The Myers-Briggs test has long been regarded as the gold standard when it comes to helping people find careers for which they're best suited (companies often employ it when searching for ideal candidates, too). But can this personality test help match people with their perfect fitness routine? Absolutely!
By breaking down six core personality traits — extraversion (E), introversion (I), sensing (S), intuition (N), thinking (T), feeling (F), judging (J) and perceiving (P) — the Myers-Briggs test can offer insights into which workouts mesh best with each of the 16 personality types. In other words: No more wasting time (and money) on routines that don't suit you.
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Whether you're an ENFP who cringes at the idea of daily treadmill runs or an INFJ who likes their fitness routine to come with a side of creativity, here's the best workouts for you based on your Myers-Briggs type.
The ENFJ personality type is also known as the Protagonist or the Teacher. They're born leaders. ENFJs typically are charismatic, passionate and want to do right by the world. (Martin Luther King, Jr. was an ENFJ.)
Fitness Personality: When it comes to fitness, outgoing ENFJs are best suited for group classes or regimens that involve working together or have some component of teamwork. Not only can ENFJs help motivate others in a group fitness setting, but they can also develop a sense of camaraderie with their fitness crew.
Best Options: While indoor cycling classes and Orangetheory provide a fun group atmosphere, something that involves working with partners or a team, like tennis or soccer, can be extra motivating and inspiring.
Thanks to their positive energy and free-spirited nature, ENFPs can be spotted from a mile away. ENFPs, also sometimes referred to as the Campaigner, want nothing more than to be able to express themselves creatively and have the freedom to do the things which they feel most passionate about.
Fitness Personality: They say variety is the spice of life, and this couldn't be truer for an ENFP's workout regimen. Doing the same thing every day will bore an ENFP to tears, so having a good rotation of fun and challenging workouts is a fitness must.
Best Options: Joining a gym that offers a multitude of classes (yoga, indoor cycling, Zumba) can work well for an ENFP, but the best exercise for this type likely lies outside. Hiking, biking, rock climbing will all keep ENFPs motivated and interested.
Of all the Myers-Briggs types, ENTJs are the most driven and focused. Often natural-born leaders, charismatic ENTJs, which are sometimes referred to as the Commander, usually possess an unwavering life vision and aren't easily swayed by others. (Bill Gates is an ENTJ.)
Fitness Personality: If there's one thing ENTJs don't want to waste, it's time. So for this uber goal-oriented personality type, every workout has to count. Ultra-challenging classes that get the job done in the most effective — and possibly competitive — way possible are the way to go.
Best Options: Martial arts and boxing can be good choices for ENTJs, who are always up for a challenge. However, few things will be able to top a long, head-clearing run, where they can go at their own pace.
Clever, quick-witted ENTPs are sometimes referred to as the Debater, because their love of playing devil's advocate goes unmatched. Are they trying to get the world to see both sides of the coin? Not necessarily. They just love a good mental spar.
Fitness Personality: While competitive fitness activities may seem like the obvious choice for this sometimes cutthroat group, their ever-working minds may actually get in the way of a good workout. Activities where they're striving to be better for themselves and no one else will likely yield the best exercise.
Best Options: Running, power yoga, or circuit training or HIIT with a trainer are all good options for ENTPs. Not only will they always be working to do better than they did the day before, they'll get a much-needed break from their mental chatter.
ESFJs are quite possibly the most social of all the Myers-Briggs types, and they live for being around others. If you want to plan a gathering, ask an ESFJ to arrange it, because if anyone knows how to get a group together (and make sure everyone is happy!), it's them.
Fitness Personality: It should go without saying that any physical activity that's done with others is A-OK in the ESFJ's book. Sure, they could go for a brisk walk alone in the park, but where's fun — and good gossip — in that?
Best Options: Long walks with friends, Saturday morning pilates (followed by coffee dates), and fun group fitness classes (think pole dancing and aerial yoga) are ideal for super sociable ESFJs.
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Like their judging counterpart, ESFPs are incredibly social and thrive on holding court with friends and loved ones. Always up for a good time, ESFPs know how to make almost anyone feel better, and despite their sometimes over-the-top demeanor, they want nothing more than for everyone around them to live their best lives.
Fitness Personality: High energy is the name of the game for ESFPs. Anything that will get them moving and grooving is an ideal workout, so long as there's a recreation aspect to it and it doesn't feel too much like "work."
Best Options: Group sports, such as soccer, volleyball or basketball are great workouts for this compulsively social group, as are long hikes, mountain biking and swimming with friends.
If you want something organized, ask an ESTJ. This personality type thrives on order, as well as value, so they make ideal community leaders and politicians (many American presidents have been ESTJs). Their dedication to fighting the good fight is unmatched, and they'll happily play the role of mediator when the situation calls for it.
Fitness Personality: ESTJs are naturally competitive, so working out with a buddy may help motivate them. That said, they're straightforward with their approach to life, so no complicated workouts, please.
Best Options: Running, the elliptical and strength training are all good no-frills options for ESTJs. But when they want to mix things up a bit, kickboxing or indoor rowing can work, as well.
ESTPs love to be the center of attention, and they're as charismatic as they come. ESTPs love social gatherings and usually talk to everyone within earshot. While they talk a big game, though, it's important to note that, at their core, ESTPs are doers — and they don't always think things through. This personality type prefers learning as they go.
Fitness Personality: ESTPs are typically energetic people, so workouts with vigor suit them well. Not fans of too much rigidity, this personality type meshes best with fitness routines that are ever-changing and that offer something new each time.
Best Options: ESTPs love a good party, so indoor cycling classes, which have a boisterous vibe, are a good choice. Other options are group sports, such as basketball, soccer or even rugby.
Ultra-moral INFJs spend a lot of their time dreaming — but they're also very capable of putting those plans into action, and more often than not, do. While, technically-speaking, INFJs are introverts, they enjoy making connections with others and crave a sense of community. If INFJs have one purpose in life, it's to help people realize their purpose.
Fitness Personality: INFJs err on the more mellow side but are acutely aware of the importance of exercise and long-term health — so fitness is key for them. Activities that leave them feeling both physically and mentally light afterwards are a good fit, as well as workouts that contain a spiritual component.
Best Options: Vinyasa yoga can be a good fit for INFJs, who want to keep moving, but who also crave a new and improved outlook on life post-workout. Strength-training dance classes, such as Ballet Beautiful, can also work well with their lifestyle.
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If there's one person who can see the good in almost everyone and every situation, it's an INFP. Sometimes referred to as eternal optimists, INFPs are often even-keeled and perpetually mellow on the outside. Sometimes, INFPs feel misunderstood by the world, so finding a core group of people they trust is crucial to their well-being.
Fitness Personality: INFPs strive to be their best selves, so staying in shape is often a priority. That said, these sensitive souls aren't ones to thrive within the confines of gym walls, so taking their routine outdoors or trying the latest fitness fad works well for them.
Best Options: INFPs can never go wrong with an outdoor hike, seaside jog or stand-up paddle boarding, but if they're going to keep it inside, a fun fusion class like barre and cardio is a good bet.
On the outside, INTJs may seem generally even-keeled and straightforward, but on the inside, there's a relentlessly intellectual world unfolding at all times. INTJs are one of the more ambitious Myers-Briggs types, and they prefer to spend their time working toward their goals, as opposed to things that they perceive to be frivolous.
Fitness Personality: For INTJs, long-term success is the name of the game, so forget the fad diets and of-the-moment fitness trends. While looking good is nice, INTJs want to be in shape for health and longevity's sake. INTJs also do well to schedule their fitness into their weekly schedule, as opposed to trying to fit it in when the mood strikes.
Best Options: A fitness routine akin to strength training mixed with basic cardio, such as running on the treadmill or using the stationary, works well for INTJs. They know what works, so they'll stick with it.
INTPs are one of the rarer Myers-Briggs types, which suits them well, as these intellectuals pride themselves on the unique set of skills they bring to the world. One of the few types of people who are equal parts dreamy and logical, INTPs, like Albert Einstein, have been responsible for some of the world's greatest discoveries.
Fitness Personality: While exercise always feels good, it isn't an INTP's favorite activity, as it takes time away from whatever project or invention on which they're working. That said, INTPs do love the fresh mental high they get after a good sweat session.
Best Options: Solo activities (that can be done while listening to music or a podcast) are the perfect exercise for INTPs. While they're not completely closed off to trying new things, it doesn't get much better than a good run, hike, or bike ride for this personality type.
One of the most paradoxical personality types, ISFJs are seen as "people persons" despite their introvert label, as well as analytical despite their feeling label. Sometimes referred to as the Defender, ISFJs live by the ethos of kindness before everything and make for the most generous and enthusiastic friends.
Fitness Personality: Working out with a buddy or group works well for these social souls, not only motivation's sake, but so they can be held accountable for their workouts. If there's one thing an ISFJ doesn't want to do, it's disappoint a friend.
Best Options: Pilates, barre, dance classes and LEKFit are all solid choices for ISFJs. Not only will these types of workouts give way to a good sweat, the camaraderie that comes with them is key.
Few things are more important to ISFPs than being creative and staying true to themselves. With a keen aesthetic eye and love for spontaneity, ISFPs are incredibly fun to be around. That said, they often need time alone to recharge their batteries and refuel their creative tank.
Fitness Personality: ISFPs aren't typically ones for "by the book," so anything that offers room for interpretation is a good fitness option. Also, despite their introverted nature, group workouts work well for this Myers-Briggs type, as they can both feed off the energy and draw inspiration.
Best Options: Yoga, where people are encouraged to create their own practice, is a good choice for ISFPs. That said, ISFPs are smart to always have a good playlist at the ready for when an adventurous mood strikes.
Decisive and organized ISTJs love being challenged, because they know they're always up to the task. With incredible dedication, attention to detail, and pride in the work they do, ISTJs execute almost everything they do with a methodical proficiency.
Fitness Personality: For ISTJs, they want to do what works, so they'll pass on the latest and greatest fitness trends. Once they've found something that works for them, you're hard-pressed to get them to switch it up.
Best Options: Swimming, which involves both precision and a little creativity, is a good workout for ISTJs. And when working out with others, tennis or racquetball is a solid choice, as again, there's skill and decisiveness involved.
Endlessly curious, ISTPs do best when they're learning hands-on — and they don't necessarily need to learn for the sake of acquiring a skill; they're perfectly fine simply enjoying the process. ISTPs are generally level-headed and rational and are happy to share their knowledge and creativity with others — so long as their ideas aren't challenged.
Fitness Personality: ISTPs can go either way when it comes to exercise — they're happy working out in a group or on their own. The main thing is that they don't get bored and are continually challenged.
Best Options: Joining a gym, where there's a revolving door of fitness classes and equipment is a good idea for ISTPs. Also, it's ideal for their sometimes-spontaneous nature to have a place they can go workout whenever the urge hits. From cycling to HIIT, exercise classes that get the ISTP heart pumping — and the endorphins surging — are always a good choice.
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