As if I needed more reasons for people to call me a grumpy old man…

“Fitness Challenges” tick all the boxes of stuff I tend to stay away from:

  • Trendy
  • Focused on weight loss
  • Over-emphasis on appearance and “transformation”
  • Reinforces unhealthy & unrealistic expectations

While there’s nothing wrong with weight loss or wanting to look better, going about it the wrong way creates more problems than it solves.

Thankfully I get to do these things my way. Last month we did a fitness challenge on the airbike. I set a group goal for a certain number of miles and a personal best top speed goal.

Even though I’m hesitant, its good to step out of the box and try something new. This month’s challenge is more appearance and weight loss centered. Here’s why I did it:

1.You can do anything for 30 days

30 days is a small commitment in terms of time and focus. Small commitments are important for building habits, improving focus, and confidence.

Can’t handle 30 days? Chances are high you won’t make it to the end of your 6 or 12 month program either.

You have to walk before you can run, and this is the way to do it. Learn how to commit and focus for short amounts of time before going bigger.

2.Several motivated clients

Talking about weight loss and nutrition is my least favorite part of this job. This is mostly because people aren’t willing to commit and do the work and just want to complain.

I borrowed an idea from Results Fitness where any client interested in discussing nutrition has to keep a journal for 7 days before we have that conversation. Several people have asked, but I have yet to receive a completed 7-day journal. Aside from the “no country music allowed” rule, this is the best rule I’ve put in place to date.

It always works better when the clients come to you and ask for help anyway. The timing worked out that 7 people asked around the same time, which is a first! I’d much rather work this way and discuss with everyone at once than have the same conversation multiple times a day.

3.Gets me outside my comfort zone

As a business owner I’m always looking for ideas that add to the client experience. This means doing things I wouldn’t do on my own, or borrowing from outside the fitness industry and adapting it to fit.

Organizing a group activity, planning for a month, how I’m sharing the information, and participating myself have challenged me in a few different ways.

4.Group participation

I’ve been primarily a 1-on-1 trainer for my entire career. Some clients train with their significant other, but there hasn’t been much of a group or “community” feel since I left the big box gyms.

I added semi-private training earlier this year and the clients that participate have enjoyed it so far. I’ve also had some 1-on-1 clients partner up with friends and they enjoyed the break from the norm. I’m more active on Instagram my Facebook group too, and that’s opened the door to a lot of new conversations.

5.I need a kick in the behind

Learning the ropes of running a business versus training people has been a challenge. Unfortunately, I’ve let my personal fitness take a backseat for the last 2 years or so. This is partly due to adjusting to new responsibilities, and partly because of injuries. I haven’t stopped training but I’m not as consistent as usual, especially with nutrition.

Thankfully I’m no longer injured and have a handle on my schedule. Now is the best time to get back into it! Plus I figure the clients will get a huge kick out of holding me accountable and watching me work for a change.