Navigating Accountability: From Support to Ownership


Starting on a fitness journey can be overwhelming, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing or even how to train properly. You may even know what to do but not always feel like going. The number of times I’ve heard, “Well I joined a gym and did well for about a month, and then life came up and I just fell off”. Sound familiar?

At Peak, we often hear from new clients that they chose us because they want someone to hold them accountable. While accountability is crucial for initial progress, our ultimate goal is to empower you to take ownership of your health, wellness, and fitness.

Exploring Tiers of Accountability

To help this transition, let’s dive into the three levels of accountability: hierarchical (to someone else), cultural (to a community), and personal (ownership).

Hierarchical Accountability:

Hierarchical accountability involves being answerable to someone else, typically your coach. As your coach, I’ll guide you, track your progress, and ensure you stay committed to the goals and plan we set together. From monitoring your attendance to providing personalized support, this level of accountability lays the groundwork for your journey.

As a coach, we aim to identify any obstacles or challenges that may hinder your progress, working together to overcome them.

Cultural Accountability:

Cultural or community accountability thrives within our Peak family. We’re more than just a gym – we’re a supportive community where members uplift and motivate each other. It’s crucial for you to connect not only with your coach but also with other members, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support. We take pride in creating a family-like atmosphere where accountability extends beyond individual efforts.

Recently, I witnessed three clients exchanging numbers to form an accountability group, vowing to keep track of one another and send some fun jabs if someone doesn’t show up for a class they said they would. 

Personal Accountability (Ownership):

The pinnacle of accountability is personal ownership. Here, you take full responsibility for your actions and cultivate internal motivation. While external factors like coaching and community support are invaluable, true empowerment stems from within. Being internally motivated means showing up for yourself, even on days when the couch beckons louder than the gym. It’s about recognizing that your long-term well-being is worth the effort, regardless of external influences.

As you embrace personal accountability, know that coaches and fellow members are here to support you, but there’s a profound sense of satisfaction in saying, “I’ve got this.”

Transitioning to Ownership:

Transitioning from hierarchical and cultural accountability to personal ownership is a gradual process. It requires fostering intrinsic motivation and cultivating a mindset of self-reliance. As your coach, my role shifts from solely holding you accountable to empowering you to hold yourself accountable. Together, we’ll work towards building resilience, self-discipline, and a heightened sense of personal awareness.

In essence, accountability serves as the bridge between external support and internal empowerment. While external factors provide guidance and encouragement, true transformation occurs when you take ownership of your journey. By embracing personal accountability, you unlock the power to drive lasting change and achieve your goals independently. As you navigate this journey, remember that the path from accountability to ownership is tough but is full of growth, resilience, and self-discovery.

About the Author

Kyle Dorsten is the Adult Program Director at Peak Human Performance. Following his time as a Certified Athletic Trainer providing medical care and rehabilitation programs for a multitude of patients Kyle acquired his CSCS hoping to bridge the gap between rehab and performance. Following a stint with Premier Health and Ohio State Kyle found his way to Peak Human Performance in 2020. He strives to cultivate a sense of compassion and belonging with all those he works with as well as creating a welcoming environment for any who come to Peak. His ultimate goal is to show all who come to Peak the true strength they have within themselves both mental and physical. @dorsten24

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