FIVE CONSTITUTIONAL TYPES
There is no doubt that people are the same in many ways, but we are also very different in other ways. Everybody is wired to respond differently to a given stimulus. Often, when you meet someone new, you notice how similar or how different they are to you, or maybe to someone you know. I learned about the five elements through Dr. Mark Dana Mincolla’s book “Maximum
Healing”. It shows how Eastern medicine and herbology correlate strongly with the five physical types described in Chinese medicine. Identifying and working with these five constitutional types can guide us on how to train, eat, and support our bodies with nutrients to prevent disease. The five elements are identified as wood, fire, earth, water and metal.
People who are wood types are classified as pioneers and are known for planning and strategizing. They are constantly pushing themselves to the limits, which often is their achilles heel. In regards to training this type, it is beneficial to program a “de-load” workout every third session of a given workout to prevent overtraining. This personality tends to have liver problems and is one to abuse stimulants and sedatives. They enjoy spring time, sour foods and have a physical energy of being nervous. Their mental energy is being sensitive, and emotional energy ranges from kindness to anger. Wood types’ 90 mph attitude and motivation makes them susceptible to overtraining. When training these types, they respond best to a 2 week training cycle with a 1:1 ratio between accumulation and intensification using a 40-50% “de-load” training day for every third time on a workout. Wood types often ask, “Are you sure this is the best training method possible?” They also tend to complete 4-5 reps at 85% of their bench press during an upper body structural balance assessment.
Fire types inspire and are enthusiastic. They are those most gifted in the weight room and have the greatest potential to make gains. These individuals can train at a high intensity and a high volume all the time and not suffer the effect of overtraining. They all have a high percentage of fast twitch fibers and excel in sprinting and anaerobic events. Willpower, confidence and excitement are their most common character traits. Their negative emotion is anger, and they have a short fuse and tend to explode every now and then. They are the ones who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. They enjoy summer, bitter foods and have emotional energies ranging from joy to hatred. Training needs to be low reps at a high intensity and anything above 8 reps is counterproductive. They adapt to exercises extremely quickly, so for continued progress one should switch their training protocol/exercises every 5-7 days. These gifted individuals could easily train 6 days per week as long as long as they changed training implements, modes of contraction and exercise order. Fire types often ask, “Are you sure this is enough for gains to occur?” These are also the people who only complete 1-2 reps at 85% of their bench press during an upper body structural balance assessment.
Earth types possess clarity and have emotional energies of compassion and anxiety. Their favorite season is late summer, and these types tend to have stomach and digestive problems. While training, these types have the greatest potential for hypertrophy (muscle build), but have a hard time tapping into their fast twitch fibers. They are very particular and if something is out of the norm such as lack of sleep, training and everyday stress for that day suffers. Earth types have a difficult time getting lean because they tend to struggle with lowering daily carbohydrate consumption. They have constant cravings and many times cope with food choices. Their greatest gains occur with volume training and tend to respond best with long 3-4 week cycles, alternating a strength endurance cycle completing 12-15 reps with a functional hypertrophy cycle using a 5-8 repetition bracket. When they do too much, their sign of overtraining usually results in a cold or virus. These are the people who complete 7-10 reps at 85% of their bench press during an upper body structural balance assessment. They also thrive on workouts such as German Volume Training (10 sets of 10 reps).
Metal and Water types are hard gainers. These individuals tend to gravitate to forms of exercise such as yoga, meditation, and pilates. They have a hard time putting on healthy lean tissue and a harder time losing fat. Many times they would rather talk and think about different training philosophies, rather than actually training. These types enjoy winter and are susceptible for lung and kidney disease. They tend to crave saltier foods and have emotional energies that range from being calm to being fearful. Metal and water type are those who are always complaining of being overtrained with minimal training.
I highly recommend reading Dr. Mark Dana Mincolla’s book “Maximum Healing.” I summarized what the book revealed, but he goes in detail about nutritional recommendations for each element as well as supplement support. If you are interested in finding out which type you are, please email me and I will send you the assessment that determines this. I will keep your assessment on file and consider it when designing your new routines every month, suggesting nutrients to take as well as a beneficial nutrition plan based on your type.