Understanding Your Exercise Approach with The 8 Colors of Fitness

The 8 Colors of Fitness program was developed to help you understand the ways your mind and body respond to exercising. Other exercise programs may start with a fitness plan and don’t consider your unique requirements. With this program, you start by understanding your fitness personality. After you take the quiz, read about how your color approaches working out and ideas about how you can stay focused and motivated while working toward achieving your goals.


Blues prefer keeping their exercise plans plain, simple, and easy to execute. Keeping commitments to themselves ranks high with Blues. Blues are highly sensitized and aware of their bodies and thus are careful not to over-do. Blues are motivated by keeping track of their workouts. What better way to measure progress and verify an accomplishment than by writing it down and seeing the data? Record-keeping allows Blues to refer to their progress in an orderly manner that resonates with their “true blue” nature. Date, time, distance, sets, reps, results—all details are noted.

Blues seek calm and familiar environments that allow them to focus on the task at hand. Blues typically have outstanding powers of concentration and are adept at creating their own space, even inside a busy fitness center. They might do so by reading or listening to music or books on tape. Many Blues have said that while engaged in repetitious cardio activities, they maintain their energy by chanting or singing to themselves, or by reciting personal mantras.


Golds prefer keeping their exercise plans plain, simple, and easy to execute. Golds typically decide in advance what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to measure a workout—perhaps based on time or distance. Golds are highly sensitized to their bodies. Correct form and proper technique are essential for results and to avoid injury. When learning something new, Golds prefer the step-by-step approach. For instance, in learning a free-weight routine, Golds prefer to learn the proper technique for developing one muscle group to their satisfaction before going on to the next. Once a technique is locked into their memory, they’re ready to move on to the next, but not until then.

They easily connect with people and enjoy interacting with others at the gym, as long as the interaction is compatible with getting the job of exercise done. Proud of what they do, many Golds enjoy sharing their exercise successes with others. Golds enjoy mixing a bit of social interaction into their exercise routine and want an upbeat environment – but they nevertheless make the purpose of the activity clear and avoid socializing that runs counter to their goals.


Whites are comfortable with the familiar; once they’ve made their plan to include regular physical activity in their routine, it becomes a cherished part of their life. It doesn’t slip out easily but is challenged when their routine is disrupted by travel, moving to another city, or other significant events. Disciplined and independent, Whites are self-organized and attracted to physical exercise they can structure at their own pace. Much thought goes into each element of a White’s exercise program—and a program it is, complete with categories for cardio, strength, and flexibility – and even classifications such as social, light, moderate, and intense.

At times they may enjoy being accountable to a fitness trainer, as long as they’ve had a role in directing the activity. Whites seek comfort and familiarity in their exercise environments. Whites require orderly environments for exercise, which provide the necessary calm for them to relax and receive the mental benefits of exercise as well as the physical.


Purples are in a constant quest for increased competence and self-improvement, and they strive to be disciplined in making a place and time for regular exercise. Purples envision a fairly firm routine, become comforted by it and take pleasure in completing their plan, even when they modify it slightly. Then, with confidence and independence as trademarks of their personality, they trust their own ability to devise the program, complete with categories such as cardio, strength, and flexibility.

As natural planners, Purples will easily pack their gym bag to prepare for their personal needs before and after their workout. They take advantage and enjoy the amenities of a well-appointed club—all part of the routine. Purples are energized by exercising with people around them without necessarily interacting with them. Too much interaction requires energy and takes them out of that sought-after mental zone.


For Greens, incorporating a regimented training program into their lives is unlikely without a specific purpose—such as getting in shape to fully enjoy a favorite outdoor activity, or achieving a prized goal, like being part of a climbing or backpacking expedition. In these cases, Greens will use gyms and equipment to increase their stamina for an important outdoor challenge. Interestingly, Green women gravitate toward Pilates because they see concrete results from it. When they are training for a specific challenge, Greens have clear-cut objectives. Many Greens say that the preparation process —including assembling the gear, analyzing risks, or preparing for climatic changes—is interesting and exhilarating. A fitness center or trainer who could provide information relating to these training goals would add value.

Greens have a significant preference for training by themselves. Training alone minimizes the need for coordination and advance planning with other people, allowing them to catch the moment as it arises. It speaks to the casual and flexible world that Greens prefer.


Reds are drawn to fast-paced activities that involve speed and thrills and that demand quick reflexes—such as basketball or tennis. Reds are fully engaged in the moment. Their personalities are casual and spontaneous. They prefer to go with the flow and stay open to opportunities as they arise. For Reds, “be prepared” is not a simple maxim; it’s a way of life. The trunk of their cars may look like a sports-equipment swap meet. Goal-oriented, Reds are hands-on people who enjoy frequent short-term victories and intermittent competitions. Reds typically find exercise itself to be tedious. Reframing exercise as “training” is much more effective. Training to stay in shape for a sport or goal provides a focus that helps Reds push through an otherwise boring routine. And, of course, everything is more fun with other people.

Playful, enthusiastic, and people-focused, Reds enjoy interacting with people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures and have a knack for stimulating others to enjoy themselves. Solitary, indoor, routine exercise alone is too confining for Reds. If they must exercise alone, they’ll watch TV or listen to their favorite music on their iPods to keep themselves going.


Though Saffrons like being physically active, routines and schedules that limit their flexibility soon become burdens that inhibit rather than encourage physical activity. For Saffrons, every step in preparation to exercise is another opportunity to get off-track, so the fewer decision points between the idea and its execution, the better. Physical pursuits are in fact a great balance to Saffrons’ intensity, providing a cleansing relief from constant inner analysis, debate, and searching. Saffrons are independent and often perfectionists, so they favor activities requiring a high level of performance, especially to avoid boredom in exercise.

Saffrons lean toward outdoor settings for their cardio activities, enjoying the inherent freedom. Although they might go to the gym for some of their cardio, often their gym visits have a particular purpose, like lifting weights, for example. With their attraction to movement and flow, many Saffrons enjoy group fitness classes, if the music is to their liking and it’s fun! Saffrons enjoy exercising alone and with others, as long as the interaction isn’t demanding or confining. 


Silvers find little that doesn’t interest them. They’re quick to see connections and build on ideas. It’s best when taken out of the context of pure exercise and wrapped in the guise of something else, such as a challenge, an adventure, an exploration, or spending time with people. For Silvers with active friends and family, physical activity can become an operating principle in their lives, with positive momentum overpowering any resistance. For Silvers whose interests often pull them in so many directions, many report that regular exercise makes them feel more balanced and in control of their lives.

A stimulating environment, connecting with people around training programs, possibly taking the lead in setting up a training schedule—these can keep a Silver’s interest high. With their busy lives, many Silvers also enjoy exercising alone, finding satisfaction and balance in reflection.