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How to Run a Fitness Challenge in 2024

How to Run a Fitness Challenge in 2024

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on May 20, 2023 ā€” Updated on December 22, 2023

Learning how to run a fitness challenge can be important for fitness professionals who want to engage and motivate their fitness clients, all while generating extra revenue. And, it can be good for yourself too. Are you looking for a way to motivate yourself and others to live a healthier lifestyle? Why not try running a fitness challenge? Not only will you get in shape, but you’ll also build a sense of community and encourage friendly competition.

Fitness Challenge Checklist

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of running a successful fitness challenge from start to finish. Then be sure to check out the best gym management software, personal training software, and fitness influencer software, each with full fitness challenge software functionality to automate your fitness challenges and maximize the impact to your community (all while earning you extra revenue).

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Julie Ledbetter
Owner, Ledbetter Fitness

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Tips for Running a Fitness Challenge

Here are some tips for running a great fitness challenge. If you are a gym owner, personal trainer, fitness influencer, or other fitness professional, be sure to put these fitness challenge tips into action with the Exercise.com platform, where you can run fitness challenges with easy to use software.

  1. Define the Purpose: Identify the goal of your fitness challenge. Is it to encourage weight loss, to build strength, or to improve overall fitness? Clear objectives will guide the design of your challenge.
  2. Determine the Duration: How long will your challenge last? A 30-day challenge is popular, but the length should align with your goals. Shorter challenges can provide quick wins, while longer ones allow for more substantial progress.
  3. Outline the Rules Clearly: The participants should know exactly what they need to do, how to do it, and how their progress will be measured and rewarded.
  4. Offer Valuable Prizes: Incentivize participation with prizes. These could be free personal training sessions, gym merchandise, or discounts on membership.
  5. Leverage Exercise.com’s Fitness Challenge Software: Use the Exercise.com software to track participant progress, send motivational messages, and manage the logistics of your fitness challenge.
  6. Promote the Challenge: Use social media, emails, posters in your gym, and word of mouth to get the word out about your challenge.
  7. Include a Variety of Exercises: Keep participants engaged by incorporating different types of exercises and workouts in your challenge.
  8. Provide Modifications: Not every participant will be at the same fitness level. Offer modified versions of exercises to make the challenge accessible to everyone.
  9. Track and Celebrate Progress: Regularly acknowledge and celebrate the progress of your participants. This can motivate others and boost overall participation.
  10. Offer Nutritional Guidance: If appropriate, include tips for healthy eating during the challenge.
  11. Offer Support: Encourage participants to ask questions and seek help when needed. Consider offering regular check-ins or Q&A sessions.
  12. Encourage Community: Foster a sense of community among participants. This could be through a dedicated social media group or scheduled group workouts.
  13. Leverage Testimonials: Share success stories and testimonials from previous participants to attract new ones.
  14. Plan the Next One: Keep the momentum going by immediately planning for the next challenge once one ends.
  15. Review and Improve: After each challenge, review what worked and what didn’t. Seek feedback from participants and use it to improve future challenges. Remember, Exercise.com’s software provides valuable analytics to help with this process.

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Understanding the Purpose of a Fitness Challenge

The first step in running a fitness challenge is to understand its purpose. A fitness challenge is more than just a way to get in shape. It’s a tool for promoting a healthy lifestyle, building a sense of community, and encouraging friendly competition among participants.

Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

A fitness challenge is a great way to encourage healthy habits such as eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and staying physically active. By promoting healthy lifestyle choices, participants will not only achieve their fitness goals but also improve their overall well-being.

For example, a fitness challenge could include a nutrition component where participants are encouraged to track their daily food intake and make healthy choices. This could include eating more fruits and vegetables, reducing their intake of processed foods, and drinking more water. By incorporating nutrition into the challenge, participants are more likely to adopt healthy eating habits that they can continue beyond the challenge.

In addition, a fitness challenge could encourage participants to get enough rest by setting a sleep goal. This could involve tracking the number of hours they sleep each night and aiming for a certain amount of sleep each week. By prioritizing rest, participants will have more energy to tackle their fitness goals and feel more rested overall.

Finally, a fitness challenge can encourage physical activity by setting a daily or weekly exercise goal. This could involve tracking the number of steps taken each day, attending fitness classes, or completing a certain number of workouts each week. By making physical activity a priority, participants will see improvements in their fitness level and overall health.

Fitness Challenge Checklist

Building a Sense of Community

A fitness challenge is a great way to bring people together and build a sense of community. When participants work towards their fitness goals together, they create a support system that can help each other reach their objectives.

For example, a fitness challenge could include group workouts or virtual check-ins where participants can share their progress and offer support and encouragement to each other. By creating a supportive environment, participants are more likely to stay motivated and committed to their fitness goals.

In addition, a fitness challenge can help participants connect with others who share similar interests and goals. This can lead to new friendships and a sense of belonging within the community.

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Encouraging Friendly Competition

Friendly competition is a fun way to motivate fitness challenge participants. By fostering a competitive environment, participants are encouraged to push themselves harder to achieve their objectives. At the same time, the challenge helps to create a sense of camaraderie among participants.

For example, a fitness challenge could include a leaderboard where participants can see how they stack up against others in the challenge. This can create a sense of friendly competition and motivate participants to work harder to achieve their goals.

In addition, a fitness challenge can include team challenges where participants work together to achieve a common goal. This can create a sense of teamwork and collaboration while still encouraging friendly competition.

Overall, a fitness challenge is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle, build a sense of community, and encourage friendly competition among participants. By incorporating these elements into the challenge, participants are more likely to achieve their fitness goals and improve their overall well-being.

Athlete Performance
Exercise.com has become an essential piece to our brand and business model. The ease of use and consumer reports have allowed us to maintain great client relationships and rebuild others.
Logan Zagrodnik
General Manager, Athlete Performance

Planning Your Fitness Challenge

The next step is to plan your fitness challenge. This will involve setting goals and objectives, determining the duration and format of the challenge, choosing the right activities, and establishing rules and guidelines.

Setting Goals and Objectives

To create an effective fitness challenge, you need to set specific and measurable goals for participants. These goals should be challenging yet achievable. Participants should have a clear understanding of what they need to do to achieve these goals, and how they will be rewarded for their efforts.

For example, if your fitness challenge is focused on weight loss, a specific goal could be to lose 5% of your body weight in 8 weeks. To make this goal measurable, participants would need to weigh themselves at the beginning and end of the challenge. To make it achievable, participants could be provided with a meal plan and workout routine to follow. And to reward their efforts, a prize could be given to those who achieve the goal.

Determining the Duration and Format

When planning your fitness challenge, consider the duration and format. Will the challenge be for a specific number of days, weeks, or months? Will it be a team challenge or an individual challenge? You’ll also need to decide on the frequency of participation, and whether it will be in-person or virtual.

For example, if your fitness challenge is a team challenge, you could have teams of 4-6 people competing against each other over the course of 12 weeks. Each team member would be responsible for tracking their progress and reporting it to their team captain. The team with the most progress at the end of the challenge would be declared the winner.

Choosing the Right Activities

Choosing the right activities is essential to a successful fitness challenge. You’ll need to tailor the challenge to suit the fitness levels of participants while still providing enough of a challenge to encourage progress. Consider activities such as walking, running, weightlifting, yoga, or cycling.

For example, if your fitness challenge is focused on cardiovascular health, you could encourage participants to engage in activities such as running, cycling, or swimming. If your fitness challenge is focused on strength training, you could encourage participants to engage in weightlifting or bodyweight exercises.

Establishing Rules and Guidelines

Establishing clear rules and guidelines is critical to a successful fitness challenge. Rules should be simple but specific, outlining what participants can and cannot do. Guidelines should also be in place to ensure fairness and consistency for all participants.

For example, if your fitness challenge is focused on running, rules could include wearing appropriate running shoes, running on designated routes, and tracking progress using a fitness app. Guidelines could include setting a minimum distance for each run, and ensuring that participants are not pushing themselves beyond their physical limits.

By following these steps, you can plan a successful and engaging fitness challenge that will motivate participants to achieve their fitness goals.

Engaging Participants

To make your fitness challenge successful, you’ll need to engage participants by promoting the challenge, creating a registration process, and providing incentives and rewards. Engaging participants is key to keeping them motivated and invested in the challenge.

Promoting the Fitness Challenge

To attract participants to your fitness challenge, you’ll need to promote it effectively. Consider using social media, creating flyers and posters, and reaching out to local businesses. By generating buzz, you’ll increase the chances of attracting participants who are passionate about healthy living.

One effective way to promote your fitness challenge is to partner with local gyms and fitness studios. By collaborating with these businesses, you can reach a wider audience and tap into their existing customer base. You can also offer discounts or promotions to participants who sign up for your fitness challenge and become members of these gyms or studios.

Creating a Registration Process

Creating a registration process is critical to the success of your fitness challenge. This process should be easy to use and straightforward, allowing participants to sign-up quickly and efficiently. Consider using online registration tools to streamline the process further.

In addition to creating a simple registration process, it’s important to provide participants with all the information they need to participate in the challenge. This includes details about the challenge, such as the start and end dates, the rules and guidelines, and any equipment or resources they may need. You can also provide participants with tips and resources to help them achieve their fitness goals.

Providing Incentives and Rewards

Incentives and rewards are a great way to motivate participants to work towards achieving their fitness goals. Rewards can be in the form of gift cards, fitness trackers, or free gym memberships. Incentives can include weekly challenges, bonuses for reaching specific milestones and team goals.

Another way to provide incentives and rewards is to offer participants the opportunity to give back to their community. For example, you can organize a charity walk or run and donate a portion of the proceeds to a local charity. This not only motivates participants to stay active and engaged in the challenge, but also gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Overall, engaging participants is essential to the success of your fitness challenge. By promoting the challenge, creating a simple registration process, and providing incentives and rewards, you can keep participants motivated and invested in achieving their fitness goals.

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Tracking Progress and Results

Tracking progress and results is essential to the success of your fitness challenge. By implementing a tracking system, providing regular check-ins, and monitoring participant progress, you’ll be able to measure the success of your challenge and help participants stay on track.

One way to implement a tracking system is to use a fitness app. There are many great apps available that can help participants track their progress and monitor their results. Some apps even allow participants to connect with friends and create a sense of community around the challenge.

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Implementing a Tracking System

An effective tracking system is critical to the success of your fitness challenge. This system should be easy to use, allowing participants to record their progress and track their results quickly. Consider using mobile apps or online tools to simplify the process.

In addition to using a tracking system, you may want to consider providing participants with a fitness journal. A journal can help participants stay accountable and keep track of their progress. Encourage participants to write down their goals, track their workouts, and record their food intake.

Encouraging Regular Check-Ins

Regular check-ins are essential to help participants stay motivated during the fitness challenge. Set up weekly or monthly check-ins with participants, where they can discuss their progress, receive feedback, and receive encouragement to keep going.

During these check-ins, be sure to ask participants about any challenges they may be facing. Offer support and guidance to help them overcome any obstacles and stay on track.

Monitoring Participant Progress

Monitoring participant progress is critical to the success of the fitness challenge. Regular monitoring will help you determine whether participants are making progress towards their goals, whether your challenge is working and where you may need to make adjustments.

Consider using a spreadsheet or other tracking tool to monitor participant progress. This will allow you to easily see how each participant is doing and identify any areas where they may need extra support.

Remember, the ultimate goal of your fitness challenge is to help participants make lasting lifestyle changes. By implementing a tracking system, providing regular check-ins, and monitoring participant progress, you’ll be able to help them achieve their goals and create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

Carr Elite
Exercise.com has enabled our company to expand in ways we couldnā€™t imagine possible. It is much easier to get our programming out to not only our local clientele but also new clientele throughout the world as well as our professional athletes in different cities.
Eric Mahanke
Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Carr Elite

How Do I Create a Successful Fitness Challenge?

To create a successful fitness challenge, start by defining the purpose and setting clear goals. Decide on the duration of the challenge, outline the rules, provide a variety of exercises, and offer valuable prizes to motivate participants. Promote your challenge effectively using different channels and leverage software like Exercise.com to manage the logistics and track participant progress. Making a fitness challenge successful involves planning, promotion, engagement, and follow-through. Keep participants motivated with regular communication and updates. Track progress and celebrate achievements. Exercise.com’s software can assist in making your challenge a success by providing tools for engagement, progress tracking, and management.

What Makes a Good Fitness Challenge?

A good fitness challenge should be accessible to people of all fitness levels, include a variety of exercises to keep it interesting, have clear rules, and offer regular feedback and support to participants. It should also foster a sense of community and have meaningful incentives. Using a platform like Exercise.com can make managing your fitness challenge easier and more effective.

How Can I Promote My Fitness Challenge?

Promote your fitness challenge through social media, emails, flyers, posters, and word of mouth. Engage with your audience regularly, share success stories, and consider offering incentives for referrals. Exercise.com can be a valuable tool in managing and promoting your challenge.

How Can I Use Exercise.com to Run a Fitness Challenge?

Exercise.com offers software that can help track participant progress, manage the logistics of your challenge, sell workout plans, run online workout groups, and send motivational messages, all from your own custom branded fitness apps. It also provides analytics to help you review and improve your future challenges.

What Should I Consider When Planning My Fitness Challenge?

Consider the goal of your challenge, the fitness levels of your participants, and the types of exercises you’ll include. Also, plan how you’ll track progress, motivate participants, and manage the logistics of the challenge. Exercise.com’s software can assist with many of these aspects.

How Can I Keep Participants Engaged During a Fitness Challenge?

You can keep participants engaged by providing regular feedback, celebrating their progress, offering a variety of exercises, and fostering a sense of community. Regular check-ins and Q&A sessions can also help. Using Exercise.com’s software, you can easily send motivational messages and track participant progress.

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How Often Should I Run Fitness Challenges?

The frequency of fitness challenges depends on your objectives and the engagement level of your audience. You might run a challenge every month, quarter, or a few times a year. Regular challenges can keep your participants motivated and engaged over the long term. Exercise.com’s analytics can help you gauge participant interest and success.

How Do You Create a Fitness Challenge for Clients?

Creating a fitness challenge for clients involves determining the type of challenge that will engage them, setting clear goals, outlining the rules, and providing tools for tracking progress. With Exercise.com’s software, you can create and manage challenges easily, keeping everything organized and on track from your custom-branded fitness apps.

What Makes a Good Fitness Challenge?

A good fitness challenge is one that motivates participants, has clear goals, offers variety in workouts, and encourages a sense of community. It’s beneficial to have a system for tracking progress and providing feedback. Exercise.com’s software makes this easy with features for logging workouts, sharing progress, and sending motivational messages.

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How Long Should a Fitness Challenge Last?

A fitness challenge can last anywhere from a week to several months, depending on its objective. It’s important to consider the level of commitment required from participants and to choose a duration that will maintain engagement without causing burnout. Exercise.com can assist with managing the logistics of any challenge duration.

How Do You Set Up a Challenge?

Setting up a challenge involves planning the rules, choosing the exercises or activities, deciding on the duration, and determining how progress will be tracked and rewarded. You’ll also need to promote the challenge to attract participants. Exercise.com’s software streamlines this process, allowing you to set up and manage challenges from your custom-branded fitness app.

How Do You Host a Fitness Event?

Hosting a fitness event involves planning the activities, securing a location, promoting the event, and managing registrations and attendees. For virtual events, you’ll need a reliable online platform. Exercise.com’s software can facilitate hosting virtual fitness events and managing attendee information.

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How Do I Create a Fitness Program to Sell?

When creating a fitness program to sell, consider your target audience’s needs and goals. Design a program that is effective, engaging, and easy to follow. Exercise.com’s software allows you to create, sell, and manage fitness programs through your custom-branded fitness app.

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How Do I Make Money from a Fitness Challenge?

You can make money from a fitness challenge by charging an entry fee or selling premium content or services related to the challenge. You can also partner with brands for sponsorships. With Exercise.com, you can manage registrations and payments easily through your custom-branded fitness app.

Kellie Davis - Fit Thrive
With Exercise.com, I’m able to reach people around the world with the programs that I design, implement, and push out. You donā€™t have that opportunity working in a local gym. So that’s been huge.
Kellie Davis
Founder/Trainer, Fit Thrive

Get Started Today

If you’re looking for a way to motivate yourself or others to live a healthier lifestyle, consider running a fitness challenge. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to plan and execute a successful fitness challenge that promotes a healthy lifestyle, builds a sense of community, and encourages friendly competition.

Need fitness challenge software that will help you run better fitness challenges, and make more money?

Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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