8 Colors in action

Physical therapists and fitness trainers find the program useful as a guide to best work with their clients. Ligia Carvalho, a certified personal trainer in Atlanta, often gives the 8 Colors test to clients she can’t quite figure out. One client, a middle-aged man, had a detached attitude during workouts. “He never wanted any compliments on his form, and if I started to chat, there would be silence,” she says. When Ligia gave him the 8 Colors test, she learned he was a “blue” – economical with language, steadfast and self-assured. It was a revelation. Now she sees his demeanor as a natural response, given his color type, without worrying they are having a personality conflict she says.

The program has helped Ligia mold personalized routines for others, too. One client who tested as a “red” likes spontaneity and fast-paced, playful, forever-changing routines. Jokes Ligia, “I practically need to have a circus going on for her to get through the workout!”

Physical therapists have found the 8 Colors test can provide a simple way to understand a patient’s innate tendencies and build rapport. “It can’t be used in isolation or replace a thorough clinical evaluation, but it’s another piece of the puzzle to maximize fitness and function,” says Julie Adams, a physical therapist and the supervisor of Rehabilitation and Outpatient Services at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt. Adams works with chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis and neuromuscular-disorder patients. The 8 Colors test gives her more insight to develop effective programs for patients.

She recalls a patient who needed to stretch but had not been following through with her home-based program. After the patient completed Brue’s test, Adams discovered that the young woman was much more people-oriented and needed a social environment to jazz her up. So, Adams advised the patient to find a location where she could be around others when she did her exercises, but not necessarily in a class. The young woman joined the local YMCA, made a plan to go the same time every day so she could see the same people. She has been successful with her stretching program ever since, Adams says.