Fitness challenges. While the name might seem intimidating to some, at their heart, these special programs are an easy way to make working out fun and give your clients an extra boost of motivation.
One of the best things about fitness challenges (besides the fun) is just how many variations there are. From daily yoga challenges to 5km run nominations, there’s something for everyone’s interests, experience level, and goals.
What is a fitness challenge?
While they might come in different shapes and forms, every fitness challenge has a few things in common:
- A specific goal or outcome set at the beginning. (E.g., rack up a certain number of steps, lose a specific number of pounds, or complete a set number of activities).
- A set duration for the challenge (e.g., 30 days, 3 months, 1 year).
- There are rules, requirements and/or recommendations outlining what activities need to be completed to achieve the set goal or outcome.
- Participation and a clients’ corresponding results are tracked.
- They’re meant to be fun!
Fitness challenges can be done as part of a group, with social components, a sense of community and some healthy competition built in. They can also be completed as a solo activity, where clients are only competing against themselves and their willpower.
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Some examples of fitness challenges include group weight-loss challenges, healthy habit challenges, and consistency challenges.
Check Out: How to Combat Fitness Boredom
Why are fitness challenges important?
For many people, staying committed to their fitness routines and goals can be a challenge. This can be down to a number of different reasons—one of the main ones being monotony and boredom. Fitness challenges are a useful solution to this boredom!
They’re a great way to break up routine and inject new energy into your programming. This increases motivation and commitment, which ultimately leads to people achieving their desired physical goals.
But, fitness challenges are not only important motivational tools for individuals. They’re also an easy way for gyms and trainers to increase customer satisfaction and to promote their business/brand. People love to share when they’ve successfully completed a challenge on their social media profiles!
Fun fitness challenge ideas
Group fitness challenges
Group challenges are excellent for relationship building and community building because they allow everyone to pool their efforts and work together to achieve one goal. Having a group goal can feel less intimidating and can make challenges more accessible for new or timid clients.. Here are some of our favourite ideas for group fitness challenges:
Weight loss challenges: For this challenge, your group can collectively aim to lose a certain amount of weight together. This is a great type of challenge for two main reasons. First , one person’s success will inspire others, keeping motivation levels high. Second, this type of challenge requires participants to undertake a variety of different activities, and allows them to do what works best for them as individuals, while still being part of a team. It can involve all types of workouts as well as nutrition and healthy habits. This makes it a well-rounded option and an opportunity for clients to try new routines and services.
Family workouts: Family workout challenges are a great, healthy way for families to spend time together while also collectively learning about the importance of exercise, healthy habits, and good nutrition. To allow for family-sized participation, these kinds of challenges can be super simple and designed to include activities suited to participants of all ages! A good example of an activity is biking. Kids love to cycle and oftentimes adults don’t get to do as much cycling as they might wish. Set a collective target for distance covered in a month, or see who covers the most ground this week—and maybe offer a sweet reward!
Charity events: Motivation can come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no denying that helping others can be an energizing and rewarding experience. It’s no wonder that charity runs or rides are so popular! All you need is a cause, a goal or activity, and a bit of fundraising (through entry fees, donations, sponsorships, or all of the above) and you’ve got yourself a feel-good challenge.
If you’ve got a client base that’s full of competitive spirit, then some versus fitness challenges could be the perfect fun way to allow them to compete head-to-head.
Here are some easy ways to set the rivalry in action:
Weight loss competition: The idea of this fitness challenge is simple— the person who loses the most weight wins. Nutrition plays a big role in weight loss, so this challenge can include both workout and meal challenges. While participants in this challenge are competing against each other, they’re also inspiring each other to keep going.
Trainerize Tip: Don’t forget the before, during, and after photos. It’s great to see your hard work paying off, and a great way to inspire others to join the fun!
Walking/distance challenge: These challenges are a great way to bring some healthy competition to clients—no matter where they might be or what their fitness levels are like. Distance challenges are great for large groups with varying levels of ability and can be made inclusive to anyone using mobility aids by calculating based on distance traveled, not just steps.
If you’ve got corporate clients, arrange for departments/teams to face off against each other in monthly walking challenges. Whichever team covers the most ground wins—and perhaps the reward is being taken to lunch by the losers! Strava is a great app to use for this type of challenge, as it makes team-tracking easy. It also means you can include all your PT clients, whether they train with you in the gym or online from another city.
Plank challenge: This type of challenge is super easy to use — all you’ve got to do is add it as a finisher at the end of some group sessions. It’s the perfect addition of competition to the end of a group session, both in person and online. Plank-offs are the perfect motivator for your clients to work hard right until the very end of their work out, and to push themselves towards being at the same level as the very best.
When you’ve got clients that work out regularly, it’s a good to occasionally break up the routine with something fun. Also, when you sign up clients that are new to working out, it’s nice to find a fun way to encourage them to stay committed. In both of these instances, personal fitness challenges could be just what’s needed!
30-day fitness challenge: A 30-day fitness challenge is designed to work multiple muscle groups over the course of a month — meaning they’re great for variety. Think about including exercises that target different areas of your client’s body, so over the course of the 30 days everything balances out. Depending on their schedule, you can also design some workouts for home and others for the gym, meaning the scenery isn’t always the same.
Trainerize Tip: When designing at home workouts for clients, first check with them what sort of equipment they have. Be sure to include some equipment-free exercises like sit-ups, push-ups and burpees.
Check Out: Why Fitness Challenges are Essential to Fitness Studio Retention
Habit streaks: Creating a habit related fitness challenge could be the perfect way for new clients to develop a workout routine. Something like a daily run streak or push-up challenge can lead to fast progress, and can be very motivating for them. When a client is encouraged to keep track of how many days in a row they’ve worked out, it can lead to greater accountability — because who wants to ruin a winning streak?
Non-workout related challenges: It’s important to remember that not all fitness challenges are workout related. When it comes to nutrition, you can set clients the challenge of learning new recipes and making healthier meals. To stay hydrated, you can set daily water-drinking challenges to ensure clients are getting the water they need. And, if you’ve got (overly) enthusiastic clients, why not challenge them to incorporate active rest days — the body needs them too!
Manage challenges with Trainerize
Over 400,000 trainers and 30,000 fitness businesses around the world use the Trainerize platform.
We offer a seamless way for you to manage your exercise challenges and a way for clients to track their progress and success.