Accountability at the Forefront of Community


Last week, we got some serious snow. Well, at least for the state of Kentucky.

Because of the snow, Box Pro’s office was closed on Wednesday and Friday, meaning I worked from home. However, Wednesday morning the snow was still pretty mild, so my co-worker, Hayli, and I ventured to our Box for open gym.

The funny thing is, I probably wouldn’t have braved the snow a year ago for CrossFit; in fact, I just shoveled my driveway and counted that as a workout. I would have shrugged off missing a day at the Box, thinking I could make it up later in the week. And if I didn’t make it up, oh well!

But, things have changed. I now hate missing a WOD, especially one involving Cleans.

On a consistent basis, I go to the 11:30 a.m. class at my gym. Hayli typically comes with me, and I can name about 10 people who I will probably see at the Box, including various Coaches. And one of my workout buddies will always ask “Did you do the workout yesterday?” and “What weight did you use?”

People often talk about accountability being key in reaching their fitness goals/resolutions. In an American College of Sports Medicine article, “Benefits of Group Exercise,” author Shawn Dolan discusses the various ways group classes invoke positive reactions from members. One of them is accountability: “People stay interested because of the social atmosphere provided by group exercise. This offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between participants and instructor,” wrote Dolan.

And that’s just it. If I miss a WOD, I know someone will figure out I didn’t work out the day before. They’ll ask me where I was and if I don’t have a solid excuse, they’ll give me a hard time — of course, all in good humor.

With that said, it’s time to evaluate how your Box is building accountability in the gym. Sure, your Coaches can play some part. Often, a trainer coaches the same class each day and can follow up with a member he or she hasn’t seen in a while. However, that’s not always a fool-proof system. Coaches are busy and they typically teach multiple classes. Plus, my gym’s trainers don’t always coach the same hours.

Instead, think about programs or challenges that would partner members up to keep one another accountable, even if they aren’t going to the same class. Or, perhaps it’s time to utilize your software for more than just payments. If your Box has members always sign-in to class, it’ll be easy to tell if someone hasn’t been to the gym in awhile. And if your Box doesn’t require members to sign-in for every class, maybe it’s time to start.

No matter what, it’s key to remember accountability is something your Box can utilize. When that becomes part of your community, you’ll likely see incredible results in your membership.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at