Created by Jamie Spoor
6 minute read
Fitness challenges have long been a “go to” tool for clients, personal trainers and mentors alike when it comes to boosting motivation, participation and to maintain retention for members both old and new.
Challenges such as these can keep the fire burning and keep the intensity up as your clients push harder, faster and stronger towards their goals.
Since the emergence of the Covid pandemic, the fitness world has - like so many other industries - shifted to online services. Even now with the country open and burgeoning gyms back at capacity, the need for clients to go online still remains an important aspect of any personal trainer’s raison d’être.
Here, we take a look at what we can offer you and your clients without having to leave your home - perfect if you’re a bit pushed for time, on home schooling duties or not quite ‘feeling’ that one extra gym session. We will also dip in to what’s in it for you as a professional. Fitness challenges can not only utilise your potential to the max but also allow you to distinguish your brand in a crowded market.
The best aspect of a virtual challenge is you’re not tied to one specific location and so your potential is significantly enhanced. Going online enables you to expand your outreach, builds your marketing potential and draws new clients when it comes to what you can offer.
If your clients have hit a brick wall in their efforts to smash through the ceiling, then introducing a competitive element into training is a great way to re-light the fuse. Competing for a prize or striving to achieve a goal by ‘x’ date is ideal to implement this and you’re more likely to get new clients on board with a fitness programme focused on the short term than by thinking too far ahead.
This element is key when it comes to yielding results along any fitness journey - and ultimately, results equal retention. Fitness challenges such as this will encourage your members to put the work in themselves, holding them accountable, and prevent ‘stagnation’ through something new and fresh. Ideally this will help to develop healthy habits and to build a strategy over the long term.
By definition, being a personal trainer is all about focusing on a client’s individual needs and working one-on-one to reach peak fitness. That’s where a fitness challenge can come in - taking you away from that and into a world where fitness can become a community - even if it is only a virtual one. Being part of something creates a sense of belonging, provides additional group support and makes life more fun. A group fitness challenge keeps interest up and clients are more likely to want to get involved.
So there’s HOW to do it - now let’s look at WHAT you can do
Yoga doesn’t only have huge physical benefits, but is scientifically proven to improve mental health and stress relief too - perhaps your tagline could be “Be more mindful.” Yoga gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to physical and mental wellbeing, and is great for beginners finding their feet. The basic idea is simple: 30 days, 30 yoga session. Exactly what the challenge would entail is up to you - there’s plenty out there to hep you get started, or you could come up with your own routine.
Essentially, this one is a running challenge, aimed at new or first time clients. The idea is to gradually build up both distance, endurance and stamina over a period time (a month, for example, but again up to you) culminating in a 5k. If you want to incorporate the old adage of “little and often” into you daily routine then this is a good one to start with.
Again, run across 30 days, your members and clients should look to push out a set of ‘planks’ each day of this challenge. You can change the concept by throwing in some variety - perhaps some push ups, squats, lunges, crunches or burpees to avoid repetition.
Ideally start off with something fairly easy, then look to up the difficulty and the intensity as you get nearer your goal. A challenge like this will help to maintain your client’s posture, strength and muscle.
Perhaps the most popular type of fitness challenge, thousands of people across the country partake in charity events such as Race for Life year in year out.
You too can look to incorporate a fundraising element into your virtual workout - for every exercise your client or member completes, they get a donation (e.g ‘x’ amount per mile run in a month) or whatever form you want.
You could consider pairing with a local or national charity - one close to their hearts - and then log whatever you’re recording on each day in an app.
This would not only support a good cause and help your client to build fitness, in turn maintaining that all important motivation, but charity challenges help to promote your company and service as a brand. In short, everyone’s a winner
Not all challenges have to be overtly physical. Wellness is an ever growing trend, so to stand out and for something a little different, why not try to tap into the nutritional element of healthy living? This will help to implement a healthier and more sustainable diet whilst increasing outreach and accountability - there’s so much you can do with calories, portion sizes, meat free diets and so on. You can customise it to whatever suits clients best and be sure to log your progress and keep a food diary as you go.
Simple, easy and personalised, this one would entail a competitive element as clients complete to see who can get the furthest within a specific time frame - a month is probably a good length of time. This is ideal for all and accessible to anyone no matter your fitness level or age. Log your times and distances to keep up to date with you progress. A great virtual option.
To keep things organised and your challenge alive, find a virtual format to deploy - this could be through social media, a pre-recorded video or a live stream. Use a variety of different platforms to promote the content and set up a hub where participants can encourage each other and share their progress.
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