Some Quick tips for Monthly Challenges

Lisa Austin Exercise and Form 2 Comments

I had been thinking about what my next blog post was going to be about when a friend of mind had posted a pic of 4 monthly challenges to my Facebook page but apparently there were issues with people being able to view it so I’m posting it so all can see.

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I think there is definitely a place for challenges. They get you motivated and having moral support would push you along when you probably would’ve given up. But I must say, I don’t agree with how these challenges are set up because by the time you get to the end of it the numbers are not reasonable, achievable, or even advisable.

We have all seen them shared over Facebook where you start off with a low number of a particular exercise like squats and it progressively increases in repetitions until by the time the end of the challenge you are completing a ridiculously high number. If you completed it, Kudos to you!
But most probably did not and got discouraged half way through for various reasons…

1) If you haven’t worked out in a while your body was probably too sore the next day from the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) to do the second day.

2) The movement hurt (because you may be performing the exercise incorrectly by the end of the sets due to being fatigued).

3) Too many reps (how can you possibly have time to do 250 squats in one day?)

4) When it comes down to it you really shouldn’t have been doing that many reps in the first place because you could be putting you at risk for a repetitious injury. Now who would want that?

Now, with that being said, I think challenges are great! They motivate you to achieve a goal and having goals are fantastic! Challenges are also great to get your friends to join in and you have that little kick to keep it up because who wants to be the first to give up? Not me 😉 Most people like the competitiveness of it.

Try this instead…

If you like the idea of monthly challenges then instead of the un-achievable numbers shown above,, you can increase the intensity a number of ways like adding weights, doing a slight variation of original exercise, increasing the time, or performing the reps slower.

You can add weights to squats by using a sandbag, dumbbells, a barbell,  or a small child 😉  For the first week I would suggest you do body weight squats starting with 3 sets of 8 reps, 3 set of 10, then 3 sets of  12, etc.. The next week add some weight and do the same thing, the following week increase the weight again. There’s no need to be doing 250 reps, your knees wouldn’t be able to handle it.

For the push ups you can start off with feet wider apart, then the second week bring them together, third week do T-push ups, fourth week alternate lifting one foot, ( in all of them keep elbows close to you, don’t flare your elbows out to the sides).

Do the same variations as the push ups for the plank.  You could also do a side plank and build your time up.

As for the crunches, I would not recommend those numbers, if at all, especially if your goal is to get a flat stomach. The plank and variations would be your better choice as the plank is just plain wonderful for your core.

I think the whole idea of a challenge is to set you up for victory.

If you decide to do the challenge, keep me posted of your progress :).

Comments 2

  1. Post
    Author

    thanks Laurie…I think making some simple tweaks will definitely make it doable and a challenge worth sharing. I would rather see people succeed and move on to the next challenge, then to have them give up and think ‘exercise is not for them’.
    Life’s a journey, and it’s OK to stumble as long as you get back up 😉

  2. Great tips ! Those large numbers can be really daunting after the first couple days of pain, lol.. When you first start out, it all hurts then the huge number of reps, turn me right off ! But if you can do five this week, then five a bit slower, or lower,, or slightly more challenged, you just met a doable target, right ?!

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