Building a Fitness Accountability Group

Are fitness groupyou new to working out?  Visiting the site for motivation and pointers?  Having trouble sticking to your new plan?  If so this article is for you!  

How can we find ways to maintain fitness? Are there cost effective strategies to insure we keep fitness a priority in our lives? I recently polled a number of individuals and asked what motivates them to hire a trainer and go to the gym? By far, the answer was accountability. They stated they were motivated because they are paying a trainer who expects them to show up. That made a lot of sense to me. When I was working to get back in shape a trainer wasn't in the budget, but I always went to classes at my local gym. I got to know many of the people in class, as well as the instructor, and when I didn't show up everyone noticed. That motivated me to keep going.

This begs the question, what strategies, other than just hiring a personal trainer, can you implement to help you stay motivated? My suggestion is to form a fitness accountability group. An accountability group is a group of people who serve to motivate you and hold you accountable for your time and effort. This idea can be adapted to any goal or profession.

Here are the steps to developing a successful accountability group.

1) Identify other individuals who might benefit from, or be interested in, joining the accountability group: Who has similar fitness interests as you do? Think outside the box and invite neighbors, members of local groups with which you are associated, people from work who share your schedule, friends, Facebook contacts who live nearby, people you meet at social activities, teachers, and family members.  This is a perfect opportunity to continue to strengthen the Men’s Physique Brotherhood amongst Fellow Athletes.

2) Contact a handful of people and present the idea: If you are worried about competing against your buddy, this can be tough. Keep this in mind as you go: The best way to make friends is by bringing people together; some of the most fulfilling experiences in life come from making friends. Pulling a group together can not only help you stay fit, but can also build lasting relationships. People like to be around motivated individuals, so put your goals out there for others. The simple fact of you saying, “I care enough to do this, and I'd like you to join me,” might be enough to encourage people to participate.

3) Come together: Set up a time to meet and establish the group's goals. Have each person identify their personal fitness interests and goals, and come prepared with a list of ideas on how to get in shape. Pick a few activities that work for the majority of the group and develop an implementation plan.

4) Put together a schedule: Decide how often the group will meet. Assign each member a time when they are in charge of planning a fitness event. That member is responsible for arranging logistics, and sending out the event details as the date draws near. 

5) Establish an online forum to hold each other accountable: One of the most motivating things in my fitness world is an online Facebook group of like-minded fitness people who post regularly. Although there are days when my inbox fills up with their messages, they are always inspiring. Encourage members to post their workouts and other thoughts that help motivate people in the group. This is also a great way to pose fitness questions, generate dialogue, and share information.

6) Plan time for fun! Bring the group together from time to time outside of your planned fitness activities. Remember, this group should serve not only to keep you accountable, but also to motivate you to do your best. Consider signing your group up for local, fitness-related charity events or volunteer activities. Perhaps if your group is made up of MP competitors you could attend a bodybuilding show that isn’t featuring the MP division?

Remember, there are a lot of ways to get in shape and stay there! Going to the gym with a trainer is one, but try and think outside the box on ways you can stay motivated and be held accountable. Most important, remember that what you do every day is more important than what you do occasionally, so incorporating fitness motivation and accountability on a daily basis will go a long way toward successfully meeting your goals.


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