It's already April - where are you with your New Year's Resolutions? More than 20% of Americans cite “losing weight” as their number one resolution. Unfortunately, studies have also shown that more than 60% of people will fail to meet their resolutions giving up as little as two weeks after the ball drops.

As an ACE certified personal trainer, weight management specialist and fitness studio owner I get asked frequently, especially around this time of year, for tips and tricks when it comes to sticking with a goal (whether it’s a resolution or otherwise). Over the years, through working with clients and talking to many people in the industry I have found that two of the most effective ways to stick with a program are having a fun and exciting program, and using accountability partners.

As the end of 2016 approached I polled 25 random people from my gym. An astounding 80% of them said that the number one reason they give up on a program is due to boredom. As a fitness professional, one of the thing I actively try to do is create programs for my clients that are inventing, challenging and fun. You’ve heard the saying “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” For years, I too, would go into the gym, use the same machines doing the same routine and never see change. After a while I would get bored and stop going. It’s a vicious cycle that many people stay in far longer than they need to.

One of my favorite ways to mix up client programs is to use a variety of innovative pieces of equipment. Recently I have started using Surge®, Surge® 3.0 and the Kamagon® Ball with my clients and they are loving them! Both products are “destabilized weights that use the principle of Hydro-Inertia® and dynamic fluid resistance to work your muscles while simultaneously training the nervous system."

By introducing this way of training to my client’s programs we are moving their bodies in ways we haven’t before and pushing their muscles to work harder to stay stabilized.

The second, and almost more important, piece to successful client adherence is an “accountability partner.” This partner could be a spouse, a friend, a parent, a co-worker - anyone with whom they have a relationship based in trust and truthfulness. By pairing clients up with someone it holds the client accountable for their actions outside of their session. I instruct them to use their partners in various ways, whether it be talking through their goals and plans to achieve them or sharing frustrations when things seem tough. But one of the best ways to use an accountability partner is as a workout-buddy. By scheduling times with your partner in the gym you are committing not only to your goals but to theirs. Similar to the idea of “scheduling” a workout like a meeting, when you know someone is waiting for you, you are much more likely to show up than if you were going alone.

When you have a partner in the gym the benefits are profound. From the motivation just to show up, to the friendly competition it provides there are many reasons why an accountability partner should be on the top of your list of things to find! Once you find your partner, and plan your workout days, the next step is to plan your workout. Often, you’ll see two people at the gym “together” doing similar but totally separate workouts. Why not do it together? Not only will you get in a great workout but you’ll have some fun doing it!

I’ve partnered up with Hedstrom Fitness to share with you six of my favorite partner moves that put the fun back into your workout! This full body workout will leave you sweaty and smiling - two of the best parts of a workout! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Surge® Deadlift Row 

  1. Stand holding the Surge® in front of your body, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and spine in neutral position. Slowly hinge at the hips allowing your chest to sink parallel to the floor. When your torso reaches 90 degrees squeeze your shoulder blades together drawing the Surge up toward your chest. Hold for a 2 count before releasing the Surge back down and slowly standing back up to the starting position. Complete 3 sets of 15

Surge® Burpees 

  1. Begin by standing with the Surge® in front of your body, feet directly under your hips and spine neutral. Bend the knees bringing the Surge® to the floor. Hop your feet back into plank position hold for a 2 count then hop back in and return to standing. Continue for 3 sets of 10-12

Surge® Squat to Curl to Press

  1. Hold the Surge® so that your palms are facing in to one another and it it in front of your body. Place your feet at shoulder-width position. Slowly sink your hips toward the floor keeping the weight in your heel. Allow the Surge® to graze in front of your knees. As you return to standing pull the Surge® toward your thighs then lock your elbows at your waist and curl the Surge® up toward your chest in a bicep curl. When you reach the top of the curl slowly extend your arms up over your head until they are straight. Hold for a 2 count then return to start by lowering your elbows and releasing the bicep curl. Complete 3 sets of 12

Kamagon® Ball V-sit Pass

  1. Sit facing your partner with your heels on the floor and legs alternating one another. Slowly lean your torso backward until your body forms a V on the floor. Using your abdominals, bring yourself up to a seated position and pass the Kamagon® to your partner. Then lower your body back into a V and begin again. Complete 3 sets of 15 passes

Kamagon® Ball Over/Unders

  1. Stand back-to-back with your partner, holding the Kamagon® Ball by a single handle in front of you. Swing the ball up over your head as your partner brings their hands up to meet it. Pass the ball to them then hinge at the hips as your partner brings the ball down in front of them and passes it under their legs to you. Complete ten passes then switch directions so that you are passing the Kamagon® under your legs to them. Complete 3 sets of 10 each way

Kamagon® Ball V-Sit Lateral Pass

  1. Sit next to your partner in a V-Sit position, heels on the floor, torso tilted slightly backward. Start with the Kamagon® Ball on one side of your body. Keeping V-Sit position slowly rotate your torso toward your partner and pass the ball to them. Then rotate your torso back the other direction engaging your obliques and you rotate. Continue passing the ball back and forth in this manner for 12 passes. Then turn to face the opposite direction and complete another 12 passes. Do 3 sets of 12 each way

Rachael Novello is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Management Specialist, Barre Instructor and the owner of The Simply Fit Studio (a small boutique fitness studio). She is a wife and mom of two children under the age of four. Her training philosophy is "fitness doesn't have to be complex and difficult to be effective" and as such she uses functional training and equipment in all of her sessions as she truly believes that people benefit long-term from proper functional training.