Great, you have decided to make yourself better. You realize you want to look better, feel better and avoid popping pills to keep your blood pressure down. You realized that working out should be part of your life. You are ready to kick start things, head down to your local gym and sign up. But should you?

The Real Reason on whether to join a gym

Talk to just about anyone, and they will give you a ton of reasons on both sides of whether its a good idea to join a gym. Statistics tell us (according to a USA Today article) that 67% of gym memberships go un-used. For several years, i was one of those people. I belonged, paid, but never set foot in a gym. But why?

I think personality type can tell us more about gym membership than anything. And no, I don’t mean, whether you are lazy or not, whether you are a quitter or a finisher, thats not the personality trait I am talking about.

The big personality trait is whether you are an introvert or extrovert. Bare with me as I explain. At one of the companies I worked with, we did a quarterly get together and team building excercise. One of those team buildings was the Myers-Briggs personality trait. But answering various questions, it would slot you into one of 16 buckets. Those 16 buckets can determine how to work with people.

But one of my bosses who was well versed in Myers-Briggs explained the major difference between an Introvert and and Extrovert. He was explaining how I was extremely introverted, even though, I like to talk a lot. He told me yes, you like to talk, but you don’t gain energy from being around people, it actually take a lot of energy to deal with lots of people. Extroverts gain energy from interactions, while introverts expend energy. As I thought about it more, I agreed with him. I always did great in one on one interactions, but a networking meeting would wear me out. Its why good sales people always seem to be the happiest people in the world, until they don’t have interactions, and they get in funks.

Are you Introverted or Extroverted?

The same can be applied to a gym. In general, being an extrovert, a gym can be a great investment. Being around other people allows you to gain energy and really get a good workout in. But if you are like me, as an introvert, a busy gym just saps my energy.

I know this is anecdotal but for a while, I belonged to a small gym, and when I went to it, I would be the only person there. No front desk, I just had a scan card to use to get me in. I loved it there. I got super strong workouts and accomplished a lot. Working out at home was great as well. But put me in a big corporate gym (24 hour, planet fitness, etc.) my energy gets sapped.

So if you are an extroverted person, yes, go get yourself a gym membership. If you are an introverted person, consider one of the franchise gyms where no one ever goes, or consider working out at home.

In fact, for less than a years membership fees, you can have a home gym that will last you years. Here is an example below which would be everything you could possibly need in your first year and beyond.

You can take your Myers Briggs test here, leave a comment below what your personality trait is. Depending on when I take the test, I am either and  ISTP or an INTP.