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Off Road 03-16-2012 08:15 AM

Introverts and Extroverts
As you all know, I like reading Brooks' blog. Today's was interesting and I thought it could bring out some good discussion. In it he wrote:


Originally Posted by Brooks Kubik
What's the difference between an introvert and an

Well, if we can generalize, here are some of them:

Introverts like solitude.

Extroverts like being around other people.

Introverts like quiet.

Extroverts like noise.

Introverts THINK.

Extroverts ACT.

Introverts often feel "overwhelmed" if they are in a
place or a situation where there is too much going
on -- too much happening -- too many things to stimulate
their senses.

Extroverts feel BORED unless they are in a place
or a situation where there is lots of action, lots
going on, and lots of things to stimulate their senses


Originally Posted by Brooks Kubik
1. Is it possible that training programs that work great
for an introvert might not work as well for an extrovert?

2. Is it possible that extroverts should find training
partners who will challenge them to do better?

3. Is it possible that introverts do best if they follow
the same workout for a long period of time -- and extroverts
do best if they change their program relatively often?

4. Is it possible that some trainees do better when they
train in a gym -- and others do better when they train in
the solitude of their garage or basement?

5. If you're a coach, a gym owner or a personal trainer,
should you change your style depending on the trainee's level
of introversion and extroversion?

6. Are there set/rep systems and progression systems that are
better for introverts than for extroverts -- and vice-versa?

7. When you think of people in the Iron Game whom you admire,
are they introverts or extroverts -- and which are you?

The whole post can be found at: Dinosaur Training

bamazav 03-16-2012 08:22 AM

Interesting thoughts. I am introverted and do prefer to train alone with routines that allow me to do so. While I haven't thought through differences in coaching/trianing style when training introverts and extroverts. I do treat them both differently in my approach. I tend to deal with extroverts more in a group, the introverts in private.

BendtheBar 03-16-2012 08:40 AM


1. Is it possible that training programs that work great
for an introvert might not work as well for an extrovert?

One of the thoughts that can to mind reading this was regarding focus. We all know some of this is generalization, but if an extrovert prefers action over thinking them perhaps a workout that is more challenging set by set as opposed to workout by workout might be a better option.

This meaning pushing on every set for AMAP versus methodically adding weight each week. Obviously speculating here...

Off Road 03-16-2012 09:30 AM

I wonder about rep ranges and programming...

20 rep squats are more mental than anything else. I wonder if introverts have better focus over a longer period to do well at these higher rep ranges. Where as extroverts would be more likely to hit heavy low reps and move on to something else.

Programming? I'd think introverts would be drawn to programs like 531 or Christy's that have a slow progression with a few well chosen exercises that don't change often. While extroverts may be drawn to Westide or Split Training where they get to rotate lifts a lot and tinker often.

MC 03-16-2012 09:59 AM

I've taken the Myers Briggs several times. I come out as an extrovert, but my extrovert/introvert split is very close.

I really have moments where I am far more introverted.

bruteforce 03-16-2012 10:37 AM

The Myres Briggs test is a playground for driving people insane. I know I'm not unique in this, but I have two basic modes, one introvert and one extrovert. When I am working on technical, mathematical, or analytic problems, I score very high on the introvert scale. If I have been talking with friends recently, very high extrovert. I'm not saying Myres Briggs should be done away with (though a few psychologists I know think so), but it really depends on the mood you're in when you take it.

But back onto the original theory, I think personality plays a big role in training. If you are an extrovert and like to train in groups, you don't want to wait for your buddies to finish a 20 rep squat while you watch.

Tannhauser 03-16-2012 12:13 PM

I'm not up to speed with the current thinking on this, but some have suggested a biological basis for introversion-extraversion. It's been suggested that introverts have a higher resting level of sympathetic nervous system arousal. This is why they need down time and quiet - they are already close to their optimum without any extra stimulation. By contrast, the extravert has low resting arousal, so he's always looking for stimulation to push him up to the optimum.

One bit of evidence for this is that extraverts tend to have higher pain thresholds than introverts. The extravert's whole nervous system just isn't as responsive.

Taking the argument to the extreme, it's been suggested that psychopaths may have ultra-low levels of arousal. When you and I were little, we learned moral rules because when we did something wrong, we got an angry parent on our case - too much stimulation. But for a psychopath, that same lsituation isn't stressfu and aversivel, it's mildly pleasant. They welcome the extra stimulation. As a consequence, they just don't go through the same conditioning process that other people do.

5kgLifter 03-16-2012 12:48 PM

I don't think whether a person is more of an introvert or an extrovert really has any bearing on how well they perform with certain routines; it just means that an introvert will accomplish the routine alone, or possibly with quiter people whilst an extrovert will be doing the same routine in noiser surroundings (even if that only mean having the radio blaring out) with more outgoing people as their spotters etc.

I'm an introvert but that wouldn't mean that I would change a set-up to supposedly suit that characteristic.

Off Road 03-16-2012 03:02 PM

I am an extreme introvert.

I like to workout alone in my garage.
I like abbreviated routines.
I like moderate to high reps.
I like consitant and predictable progress.
I like silence; No talking, music or interuptions.
I have to take a nap every day to mentally re-charge.
I don't last long in crowded and busy environments.
Yet, I am a sociable, friendly, and not at all shy...people often confuse shyness and introvertism (is that a word?).

BendtheBar 03-16-2012 04:55 PM

Here's my deal:

I am an introvert.

I like to workout alone.
I like limited exercises and workouts that get to the point.
I like very low reps reps.
I am obsessed about progress.
I like music that wakes the dead, but no interruptions. Outside the gym my music tastes are subdued.
I can work 20 hours a day on no sleep.
I don't last long in crowded and busy environments. I want to hurt people. Unless it's a bar and I am drinking.
I am very sociable, friendly, and not at all shy.

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