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Is a Small Social Network the Key to Fitness Success?

There’s been a debate that has taken over the world of sports in the last five years or so. Who is the greatest basketball player ever, Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Something that always bothered me about that debate is that their teammates are rarely considered in the equation of fitness success. But the fact is that without their teammates, they wouldn’t be where they are. Both legends will tell you that themselves.

By Roger Lockridge

So how does that apply to fitness success, which is an individual endeavor? If you look at successful people in the fitness industry, you’ll notice that although they’re the ones featured, they always acknowledge family, training partners, and coaches. They have their own teammates, or inner circle that motivates them and holds them accountable. In turn, everyone in that circle improves. It’s like the success bounces to every member of that circle – kind of like a basketball gets passed among teammates.

This theory has been proven over in the town of Okinawa, Japan. Their people form a small circle of five people called “moais” (mo-ais) that support each other in health, emotionally, socially, in logistics, and in some cases, even financially. The life expectance for those in these groups exceed their 90’s.

So it makes sense to form your own inner circle of people but who should be in it and what means you do measure success? Heed these tips when forming your own inner circle of success.

Have Like-Minded Goals

Since you’re reading this on a fitness platform, let’s talk about your goals and fitness success. If you want to lose 50 pounds, would it make sense to train or partner up with someone who’s training for a powerlifting contest? Not really. Find people who are at a similar level or starting point as you and has goals that can match well with yours. They don’t have to be exact and you don’t have to follow the exact same plan but all members should be going in the same general direction. It’s easier to support each other if you have an understanding of what everyone is going through.

Keep the Members Small

There’s something to be said positively about large networks and they obviously can be successful but intimate groups can really benefit you when it comes to fitness efforts. Conversely, doing this alone or with only one other person limits potential and motivation since there aren’t as many different voices of support involved. It’s easier to offer support, commit time, and hold fewer people accountable. It doesn’t have to be five people but anywhere from 3-7 people is a good range to work with. They don’t have to be in your same hometown either. As long as you can maintain regular communication with them, that’s what matters most.

Support on All Fronts

This means not only when it comes to the workouts but also on making sure they’re doing what they need to do outside of the gym too. Drop them texts with tips about nutrition. Send a quote of the day to everyone. Follow and like their posts on social media. Don’t become obsessive and try to keep up with them 24/7 but a few times a week let them know what they mean to you and show them the support that they need.

Also keep in mind that they will do the same for you. That means you shouldn’t hold a grudge or get upset if they bust you doing something you shouldn’t. That’s what they’re there for in the first place – to help you and hold you accountable as well.

Celebrate and Struggle Together

As you maintain regular contact with those within your inner circle, there will be both achievements and pitfalls. Someone will hit a major milestone and eventually someone will face adversity. This is the whole purpose of having a group like this together, so no one is alone when dealing with the peaks or the valleys. Push each other so you keep moving forward and celebrate the goals being reached as if they are your own. In a sense, they are because that’s why you wanted to be in a group like this to begin with.

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