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|Book Review by APTi Bulletin|
The Eight Colors of Fitness
Katherine W. Hirsh
Suzanne Brue has delighted many of us with her conference presentations, Bulletin articles, workshops, and teleconferences on the topic of fitness and type. Now she has compiled her work about successful fitness programs that suit all sixteen types into a book aimed at reaching a wider audience, including personal trainers, coaches, and fitness instructors, with tips for reaching each of the exercise types.
The book is organized around Brue’s discovery, during hundreds of interviews with satisfied exercisers, that one’s perceiving function (introverted sensing-Si, extraverted sensing-Se, introverted intu-ition-Ni, or extraverted intuition-Ne) has a key role to play in determining the kind of fitness plan that each individual will find enjoyable and be able to maintain for life. Accordingly, her book has eight chapters, each one focused on a pair of types that share a perceiving function-attitude as either dominant or auxiliary. Each of these pairs has been assigned a color to capture the essence of their fitness orientation (see chart).
Within each chapter there are subsections for each type – the types with thinking in their codes are referred to by the term Efficiency (e.g., an ENTP is a Silver with Efficiency) and the types with feeling in their codes are referred to by the term Harmony (e.g., an ISFJ is a Blue with Harmony).
I found this system to be easy to learn and to capture some useful generalizations about the sixteen types. This later point will perhaps seem obvious to those who are used to being grouped by dominant perceiving function. However, as someone with a dominant judging function, these groupings led me to consider both my auxiliary in a new light and the similarities between my own exercise preferences and those of other types with an extraverted perceiving function, whether dominant or auxiliary, sensing or intuition.
In addition to these personal insights into self and others, I also found Brue’s book to be useful from the point of view of my coaching practice. The motivations that keep people in a fitness program year after year are quite similar to the things that energize them to maintain a development plan. The “hooks,” as Brue refers to them, cut across domains because they are based on preferences for taking in information – and isn’t every coach’s goal to find a way to convey information that will better reach their audience, whether it be a football team, a student planning a course of study, or a mid-career executive? I urge you to study Brue’s book for its inspiring stories of sustained, life-long commitment to personal performance enhancement – it is an energy boost for the mind!