Stepping out of your comfort zone can be just a little more comfortable if you can rope your friend or spouse into doing it with you. Starting out at a CrossFit box or similar group training program seems like a perfect scenario for the buddy system.

The problem is that it doesn't work. In fact, I'd argue that the buddy system is going to sabotage your fitness goals. Ditch my buddy, you say?

Here's the deal. After working with hundreds of clients and seeing the data unfold in real time of who sticks to the program for the long haul, the “buddies” rarely last. I'm ball-parking here, but the average client will stay in the program for at least 10-15 months. Many stay for multiple years. However, life gets in the way, people move to other states or countries, and so on.

Now, the average client who starts up with a friend or spouse will average 3-4 months. What's that tell you?

THEY are not YOU

You simply cannot expect another person to be on the exact same page with you. Your buddy has their own schedule, goals, limitations, and desires. Those things can't possibly align with yours all the time. Not to mention, their physical capabilities may be vastly different from what you possess.

What happens when your friend gets hung up late at work and you were supposed to make the 5:30pm CrossFit class? You bail. What happens when you catch the flu and can't workout? Your friend bails.

These inconveniences add up and, before you know it, you both stop showing up to the gym. The buddy system has failed you.

Stop dragging others into your journey

CrossFit is hard. Changing your lifestyle is even harder. If this is something you want, take a walk on the wild side and get after it. You'll soon find that it wasn't so scary and you make friends quickly in a group program like this. So stop trying to force your friend, husband, girlfriend or whoever into your fitness journey. After all, fitness is about you. It's selfish, and it SHOULD be. The objective is to improve yourSELF.

Forcing a friend or loved one to want the same thing you want isn't productive. There's always one buddy who wants it more than the other. You'll either hold yourself back or get defeated by the person who wants it more. I urge you to go it alone, if at least for a few months. Once your friends or spouse hears you blab about how awesome it is to workout at Elevate, curiosity will take over.

The wonderful thing about this type of group training is that you have a built-in community of buddies. The people in the program have already proven to be like-minded. They already share your goals. Even better --- they have experience and can use it to help you along your journey.

So don't get stuck in the buddy zone. Be selfish, be courageous and chase your own journey.

In the St. Petersburg area? Awesome. Click here and find out how we can be YOUR new buddy.

-Taylor Race, co-owner of Elevate St. Pete