How to Find Your Fitness Community

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For some, a workout is a solitary space. A meditative experience. Or just the only time of day they get to actually be alone. If that’s you, that’s awesome! This might be an article you want to skip over 😂

For others, fitness is hard to do by themselves. It’s tough to get motivated and stay accountable! Working out or getting started with a fitness plan might even feel super lonely or alienating. If this sounds more familiar, this article is for you! You can turn your workout plan into part of your social life and even potentially build lifelong connections with others.

For this article, I’m mostly focusing on traditional fitness spaces, but this all applies to any other type of movement you’re interested in! As a dancer, I always recommend group dance classes as a way to meet other people.

How a Fitness Community Helps

Accountability
Many people rely on a fitness community for motivation and accountability. I definitely fall into this category! Having other people to work out with or even just check-in with about my workouts makes me so much more likely to get them done regularly. The times I have struggled most with a fitness plan are the times I tried to do it 100% on my own.

A recent study done by the Association for Talent Development showed that you have a 65% change of reaching a goal when you have an accountability partner. That jumps to a whopping 95% if you have a specific check-in or appointment scheduled with the person. Sounds pretty good right? This is why scheduling a check-in, making a workout schedule with a group, or signing up for workout classes is so effective.

Be Around People with a Similar Goal
You get an extra boost of motivation when everyone in the room (virtual or physical) is working toward a similar goal. You might have a different end goal than the person next to you, but ultimately you’re both there to be more active! It’s inspiring to be around people who understand, and you’ll get encouragement by seeing others reach milestones and celebrate wins.

New Friends
Finding your fitness community can lead you to new friendships or strengthen relationships with people you already know. Depending on where you go to look for your fitness community, you’ll probably find people with similar interests and values. Finding these people can be even more valuable if you’re moving to a new area and trying to make connections. And honestly, it’s just a lot more fun to work out with friends!

Get Feedback
If you choose to join a fitness community led my a coach or more experienced exerciser, you have the opportunity to get feedback and improve how you move. Creating your own fitness plan can take a lot of time and energy, so it can be beneficial to find classes or groups led by someone else where you can just follow along.

I’m going to talk about two main places where you can find fitness communities: in-person and online.

How to Find a Fitness Community:

Both In-Person and Online

Get Specific
You’re more likely to find people with the same interests and values as you the more specific you get with your search. What type of activities do you enjoy? What’s you’re favorite type of fitness? Where do people go to do that activity? If you’re not sure what interests you, experiment! Go to different gyms or try different types of classes to see what interests you most.

Examples: a climbing gym, a kettlebell class at a strength training gym, yoga classes at a studio

Hire a Coach
Hiring a coach or trainer is a great way to get support and have someone in your corner without needing an entire group. Group workouts aren’t everyone’s thing! You can get personalized accountability from a coach and benefit from their feedback.

In-Person Fitness

When you’re looking for an in-person community, you’re limited to the people within a certain radius. Once you start searching, you might find hidden gems you’ve never heard of before! If you’re in a smaller area, you can check out opportunities in neighboring cities. As you check out places though, keep in mind that the farther away it is, the less likely you are to go regularly. Currently, I choose to go to a large gym that’s 10 minutes away instead of driving to the strength training gym that’s 30 minutes away and more expensive. You can always try a place for a while and then switch it up when you find another option or as seasons change (in the case of outdoor fitness opportunities).

Explore the Gyms in Your Area
I found my gym in Colorado by searching around and trying a bunch of different places. The one you feel the most at home at may not be the first one that shows up on Google. Take some time to do research on different gyms and what they offer. If they do free passes or offer drop-ins, check it out!

Traditional Gyms
You probably won’t find many opportunities to connect with others while walking around the gym floor. Most people keep to themselves. If this is your main fitness option, you can increase the likelihood of meeting people by going at the same times each week so you see the same people around. When you feel comfortable, strike up a conversation.

Boutique Gyms
Boutique gyms are usually smaller spaces than large fitness chain gyms. They might even be tailored to a specific type of training or be marketed to specific people (for example, a women-only gym). By being around a smaller group or connecting with people who do the same type of training as you, you’re more likely to meet people.

Group Fitness Classes
You can find group classes at most traditional gyms, but there are also gyms that are completely class-based. A class-based gym was how I got into strength training! My first gym had multiple locations with different types of classes (a cycling studio, a yoga/barre studio, a weightlifting space, etc.) where you had to sign up for a class to attend- there was no open gym. I tried a bunch of different classes my first few months and eventually found the strength training class I stuck with until I moved. There are all types of group fitness classes available for all levels! If you’re new to fitness and not sure what you like yet, group classes can be a great way to try different types of workouts to see what you like the most.

Aside from getting to work out with others, group classes have other benefits: Usually a class is happening at a specific time, so you can put it into your calendar. For a lot of fitness classes you need to sign up beforehand, which can help with accountability! The class is usually led by someone, so you have a plan waiting for you when you walk in.

Meetup Groups
Meetup is a website that helps groups of people get together and do things, fitness included! You can search in your area for events happening (try the Health & Wellness category) and join if you find something that intrigues you. Joining groups like this can introduce you to people around your city that you would never run into otherwise!

Start Your Own Workout Group
This one will take a little more planning on your part. If you have a group of friends, family, coworkers, etc. who all want to work out, you can start your own workout group! You can choose to do a workout at someone’s house or a nearby space. If you’re working out with coworkers, is there a gym at your work or close by where you can all go together? If you get stuck on what to do during workouts, there are many plans online you can follow. A simple option would be to start a walking or jogging club- something active that doesn’t take much equipment or experience. You could also choose to hire a coach specifically for your group.

Ask People Close to You to Check In
Leaning on the support network you already doesn’t have to mean convincing your friends to work out with you. You can also just ask people to check-in! Like the statistic said at the beginning of the article, you have a 95% probability of staying accountable when you schedule a check-in with someone. Plan a drink with a friend or ask someone to text you about your workouts! This could even turn into a small accountability group where everyone checks in about their different goals.

Online Fitness

We’re more connected worldwide than we’ve ever been before. This gives you so many more opportunities to find a fitness community! Because you’re not limited by where you live, you can get even more specific with what you’re looking for. Want superhero-themed workouts that are inclusive to all genders? Done! Want fitness coaching for traveling entrepreneur moms? Done! If you can think of it, there’s probably a fitness community for it.

Search on Social Media
You’re most likely to find a fitness community by searching on social media. Use hashtags or keywords related to what you’re looking for and search forums to see who’s posting. Not everywhere will have drop-in classes you can try out, but you can usually strike up a conversation with the coach or owner to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Join a Group Program
Many coaches offer group programs, usually to help you reach a specific goal. These group programs can help you get results and connect you with like-minded people around the world. I’ve seen many lifelong friendships start from being in the same online group program together.

Join an Accountability Group or Create Your Own
Similar to in-person, if you already have a group of people you enjoy spending time with, you can create an online accountability group! Check in and send messages to motivate each other. You could also join one of the many accountability groups that exist online (general or fitness-specific) where members will regularly check in with each other.

Join a Coworking Community
With the rise in working from home and remote work, many organizations that offer virtual coworking have popped up. Body-doubling is a tool where you do tasks alongside others to help you get things done. While many people use it for staying on task at work, you can also use body doubling for cleaning, hobbies, and….. you guessed it, exercising! Before I joined a gym again last year, I used coworking sessions to hold myself accountable to my workouts. I still use sessions to help me finish up and get ready for the gym.

(The coworking sessions I do are through a company called Flown. You can get a free month when you use my affiliate link.)

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The underlying theme of all these suggestions is connecting with people and having conversations! Be willing to step out of your comfort zone and talk to someone new. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to find your people.

If you’re looking for a group program that is strength-focused, my program Colorful Strength begins a new session on June 10th. Colorful Strength is designed to teach you how to strength training in 12 weeks from the very beginning- no experience necessary! You go through the program with your cohort, so you get to know each other and connect as you celebrate strength wins every week.

Learn more about Colorful Strength and enroll here.

Sarah Siertle

Hey! I'm Sarah!
I'm an inclusive strength & movement coach who helps people get hella strong so they can have fun and live their lives in full color!

My coaching is beginner-friendly, movement-based, and size-inclusive. I believe in coaching that is kind, not shaming or judgmental as so many fitness experiences are.

If you're ready to start your strength journey, you can check out your training options or get started with a free workout!

Mindset Tips

Blog Categories

Strength Training Tips

About Me & My Business

Inclusive Fitness

Exercises

Hey! I'm Sarah!
I'm an inclusive strength & movement coach who helps people get hella strong so they can have fun and live their lives in full color!

My coaching is beginner-friendly, movement-based, and size-inclusive. I believe in coaching that is kind, not shaming or judgmental as so many fitness experiences are.

If you're ready to start your strength journey, you can check out your training options or get started with a free workout!

Mindset Tips

Blog Categories

Strength Training Tips

About Me & My Business

Inclusive Fitness

Exercises

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