Your neurological profile determines the way you act, think, and connect with others and the world around you. While there are many things that make you, you, the role of chemical messengers in your brain – called neurotransmitters – is massive.
We can have balanced neurotransmitters, deficiencies in some, and dominance in others. All of it affects the way we think and act.
There are roughly a hundred different neurotransmitters, there are four key profiles which shed light on our health and fitness. Popularised by Eric Braverman and Charles Poliquin, these four profiles can help us better understand the psychology of clients.
Dopamine: Dopamine dominance makes up roughly 17% of the population. These are the people who are strong-willed, rational, and quick decision makers. They are generally high achievers and have a high work capacity. In excess, dopamine may lead to risk-taking behaviours. For these clients, high intensity and variety are key. You will not need to question whether they are giving their all, but you may need to protect them from burning out and support their stress management.
Acetyl Choline: Quick thinking, analytical, grounded and caring. These people make up another 17% of the population and respond best to variety in their training. When given too much volume, they’re the most susceptible to burning out. Alternating between volume and intensity suits this type best. In excess, acetylcholine can lead to anxiety and poor self-care.
GABA: Making up almost 50% of the population, these people are consistent, dependable, organised and compassionate. They generally like stability and perfecting their routine. While GABA types don’t often find themselves in a gym, when they do, alternating between volume and intensity, and giving them enough time to master their exercises works well. This type needs you to coach them and help them find motivation. In excess, GABA types may overextend themselves for others and become too caught up in other’s approval.
Serotonin: The lucky last 17% of the population. These people are the life of the party, living in the moment and trying new things. Thriving on change, serotonin types generally find themselves attracted to new hobbies, sports, and classes, rather than the structure of a training program. When they do wander into the gym, variety, and fun is key! The workouts must deliver an experience for them! Too much of a good a thing (in this case, serotonin) can lead to distractedness, sadness, and chronic fear of being disliked.
By identifying your client’s dominant and deficient neurotransmitter types you will be able to structure the plan, training, and experience to their natural tendencies, setting them up for success before you even start!
Yours in health,
Jake Doleschal / Clean Health Fitness Institute Senior Coach
Clean Health Fitness Institute
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