Workout challenges are a fun and effective way to keep members engaged and working toward their fitness goals. They help your members set challenging yet realistic goals within a time-specified timeframe—and when participants start to see the physical results, they’ll also start to associate your fitness facility with success and be more motivated to keep coming back.
From a fitness business standpoint, workout challenges are also a great way to generate new leads, increase referrals, and assist in building long-term relationships with clients.
There’s just something about a little friendly competition. Maybe it’s the feeling of victory or the bragging rights. Maybe it’s the prizes or maybe it’s all of the above.
What we do know is that workout challenges are a proven way to motivate your gym members to increase engagement, improve retention, and reduce member churn.
Plus—workout challenges are fun to plan and host!
Why Should You Host a Workout Challenge?
Fitness challenges are one of the best ways to boost member engagement and motivate customers to reach their goals.
Workout challenges also help generate new leads, encourage referrals, and maximise customer loyalty.
Before you launch your fitness challenges, you must first decide on the duration, how you’re going to track results, whether it will be an individual or competitive challenge, and what you’ll offer to the winners.
Key Considerations When Designing Workout Challenges
When it comes to workout challenges, the opportunities are limitless!
You can choose to structure them any way you’d like, and it’s a great way to keep your online and offline customers engaged.
Regardless of which workout challenges you choose, they should all have a few things in common: they should be easy to join, they should be enjoyable for a range of ages and fitness levels, and they should be compatible with fitness trackers and other wearable teach so everyone can track and measure success.
Here are some other key considerations to keep in mind:
- Once you set your duration for each challenge, be sure it’s communicated clearly to participants so they know what to expect.
- Promote your workout challenges on your social media pages to generate buzz and encourage more sign-ups.
- Results can be tracked using a mobile app, gym software or your staff can create a leaderboard and manually enter results. Participants can take pictures of their results if need be.
- An individual challenge has members working toward a set goal, such as running 100 within a certain time frame. Rewards are typically smaller with individual challenges since every participant could be a winner.
- A competitive challenge has members competing against each other. Since awards are usually tiered and given in the order in which participants finish, rewards are usually larger.
- Once you determine how many people will be rewarded for participating in your workout challenges, you must decide what the reward(s) will be. Popular rewards include free swag, a personal training session, or a membership discount.
For your workout challenge to be a success, it needs to be built on a strong foundation.
Five qualities of a great workout challenge:
1. SMART goals
To succeed at a challenge, you must start with an end goal in mind.
Remember to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals so you can set your members up for success.
2. End date
Every gym challenge needs to have an end date—whether it’s one month, eight weeks, or another specific duration of time, which will vary based on the type of challenge.
Give your gym members all the tools they need to succeed. Consider providing nutrition tips based on their goals, fitness advice, workout best practices, videos that show them how to perform each challenge, or podcasts for motivation.
4. Track progress
Before you launch your workout challenge, you should prepare a template where participants can track their daily progress. If they record progress on your branded mobile app, you’ll also be able to monitor their progress so you can help keep them motivated along the way.
5. Reward them
Reward participants whenever they meet a milestone, finish first place, or complete the challenge.
Popular rewards include branded swag like t-shirts, water bottles, sweat bands, and more. Not only does this make the customer happy—it helps boost your brand awareness whenever they wear the swag outside of your facility.
Read on to learn 12 of the most popular types of workout challenges.
12 Popular Workout Challenge Ideas
So, which workout challenges are best for your fitness facility?
The great news is that you can structure them however you’d like—feel free to create your own or pull inspiration from the examples outlined below:
1. Most Club Visits
Most Club Visits are an easy challenge to set up and run, and there’s no better way to incentivise your members to come in as much as possible than with a total check-ins challenge.
2. Improve Your Personal Best
Most people enjoy certain activities and exercises, and this type of workout challenge encourages members to work toward their long-term fitness goals by improving upon their favourite workout routines—whether that’s rowing, running, walking, or any type of lift.
To successfully run this challenge, ask everyone who wants to participate to come in on a particular day to record their best number to date and document it.
3. Cycling Challenges
Cycling challenges work especially well for members who may not be able to run. The challenge can be based on the distance travelled, the speed at which it was travelled, or the duration.
4. Running or Walking Challenge
Running challenges are one of the most common types of workout challenges. This is because it can be done anytime, (mostly) anywhere, members can go at their own pace, and they can exercise by themselves or with friends.
You also can base your running or walking challenges on total distance or a set duration of time.
5. Rowing Challenges
Rowing is a popular workout because of its aerobic intensity and full-body training, so consider adding a rowing challenge to your repertoire. You can use the machine’s digital dashboard to set time, distance and speed challenges.
6. Calories Burned
This challenge makes the goal a result, so it gives your members a little more freedom to choose the exercises they’re most comfortable with.
7. Healthy Eating Challenge
A healthy eating challenge can be structured in a few different ways.
A few ideas include encouraging members to try new recipes or consulting with a nutritionist to create a personalised meal plan. This helps members gain a whole new perspective when it comes to diet and nutrition.
8. 30-day yoga challenge
This type of 30-day fitness challenge is one of the most popular because yoga is widely recognised for its physical and mental health benefits.
Plus, if participants aren’t able to come to your gym every day, they can still complete their 30-minute session from home.
9. 30-day movement challenge
The goal behind a 30-day movement challenge is to motivate and inspire people to get in the habit of exercising for at least 30 minutes every day.
Plus, this is another challenge that can be done at the gym or from home. It can also be adapted to suit the participant. For example, the members can choose whether to do squats, abs, planks, push-ups, crunches or simply a walk, all work in this format.
10. Stretching challenge
Stretching helps improve performance and reduce the risk of injury, but this this pre-workout warm-up activity is often overlooked.
This challenge is a great way to get members in the habit of stretching before workouts. Recommend your clients perform a variety of stretches, including legs, arms, shoulders, neck and more.
11. Seasonal Fitness Challenges
By the time January rolls around, it’s no secret that many people have set their New Year’s resolutions and are eager to shed some holiday pounds.
To attract new members and encourage existing ones to return after the holidays, consider holding holiday-themed fitness or transformation challenges like the January exercise challenge or new year fitness challenges around this time of year.
12. Mindfulness Challenge
There’s more to fitness challenges than just movement—mental performance is just as important as physical performance.
By encouraging healthy practices like meditation, mindfulness challenges can help members alleviate stress, combat chronic pain, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and depression, and more!
Putting Your Workout Challenge Idea into Action
Workout challenges can benefit your fitness business by improving member engagement and retention rates, generating new leads, and increasing referrals.
Hosting a fitness challenge also benefits your members by providing a fun and competitive setting for members to pursue their fitness goals, make friends, and develop a sense of community and belonging. It’s a win: win.
Learn how EZFacility’s robust set of tools and features–for example, our Branded Mobile App, Text Message functionality, and Marketing Suite–can do all the heavy lifting for you so you can easily implement workout challenges throughout the year to keep your members motivated.
Try EZFacility for free by scheduling a free, no-commitment demo and personalised product tour.