk to someone I can get a much more precise measure just because I know how to evaluate someone’s profile.


#11

That is not true IMHO. Water is 2A. PLENTY of athletes are 2As, especially if they have a fairly high level of acetycholine.

A 2A with high acetylcholine can be a very good player. BUT they normally:

  1. Are streaky players… they will have several games in a row where they are dominant but as soon as they have one bad game they are prone to getting into a slump. The reasons is that Type 2s have a lower level of self-confidence and a greatly dependent on other people’s perception of them to feel confident and good about themselves When they get “on a roll” their self-esteem goes up tenfold … but when they are in a slump their confidence tanks lower than other types and they lose motivation and focus.

  2. They are not good when they are put in a leadership role. 2A don’t like to take decisions or be the figurehead. They are great to be the leader’s second in commend. Type 2As are mimickers, they are the most influenced by the strongest person in their circle. If they have a strong positive leader in their team, they will be potentiated. If the leader is weak, they might be pulled down. If they have to be the leader they crumble under pressure. Well, at first they get potentiated because it makes them feel good to be voted captain, but it doesn’t last long.

  3. They are at their best during games that are significant, but not life or death. They tend not to be super motivated for unimportant games and underperform because adrenaline is not high enough (so they are less confident) , they are at their best when the game is important but not high stress (so they get enough adrenaline to feel great but not so much that they lose control) but they tend to choke when they are under intense pressure (the playoffs for example) because the adrenaline release is too high for them: they are so sensitive to it that it speeds up their neurons too much and they start to overthink, react too fast and get tensed/tight.

  4. They are good at adapting to several roles on a team.


#12

BTW those who are serotonin dominant normally are more Type 2Bs or Type 3. In the chinese elements model they would be earth and metal respectively.

BTW “serotonin dominance” with the braverman assessment in fact means a LOW level of serotonin. That’s why Type 3 for example are naturally more anxious, always overthink, overplan, etc.

Basically Type 3:

  • Are naturally anxious
  • Overthink, think too much, have a hard time putting their brain on off
  • Are more introverted
  • Like to follow a routine
  • Don’t like to take risk
  • Tend to be less flexible
  • Have a harder time adapting to new situations
  • Are great at creating a plan
  • Always want to know all the details of a task, sometimes being super annoying about it
  • Have a great attention to detail
  • Have a lot of focus
  • They are super patient

But really all these characteristics come down to ONE THING: anxiety.

Anxiety is nothing more than you brain being overactive; the neurons are firing on all cylinders, oftentimes so fast that you feel out of control.

A brain that fires too fast is anxious, and all the traits I mentioned are subconscious strategies to cope with anxiety or are due to anxiety.

  • Overthinking everything is because your brain is overexcited… you are constantly creating scenarios in you mind. This can even turn to paranoia when you are losing control of your thought process.

  • Are more introverted: this is a way to protect yourself. When you are anxious you do not want to put yourself in situations you don’t know, especially not interacting with people you don’t know or are not comfortable with

  • Like to follow a routine: that’s because it is reassuring. If you always do the same things at the same time, the same way; you feel in control, there is nothing unexpected. This is a strategy to decrease anxiety

  • Tend to be less flexible: anxiety, which is an overactivation of the nervous system, increase muscle tightness, especially in the flexor muscles. Someone who is naturally anxious, or under a lot of stress will thus tend to have tight muscles.

  • Have a hard time adapting to new situations: again, that’s because the more anxious you are, the more you want to stick to what you know and what you know will not hurt you. Novelty, even if it’s positive, will create more anxiety in these people and they want to avoid that to protect themselves.

  • Are great at creating a plan (and sticking to it): this is also for their own self-protection. If you hate unexpected events, you will naturally build a plan that takes absolutely every possible element into consideration, just so that you will not be left in an unexpected situation in which you have to adapt to the unknown.

  • Always want to know all the details: these are the guys who want to know if they need to turn their feet out 12 or 15 degrees, if they need to grip the bar 14" or 18", etc. They will ask question after question about the slightest detail. For coaches these guys can be annoying AF. But understand that they are doing this instinctively to reduce their anxiety level: the more they know about the task, the more they feel under control and he less anxious they will be.

  • Have a great attention to detail: this comes from their overanalytic brain. Their anxiety and overthinking often leads to paralysis by overanalysis. But it also allows them to have a great attention to details because they need to understand something as deeply as humanly possible to decrease their anxiety.

  • They are also very patient… why? Because they don’t like change! So they don’t mind if things change VEEERRRRRYYY slowly. In fact they prefer it since it gives them time to adapt. They also need to master something before pushing it, again to reduce anxiety. That’s why they are more naturally attracted to endurance sports.

Now… WHY are these guys more anxious? BECAUSE THEY HAVE LESS SEROTONIN OR GABA! See, Serotonin and GABA are both inhibitory neurotransmitters: they slow your neurons’ firing rate down. So they REDUCE anxiety by decreasing how fast your neurons are firing (so now you are relaxed and in control).

If someone has LESS serotonin or GABA, then he will have a harder time bringing his neurons’ firing rate down and will be more anxious, it’s really quite simple.

Now, what is the difference? Serotonin tends to be more of a “balancing” neurotransmitter: it brings you back to an optimal level whereas GABA is a pure inhibitor.

I could go on and on about the difference between both, but that’s besides the point. The point is that “serotonin dominance” indicate more a lack of serotonin and a more anxious profile.


#13

Dopamine dominant individuals (not only using the Braverman assessment because dopamine dominance with the Braverman could indicate a nor-adrenaline dominance) in the extreme majority of cases cannot tolerate volume.

Understand that being dopamine dominant means that your RECEPTORS are super sensitive to the action of dopamine. Just like when you are insulin sensitive your cells respond strongly to insulin.

When your cells respond strongly to something YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRODUCE A LOT OF IT. Why? Because even a small amount does the job.

So dopamine dominant individuals have a LOW baseline level of dopamine at rest (if dopamine was high at rest they would be out of control all the time) and are not equipped to produce a lot of it (because they don’t need it).

The main reason why they cannot tolerate volume is that when they are training hard they produce both dopamine and adrenaline. Now, adrenaline IS MADE FROM DOPAMINE. The more adrenaline you produce, the more you deplete your dopamine. If you do not have a lot of dopamine (because you normally don’t need it because you are super sensitive to it) and you do a lot of volume and/or take short rest intervals you will produce a lot of adrenaline, which will deplete your dopamine. Dopamine depletion is what we often call (rightly or not) “CNS fatigue”. You feel lazy, unmotivated, mood swings, lethargic, almost depressive. Have a dopamine dominant person do too much volume and they will feel like that… dopamine depletion.

THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. You do have individuals who are dopamine dominant (sensitive) AND have a high baseline level of dopamine. These guys are crazy!!! Can’t stay in place, hyperactive, competitive to a fault, extremely vocal, often getting into fights, sex addicts, etc. Like a manic period for a bipolar person. These guys CAN do a lot of volume of heavy work. BECAUSE THEY PRODUCE A LOT OF DOPAMINE so even if they do a lot of volume, pumping out adrenaline they have the dopamine to support it.

But these are the exceptions. I’m training one such guy at the moment, a member of the Canadian national bobsleigh team. Guys is crazy, 300kg deadlift, 280kg squat, 230kg front squat, 42" vertical, 1.39/10m, 3.50/30m AND he can do lots of volume. THIS IS A GENETIC EXCEPTION.

One place I disagree with Charles is that for him a FIRE type (Type 1A in my classification) is build for strength (that’s true) and can do a lot of volume of heavy work (not true for most of them). That’s because Charles used Adam Nelson as his prototype 1A. Adam is like my bobsleigh guy, one of the rare Type 1 to also have high dopamine. These are the exceptions! The normal Type 1 has low dopamine and a high sensitivity so they can lift heavy, they can lift often, but they can’t do volume.

Type 1B can do a bit more volume because acetylcholine decreases the need to produce adrenaline (it shares some of the same functions); if you produce less adrenaline as a type 1, you can train more. But it still less volume than the other types.


#14

When you first started discussing neurotypes, I thought I had a fair handle on the topic. As time goes on, and you provide more information about each type, my brain begins to hurt. I can’t keep up anymore. :confused:
Great information, for sure, just wish I could retain it!!


#15

Dude it’s probably 80% of what I do 8 hours a day, sometimes more. And that’s on top of teaching it every weekend. In the past 3 years I gained a much more profound knowledge of the reasons and science behind the system. Heck, I still learned new valuable information every week. For example I knew that Type 1A and 1B can train heavy often, and Type 2B and 3 cannot. But now I know the exact reason why. I knew that people with high acetylcholine were explosive but know I know why. I love Charles, he is my mentor and has done more for training and trainers than anybody else in the field. But this is ALL I do so I can push it a lot further than he did. I’m also someone who has less problems admitting when he’s wrong which allowed me to modify the system when I learn new elements that force me the change my views.


#16

For example two weekends ago I gave a private seminar about neurotyping to 3 of Charles’ followers… we we didn’t even get to slide number 4! The whole two days from 9am to 6pm was about answering complex questions. Those questions from super smart coaches forced me to dig a lot deeper into my own understanding of neurotyping


#17

This explains so much from my experiences. Eg., on testing days I’ll work up to my top set and feel great on one lift and the other lift just ends up being shit (we max two lifts a day test week). I’d always be confused because there wasn’t any volume, but now it makes sense. The weight room on those days is basically an adrenaline filled madhouse. 50 guys yelling and screaming at me to get a weight works great for about 1 set then just kills the rest of the lift for me.


#18

Yep, happens all the type to Type 1A… they will do a powerlifting competition and will be trashed for a week, unable to train… zero motivation, lethargic, etc


#19

Never competed in a powerlifting meet before but I imagine it’s got a similar post-wrestling tournament feel; just makes you want to sit and home and binge eat everything!

Side note: I’ve started supplementing with tyrosine per your recommendation and so far it seems to really help prevent this kind of dopamine crash. I don’t notice much during the lift (I take it before) but afterward I tend to feel lot better, so thanks for the recommendation!


#20

Yep, the need to binge is to recover dopamine… since dopamine is the pleasure neurotransmitter, the brain instinctively wants to eat crap to produce more of it