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How is The 8 Colors different from all the other approaches to exercise?

The starting point is different. With the 8 Colors, you begin by understanding your fitness personality. With this understanding, you then choose the specific forms, interactions and environments that are most appropriate for you. Other exercise programs start with a fitness regimen and do not take into consideration the requirements of your unique personality.

How do the 8 Colors relate to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®?

The MBTI® system interprets your personality according to 4 categories. These categories cover how extroverted or introverted you are, how you perceive and process information, how logical or emotional your decisions are, and how open-ended you prefer things to be. The result is 16 basic personality types.

My research shows that our exercise preferences tend reflect our perceiving processes of Sensing and Intuition – whether we tend to accept information or re-interpret and augment it. Personality types sharing the same perceiving process could be paired together, creating 8 fitness personalities, each with a “Harmony” and “Efficient” type. (You will be one or the other.)

I call these personalities Colors, and each color resonates with the physical energy of the its exercisers. Take the quiz to discover your color and visit the 8 colors to understand your MBTI® type and its corresponding Color.

The Color quiz results don’t describe me. What now?

The quiz is a tool to guide you, but it’s not foolproof. The environment in which you took the quiz, possible pressures to conform and other variables can influence your responses. Try taking the quiz again at another time, under different circumstances. Also, check out other Color descriptions to see if another one fits you better. In the end, you are the one most qualified to determine which Color best fits your personality.

Could you explain the raw score and self-reported alignment number?

The quiz is composed of 4 personality dimensions. They combine to determine your color. Raw Results (the numbers separated by asterisks) reflect the consistency of your answers within each dimension. A score of 3 or higher indicates a clear preference for a particular dimension. A score of 1 indicates that your preference is ambiguous for that dimension. (There are no even scores if all the questions were answered.)

The Self-Reported Alignment Number indicates how consistently you align with your exercise color. A 7 or higher means you can confidently embrace your exercise color.

What if your number is 5 or lower? Remember, we are all a mix of natural and learned behavior and use all aspects of our personality, not just our dominant ones. If you are unable to determine your color from the quiz and the Alignment Number, read the descriptions of each color to narrow in on your best fit.

What is the Difference between Efficiency and Harmony?

Efficiency and Harmony are the subsets of each Color and describe your preferences with regard to resources, ambience and relating to others. Aside from observing basic courtesies, Efficients are more objective and less personal. They can enjoy the benefit of exercising with others, but their approach tends to be pragmatic and task oriented. On the other hand, those with a preference for Harmony orient to people in the environment and are more affected by personal relationships. Harmonies tend to be more influenced by ambience and conditions conducive to a peaceful environment.

I think of exercise as boring. How will applying knowledge of my Color help me stick with a fitness plan?

You’re right – pure exercise is boring for most of us! The key is to couple exercise with the more natural and enjoyable aspects of your personality. When you approach physical activity in terms of your personality, you’ll be more successful and energized, and less bored. What are the “hooks” that will keep you motivated? Every Color has them.

For example, I am a Purple. I like to zone out while I exercise – let my mind wander. I can get a full workout while my mind is someplace else. In this way, exercise is frequently a creative time for me. That’s why I prefer activities that are repetitive and don’t require my full attention – like spinning or swimming laps. Other Colors prefer to be engaged or to interact with others directly.

Identifying and then using your hooks will help you beat the boredom and find long-term success.

Do some Colors exercise more than others?

Not that I have found. Making exercise choices that are compatible with your personality influences your success – Color alone doesn’t. All Colors have roadblocks and roads to success.

Do I need to join a fitness center to get the full benefits of The 8 Colors approach?

No. You can get a great cardio workout by engaging in activities like walking, running and biking, or sports like basketball, tennis and Ultimate Frisbee. Strength training can easily be done at home with a simple set of bands, a rack of dumbbells, and a bench or stability ball. You can practice yoga in your own space or work out with some of the many fantastic DVDs now available. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people who are in terrific shape without going to a gym.

That said, fitness centers offer many important elements. They can provide a reliable routine, variety, camaraderie and motivation that many find essential. Plus, they have options that can be difficult to find on your own, such as a variety of weight and cardio equipment, personal training, and group fitness classes. Always shop around before you join; there are clubs for every budget. Most offer guest passes so you can try before you buy.

Where did the idea for your book originate?

I’ve been studying and working with personality-type theory for over 20 years, and am an avid exerciser. I was curious about what motivated me to work out almost daily while others were averse to exercise in spite of their best intentions. I wondered if the personality piece was a key, and wanted to understand it. I designed a questionnaire and began interviewing people of different personality types about their fitness preferences. The link between personality type and exercise patterns emerged. Six years and over a thousand interviews later, The 8 Colors of Fitness was published.

What do you do for exercise?

When I go to a gym, I rotate among an elliptical trainer, a treadmill, an upright bike, and a rowing machine. I also like swimming laps. Lately I’ve been spinning. I also enjoy practicing yoga, and in good weather I like walking or biking outside. I own a rack of dumbbells and a stability ball that enable me to strength train at home while watching the news on TV.