In a country where over half of our population is overweight, we are DESPERATE for solutions.
We need something – ANYTHING – to get our rear in our gear, drop the unnecessary pounds, and fit the mold our society pressures us into fitting.
Workout VHS tapes and DVDs to get fit at home like Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda.
Shakes and cleanses to clean out your impurities.
Fitness center incentives and classes designed to entice you to the hottest new workout trend.
Fad diets and “fat burning” pills to incinerate your fat.
And then came The Challenge.
30 days, 6 Weeks, 10 Weeks – You name it, it’s been done.
Challenges launched onto the scene as THE solution for the obesity epidemic. They were designed to be life changing programs that taught you everything you need to know to get fit.
But MOST of the challenges out there were missing 1 key thing…
The thing that proved to be the biggest knock on (and really the death of) challenges…
How to STAY fit.
Now, I’m not writing this blog to poo-poo on challenges. It’s quite the opposite. I’ve run HUNDREDS of challenges (I became a coach in a challenge-based gym), and I do think they’re very beneficial.
But like everything else, I believe you need to carefully consider a challenge and decide whether it’s truly a right fit for YOU.
How do you do that?
Keep reading, my friend.
What Is This Challenge Offering?
Now, this may seem a little obvious or silly to look at, but I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t touch on this.
Because there’s always something that gets overlooked – the fine print, details, expectations, etc.
Throughout my career, I’ve run well over 100 challenges, and without fail there is ALWAYS somebody who neglects the challenge’s true offerings…
I’ve had individuals ask for their meal plan a few days into their workout challenge.
Others have shown up to the gym for an in-person session when the challenge was entirely virtual.
We all make mistakes, get confused, and forget things here and there, and that is OKAY!
The problem is that when you sign up for something and don’t really take a look at what is being offered there’s a good chance it’s going to fall well-short of your expectations.
Read the fine print.
Ask the question you’re afraid to ask.
Take a deep assessment as to what the challenge is REALLY offering, so that you can say with confidence whether this challenge is the right thing for you or not.
What Can This Challenge Do for You?
Although this might sound very similar to the previous question, it’s not.
Looking at what a challenge is OFFERING as compared to looking at what a program OFFERS you are two very different things.
When challenges were the hot thing in the fitness and nutrition world, all the haters came knocking and slamming challenges for their inability to offer things to participants long-term.
You might sign up for a challenge that offers workouts, shakes or meal replacements, and some form of check in for accountability to help you lose 20 pounds in 21 days.
But what does that challenge offer you long-term?
Do you still get the workouts, shakes, and accountability once you’re done?
Or is it more like “Thanks for the cash, best of luck, and we’ll DEFINITELY see you for the next challenge because you gained all that weight back!”?
A poorly run challenge will resemble the latter.
A well-run challenge will equip you with tools and opportunities moving forward. Those might look like rolling into the next level challenge; coaching or program opportunities; or tools, resources, and products to continue building upon the foundation you’ve set in place.
Do your research and complete a thorough assessment so you really understand what a challenge can offer you so you avoid wasting A LOT of time, money, and energy.
Why Do You Want This Challenge?
I’m going to assume that you’ve been around the weight/fat loss block a few times, which means you’ve also been told to ask yourself “WHY” quite a few times.
Well, challenges are no different.
If I’m being honest, I might argue that it’s MORE important to ask WHY when contemplating a challenge.
Back in their prime, challenges were marketed as the jumpstart to your fat loss journey because most were designed to help you lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. It wasn’t long before challenge designers and marketers recognized the monster they had created…
Not a jumpstart, but a QUICK FIX.
Something to help you shed 15, 20, or even 30+ pounds in an incredibly short amount of time.
For a while they tried to sell you that it was STILL a jumpstart, but then it became a money game, and they just flat out marketed these challenges as the quick fix to get you ready for a wedding, before the holidays, or to start the new year off right.
Now, by no means am I here to say that challenges are just money sucking scams led by individuals hoping to lead you on (HELLO! Remember that I’ve run HUNDREDS of these and still plan to run them).
I’m using this section to educate you and open you up to the different types of challenges out there.
Some coaches and companies still run Quick Fix Challenges because it’s what their ideal client wanted; however, there are also others who despised the idea and pivoted their challenge structure to truly be a Jumpstart Challenge.
The point is that you need to ask yourself WHY you’re signing up for this challenge.
Are you looking for a short-term, quick fix challenge to get you ready for a big event or season of your life?
GREAT! Then find the right challenge that suits that.
Or are you coming from the other end? Are you looking for a challenge that’s going to start your journey? One wherein the fat loss is slower across the 3, 4, 6, or 10 weeks, but you’re able to keep the weight off and continue your progress long after challenge completion?
Neither is wrong.
Personally, and professionally, I’ve used both (and likely will continue to do so).
The point is to ask yourself WHY you want to do this challenge, so you can determine if this is the right fit for you.
Is This Challenge Supporting Me In the Short-Term AND Long-Term?
On a relatively similar note, comes this question to be asked.
Look at this question as building off of that WHY and tying it to the overall challenge offerings.
There are Quick Fix Challenges that can still offer things to you in the long-term. You might find that this is a quick “cleanse” or a means for you to dial things in before big events or following holidays.
There are Jumpstart Challenges that offer you results in the short-term. These might look like alleviation of bloating and inflammation, improved digestion, noticeable changes in energy or fatigue levels, and decrease in stress as a result of the tools and accountability.
As an individual, I like to make sure I’m getting value for every penny I put in.
In a similar fashion as a coach and business owner, I enjoy providing value for every penny being paid.
Look at the offerings and consider what this challenge can offer you for LIFE.
What Do You Need to Do to Make This Challenge a Success?
Per usual, last, but certainly not least – asking yourself what makes this challenge a success?
And please, before we go any further – be realistic.
Have you ever done something you’re super excited about only to feel “MEH” afterwards?
That’s largely due to the fact you never really took a moment to evaluate your expectations, but this is huge in consideration of a challenge.
What makes this a success?
Is it losing a certain amount of weight during the challenge?
Is it gaining a resource or tool?
Really ask yourself and evaluate what you need to do or experience for this challenge to be a WIN for you.
Asking this question can very well seal the deal on whether a challenge is right for you or not.
If your WIN is losing 10+ pounds, yet this challenge is offering to take you through a body recomposition and a restructure of hormonal homeostasis, then neither party is going to win.
Maybe a challenge isn’t right for you.
Maybe it is.