Challenges for exercising your body help people change up their routine and get energized. They also encourage members to push themselves a little outside of their comfort zone, which is essential to creating long-term fitness habits. A great way to introduce challenges is through monthly themes. These can include New Year, New You, Heart Health (February), Holiday Hustle (December), Frosty Flexibility (January), Walk to Wellness (daily walking challenges), and Yoga Journeys (a series of yoga workouts that progressively increase difficulty).
Having a good mix of exercises is another way to keep people excited about their workouts. A good example is the squat challenge, which works the largest muscles in the legs to tone and sculpt. It can be as simple as a daily squat count, or as complex as a squat progression challenge that builds up to a final goal of 100 squats in 30 days.
Another great exercise is the pull-up, a classic calisthenics movement that requires many different muscles to perform. This is a challenge that can be easily scaled up to suit any member’s ability level, and it can even be tested with performance health assessments. For a fun twist, have members do their pull-ups with props or costumes.
Other fun and exciting challenges can be created around any theme. Examples can include Alphabet Challenges, where members spell out their name or a motivational phrase using different exercises, Scavenger Hunt Workouts that use clues to find workouts at different locations, Music Genre Challenges (where participants work out to different genres of music), and Costume Workouts.
A 30-day exercise challenge is one of the most effective ways to help people establish an exercise habit. It asks them to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes each day, but leaves the specifics up to them. This challenge is especially useful when it’s paired with a workout buddy, as people are more likely to stick with a routine when they have someone to hold them accountable.
Other popular challenges can include Hula Hoop Contests (longest hula hooping time wins), Burpee Boost Challenges (progressive workouts that build up to 100 burpees in 30 days), Dumbbell Dynamics (weight-training exercises for different muscle groups), Fitness Bingo (complete workout tasks on your bingo card to win), Swimming Lap Leaderboards, and Calorie Burn Blast (compete to burn the most calories each week). Whether it’s a fun competition or simply a fitness test, introducing challenges at the gym can be an excellent way to boost member engagement and motivation. And when a challenge is over, it’s easy to transition back into regular workouts.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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