Monday, June 18, 2012

Fitness Challenge

I'm sure I already have your attention just from the title of this post.  When the word "challenge" is used in a sentence, we immediately want to know what it is.   In terms of fitness, challenging yourself can be a rewarding feeling, but at the same time can be mentally demanding.

I like to offer my clients at Anytime Fitness and other AF members a fitness challenge each month.  I think it is a great way to add variety, fun, motivation, and suffering to a workout.  I use the word "suffering" lightly in the fact that I try to make the challenges hard enough so that you really have to stay focused and push yourself, but not too hard that you are not able to complete the challenge either.

The next Fitness Challenge I am going to host will be this upcoming Thursday at Anytime Fitness at 5:30pm.  I used this challenge in one of my TRX classes that I teach at the Athletic Club of Bend a few months ago.  All exercises are performed using only your bodyweight.  I use 10 exercises and participants have the option of completing 15, 30 or 50 reps of each exercise.  I would like that you determine the number of reps you will aim to complete and stick to that #, rather than do 15 of one exercise, 30 of another, and so on.  If this is your first time trying one of these challenges (and there are many of them out there like this), I recommend that you start with only 15 reps of each exercise.

I like to time how long it takes participants to complete all 10 exercises so the next time we do it they have something to try to beat.  It's also a great tool to measure a person's fitness (strength/cardiovascular/core strength) improvements.  Or even better, one might opt to try 30 reps instead of 15 and try to match the time they do all exercises in (although very unlikely).  With either option you will complete either 150, 300 or 500 total reps...that's a lot of reps in a short period of time.  I did the 500 rep challenge in the TRX class and it took me 12:20 to complete ( I was totally exhausted).

Before trying this challenge, please make sure to have clearance from your physician to participate in strenuous exercise.

Make sure you are well warmed up before beginning.  The exercises will target the upper/lower and core regions so make sure to warm up all areas.  For warm up ideas see one of my Weekend Workout warm-ups.  You can print the warm-up and challenge exercises and take with you to your gym, a park, or do them in the comfort of your home.  Just make sure you have some water, a towel and some air (either a fan, AC, or fresh air) to keep your body temp cool and to stay hydrated.

Here are the Fitness Challenge exercises:

1.  Fast Mountain Climbers 
2.  Jump Squats
3.  Push-ups
4.  Side Lunges (each side complete the # of reps you are doing)
5.  Slow Mountain Climbers
6.  Y-Squats (just like it sounds, squat with your arms up in a "Y" position
7.  Skier Abs (hands and feet on ground, jump feet side to side as if skiing moguls - each time you jump your feet that counts as a rep)
8.  Squats Thrusts (same position as skier abs, only just jump feet back and forward)
9.  Dirty Dogs (with your feel and hands on ground and in a reverse V position (^), touch your R hand to your L foot and repeat on other side.  Each rep counts towards the # of reps you are completing)
10. Burpees (saved the best for last...hope you still have some energy left)

I may try to post a video form the Challenge we will be doing at Anytime Fitness on Thursday.  So far I believe 6 people have committed to trying it.

If you have a fitness challenge of your own and would like to share, feel free to leave the exercises in the Comments section below.

Good luck!  Let's get a little competition going on this site by posting your times in the Comments Section below in how long it took you to complete the circuit.  List the number of reps you did and the time to complete and your name.  

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