Hope springs eternal in January and our desire to look and feel our best is never greater. Naturally gym memberships skyrocket, but as the days and weeks stack up and the grind sets in, many of us fail to stick to our newfound fitness goals.  One reason, says Ivana Buchanan, National Group Fitness Manager of Zone Fitness, is because we go it alone.

“We can be our own worst enemy. But the minute we’re about to let someone else down, amazingly we find another gear.”

Here are Buchanan’s 5 pearls of wisdom.


Go with a friend

If you’re new to the gym, Buchanan says, go along with a friend for the first few sessions and acclimatise to the equipment. Let them show you around. “If you’ve got stubborn fat you want to lose, you’ll want to use treadmills, elliptical machines and settle on general exercises that spike your heart rate for extended periods of time. Building muscle? Weights and free-lifting are your friend. Have them show you these parts of the gym and then follow their lead.”


Ask for help

“Early on, it’s very easy to sustain an injury,” Buchanan says, “due to improper form. Especially if you’re lifting weights, ask a personal trainer to show you how it’s done. Everyone starts somewhere, and even the most seasoned gym pro had to ask their own questions once upon a time.”


Set a schedule

One reason you won’t skip the gym is for risk of letting your buddy down. “Set a strict schedule and stick to it. Neither one of you will want to let the other down, so you’ll both grit your teeth and stick to the date and time come rain or shine,” Buchanan says.


Use a personal trainer

If you’re looking for long-term gains, a personal trainer is just the tonic Buchanan says. They’ll work with your body type to identify how you can make gains in the shortest possible time. “Importantly, they’ll also advise you on proper dietary habits. One of the biggest barriers to losing weight is poor nutritional intake. Sort your diet out and find time for the gym and you’ll start to feel truly refreshed.”


Go to a group-training class 

There are many reasons why group training is so popular among the masses. Not only will your workouts be led by a trained professional, there are also a variety of classes that will ensure you never get bored of your workout. Also, when you stick with a knowledgeable trainer and train with others, you are more likely to stick with it and therefore see great results! Click here to locate a Zone Fitness club and view the variety of group classes on offer. 

Enjoy your mastery

As you become more proficient in the gym you’ll likely find you no longer need a buddy to help you get out of bed in the mornings. But perhaps then it’s time to give something back? Why not return the gift of fitness to another friend who is flagging? Become the support system and you’ll discover you’ve learnt a tremendous amount and sculpted habits of a lifetime.

Zone Fitness is a nationwide health and fitness brand with numerous gyms all over the country. The brand is currently running a “buddy promotion” in which members can bring a friend, free, every Thursday, for a month. Click here to learn more about this promotion.