All roads to lead to Rome. It's the same with fitness. Whatever path you choose, be it lifting kettlebells, running 10Ks, taking ballet classes, or surfing, you'll make some sort of progress. Any exercise makes you fitter, after all.

But while the scenic route to Rome might not be a bad thing—think vineyards, temples, olive groves, and stunning sea views—no one wants to go down the scenic route to fitness. You want to shape up as quickly and effectively as possible! That means making sure your approach to fitness maximizes your character strengths, while giving you some leeway for your weaknesses.

Take a moment to figure out which one of the following fitness personalities you are, and then get yourself on the fast-track road to results.

1. The Champion

You excel at life, and you love coming out on top. Second best just isn't good enough. Because of this, you avoid training methods that might work you more than you can handle. You stick with what you're good at and what you know.


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Grab on girl, it’s time to climb that mountain and give something challenging a try. "Climbing or bouldering is one of the most fun ways to get fit," says Desiree Verbeek, director/climbing instructor of "While rock climbing, you're completely focused on how to use your body to get to the top of a route. Most of the time it feels more like a mental challenge than a physical challenge. But, believe me, the physical effort of figuring out how to climb a particularly difficult piece of rock leaves you fitter and stronger."

When it comes to climbing, it's just you and the rock. "One of the many things I like about climbing is that, unlike a lot of challenging sports, climbing needn't be competitive; there is no winner or loser," Verbeek says. Can't handle heights? Try acrobatics instead. It's extremely challenging and fantastic for building strength.

2. Ms. Sunshine

You're doing just fine. In fact, you're not even sure why you're reading this because, really, you feel good about the way you train. Underneath that contentedness, however, lurks a fear of change. "To be truly fit, it's important to switch things up every now and again," Holmes explains. "Otherwise you're not challenging your body or muscles enough and you'll start to adapt to your workouts." Once that happens, you won't maximize your fat burning.

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Baby steps for you. "If you love your workout routine, don't ditch it," Holmes says. "Exercise should be something you enjoy. If you want change, add something extra. Swap one element for another, or change your method of training." If your routine usually involves 30 minutes of cardio and an hour of weights, add in a few circuit-training sessions per month, too." Circuit training is a great way to surprise your muscles and keep them constantly guessing," Holmes says.

If you've always been focused on aerobic exercise, get going with some flexibility training. "Tai chi and yoga can dramatically help improve your weight training workouts, despite being low impact," he explains. "You'll become better at breathing while lifting and get better balance, not to mention a stronger core." Plus, you'll add a little Zen to your day.

3. Chill Chick

You're so relaxed that life might just pass by without you noticing. You don't feel any pressure to get going. As a result, your fitness suffers. If friends call to ask you to go for a run, you'll go, and if there happens to be a yoga class on when you turn up to the gym, you'll try it. But you never improve much because your self-motivation is lacking.


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Some of us need a gentle push (or a massive kick up the backside) to get going. The good news is that there are plenty of options for butt-kicking training out there. "Bootcamp or circuit-style fitness training is the obvious choice here," says Lisa-Jane Holmes of Wildcat Fitness. "Some people can only really push themselves through that pain barrier if someone is shouting at them to keep going."

Your chill nature means you'd do best to avoid types of training where taking it easy is an option. "Unless you're working with a trainer who'll push you, swimming, stationary cycling, and running aren't recommended to get you closer to your goals," Holmes says. "Spinning classes, treadmill interval classes, and high-powered workout styles where you have to find your inner warrior—like karate, body combat training, or boxing—are ideal."

4. The Resolutionist

When it comes to goals and resolutions, you reign supreme. The trouble is that your aspirations are so lofty that there's no way you'll ever reach them, and so you suffer with a feeling of permanent failure. You start out feeling fantastic but, after a few weeks, your motivation starts to fade, you get bored, and your progress slows dramatically. A while after that, you give up only to start thinking of another resolution you can fall short with.

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It's time to micro-manage. "Don't give up your resolutions,” Holmes explains. "Instead, break them down into much smaller parts and quick wins." If your goal is to run a 10K, be aware how easy it is to get bored and give yourself micro-goals. It's also important to change your method frequently.

"Cross-training is a good way to keep interest levels higher, as are sprint intervals, which only take 15-20 minutes," he says. It's important to achieve smaller goals along the way and not just focus on the end game. "You should also sign up for shorter races so that you can feed your ego while you're working towards the big goal."

Start with a 5K and work your way up to a full marathon to keep yourself from getting side tracked.

5. The Opportunist

You think you're flexible and easygoing but, in reality, you just can't commit to anything. So you try a couple of yoga classes and then find reasons not to go. Or you get all your running gear ready but then fail to show up in the park, and you won't sign up to a gym because you've convinced yourself you can get fit elsewhere. Except, of course, you don't.

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What if your rewards could go beyond the physical? Turns out, it can. "I love," says Holmes. "It connects with most popular fitness apps to track your daily activity. The more you move, the more you earn. Your points can be rewarded for free fitness classes, discounts on popular active wear brands, healthy food and beauty products."

Or think about a membership scheme like ClassPass. "ClassPass is perfect for commitment-phobes," Holmes says. "It allows you to try a variety of classes, gyms, and workouts without the hefty annual membership fees."

So if you fancy yoga one day and spinning the next, and you want a chance to check out brand-new studios you've never even heard of, then ClassPass will deliver. "It was actually made for people who can't make up their mind," Holmes says. "Not only will you get fitter by trying more new things, but it will hold your attention levels, too!"

6. List Addict

You get semi-orgasmic when you've crossed off everything on a to-do list. The problem is that you're so focused on making new lists and crossing things off that your fitness suffers.


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You need to incorporate your fitness into your day-to-day life. Walking or cycling to work is one way, but there are plenty of more innovative ways to do it. "The new trend for treadmill desks is perfect for born organizers," Holmes says. "These set-ups allow you to walk or jog while you read or write on your laptop, which is on a stand above the treadmill."

There's the Gamercize PC-Sport, which is like a mini elliptical machine that allows you to workout at your desk. There's also The Resistance Chair that allows you to do resistance training while watching TV. Finally, there's a dumbbell alarm clock that makes you do 30 reps before it'll turn off. Now, that's what we call multi-tasking.

About the Author

Train Magazine

Siski Green

Authoritative exercise and eating plans direct from the world’s top trainers, professional athletes, and movie stars.

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