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Skipped your workout — again? An accountability group or partner can help you meet your fitness goals.

Wellness accountability partners help each other set and maintain goals for diet, exercise and overall well-being. The premise is that knowing someone else is watching you — and vice versa — raises the bar and makes it more difficult to slack off on, say, eating healthfully or working out. Knowing that someone else is counting on you does the same.

1. You're more like to see a challenge through

For example, where you might normally talk yourself out of a workout, if you’ve planned one with a partner, “it’s no longer just about me,” says BodyShock client Sarah Reeves. “I know that if I put off my workout, I’m going to let someone else down.” In fact, if your group is less than 6 members, the price per person goes up with every member that doesn't show! (Sorry, but we have a business to run...)

Sticking to workouts might be even more important now, with much of the country still in the throes of the pandemic. “We’re dealing with a virus that attacks the lungs,” says Gerardo Lambert, a fitness professional and the creator of the BodyShock HIIT workouts. “Exercise means deep breathing, which means more durable, resistant lungs.”

2. It will help shift your mindset

But getting back to a healthy routine doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch. “This has been a traumatic period for humans everywhere,” Gerardo says. “The loneliness, isolation and lack of connection is not business as usual.” An accountability partner, offers a way for people to connect despite the isolation.

3. You'll see results faster

Although it makes sense if your goals and your partner’s goals align, experts caution that you probably shouldn’t be too similar in terms of where you are on the wellness map. Wherever you are now, is not going to get you to the next level, look for someone who has already achieved a greater level of fitness than you, even if that person’s six-pack has gotten a little soft recently. Someone who’s gone through it, who understands the process of losing weight and getting in shape is going to better understand what you’re going through.

But it’s demotivating when the person is far more advanced and the gap is too great. If you’re running three miles and they’re running 13, you might not feel like you’ve accomplished very much.

Look for someone you can trust will show up, just as that person has to be able to count on you to do the same. And try to find someone who will give you the just-right combination of support and tough love. That means finding someone who will be a cheerleader and also “kick your a--.”

It’s a delicate balance. You’re here to support each other, not judge each other’s mistakes. If the stakes are too high, or one person is dominant, the partnership isn’t going to be much fun. It’s about support, support, love and support. With some tough love along the way. Find people who need your help just as much as you need theirs, and with whom you genuinely enjoy spending time — even if it’s virtual time.

4. You'll have someone to pop a cork with

Celebrating that deadlift personal best you smashed out last night or the BMI win you’ve been chasing for months? We’re all about high-fiving small milestones and it's much easier to share your happiness with someone who can fully comprehend just how far you've come.


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