What’s in a challenge?

There are so many different challenges out there now-a-days in the health and fitness industry.  Body transforming, weight loss, marathon exercise sessions. Drink this, lose that, eat this for a month.

The reality is I think those are pretty much gimmicks.  They don’t teach you anything and in the end, usually leave you with a lighter wallet and often once you are done with the challenge, a few months later you’ll be worse than when you started.

Now, I’m not against challenges at all.  In fact I think that they can be great and are often the difference between success and failure.  The key to a great challenge is what it does for you.  I’ve run many different challenges with my clients and my boot campers. The challenges I run are always based on a personal challenge.

The first challenge I always introduce to my clients is the challenge to show up and bring it!  It takes guts to show up day in and day out.  Life gets in the way.  Work, activities, social gatherings, etc.  We make choices and prioritize things that suit our needs.  When clients come to me with their wants and needs, they get a challenge in return.  I challenge them to make a commitment to themselves.

Its easy to mail it in with everything you do.  It’s a challenge to do your best every time with everything you do.  At boot camp, going through the motions and giving minimal effort is not a challenge.  Doing all the movements the best you can, giving a sprint extra effort or doing two more push-ups when you think you’ve done all you can already…challenges.

Challenging yourself means digging deep and giving it your all.  It means doing what you think is tough and making it easy.  A challenge means you are stretching beyond your comfort level and doing what it takes to get the job done.

This week at boot camp I created a challenge to show everyone first hand what they could do.  Every session this week we’ve run this timed challenge and all I’ve asked is that they do their very best, improve on their previous time and give it all they’ve got.  The result?  Every person has improved their time and are finding it easier to complete.  They all love it (and probably hate it a little too), but they are killing it!

They are challenging themselves without buying some crap potion or lotion.  They are setting personal goals and achieving them.  They are improving themselves in ways that they probably didn’t think was possible.

So what’s in a challenge?







  1. I think the challenge this week has been great!! I love to motivate the boot campers – pushing them to do more than they thought they could do. BUT -to see them push themselves to beat their best time has been even better!! As you told me long ago Carrie (more than 3 years now)…

    “If you say you can’t, you cant. If you say I’ll do, the possibilites are endless!!” It’s amazing what can happen when you challenge yourself.

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