Your Best Tips to Stay on Track During a Fitness Challenge
Starting a fitness challenge can be so exciting – a blank slate with a set plan to help you reach your goals. But after a week or two, the newness starts to wear off and the reality of all the work involved sets in.
So maybe you’re asking yourself why you should even join a fitness challenge to begin with. And if you do, how will you stay on track? We gave our best advice here, but don’t just take our word for it: The Fit Body community is all about support and learning from others, and they’re here to share their proven strategies for sticking with a fitness challenge.
Along with tips from your fellow challengers, we’ve included valuable feedback from Fit Body’s physical therapist Amy Schultz.
Why Do a Fitness Challenge?
Besides the amazing feeling of completing a challenge, there are three key factors that make fitness challenges a great way to commit (or recommit) to your fitness journey – especially if you struggle with fitting workouts into your schedule.
1. It provides structure to your workout schedule.
Rather than wondering, “What does my workout look like today?” every day, the Fit Body app has 12 different programs to choose from that tell you exactly what to do.
“There’s a full schedule laid out so there's no need to worry about when to start, when to end, when to get going… It’s really helpful to stay on track,” Schultz says.
You can even take a short quiz about your goals and workout preferences to find the program that’s the perfect match for you. Then all you have to do is do it!
2. It keeps you accountable.
Setting a goal and choosing a program is only the first step toward reaching the finish line of any fitness challenge. Think of it as crossing the starting line. Once you get going, how do you keep going? Take it week by week (or even day by day).
“There’s an end date and ultimate goal in mind, and benchmarks along the way, so it’s easier to stay on track,” Schultz says.
Those mini-milestones along the way are your progress markers so that you can break down your goal into more manageable pieces. That makes it mentally easier to log into the app each day, crush your workout, then repeat until you find yourself at the finish line!
3. It provides the support you need.
While you may be doing your workouts alone, you’re certainly not in this challenge alone! You have the support of more than 9,500 women in the Fit Body Community Facebook group and even more on Instagram.
“You receive a ton of support from your fellow athletes,” Schultz says. “Join the Facebook Group and get involved on Instagram.” Each member is there to support, encourage and give motivation and advice when you need it most.
Community Member Tips for Sticking With a Fitness Challenge
Visualize your progress.
“I like to print off calendars, write out my workout schedule, and color in the days as I reach my goals,” says Jenny Chandler, Fit Body community member. “Green for sticking to what I planned, yellow if I didn't finish, and red if I missed a day.” (Psst! Remember to keep your calendar somewhere you’ll see it every day.)
Make workouts non-negotiable.
“I approach a challenge as something I need to check off my list, like a class in school or an appointment at work,” says Laura Chancellor, Fit Body community member. “It’s a requirement in my day to make sure I get my workouts in. I’m very dedicated when I think of it that way.”
Find what works for you.
“When I participate in a fitness challenge, I have learned over a very long journey that exercise is sometimes the smallest component when reaching your goals,” says Laura Rollins, Fit Body community member. “Our fitness and wellness depend on SO many factors, but once you understand what works best for you, make a plan to set yourself up for success and attack it with enthusiasm!” So if working out for 90 minutes every morning and eating a low-carb diet isn’t sustainable for you, find something that is. Life is too short to be miserable in the name of “getting fit” or “losing weight.”
Set a time and stick to it.
“I set it as my priority right when I get home from work to workout,” says Elizabeth Warren, Fit Body community member. “I change my clothes and get to it. No sitting down, no cleaning, kids wait. When I am done, I have more energy and can really get house things done. I have my kids keep me in check and remind them to not let me slack.”
Know when to push and when to rest.
“Find a balance between giving yourself grace and tough love,” says Laura Rollins, Fit Body community member. “Life isn’t perfect and things happen. If you miss your macros or skip a workout, it’s not the end of the world. BUT you are in control of your plans, your diet, and your one hour of exercise (4% of your day). Be honest with yourself about your choices.” Do what’s realistic given your schedule and fitness level, but don’t respect results from any work you didn’t do. Celebrate the results you did earn!
“The community helped me so much, and I've met some awesome people through Instagram,” says Kirby Charles, Fit Body community member.
Find your cheer squad.
“I find the accountability of a challenge and the FBG community to be really helpful and instrumental in my success,” says Laura Chancellor, Fit Body community member. “It’s great to know we’re doing this together and can pick each other up when we have a low point and cheer each other on when we’re killing it.”
Give a little, take a little.
“I don't think I would have made it through my first challenge without the Fit Body community,” says Dana Merk-Wynne, Fit Body community member. “Some days I needed to see other girls crushing their workouts to motivate myself to do the same. Other days, I knew that my motivation would inspire someone else who wasn't feeling like they could push through on their own.”
- How to Join Fit Body's Fall 2022 Fitness Challenge
- Our Best Tips to Stay on Track During a Fitness Challenge
- How to Stay Motivated After Your Fitness Challenge