When you have a new baby, people say “It takes a village.” but I think everything in life is easier when you have a support system. And, that includes health and fitness. It’s a lot easier to stay motivated on hard days when someone else is counting on you. Likewise, you can help keep someone else motivated on their hard days. In today’s post, I’m sharing 5 tips to find a good workout and accountability partner!
Find a Workout Partner With Similar Intensity
Everyone is on their own unique journey toward a healthier and leaner body. And, depending on whether you’re just starting out or whether you’ve been doing this for decades, that might influence who your workout partner is.
But, more importantly, it’s important to find someone with a similar intensity level. What I mean by that is that some of us will be striving to enter fitness competitions while some of us know that we aren’t meant to become a bikini model at 49 years old. Some of us will feel great working out three times a week while others might not be satisfied unless they work out 5-6 times a week!
The quantity doesn’t matter as much as how much your lifestyles mesh.
If you strive to have zero cheat meals then you don’t want an accountability partner who allows 4 cheat meals a month. You may end up discouraging one another.
Find someone who has a similar outlook for the lifestyle, is striving to lose or maintain weight at a similar pace, and is striving for similar (but not necessarily identical) outcomes.
Find an Accountability Partner Who Supports You and Who Is Easy to Support
You need to know yourself to know if you want to be around someone who will say “You shouldn’t eat that.” or someone who says “Have one or two, then put it away.” or similar. Just like with everything, some people will be judgmental and might think you need “tough love.” Not everyone responds well to that type of drill sergeant type “encouragement,” though.
On the other hand, if your workout partner is not staying on course and you’re finding that you’re constantly trying to encourage them, it can drain your energy and might discourage YOU!
The benefit of a workout or accountability partner is that it helps keep you motivated and you can help someone else. If one of you is constantly pulling more weight (pun intended) that might not be a good match. You want someone who is non-judgmental but will remind you of your goals when you need it. This is the person who might ask you “how many steps do you have today?” A simple question that will help you keep your eye on your goals.
Find Someone Accessible
If your workout partner is very busy, doesn’t look at their phone, or checks their e-mail, it might not be the best fit. If you can’t get a hold of them but once a week, it might not be the best fit. Although you don’t necessarily have to talk to your workout partner daily, several times a week is usually a good idea. After all, if you’re not “checking in,” then you’re not providing the accountability you or they might need.
The purpose of a workout partner is to make sure you’re keeping up with your workouts. An accountability partner can also make sure you’re staying on course with your calorie intake. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s mandatory to burn more calories than you consume and one or two “off” days can derail your progress.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have More Than One Partner
When I want to go for a walk, I can hit up three different neighbor friends. Perhaps none of them can walk when I can but that’s okay, too. Sometimes, we get a quick 30-60-minute walk in where we can chit-chat and catch up. It’s great!
And, I have a friend who likes to swap recipes, and sometimes we even make extra and swap actual food!
At the gym I attend, there are several of us who sometimes synch our workouts so we’re there at the same time.
While it’s great to have a workout partner, it’s also great to have multiple people with which to check in! It’s a new kind of “village!”
You Might Need to “Marry Up”
Just like some married people “drift apart,” it’s possible you might outgrow your workout partner. Or, maybe your workout partner outgrew you? If so, that’s okay! Everyone should be re-evaluating their goals and results sometimes. Maybe you decided to “take your workout to the next level” and enter that fitness competition after all. I like to think we are all growing and changing. I’ve tried so many workouts and so many diets in my life. It’s an ongoing process to find a better version of yourself.
If you’ve found that your accountability partner is no longer a good fit, find a new one!