Being a huge fan and believer in personality assessments, I have tried a lot. Interesting, and I bet you can guess, they are all relatable to your workout habits. And what is a workout habit if not your workout personality.

Here I am going to share with you Gretchen Rubin’s “The Four Tendencies”. I am going to explain, to the best of my ability, what they are and how knowing them can help your workout habit.

If you keep reading you will see that I have also discussed Meyers-Briggs and Enneagram personality assessments as they relate to exercise. There is a lot of information here, dive in!

The Four Tendencies

As I mentioned, I have always been extremely fascinated with personality quizzes and knowing more about why people act the way they do. My sisters have recently introduced me to something called the Four Tendencies. Created by Gretchen Rubin, an observer in human nature. Read more about her at The Four Tendencies look to answer one question “How do I respond to expectations?”.

These expectations can be outer or inner. Outer would be a task your boss has assigned you or a rule you are expected to follow. Inner would be any goals or habits you set for yourself, that you have to hold yourself accountable for. Pending on how your approach these expectations puts you in one of the Four Tendencies.

The Four Tendencies are an Upholder, an Obliger, a Questioner, and a Rebel. This really got me thinking. How can your tendency affect the way you approach your health? With the help from her website, I am going to dive into each of Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies and how they can affect the way you work out, form healthy habits, and motivate yourself.


Upholders are able to meet outer and inner expectations. All about to-do lists and schedules, Upholders want to have these expectations so they can meet them. Upholders often have perfectionist tendencies in which they hate to mistakes. Upholders want structure, schedules, and rules but are lost without them! (For those of you who know me, you guessed it. This is mine!)

Based on this description, it would seem fairly easy for Upholders to keep healthy habits. Whether this is someone else telling them or creating the habits themselves. If you find yourself as an upholder this would mean that you just need to set the expectation that this is something you have to do in your day!


Similar to the upholder, the Obliger can meet deadlines given to them. However, the biggest difference is that the Obliger struggles to meet internal goals. A New Year’s resolution is not something that would really motivate this tendency type. A person in this category would do anything to help others meet their needs, but would struggle to fulfill their own.

Gretchin Rubin describes them as having a “need for accountability”. So pertaining this to exercise, an Obliger would need that outside motivation from a trainer, a workout partner, or even an app that tracks their habits.

She does also remind Obligers that they need to take care of themselves and be okay with saying no sometimes! But for the habits that they really want to form they should seek someone to hold them accountable (maybe one of us trainers here at Pure Fitness😊).


As the name implies, a questioner needs to have all their questions answered in order to commit to something. They need to understand why they are doing a task before fully engaging in it. If it feels like it will benefit them in the end, they will do it!

If you find yourself in this category, then research healthy habits and workouts. As your trainer or local dietician the whys to get more insight. Ask “why is this particular vegetable great for me” or “what is this exercise targeting and how can it benefit me” to figure out the importance of each task. 

Questioners are strategic and think things through for every action. So it is super important that you understand just how beneficial creating healthy habits and exercising can help your for not only now, but your future self!


Last but not least, the Rebel. Another pretty self-explanatory one. Rebels do not want to be bound to restrictions, rules, or schedules. They do what they want, when they want to do it. Often times when others want they to do something, it makes them want to refuse it all the more.

When it comes to a Rebel trying to create an exercise routine or habit, it can be helpful for them to think of it as a part of their identity. If they feel it is something that is a part of them and sets them apart from the average person, it can help make it a habit.

A Rebel can be hard to tie down, but if their identity is in the realm of the habit they are trying to create they will be successful!


A lot of people are familiar with personality tests like the Meyers-Briggs, but I like this one because it is so applicable to our every day lives. We all struggle to form healthy habits so finding some insight into why we have these tendencies can help break up the bad habit cycle! Check out my article on using Meyers-Briggs to determine your next workout and find out more about your workout personality.

And if you really want to go down this rabbit’s hole then check out my (favorite) post on the Enneagram Personality Test. I kid you not when I say the accuracy will be surprising. Scary surprising. If you check out all of these you should start to see some consistency develop in your workout personality and habits. Apply what you learn to enjoy your workouts more and more every time!

I am not the expert on the Four Tendencies. All information here today was based upon “The Four Tendencies” book written by Gretchen Rubin. To Find out more about what tendency you are and what steps to taken next follow the link here.

You can buy her book here.

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