Workout Challenges to Keep Member Motivation High

Motivate Your Members With These Fun Workout Challenges

« Blog | Written by Kathryn Dressler | | (0) Comments |

Workout challenges are a fun 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.

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. 

Here are some 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 compete 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 discount on membership.

Read on to learn six of the most popular types of workout challenges.

Six Popular Workout Challenges

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 is 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.

  1. Improve Your Personal Best by 10%

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.

  1. Cycling Challenges

Cycling challenges work especially well for members who may not be able to run. The challenge can be based on distance traveled, the speed at which it was traveled, or the duration.

  1. Running Challenges

Running challenges are one of the most common types of workout challenges because members can go at their own pace. The challenge can be based on total distance, or the speed at which a certain distance is run.

  1. 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.

  1. Calories Burned

This challenge makes the goal an end-result, so it gives your members a little more freedom to choose the exercises they’re most comfortable with.


Workout challenges can benefit your fitness business by improving member engagement and retention rates, generating new leads, and increasing referrals. They also benefit 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.

What workout challenges have you held at your gym? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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