Monthly workout challenges are all the rage in recent years- but how do they work and are they really worth the time and money? Find out the pros and cons…
Monthly workout challenges seem to have taken the world by storm. If you know anything about gamification, it’s easy to understand why.
Making a game of our healthy choices can trigger our competitive natures. This can lead to better handling of major life decisions, from financial to health.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing this as it relates to 30-day workout results. So slide on that headband, and let’s break a sweat!
Pro: They Make Tough Workouts Accessible
This is the most common question you’ll hear regarding this concept: “Do 30-day challenges work?” It’s a question often posed by those with limited experience doing strenuous exercises.
They likely didn’t play a lot of organized sports growing up and weren’t forced to maintain a regimen of extreme exercise. That’s okay.
The monthly workout challenge can be a great way to acclimate these individuals. It can show them how to push themselves beyond their limits.
It does this by making the beginning of the workout low intensity and easy to handle. Once the participant has these stages under their belt, they can better transition into the more rigorous techniques or repetitions.
Con: They Are Temporary
It’s entirely possible you’ll see results from a 30-day challenge, but what do you do after the 30 days are up? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t always an easy one.
Setting up a workout routine under the “ticking clock” concept may lead some to ditch their efforts at the end of the interval. Rather than learning from the challenge, they see completing it as justification for going back to their old ways.
“I deserve a break. Look how great I did!” Mindsets like this aren’t helpful for days 31-365.
Pro: They Offer a Realistic Window for Results
The workout challenges that work are because they don’t try to do too much. They make realistic promises to the people participating in them.
They also don’t ask too much of the participant. It’s easy to look at something as temporary as a workout challenge and think you can do anything for a month.
This particularly can be helpful if you’re focusing on a specific area of your body. Let’s say you’re hoping for ab challenges that work, but you’re horrible at crunches and situps.
Making a deal with yourself that you don’t have to do it forever-only 30 days-can help you get used to the foundations of proper technique. With proper technique, you may end up finding out you’re better at those ab exercises than you thought.
Con: They Make Less of a Difference Than You May Be Expecting
On the flip side of the result window, there is the issue of unrealistic expectations. In other words, some participants expect those ab challenge results to finish with a six-pack (even if they started with a spare tire!).
It’s vital to keep those expectations as grounded as possible. No one is going to be in optimal shape after 30 days. But you can be on the road to it.
And if burning fat is your thing, it doesn’t take long. Here are some tips for doing it in just seven weeks!
Pro: They Can Be Habit Forming
The best outcome for a monthly workout challenge is the formation of good habits. If making exercise a routine has always been a problem for you, then this is a good way to inject some discipline into your life.
Once the habit is formed, you stop thinking of your workout challenge in gimmick terms. It becomes who you are.
Pro tip for those having a tough time finding time for their new habit: try the morning time. Studies show it’s the best time of day to exercise and more likely to stick.
Con: They Can Keep You from Making Important Lifestyle Changes
These challenges may be habit-forming for some. No denying that. But for others, they can actually keep you from establishing a healthy lifestyle.
That’s because they appeal to the “magic pill” mindset (that part of your brain that looks for the easiest way out).
What’s tricky about the challenge is that you don’t think you’re taking the easy way out from the outset because there won’t be a lot that’s easy about what you’re trying to do. Still, it’s the same function.
You may be doing some really tough workout routines. But if you think “the end” is in sight, it can cause you to extinguish the inner fire that drove you those 30 days once the time is up.
Pro: They Are Often Based on Rewards
Who doesn’t love a reward? If you’re having trouble getting started, dangling a nice trip or purchase in front of yourself can provide just the right kick in the pants to start rolling.
Careful, though. Don’t go into debt patting yourself on the back.
Con: They Can Be Discouraging
Jena Ingle, the owner of BodyTransformationCoach.com, acknowledges that some can become discouraged by workout challenges the first time they’re unable to hit a repetition goal or they miss a day. But she encourages her clients to stay the course and not fold in the face of a defeat.
“It’s better to reset and try again tomorrow. Get out of the mindset that you’ve failed if you do an incomplete set or miss a day,” Ingle said. “There’s always tomorrow.”
Pro: They Cause You to Take a Closer Look at Other Decisions
Successfully completing a workout challenge shows you what you’re capable of in more ways than one. It demonstrates your ability to do some challenging workouts, but it also highlights the benefits that might await you if you begin to focus on other things with the same tenacity.
What would happen if you changed your attitude at work or began tracking what you eat and counting calories?
Go Beyond Monthly Workout Challenges
Attempting monthly workout challenges may not be for everyone, and it can sometimes have a countereffect to what was intended. But if you stay the course, it can unlock parts of your mind and body you didn’t realize existed.
Give one a shot to see for yourself. And if you need any help building a sustainable workout plan, make sure to check out these tips.