Articles on MBTI ® applications & Personality Types
The 8 Colors of Exercise Fitness - Page 2
An interview with Suzanne Rue (ENFJ), author of The 8 Colors of Fitness. Interviewed by Linda Berens (INTP) See Page 1 of article
LB: Why not just 4 types? What prompted you to go to 8?
SB: That’s where the research took me. However, for a short presentation, I can get down to 4—grouped by dominant Perceiving Process. Blues and Golds (Si), Ni Whites and Purples (Ni), Greens and Reds (Se), Saffrons and Silvers (Ne)
LB: So Suzanne, I’m hearing that you developed this out of Ni insight, Fe recognition of others needs and your Catalyst temperament of wanting to help people be all that they can be. And you engaged Se and Ti in conducting and analyzing your research.
SB: I’ll go with that—interesting.
LB: What did you learn that surprised you?
SB: What pops to mind, is the role of Extraversion and Introversion in exercise. Prior to my research and The 8 Colors, I noticed that sprinkled through the type literature were recommendations that if you’re an Extravert you should find people to exercise with and if you’re an Introvert, you should exercise by yourself. I found that simply was not true. The experience of exercise is much more reliant on the Perceiving Preferences and the role of others is much dependent on what process you are extraverting and what you are introverting. To paraphrase Jung, there is no such thing as pure Extraversion or Introversion. So I found, for instance that Saffrons (INTPs, INFPs) with auxiliary Ne were much more inclined to enjoy exercising with others while Purples (ENFJ,ENTJ) with auxiliary Ni preferred to exercise by themselves.
I came to understand that people have a “romance” with their preferred perceiving process. It’s very enjoyable and people want to use it. With exercise, this is especially true.
LB: What has been the most satisfying part of this so far?
SB: I would have to say that coming up with a new application of type that makes a difference for people, and improves their health and well being is enormously satisfying. I hear from people from around the world that The 8 Colors has given then an entirely new way to approach exercise—that they are more physically active than ever, because they are engaged in activities that suit their personality.
We have a big problem in this country (and worldwide) with inactivity. Modern life is much more sedentary, and people do not get exercise from activities of daily living like they used to. This has enormous health implications as we know. It’s exciting to be providing the personality piece to help with this problem. Sound like a Catalyst, Linda?
LB: Yes, and it also sounds like other types who have a drive to help people.
What message would you give type practitioners and enthusiasts from your experience?
SB: Type is a valuable and rich framework from which to observe and contribute to people’s lives. The patterns are recognizable and accessible. There are many areas that have been developed, and many that have yet to be explored. If you’re interested in a particular area, be curious and ask how this might relate to type. Do the research and look for patterns. Don’t be afraid to step out of the traditional uses of type.
The 16 Personality Types, their Color Personalities,
and their approach to exercise & fitness
Suzanne Brue - The 8 Colors of Fitness
ESTJ, ESFJ – (Golds): The Gold Standard, Just the Facts.
Traditional and conservative in their approach to exercise,
avoiding unproven, fad or “new-age” options, ESTJs and ESFJs plan for exercise based on authoritative resources and because it is the “right thing to do.” ESJs prefer structure and routine, valuing experience, safety, and proven methods. Conserving of energy, ESJs
seek a balanced life, aiming not to over-do in all things,
including exercise. Proud of what they do; results are
what they’re after.
ENTP, ENFP – (Silvers): Quicksilver, The Master of Exercise
ENPs wrap exercise in the disguise of something else as
the thought of pure exercise is unappealing. An alternative purpose keeps them engaged. ENPs enjoy activities
that are convenient, requiring minimal process and
planning. Fast paced, ENPs do not want to waste time/
effort in transition. ENPs are attracted to new ideas
and possibilities and might cycle through activities and
ISTJ, ISFJ – (Blues): True Blue, Tried and True
Conscientious, committed, and concerned with safety,
ISTJs and ISFJs approach exercise dutifully. ISJs are highly attuned to their bodies and correct form, focusing on
one thing at a time. Steady and methodical, ISJs take
comfort in routine, keeping track and measuring. ISJs
enjoy using their outstanding powers of concentration.
With a regard for the “tried and true”, ISJs have a common
sense approach to exercise and prefer to stay with
what they know.
INTP, INFP – (Saffrons): Saffron’s Seeking, Making
INPs are attracted to exercise environments that are
flexible and convenient, providing an opportunity for spontaneity and self-expression. Easily bored, INPs enjoy
challenging activities with the right combination
of fun, freedom and flow — with minimal stops and
starts. Activities that connect them to their sense of
play are appealing, as well as solitary activities alone or
alongside comfortable others.
ESTP, ESFP – (Reds): Roaring Reds, Now!
Being in the physical world lets ESPs know they’re alive.
ESPs are quick responders. They enjoy high stimulation, variety, and action preferring to “play” outside.
ESPs naturally incorporate physical activity in their lives
rather than scheduling exercise. ESPs find it boring to just stay in shape — it is helpful to have a goal. Living
in the moment, they approach activities with “no limits” giving it all they’ve got every time.
ENTJ, ENFJ – (Purples): Royal Purples, Pursuers with a Plan
With a loosely envisioned plan in mind, ENJs approach
exercise with purpose and objective. Motivated by“being at their best,” ENJs are attracted to variety and organize exercise in categories — cardio, strength
training, and stretching. They experiment from time to
time, but are drawn to exercise they can make part of their routine. Functional, orderly, and positive environments are important.
ISTP, ISFP – (Greens): Greener than Green, Naturally
The physical world beckons. ISPs naturally and seamlessly
merge with the physical world. Practical, modest,
and understated, they are naturally observant of the
physical details and small variations in their environment.
ISPs enjoy living a physically active life in harmony
with nature. With their practical approach it makes
sense to get your exercise in activities of daily living.
ISPs are motivated to maintain a level of fitness so they
can partake in the outdoor activities they relish.
INTJ, INFJ – (Whites): A Blank Canvas, Trailblazers on Familiar
Since exercise can provide solitary time for reflection,
visioning, and mental drift, it is important for INJs to
seek peaceful and pleasing environments. Jarred by interruptions and chaos, orderly environments provide
the necessary calm for physical exercise. Familiar paths
and activities are appealing, enabling exercise to become
a moving meditation. Advanced planning makes it happen.
® MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Meyers Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries (aka meyers briggs or myers briggs).
Suzanne Brue is the founder 8 Colors Fitness®, an organization dedicated to educating people on the connection between type and exercise. She is the author of The 8 Colors of Fitness, Discover your Color-Coded Fitness Personality and Create an Exercise Program You'll Never Quit! (Oakledge Press, 2008). Suzanne is the current Past-President of the Association for Psychological Type (APTi). Between 2002 and 2006 she served as President of the Vermont Association for Psychological Type (Vermont APT). Suzanne is a member of The Vermont Governor's Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. Her work can be found at www.the8colors.com
Linda V. Berens is the founder of Interstrength® Associates, a corporate consulting and training organization. She is an author or co-author of multiple books and training materials including The I in TEAM and the popular Understanding Yourself and Others® series. Linda is an organizational consultant and has spent over thirty years teaching professionals as well as helping individuals and teams recognize their strengths, transcend their weaknesses, and work together better. Linda is recognized internationally for her theoretical contributions to the field of psychological type , including development of the Berens Interaction Styles model and for developing user-friendly training materials for practical application of understanding individual differences. Her work can be found at www.interstrength.com