Whether you’re fairly new to the fitness world or have been avidly working out for years, we all tend to reach a point where we’re in a slump. Maybe this slump is mental; we get tired of the same ol’, same ol’ day after day. After a while, this may lead to burnout or to us dreading our workout or even skipping days. Or maybe that slump is physical. Doing the same workout routines is actually not the best for our bodies, which crave variety as much as our minds do!
So here are 7 ways that a fitness challenge can give you a boost! (And read till the end if you want to know how YOU can harness all these benefits too!)
1) The Competition
A challenge that involves competition with others is particularly helpful. It’s just in our nature to want to do better than the next gal! Think of the high you’ve felt if you ever participated in sports and won over another team if you’ve ever gotten the highest grade in your class growing up, or even if you beat the high score on your favorite video game. That sense of wanting to be the best in something drives us to work just that much harder. In fact, studies back this up. In one study, researchers found that a fitness group that offered competition to its participants was 90% more likely to show up and reach their goals.
Challenge participant Melissa Fanning saw the competition part of the challenge as extra motivating, giving her something to push herself on top of the fact that she was trying to lose weight. What’s more, she actually found that the habits stayed with her even past the end of the challenge! ‘’ The contest part of it was really motivating for me… It gave me a larger goal to work toward other than just losing weight. I’ve got solid habits now from participating and am continuing to see results.’’ Melissa Fanning
2) The timeframe
Knowing that the challenge is short-term (i.e. a finite amount of time, whether it’s a 1-week challenge or a 3-month challenge) encourages you to work much harder than if setting your own long-term exercise plan. For example, if you were trying to set up an indefinite workout schedule, you might go easy on yourself and stick to something manageable in the long term (whatever that means to you). However, knowing that a challenge is temporary—there’s an end in sight—you will be more likely to be ok with a more packed training schedule and more intense workout moves.
‘’The challenge was nice to have a short-term intensity boost. Definitely saw a difference in my physique (more definition).’’- Joanne
3) The accountability
Accountability is key when you’re feeling unmotivated. Would you have studied so hard for, say, math class if you didn’t have a test coming up? Knowing someone is checking up on you prevents or limits slacking off. In my challenges, when you think of submitting that before and after photo, you want something to show for your efforts! It also feels so good to share your wins with the group, which is further motivating.
The group nature of many challenges provides further accountability. For example, in my challenges, if you’re ever feeling “blah” one day, or feeling the urge to skip a workout, all you need to do is reach out to the group and they’ll pep you back up!
4) The solid plan
Planning is not everyone’s strong suit, and that’s ok! And for those who are great planners, they may not have the expertise to know what exercises to pair with what others, and what eating plan will work best for them. Joining a challenge gives you a solid framework for your fitness goals. I’ve done the work for you…I’ve sorted through the fads and the straight-up nonsense to bring you a plan that works. You just have to put in the work and reap the benefits!
Past participant Courtney Coakley was tired of just working out blindly without a solid plan in place, and found the challenge to be just what she needed in terms of guidance: ‘’It gave me guidance as to what exercises I could do at home and get benefit from them versus just doing things.’’- Courtney Coakley
5) The support of a coach
Having the support of a coach is invaluable! This is where you get even more benefits from signing up for a challenge run by a coach/physical trainer/fitness expert, as compared to a general group challenge with no main person running it. You get help and support from someone who has not only gone before you but has the expertise to guide you and help you troubleshoot any problem, should it arise. You have someone there to answer specific questions and concerns. That’s why I include the extra benefit of a closed online community and weekly coaching call with me, in my challenges, so I am there to answer any pressing questions and cheer you on!
6) The push to get out of your comfort zone
Too often we get stuck in a rut in life. Fitness ruts are no exception! You may start off all enthusiastic, but before you know it you’re bored of the same old stuff day in and day out. What’s more, you fall into a habit of doing what comes easily…your comfort zone. A challenge allows you to explore different avenues of fitness you may not have gotten into had you not joined the challenge. It pushes you out of that comfort zone, which helps your body more than you know!
Even better, once you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone, you often stay in that leveled-up zone for a while after the challenge ends. Just listen to what another member of a past challenge had to say about how it helped her even after the challenge was over: ‘’The challenge helped me to establish healthy habits. I still count calories, I still do my daily steps and I exercise at home with the equipment I purchased. And why? Because it all gives me results. 9kg down in 9 weeks so far! And this gives me huge confidence’’- Petra Chaloupková
7) Meet some like-minded people
Another thing that makes a huge difference when it comes to your fitness journey is having a community. When you have a group of people who are also doing what you’re doing, you have a sounding board of people who know what you’re going through. Also, when you join a fitness challenge that is even more specifically tailored to a specific group (like how my programs are geared toward moms) you are able to compare notes with others going through what you’re going through. Need tips for keeping the kids busy while you focus on your workout? Ask for tips from your fellow challenge members! They’re like a built-in support group that gets you in ways other groups can’t.
Jennifer Rose, a member of one of my past challenges, especially liked the sense of being on a team. That’s so important because you know others have got your back! Here’s what Jennifer had to say, ‘’It helped because I felt like I was part of a team. The nights I came home from work and struggled with motivation, I just remembered that so many others were feeling the same way, and it pushed me to accomplish my goals. The fb page was very encouraging!’’- Jennifer Rose
So how can you get in on all this?!
If these benefits are resonating with you, I invite you to join my upcoming 5 Week Super Shred program. This challenge is designed to help you whether you are looking to jump-start your fitness journey or whether you need to get back on the rails after falling off the wagon. It will work whether you need something new to switch up your routine, or whether you want a way to challenge yourself and push yourself to the next level!
During this challenge, you get coaching support from me; I am not only a fitness expert, but also I’ve been in many of your shoes, having had two kids and having gotten myself to a point where I’m in top shape! You also get workout plans, accountability when it comes to completing these, and eating plans (you’ll learn all about the basics and more of eating well, WITHOUT a ton of restrictions you find in other eating plans!) I’m also adding on some NEW features this go-round. You’ll get bonus yoga workouts (yoga is amazing for stretching your body, a great way to warm up and cool down, or just to take a couple of minutes to ground yourself in the middle of a chaotic day!) You also get a music playlist…music motivates!
You’ve got nothing to lose (but weight!) and everything to gain!!
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