Five Lessons I Learned from Taking on a Fitness Challenge

In keeping in line with my workout goals for the year, it only seemed appropriate to pick up a fun fitness challenge that would kick things into full swing.

Out of the many gym studios offering weight loss or body transformation programmes, I decided to try out the Ministry of Burn’s 6-Weeks Challenge. Not only was the studio quite new, but they offered rhythm cycling classes, or spin, a type of workout that I enjoy a lot.

The challenge conditions were simple: attend classes five times per week for six weeks. But was it as easy to get myself to the gym that many times within a week?

That was definitely the hard part! But the challenge organisers had probably anticipated this and put together several incentives to motivate challenge takers to keep going. These included extra class credits, spa sessions and other goodies.

The rewards were helpful. And in seeing my first fitness challenge through, I picked up some wisdom along the way, to share with you here:

It’s possible to prioritise workouts over work

The biggest challenge (on top of the challenge itself) is working around your work schedule to get to the gym. Here is where you will need to recalibrate your mindset to make workouts a bigger priority over work. Share your fitness journey with your boss and colleagues with such passion that they cannot help but root for you. A workplace that is worth going the extra mile for would surely be supportive of an employee’s quest towards better health.

It gets easier, not harder, to maintain the routine

Once you get through the first week of sticking to the schedule, it won’t seem nearly as impossible as previously imagined. There’s no doubt that your body will hurt. There will even be days when a good stretch is not enough to get rid of the soreness. But it will adjust when you are halfway through. With every successful week, your countdown to reaching your challenge goals will be over in no time.

Pick something you enjoy doing, or something you’ll enjoy learning

I chose Ministry of Burn’s 6-Weeks Challenge because of their signature rhythm cycling classes. I’d been spinning for about a year and a half by then and really enjoyed it. Apart from physical fitness, there is a mental discipline needed to coordinate your upper body movements, while simultaneously keeping up a decent cycling pace with your legs. Going once or twice a week wasn’t enough to improve quickly, so this 6-weeks challenge was the perfect opportunity for that. Needless to say, I’m pretty good at balancing on the bike while doing ab crunches now!

With consistency, the improvements can happen without you noticing

If you’re enjoying the challenge, the advancements you make in your chosen sport when you are consistent, will be pretty impressive even to yourself. Complement that effort with a clean, healthy diet to help you reach your targeted goals more quickly. Your body begins to tone, and you’ll see a reduction when stepping onto the scale. The best part is, you might not even notice until more than one person starts to point out the difference.

Completing a challenge you’ve previously never done should be celebrated, and maintained

If you’re doing something to improve yourself and you’ve made it through the duration of the fitness challenge without any cheats, you’re allowed to feel proud of yourself and have a little celebration. Along with this newfound achievement, comes the discovery that physical fitness is actually within reach. Hopefully you’ll be motivated, like I was, to maintain all of the effort put in for those gains, and cultivate a lifelong habit of working towards greater and better health.

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