How many of you reading this finds it difficult to adhere to a fitness regime? If you’re like most Americans, you probably find it at least challenging, some may even go so far as to say impossible. From my experience, I find that you must adhere to a program for at least six months before it becomes routine, and several years before it becomes a lifestyle. For most people, this is challenging to say the least. If you’re lucky, you may have a circle of friends or an active family to support you, but if not, getting going in the beginning can be tough.

So the focus of this edition’s column will be on the benefits of exercising with one or two buddies. Not only does this increase your likelihood of sticking with a fitness program once you start it, but it can make it more enjoyable for you as well. Weather you will be training at a health club, home gym, or participating in a sport, this can work for you. It will contribute three major factors to the success of your newly undertaken fitness regime: accountability, safety, and enjoyment.

Being accountable to another person will help you to keep your workouts on schedule and on track. It is often very easy to tell yourself that you will work out later on in the day, after you get your more important tasks out of the way. While some people probably can do this, most cannot. Having a workout partner usually forces you to perform your workouts at your scheduled time. You will most likely be more consistent if you outline an exercise schedule in advance and then stick to it consistently. While some people have more energy in the mornings, others prefer to train in the evenings. No one is better than the other, just choose a schedule that will work well for you. There is probably more time in a day than you realize, and if you set out to make the most of it, you may be surprised and amazed at the outcome.

Safety is another reason to train with a partner. Especially in the beginning, everything is new and unfamiliar, so it is very easy to forget how to do the exercises appropriately. Form is extremely important in the safety of an exercise. Having another person there to remind you of what you may forget, can work very well. You know the old saying, "two heads are better than one." In addition to proper form, having a training partner to spot you during a heavy lift is necessary unless you are lifting on specialized equipment like the Smith Machine.

Enjoyment is perhaps the single most important reason to train with a friend. Your workouts can be somewhat of a social occasion as well as a productive workout session, if done correctly. They can serve as a nice way to spend time with friends or loved ones while simultaneously doing something that is moving you towards better health and a longer life.

So if you can’t seem to get into gear training of your own, try giving it a try with a friend or family member. If no one seems to be available or interested, take a look around the gym and see if someone else like yourself isn’t having the same problem. You can help each other by training together. Don’t be bashful, you have nothing to lose just by asking!

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Allen, CPT, BS, is a certified personal trainer & exercise therapist, as well as the owner of Optimum Condition—Mobile Personal Training & Exercise Therapy. Melissa specializes in training the recreational athlete, so please contact her with any questions or comments by visiting her website at