“Come on, man, it’s fun…it’s challenging.”

No, it’s not.

99% of these challenges are dumb, have no direction, aren’t a true test of anything, and depending on what the “challenge” is, can really put you in harms way.


 

Instagram, Facebook, Pintrest, and Tumblr have made it very easy to share ideas of just about anything from cool dinner ideas, to easy DIY home improvements, to dog clothing, to how cats are there to kill owners, and tons of “fitness challenges”.

While “fitness” can mean anything in terms of “getting fit”, one should seek to view “fitness” as getting better and reaching a goal set.

For instance:

  • If you have hardly ever exercised, walking up and down the stairs leaves you short of breath, you cannot tie your shoes without losing your breath, you might want to start getting fit by walking around the neighborhood and/or track, riding a bike, using a rower, and if you’re a little more advanced, take Zumba…yes, I just said that.
  • Lift weights with intention. Do what doesn’t hurt (even if it’s all machines) and work with a trainer/coach that can help you strengthen your weaknesses and get your better.
  • Take yoga if you are utterly immobile. It can help.

Those choices would without a doubt, not only get you fit, or put you on the road to it, but will serve a purpose, get you moving better, faster, stronger..now now now, what don’t kill me…

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Sorry, had a Kanye moment.

What doesn’t do that is:

  • Spell out your name and do the exercises correlating with each letter. Thats just pompous.
  • “30-day burpee challenge” – because I truly am sick of seeing this. Not to mention many people do burpees with bad form and is more of a risky exercise than it is a rewarding exercise.
  • Doing random exercises any 9 year old can put together to get you out of breath. Because being winded is not a sign of getting better or a good workout.

 

So what can you do?

Get progressively stronger and get better with intention. When you are moving properly and without pain and have a solid training base, then start challenging yourself in certain areas that you feel can get stronger and better.

Some challenges that serve a purpose:

  • Dan John’s 10,000 KB Swing Workout – Why? Because not only is it taxing metabolically (aka, fat loss), it will strengthen the posterior chain and help with body composition.
  • Bret Contreras’ 30-Day Glute Challenge – Why? You’ll build your glutes through metabolic stress (1 form of hypertrophy).
  • Build Your Own – Think of something you want to do better (ie: pull ups) and make sure there’s an intent and reason behind “challenging” yourself that the reward far outweighs the risk. This could mean doing 10 pull ups a day for 30 days. That’s 300 pull ups in a month. Bet you never thought you’d do that. Same can go for push ups and squats and deadlifts and heck, even holding a plank for a minute.

They serve a purpose, not only to strengthen the body, but will help build a more well-rounded physique and be more demanding of the body

So bottom line is this, I don’t necessarily *hate fitness challenges, I just hate the ones that serve no purpose, put the person in harms way, and really do nothing to make a person better…which is about 99% of the one’s posted on the internet.

Get fit…with intent.