Stronger Together

The benefits of working out with others


By Kenny Hodges
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson


Do you ever wake up in the morning with grand plans to work out, but by the end of the day you feel exhausted and frustrated that another day went by with no exercise? The good news is, you’re not alone. It is completely normal to lack the desire to workout. With all the daily stressors of life — work, family, school, etc. — it seems taking care of ourselves always gets pushed aside.

When I was laid off due to COVID-19, I thought I would have so much “free-time” to work out. In reality, quarantine had the complete opposite effect. I found myself staying up later, sleeping in more and staying busy around the house. Working out was put on the backburner as I navigated through the COVID curve ball life threw at me. It was shocking that, as someone who has worked out all their life, suddenly my fitness motivation came to a screeching halt. Looking back now, I see the key ingredient I was missing while quarantined was my community.

I didn’t realize how important it was to workout with other people. The majority of my workouts were with other trainers, clients and my brother-in-law. I was lacking the accountability, motivation and energy they brought to my exercise routine. An article in the Journal of Science found that, when we spend time in a community, we gravitate towards the behaviors in that community. So, it makes sense that being away from my fitness-focused community left me making fitness less of a priority.

Working out with others can look different depending on the individual. Whether you find a workout buddy, hire a personal trainer or workout with your family at home, accountability pushes us out of our comfort zone. You must find what works for you.

Finding a workout buddy can be essential to being consistent in your health and exercise routine. Look for a friend(s) with similar goals that you feel comfortable sharing your achievements — and failures — with and who are easily accessible to you digitally or in-person. Personally, I always like working out with people that are more fit than me, so they push me to be better. Let’s be honest, doing a workout with a friend is always more fun and motivating.

Benefits of Working Out with Friends: 

Accountability: hold each other responsible, can’t be one-sided
Shared goals: creates healthy competition
More fun: it’s always more fun to face challenges with a friend

There’s another way to work out in a community that adds even more value to your fitness journey, which is working out with a personal trainer. You’d be surprised at the return on investment you will receive by hiring a “coach” of sorts to help you kick-start and maintain your fitness. The benefits are endless and finding one that fits your personality is key. The bond that is created with your personal trainer can help you excel and reach your goals. Some of my closest friendships are with my clients. Trust and confidence in one another form a healthy partnership that will help you crush your fitness goals!

Benefits of Working with a Personal Trainer: 

Accountability: motivation to stay focused on the end result
Education: learn the proper way to exercise and eat healthy
Personalized plan: set specific goals
Friendship: love/hate relationship

Considering working with a personal trainer? Whether you are heading back to the gym, taking your first step in the door, or taking on your fitness goals at home, there are so many ways to work with a trainer during this time. Such as:

Daily/weekly workouts with text or call accountability
Zoom/Facetime workouts
Meet a trainer in a park
A trainer can meet you at your house and workout outside or in the garage

At Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center we have over 60+ personal trainers that specialize in all kinds of different ways to exercise. If you’re ready to take that step, I guarantee that we have someone that will work for you!

Let’s face it, we are in the middle of a pandemic and we are all treading water trying to adjust to our new “normal.” I’m hoping that your new normal includes making your health a priority. If you’re feeling stuck, or you’ve lost your fitness motivation during this time, you’re not alone. The good news is that today is the day you get it back. This magazine alone is filled with inspiration to move you to action in setting fitness goals. My advice is simple: find your tribe. Start now by finding a friend, a group or a personal trainer that is ready to walk beside you during your fitness journey. In a time when everyone feels alone, remember, we’re in this together.

Kenny Hodges currently works at Baptist Health/ Milestone Wellness Center as a Certified Personal Trainer. He has over 16 years of experience in his field after receiving his certification through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Kenny is also TRX certified. Kenny and his wife Misty reside in Louisville, Kentucky where they are raising their three children.