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.
Personally, 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.
Prisoner jump squats
Body weight squats
Dumbbell squat to press
Alternating reverse lunges
Dumbbell lateral lunges
Hip / Glute Variation:
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:
Jumping jack push-ups
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?
Jodilyn 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]