Fitness can be a challenge, but with a close-knit community around you, working out is more effective and enjoyable.

Connecting with people who share your goals is an easily overlooked key to achieving those goals.Chris and Annie My wife Annie is a huge example of this principle at work in my life.  Years ago, Annie and I decided that we needed to make a change. Long story short, that decision to change is what led to my career as a fitness trainer. Over my years of training, I’ve realized that having a person or group of people that motivate and inspire you is not so easy to come by, but it’s an indispensable part of your fitness plan.

Accountability

When you have consistent workout buddies, you get accountability built into your routine.DSC_1739 When you know that others will notice your absence from a workout session, you may feel guilty about skipping it, providing an extra push to make it into the gym. Many of my clients exchange phone numbers as they become closer, creating a great community of accountability partners checking in when they have not seen each other in a while. This provides fantastic motivation when life gets in the way or you may have fallen off of the wagon. The social pressure of having a group of workout friends is invaluable.

Inspiration

Working out can be emotionally tough in the moment. You may ask, “Is this difficult for me, or is it just difficult?” Surrounding yourself with others provides a gauge with which you can answer that question. Most of the time, you will find that you are just doing a challenging activity.

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Occasionally, you will find that you are not quite on par with those around you – and that is fine, because you can take that knowledge and use it as inspiration. In a short while, you will find yourself providing that same inspiration for someone new to fitness. There are also times when my clients actively encourage each other through cheering each other on or helping them with their form. As the community grows, everyone becomes a coach for each other, making the training that much better for all parties involved.

Fun!

All of these are great benefits. But the best part of having consistent workout buddies is that it makes fitness fun. Working out with others creates an atmosphere that combines social interaction with healthy intent. Whether you’re sharing a laugh mid workout or cheering someone on at the end of their set, you’re doing more than just slogging away. You’re building relationships. 

Maintaining a fit lifestyle can seem monotonous, but when there are others involved it makes your effort about more than just the workout. You’re not just there because you know you should. You’re there because you want to be.

BASECAMP: Fitness In Community

I believe in the importance of community workouts so much, I built the small group training format I utilize for BASECAMP with community at its core. BASECAMP gives you the chance to make connections with others who share your desire to get fit. I have seen unprecedented success among those who connect with others in small group training sessions. One-on-one training can be monotonous, and large format fitness classes can lack intimacy. BASECAMP’s small group format is the sweet spot for getting the most from your time at the gym.

Chris Swindell is a NASM certified personal trainer and creator of the BASECAMP small group training program at First Ascent.