Crowded Gyms and Stale Workout Routines Got You Down? It May Just Be Your Personality.

Tired man seated in gym
Jasmin Cizmovic / EyeEm / Getty Images

We’ll admit it: Some people despise the gym. And that’s fine—this website isn’t called Gym Fitness—as long as you’re getting in some kind of consistent exercise a few days of the week.

Plus, the recent rise of fitness modalities that revolve around functional moves—like CrossFit, mud runs, or suspension trainers like the TRX—has created challenging workout options that can help people build muscle without being confined to a dank, dark gym.

But what causes some people to enjoy classic in-the-gym workouts more (or less) than other people? It could be your personality, a new study says.

For example: If you’re more of a creative type, working out in an outdoor setting could be more enjoyable, according to new research presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual meeting. Researchers surveyed more than 800 people from around the world and discovered that extroverted people preferred going to the gym for their workout, while people who tended to operate with an objective logic outlook were more likely to go to a gym and adhere to a regimented workout routine. The creatively minded folks, however, were much happier when doing something outside, like cycling or running compared to being in an iron paradise.

“The most important piece of advice to come out of this research is that there is not one type of exercise that is suited to everyone,” said John Hackston, chartered psychologist and head of thought leadership at psychology consulting company OPP. “There can be pressure to follow the crowd to the gym or sign up to the latest exercise fad, but it would be much more effective for them to match their personality type to an exercise plan that is more likely to last the test of time. Organizations can help their staff to improve their fitness using this research, with increased fitness potentially leading to lower illness-related absences and increased employee satisfaction.”

Looking for a few outdoors-friendly workouts to spark your creative energy? Try these 10 outdoor workouts to burn fat and build muscle.

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