Fitness Challenges – To do it, or not to do it?

By Randy Butler
BKin, CFES PT, Customer Service Supervisor

Have you ever jumped on the fitness challenge bandwagon and then realized you were out of your league? Maybe you think it’s going to be just what you need to start off your New Year with your best foot forward. Or it’ll be the thing you need to stay accountable to a new healthy lifestyle.


Fitness trends can be fun, motivational and challenging. But are they safe and achievable, or will you feel defeated after a couple days?


Sometimes a fitness challenge looks like a great idea because someone else has completed it, they had a glowing review, they made it look easy, and their results were amazing! Other times it’s a dumpster fire…


Many challenges are easy to include in your life; others make a hard right turn and shake things up. Consider this – is the hard turn what you need to break old habits and adopt/create new ones, or perhaps will something easy make you feel successful?


Whether it’s a fitness challenge, or even a plan from a personal trainer, three questions you might want to start asking yourself are:


  • Does this offer me autonomy/choice?

  • Is this related to my goals?

  • Will I feel competent doing this?


Psychology research tells us that the three principles of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are key components to keep us motivated towards our goals, and life in general. In the world of fitness enthusiasts, and given the popularity of social media fitness trends; keeping these three principles in mind may help you decide if a plan is right for you, or not.


Recently, I started a 75-day challenge. Before starting, I looked at the core idea behind the challenge and asked myself if I could do what the challenge said. And my answer was NO.


The core idea didn’t offer me a choice, because none of the options were my choice. The core idea was kind of related to my goals, but I knew it was a bit off the path I wanted. The core idea was within my realm of competence, but as it currently was, I knew I would never succeed without extra stress.


So, I changed it. Instead of stopping before I even started, I customized the challenge for ME rather than doing a challenge that someone made for themselves. I kept the basic framework and layered in the things that I felt were important for me to create change. I gave myself limitations where I needed them, and left other options open so I had flexibility.


Next time you jump on some trendy fitness challenge, take a step back and look again. Maybe you’ll create a spinoff, rather than being the OG. Let’s be honest, sometimes the spinoff is better than the original anyways!

Author: Global

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