Need some motivation? Try a fitness challenge with friends.

This winter has been hard.  I never really got in awesome shape before my winter vacation as I normally do. Then, post vacation did not result in a resurgence of motivation to burn off those extra calories obtained from restaurant food and beer.

It was a sort of ho-hum kind of winter. If you were like me, at least remember this: You are still exercising and that means you have gone 1 more year without giving up. Kudos!

But that is not enough, is it? We want to get back into the shape we were in before our slump. Well I have a suggestion to jump start things: Try running a fitness competition with friends/family. Fortunately for me, my friend Seth and I, as well as our wives, are in just about the same shape. This makes for an even competition so either team could win if they put in the effort.

What I did was to list 10 exercises that cover the total body and I put in a few rules on what would count as a rep. Some exercises needed a time limit of a minute so we don’t kill ourselves. Then you just have to assign points. For example, you get a point per Burpee in a minute time. Or, you get a point for every 15 seconds of a Physioball Balance you do without falling or quitting. Next, you shake up the order of the exercises to make it fun, yet doable.  Some exercises might need a 5 minute cap of accumulating points.


How to do the competition:

One thing is that you have to agree on the rules. They can be different for folks as long as it is balanced. For example, Seth and I couldn’t use our knees for Push-ups, but our wives could. Since we were comparing team totals, it was fair and balanced. Same goes for Pull-ups, where Seth and I had to start at a dead hang, where the women could jump start.

We took turns so somebody from the other team was observing and making sure to only count reps that were done within our agreed upon guidelines. Be careful not to let the same person go last each time because of the advantage of knowing what you have to beat. For example, I did 64 Push-ups.  Why 64?  Well because Seth did 63 before me. I pushed myself to get one more point, hence an advantage.

When you are done, total up the points to determine the winner. We tested this out together to fine tune the rules and then agreed to compete for real in two weeks time. Two weeks was enough time to hit it hard, but not too long so we could enjoy the fun of the competition.

The last note is you have to have something you are training for other than bragging rights. In our case, we hemmed and hawed between cutting each others’ grass one time, or picking up all the winter dog poop in the yard when the snow melts. Or you can always go with a six pack of your favorite beer!

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