It’s the beginning of the year, which means that for many of us, motivation to work out is at an all-time high. You’re now on a first-name basis with the receptionist at your gym, you seem to constantly be doing washing to ensure you’ve got fresh workout gear and you’ve been seriously considering whether it’s time to start your own fitness Instagram account.
But if the new years resolutions you’ve set for yourself are of the superficial variety (ie. lose 5kg! Get shredded abs!), it’s safe to say your motivation will be fleeting. While these goals can be inspiring at first, most of us tend to get disheartened and give up when results don’t come as quickly as expected.
That’s why it’s a great idea to set yourself skill-based — rather than aesthetic — goals. These tend to be a lot more motivating as it’s extremely encouraging to see yourself getting fitter, stronger and faster. And hey, if you happen to get a slammin’ body doing it, then so be it! Keep reading for 7 fitness challenges to help keep you motivated to work out in 2018.
Don’t get us wrong, you can still get an effective workout from doing push-ups on your knees. In fact, push-ups in any form are a fantastic workout for your arms, chest, shoulders and core. But nothing makes you feel like more of a badass than the first time you bust out a big boy (or girl!) push-up on your toes! They’re a great way to take the simple move to the next level. Check out Gaiam’s 5 step guide to doing push-ups on your toes.
You can do all the exercise in the world, but it’s not going to do much for you if you don’t have your diet, sleep and stress levels in check. That’s what makes Flow Athletic’s upcoming Flow 5 series a challenge worth tackling. The five-week challenge will combine five exercise sessions per week at Sydney’s Flow Athletic with a personalised nutrition plan and workshops on sleep, stress management, hormones and gut health. The challenge kicks off in February and you can learn more about it here.
If you’re already an avid runner, you may scoff at the idea of only being able to go 5K without stopping. But for those of us who generally only run if there’s pizza at the finish line (cough, me!), it’s a formidable challenge. Once you hit 5K, you can slowly build up to 10K and so forth. These 6 running apps make the process a lot more do-able (and bearable!)
We know we don’t have to lecture you on the benefits of practising yoga — we’ve already listed them approximately 3000 times. But suffice to say, if there’s one thing you can commit to every day that’s going to work wonders for your body, mind and soul, it’s doing yoga. And if you ask us, doing Alo Yoga’s free 30-day challenge is the best way to make the habit stick!
If you’ve never done a bodyweight pull-up before, you may look at videos of uber-fit chicks doing it and think it seems impossible. But actually, it’s quite achievable — it’s just a matter of starting with resistance bands and systemically progressing to the point where you can do it without them. Doing exercises like a dead hang and negative pull-ups can help you get there faster, too. Check out Fitstream’s guide to nailing the bodyweight pull-up here.
If you’re at the stage where you’ve been training for a while and are looking to take your strength to the next level, this is the challenge for you. The pistol squat is a b*tch of a move — it requires killer leg strength, great balance and a hella stable core. But we guarantee once you nail it, you’ll feel like an absolute boss! Check out A Shot of Adrenaline’s comprehensive guide to the pistol squat.
There’s nothing like splashing a bunch of cash and telling everyone you know you’re competing in a fitness event to keep you motivated and accountable! All jokes aside, they’re a great way to keep you on track with your goals. Whether you’re keen to get your hands (or entire body) dirty at Tough Mudder, tackle a half-marathon or simply sign up for an 8-week challenge at your gym, there’s something for everyone.