Fitness challenges have most definitely evolved over the years: cycling over mountain passes, stair climbs, Iron Man, Muddy Buddy, Rugged Maniac, triathlons,  marathons, half-marathons. In Colorado, we have our veritable pick of extreme sporting events to measure our mortal potentials. Prompted by the word “race”, it seems we Coloradans will sign up for just about anything we can sink our minimalist shoes into.

303 starting linePersonally, I have yet to delve into this local subculture of competition (although if given the opportunity, I’d be all over Ninja Warrior); yet I am keenly aware of the benefits that come from our drive to compete. We push harder. We commit longer. We derive a sense of belonging. We feel a deeper sense of accomplishment. Unless we don’t win, that is.

How about we dabble in a bit of healthy “self-competition”?

The challenge I propose is one I have used successfully with clients of all ages, sizes, and abilities. It’s called the Three Minute Challenge.

Complete as many repetitions (with good form) as you can in three minutes. Each exercise gets three minutes. Rest after each round. Choose one exercise from each category, but be sure it’s an exercise you can do with what equipment/space you have available to you. Decide if you want to challenge yourself once a month, once every other month, or quarterly. Keep track by writing down and dating results.

Squat Variation: 

Prisoner jump squats

Body weight squats

Dumbbell squat to press

Lunge Variation:

Alternating reverse lunges

Man's face is very dirty in the mud

Rugged Maniac, I believe

Dumbbell lateral lunges

Lunge jacks

Hip / Glute Variation:

Burpees

Hip raises on chair / bench

Plyo skater jumps

Upper Body Pull:

Body rows on TRX or Smith machine

Dumbbell supported single arm rows (heavy, please)

Seated cable row (again, heavy)

Upper Body Push:

Push-ups

Jumping jack push-ups

Decline push-ups

Core:

Hanging knee tucks

Hanging toes to bar

Supine shin slaps

If you have any questions about the exercises I’ve suggested, please contact me. This competition is free, you can start today (if you are so inclined), and is an excellent way to gauge your progress. Keep me posted.

Are you ready for this?

PT-color-headshot-I3Jodilyn Stuart is the owner of ModaBody Fitness and has been a fitness professional since 1997. She currently contributes to 303 Magazine as a Fitness and Health writer. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]

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