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Neuro-typing for Your Workouts

Working with all types of personalities in physical rehabilitation, chiropractic & personal training you really get to know people. After a while you get to a point where you have a pretty good idea on the individual's cognitive ability on the way they learn a workout or how they demonstrate an exercise. When working with individuals I started to realize that certain people had better results with certain programs based on their learning style and even what they did for a living. I started creating programs not only based on their goals but with their personality traits in mind. Client’s reached their goals faster and were more likely to “stay” with their workout plans.

When an individual is in their proper environment they will succeed. A workout is no different. Many people will find an online workout and a percentage will say this workout was great for their them and others not so much. Neuro-typing is a way to cut down on the trial & error component. For instance, it took myself a quite a few years of what doesn't work to find out what works for me personally. If I knew about Neuro-typing years ago I would have been further along in my training.

Neuro-typing is utilizing personality traits to determine your neurotransmitter dominance and then using that info to strategize specific training methods to maximize your results. In layman's terms it means that you will have the best results from the workout that mimics your personality. What are your personality traits and how do those traits correlate with your workouts?

Neuro-typing has been around for some time but has gained traction from Canadien strength coach Christian Thibedeau. Christian Thibedeau developed neuro-typing as a way to maximize his clientele’s training progression. I’m going to list the 5 neuro-types and as a unique twist I’m also going to add the hunting & fishing styles to these 5 personality traits. As I have seen many of these same personality traits correlate with activities associated with those who pursue specific outdoor activities.

Let’s take a look at the 5 personality traits and see how you can utilize them to maximize your workouts and your outdoor pursuits. First, try to identify yourself with a personality trait. If you are unsure with the trait, try to match up with one of your outdoor pursuits. You may fit more than one of the training styles. However, you should see a pattern that places you in one category over the others. Also, the more personality factors that fit you, the more likely you will be able to adapt to a wider range of training principles.

Let’s take a look at the categories below.

Neuro-type 1A - Low Dopamine & low Acetylcholine

Celebrity types: Teddy Roosevelt, Donald Trump, Angelina Jolie


Very Low Anxiety

Short Temper

Handles Stress Well

Thrill Seeker

Loud, verbal, talkative

Outdoor Pursuits

Big game hunting dangerous animals or treacherous terrain

White water kayaking/rafting

Tend to hunt shorter periods at a time than an all day sit

Elk hunting & Turkey hunting

Big game fishing like Marlin, Salmon, Musky

Training Style

Loves competition

Attracted to Strongman training

High frequency 6-7 days a week

Fewer exercises per workout

Shorter workouts (45 minutes or less)

Neuro-type 1B - Low dopamine & High Acetylcholine

Celebrity types: Johnny Depp, Deadpool, Katy Perry


Comfortable in social settings

Lots of imagination

Risk taker

Doesn’t care what people think of them

Adrenaline junkie

Outdoor pursuits

Fly fishing

Bass fishing

Coyote/Predator hunting

Elk, whitetail & turkey hunting

Backwoods adventures/bushcraft

Training Style

Likes explosive movements

Great natural athlete

Learns a new exercise quickly

Higher training volume than 1A

High training frequency 5-6 days per week

Neuro-type 2A - Low Noradrenaline, High GABA

Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk, Judge Judy, Mark Twain


Thrive on variance

Good at reading other people

Great at solving conflict

Not so great with stress, until they are pushed. Then they become superhuman.

Chameleon personality, fit in with the surrounding crowd

Outdoor Pursuits

Hunting or fishing that involves other people

Ice Fishing

Canoeing/kayaking with others

Hunting waterfowl & upland birds

Small game hunting

Training Style

Needs variety in training

Skill work necessary and needs to practice to become good

When working out they become stronger mentally as well

Prefer bodybuilding routines

Ideal rep range 3-6 on compound lifts & 8-10 on isolation work

Neuro-type 2B - Low Noradrenalin, Low GABA

Tom Hanks, Adele, Spiderman


Loves to be a helper

Needs to feel connected to people

Not the greatest under pressure

Hates crowds


Outdoor Pursuits

Enjoys guiding

Enjoys fishing activities that require you to feel the bite

Likes small game hunting

Outdoor activities that keep you moving

Likes paddling sports

Training Style

Enjoys bodybuilding type routines

Needs to feel the pump

Need the adrenaline rush

Wants to learn the exercise on how it’s supposed to be performed

Likes to research and learn different training styles

Neuro-type 3 - Low Serotonin levels

Bob Ross, Winona Ryder, Howard Hughes



Avoids risk

High anxiety

Does not like critique


Outdoor Pursuits

Doesn’t mind sitting in a tree stand or a blind for long periods

Enjoys painting, creating lures, calls, etc. where they can be creative

Prefers more solo pursuits compared to group activities

Solo kayak/canoe trips

Likes to “tinker” with outdoor gear

Training Style

Is drawn to endurance sports

Does not like variation in training

They want to be a perfectionist

Needs to follow a structured plan

Likes steady state cardio to zone out

Let’s take a look at an example of how to utilize neurotyping to create your workout. We will use the 2A Low Noradrenaline - High GABA personality type for our example. These types do well with variance and for them change is a good thing. They can also handle a higher volume. These individuals do well with parallel weekly workouts. Meaning they can run two different workouts side by side during the week. So, a strength orientated workout two days a week and a speed orientated workout the other two days within the same week would work well for this type of individual. Also, workouts and types of exercises should be changing almost every 6-8 weeks because the 2a type like variance.

Simply put, match your personality to your workouts and even to an extent your outdoor pursuits. By doing so, you are matching the workout you're meant for. All workout programs will work to an extent and don’t forget to work on your weakness as well. If you work only on what you're good at (Neurotype Training) you are going to create functional deficiencies in other areas. This opens yourself up to injury and over time stagnation. Neurotype training should only be seen as a base with other styles as an extension of functional training.

Neurotype training should increase your workout satisfaction and help you make gains in areas that you may have been stuck in the past. I hope this article gives you some ideas to think about in creating your own workout and getting yourself in shape for the new year. Get going with your workouts, hunt, fish and keep on grinding.

-Clint Ward, Oak & Iron Outdoors.

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