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Personalities at the Gym

Posted May 18 2010 4:28pm

During my many years as an adult, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with working out and getting to the gym on a regular basis. However, since I have become familiar with the personalities and love to people watch, it adds a new dimension to my visits to the local house of “blood, sweat, and tears.”

This week we are going to explore the personalities and their approach to the gym and physical fitness.


Sanguine at the gym If a sanguine thinks working out is fun, they have enough energy to be very physically fit. However, most people with this personality don’t think sweat and sore muscles are fun. Sanguine men and women both tend to strike up conversations when working out because of their propensity to talk and, if they can find another loquacious sanguine, they are in heaven.

The most identifiable sanguine at the gym tends to be female; they often to move in packs. Sanguines love to talk, but if they are surrounded by friends they are more likely to give physical exertion a try. I remember a giant group of middle-aged sanguine women who frequented the gym I did. When they were all there at the same time, the entire facility knew what they had done the past weekend and their plans for the next.

Sanguine women love cute, fashionable, and bright work-out clothes. They gravitate toward aerobic classes because they get to dance and socialize before and after class.


Many choleric personalities love to work out because they are goal-oriented. They tend to be the most Choleric at the gym loyal to a cardio and weight regiment and hate to miss a session.

My husband is choleric and has worked out religiously since before we were married. He continues his regiment today, over 20 years later. And, like most choleric individuals in the gym, he is not afraid to sweat or push himself.

A choleric in the gym, whether male or female, doesn’t tend to worry too much about fashion. A tee-shirt with pair of shorts is good enough since they are there for an effective work-out session. Nothing else.


Melancholy at the gym Melancholy people in the gym are true to their personality and approach the gym in a very organized manner. They usually have a set schedule that one could set their watch by.

A few years ago there was a melancholy man at my gym who was there the same time every day. Typical to his personality, his shirt was tucked into his sweat pants and his hair was combed and looked like it was hair sprayed in place (I don't know for sure since I never asked to touch it). The truly amazing thing, however, was that he walked out of the gym looking just as good as when he walked in . . . even after a good workout! Only a melancholy could pull that off.


This personality usually has the hardest time getting to the gym or engaging in a regular exercise program. Phlegmatic at the gym Because I am phlegmatic, I struggle greatly in this area. I’d rather sit and lounge by a pool or write at my computer. Phlegmatic people usually aren’t into physical activity, sweat, and sore muscles.

If I have a friend to accompany me to the gym, not only is better knowing that someone will be there to suffer with me, but it makes me more disciplined if I know that person is counting on me to be their partner. Once I finally get to the gym, I like a leisurely stroll on the treadmill and if a set of weights feels too heavy, I have no qualms about dropping down to a more manageable size.

I am not driven when it comes to physical fitness. I have discovered that a paid and structured class works best for me. If it is structured, that means I must do what the instructor says. If I have to pay for it, I have incentive go.

Personalities are everywhere, even in the gym. The next time you go work out at the gym and you need a diversion from the pain and panting, take time to observe the personalities around you.


(c)2010 Shona Neff

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