What's your Neurotype?

Worst pick-up line ever? Or training brilliance? Neurotyping is basically an assessment of your personality that helps figure out your individual neurotransmitter dominance and which traits you possess which dictate what type of training regimen works best for you mentally and physically. Essentially, individualizing training using neurotyping to promote progress, avoid fatigue, maintain motivation, and avoid overload of stress and injuries. Neurotyping was found through an understanding of the neurotransmitters in your brain and what their roles are. Neurotyping is based on the Cloninger Temperament and Character Inventory, which basically compares levels of neurotransmitters with the presence of various personality traits. There are 5 neurotypes: 1A The Warrior, 1B The Athlete, 2A The Passionate, 2B The Artist, and 3 The Thinker.




Your central nervous system and brain chemistry impacts every single thing from how you are motivated, to how much training load you can handle, food that your body will rely on most efficiently, and the types of workouts that will work best for your mind, body, and promote the most progress. This is just another reason why individualized training is necessary for people.


A very interesting component of neurotyping is the relationship between neuroscience and overtraining. For example, overtraining can be defined as too much adrenaline, you have desensitized receptors and stop responding to your own adrenaline. If you are an athlete with a high level of baseline adrenaline and muscle tone (muscles look tense at rest), you must train less volume. On the other hand, if you have naturally lower muscle tone and lower adrenaline, you can tolerate more volume and more frequency.


Warning: if your brain is not ready for this right now, just scroll down to the specific types.


Neuroscience crash course:

Central Nervous System: responsible for motor coordination, and muscle recruitment. It is also responsible for motivation, response to stress, focus, energy expenditure.


Neurotransmitters: chemicals in your brain that are responsibility for communicating with the rest of your body and manage everything including your stress and anxiety, emotions, your memory, how you learn, and your creativity. The following neurotransmitter systems are developed in childhood.

Some types of neurotransmitters:

Dopamine: responsible for motivation, behavior change/responses, self-esteem, resiliency, and your sense of joy.

Serotonin: managing stress and anxiety, sense of well-being, and adapting to change

Acetylcholine: how quickly your brain thinks, motor skill development, recall, learning, creativity, and dealing with stress.

Norepinephrine: responsible for sense of well-being, self-esteem, and pleasure seeking.


Enzymes: molecules that speed up the chemical reaction in a cell.

Two types of enzymes:

-Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT): degrades catecholamines like dopamine and norepinephrine.

-Glutamate decarboxylase or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD): catalyzes the decarboxylation of glutamate to GABA or CO2.


Neurotype 1s


1A & 1B are the novelty-seeking types. They have low dopamine production and sensitive dopamine receptors, which means they can become addicted to the activities that promote that dopamine rush. High adrenaline activities are useful for this type, avoiding boredom, and varied challenges. This type tends to have difficulty with endurance events because of boredom and inability to tolerate large workload. They enjoy learning new things, fast pace, and are outgoing. This is the natural athlete. They like sprinting, high energy contact sports, and do best with coaches who inspire them and allow them to lead without taking a demanding/authoritarian approach.



1A WARRIORS: This type is competitive and intense. They are loud, have a need to be in a leadership role, and have difficulty with authority. They go to great lengths to achieve, and like to do things their way. This person often has high muscle tone if they have high adrenaline all the time. Their muscles might look hard all the time. Defined by intensity and raw power, concentric muscle. High risk of CNS fatigue.


Neurotransmitters profile for 1A:

Dopamine dominant: meaning, they thrive in activities that increase their dopamine.

-Low dopamine: Leads to these individuals to seek out novelty, new and exciting things to stimulate this lack. Effort leads to reward.

-Low serotonin: low capacity for workload, poor adaptability

-Low ACH-does well with intensity, can be less creative.

-High Fast-twitch muscle fiber dominance

-Slow COMT methylation of dopamine and adrenaline: they can’t clear adrenaline or dopamine quickly and therefore they stay high energy for longer and they are running high til they crash. This can make them aggressive, result-oriented, disagreeable, competitive.

-Efficient GAD: this leads to low glutamate-low empathy for others, tries to control others especially when stressed. High GABA-leads to quick recovery from stress or tough workouts. -Externalizes stress, which can be perceived as aggression.

-Requires high carbohydrates to control adrenaline.


Personality traits:

-loud, verbal, talkative

- want to be center of attention

-conflicts with authority

-very confident

-highly competitive and can be a sore loser and winner

-super intense and susceptible to burn out

-does not like to follow the rules

-does things their own way

-likes other people to believe he/she is right

-little patience

-goal oriented

-doesn’t care about what other people think of them

-impulsive and behaves based on emotion

-performs well under pressure

-a risk taker



1B The ATHLETE Speed and Skills. They have very highly developed motor skills and can learn movements very easily. They are also impatient and often get frustrated when things do not move quickly enough. Other people tend to view them as a person who is good at everything. This person will always try again if they fail. Elastic muscular type, needs explosivity to be strong. They might have a softer muscle tone at rest which indicates lower resting adrenaline.


Neurotransmitters profile for 1B:

-Dopamine dominant: meaning, they thrive in activities that increase their dopamine.

-Low dopamine: Leads to these individuals to seek out novelty, new and exciting things to stimulate this lack. Effort leads to reward.

-High serotonin: low capacity for workload, adaptability.

-High ACH-very explosive, adaptability, can be creative, learns easily, problem-solver.

-High fast twitch muscle fibers dominance

*This type of athlete with high ACH & fast twitch dominance is more tendon driven and therefore heavy weight training can inhibit progress.

-Fast acting COMT: clears out dopamine and adrenaline quickly so this person can become very chill before and after a hard effort. This keeps them sensitive to dopamine and adrenaline meaning they can become highly motivated, serotonin levels and ACH levels allow them to respond and adapt well under pressure. This person looks lazy when not engaged in activity that increases adrenaline.

-Breaks down adrenaline quickly and can therefore handle more training stimulus/volume. This keeps adrenaline receptors fresh and allows capacity for more training.



Personality Traits:

-calm the majority of the time but can have explosions then easily calm down.

-enjoys thrills and intensity

-self-confident

-competitive but not the most competitive

-a natural athlete

-speedster: explosive & agile

-little patience

-can multitask well

-goal-oriented

-creative/imaginative

- can quickly vacillate between calm to super active and engaged, and then resume being relaxed.

-Has consideration for others, but doesn’t get easily influenced by what others think of them.

-performs well under pressure

-also a risk taker


Neurotypes 2A & 2B: These type seeks reward. Because of their low norepinephrine levels, they can be naturally depressive and lack motivation. They seek rewards to boost this level in order to improve confidence and sense of well-being. They want to look good in front of other people and hate disappointing others. This is a team player and they are often drawn to team competition. They tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves and can easily choke under pressure when individually competing.


2A PASSIONATE This type can be a people pleaser, typically on the shy side, does not like to make decisions, prefers to stay out of leadership roles, self-esteem is generally lacking. This type does not like to look foolish, because they care so much about what others think. That makes setting big goals difficult. However, despite all this, when they experience a burst of adrenaline, they become more extroverted and confident! This person can handle a lot of training volume and likes variety in the training session.


Neurotype 2A Neurotransmitter profiles:

-Adrenaline Dominant: meaning they seek adrenaline raising activity.

-Low norepinephrine levels: This leads people to seek out rewards to stimulate this lack, such as recognition or “winning.”

-GABA+: needs variety

-Mix of fast and intermediate twitch muscle fiber dominance

-Fast COMT and normal methylation: normal response to dopamine and adrenaline, so they are less lazy than type 1’s at rest, but still get amped up due to high sensitivity to dopamine and adrenaline.

-Low ACH & Low Serotonin means they rely on emotions for performance.

-Higher glutamate and lower serotonin can lead to social anxiety, and need to look good in front of others, low self-esteem due to neurological profile.

-Lower dopamine response, so external factor of recognition and admiration can increase importance of pleasure response and lead to increased motivation.


Personality traits:

-lower self-esteem when not activated

-gets amped up in high adrenaline situations, but can easily choke when overloaded.

-needs to get along with everyone

-a chameleon: often changes personality depending on the people and situation

-cares a lot about what others think of him/her

-needs to save face

-follows the leader, often copies the person who influences them the most

-empathetic, very good at reading people.

-avoids making choices

-a really fun person, people enjoy spending time with this type.

-likes to switch things up, thrives with variation

-needs to feel respected and accepted by others, this is incredibly important to them.

-does not like to feel left out

-procrastinator, but does their best work under pressure


2B ARTIST. Lovers not fighters. Sensation focused, mind-muscle connections, sensitive type. Needs to build physical muscle mass in order to feel strong. Feeling safe is their biggest source of motivation. High empathy.


Neurotype 2s Neurotransmitter profiles:

-Adrenaline Dominant: meaning they seek adrenaline raising activity.

-Low norepinephrine levels: This leads people to seek out rewards to stimulate this lack, such as recognition or “winning.”

-GABA-: seeks sensation

-Mix of intermediate and slow twitch muscle fiber dominance

-High ACH & High Glutamate: creative and emotional, intensity of emotions amplified by glutamate, and it increases memory storage by increasing intensity of an emotion in order to alert the brain to the experience’s importance.

-High serotonin: lacks competitive nature, very relaxed. Difficulty adapting to situations and difficulty with failure.



Personality Traits:

-tends to have lower self-esteem

-empathetic, good at reading people.

-although introverted, still seeks approval and respect of others.

-does better one on one than in group situations.

-super emotional

-falls for people quickly.

-cares about appearance, likes to look good

-fawns over grand gestures

-gives everything they have for their relationships, including love, family, and friendships.

-people pleaser

-tries to avoid disappointing people

-motivated by being loved and admired.

-doesn’t like to try new things as much as they like to do the things they know

-listens to others and is a good helper

-prefers not to take leadership roles

-works the hardest if they think it will lead to respect

-sacrifices their own well-being for the greater good or the good of others

-most likely to choke under pressure


Neurotype 3


Type 3: THINKER Similar to Type 1A. This harm-avoidant type tends to have lower energy and is more often tired due to low serotonin levels. They gravitate toward familiar situations in order to maintain a sense of control, and avoid a sense of punishment. They don’t do well with criticism as it makes them anxious, even when constructive and therefore criticism can impair performance. This is an anxious type and will do whatever they can to avoid injury and undue stress. They tend to prefer repeats, rather than variety in their workouts. They’re very good at keeping routine and staying organized, and following a training plan. This type might be naturally suited for long-distance running. This type internalizes everything and becomes very anxious, overthinkers. Typically takes a more recreational approach to exercise. This type tends to be anxious, introverted, and while smart and thoughtful, can get stuck in their head. Enjoys structure. This type also seeks safety as a source of motivation.


Neurotransmitter profile:

-Serotonin Dominant: meaning they seek activity that increases serotonin

-Low serotonin: This leads the individual to seek repetition, low risk activities, doesn’t do well with change, and avoids engaging in anything that could be unpredictable. They are introverted as a protective factor because they can easily become anxious by external factors.

-High production of cortisol in response to increased anxiety.

-High slow twitch muscle fiber dominance

-Control is of utmost importance. Control of themself and the situation.

-Slow deactivation of dopamine & adrenaline: Leads them to staying higher longer.

-Low ACH-thrives with intensity

-Deficient GAD which poorly converts glutamate to GABA. Because of low GABA and low serotonin, this type is very susceptible to anxiety. High glutamate leads to empathy for others, but low GABA results in poor ability to deal with stress. Could lead to overthinking and poor sleep.

-Requires high carbohydrate to control adrenaline


Personality Traits:

-introverted

-most anxious of the types

-highest level of functioning when following a routine

-thrives with structure

-very practical

-does not do well with change

-does not need novelty or variation, prefers repetition.

-very observant, highly aware

-tends to intellectualize decision making

-quiet, not much of a talker

-tends to be secretive

-cerebral

-does not like excitement, not a thrill seeker

-not likely to try to make new friends

-very focused

-has a great deal of patience.



So….which type are you?


For more information, check out Christian Thibaudeau, the creator of neurotyping, on his website.




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