Carl Jung was a famous psychiatrist and apprentice to creepy old Sigmund Freud. His work on personality archetypes is well documented and is used today by psychiatrists to manage trauma. The twelve archetypes are shown here; they all link together with core desires and personal goals.
You see the archetypes everywhere: relationships, the office, sports teams and even the gym. They are impossible to escape.
You know them; you probably are one of them. The fitness archetype, though not on the chart, is a creature of habitual movement patterns and methodologies to feed the ego, self and soul. Now don't worry these things are fairly normal. Our archetypes tend to fall into the nurture category of selection. Do you believe we have the free will to create our own identity? Or is it based on the people you chose to follow and even emulate? You chose the methodologies because of the group's values you adhere to most. Yogi's, hand-balancers, and bodybuilders all have different values in regards to nutrition, emotions and morality of goal accomplishment.
This article isn't to tear down one or the other—by now your training background is most likely set, and for me to sit here and tear down every negative antiquated archetype for you to seek another shinier new methodologies of training isn't productive. And it is not the Melo way. Melo's job is to provide information to you on potential ways to improve your own training, add diversity into your practice to become a more effective and complete human being. Because whether you're an endurance runner, a true gym bro, or a class purist, there is always space to grow.
Ask any trainer—no program is perfect. No training plan isn't without obstacles. The idea here is to allow a greater opportunity to remove those obstacles with variety.
So which fitness archetype are you?
The spiritual archetype?
Are you a spiritual sage floating around the gym with your hemp bag and namaste tattoos. You practise yoga four or five times a week and believe that yoga solves all despite the fact with all that range of motion, you are quite possibly lacking in strength. Neck, shoulder and back injuries are common in Yoga and the more time you spend in downward dog is not going to change the fact that your upper traps are tight and overactive, consciously pulling your shoulders away from your ears is not going to prevent the involuntary action of that overactive muscle. Most yoga injuries are avoidable by strengthening your posterior chain through weight training and relearning motor patterns that have altered and become dysfunctional over time.
Yoga is a great tool for movement quality and flexibility in a world of stiffness and chronic back and shoulder pain. However, if you're a Yogi, I beg you not to neglect strength as if it is a dirty word for the stringer vest and barbell crew.
Strength is for everyone.
The little brother archetype?
The little brother complex is obvious; you see them gathering around the bench press on international chest day, praying to the altar of pigeonless chests. The little bro is that guy always trying to emulate someone else's lifestyle and someone else's body. They are willing to risk it all with performance enhancers to achieve an ideal version of themselves that they believe will guarantee them “the filtered life”, the Instagram delusion of acceptance. Ironically getting to look a certain way, muscle-bound and shiny, only attracts women of a similar ilk, thus literally pigeon-holing them into to dating a certain type of women.
As a training methodology, most little bros forget the other half of their bodies: they ignore the posterior chain as the fundamental most important aspect of the human body. Not only do most women consider the glutes the most attractive part of a man's body, but the increased performance, strength, reduction in injuries gained by training this part of the body as well as the upper body make putting in the work a no brainer.
Glute work might actually grab you the girl of your dreams, no longer competing with big bro.
The scientist archetype?
The scientist is the overthinker and conversely the underachiever. The scientist considers all the parameters from toe angle's in lunges to nutrition timing, the list goes on and on. The Scientist has become so consumed with data and analysis that the true sense of action never occurs as they count calories, percentages, the direction of the fucking wind to achieve a fitness standard.
Perfect is the enemy of good. In a world where correct knowledge is lacking, you are commended but not at the detriment of your own progress.
Train outside of your comfort zone.