Personal trainers, coaches and apps are great resources for trainees to learn from. They can provide a wealth of information including correct exercise techniques and motivation when you don’t feel like working out. If you want to make consistent progress over time you have to take ownership of your fitness. That’s why I want to inspire you to create your own 30 day fitness challenge. Monitoring and evaluating your own program are great ways to discover what you like and don’t like – what works for you and what doesn’t work as well. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn about yourself in a month. This knowledge will give you insights into how to modify what you’ve been doing and get better results.
Take Your Pick
This is your 30 day fitness challenge and your first step is to decide what your goal is going to be for the next month (source). Do you want to lose 5 pounds, add 2 miles to your runs, or achieve a new personal record in pull-ups? It’s up to you to pick the workouts you’ll need to achieve your goal. Let’s look a little closer at the weight loss example. With this goal in mind you’d focus your efforts around raising your metabolism and burning more calories with activities like rowing and cycling for at least 20-30 minutes and boot camp style workouts.
Sample Boot Camp Workout: bodyweight and light dumbbells
Keep repetitions low start (10-20) depending on the exercise
- Bent-Legged Sit-Up with arms crossed on chest (abs)
- Push-Up with feet on chair or bench (chest and tricep)
- Jumping Jacks (cardio blast)
- Front / Side Shoulder Raise (traps and shoulders)
- Flutter Kicks (abs)
- Mountain Climbers (cardio blast)
- Plank (abs)
- Dumbbell Curls (biceps)
- Dumbbell Row (Back and Biceps)
- Walking Dumbbell lunges (Legs)
- Dumbbell Squats (Legs)
- Jump Rope or run in place for 60 seconds (cardio blast)
Then repeat for 2 -4 rounds depending upon your fitness level.
Examples for changing the routine to fit your own 30 Day Fitness Challenge
Using the example above for weight loss you can add and replace exercises to make your own custom workout. For instance, if you’re tired of doing “planks” in your routine, you can substitute it for another ab exercise. You can also insert exercises that you feel help you change and progress faster. Every body is different so choose exercises that are best for you!
The Formula for Success (Weight Loss)
Reps: 10 – 20 reps
Sets: 2 -4 rounds
Muscle Groups: 1 – 2 Back / 1 – 2 Chest / 1 – 2 Legs / 2 – 3 Abs / 3 Cardio Bursts
Muscle Gain 4 Days a week
Day 1: Back and Bicep
Day 2: Chest and Tricep
Day 3: Legs and Shoulders
Day 4: Abs and Sprints (8 rounds)
Each muscle groups should have 3 exercises with reps from 6 – 12 at a challenging weight.
Whatever workouts you choose make a commitment to yourself to not skip any and put the necessary effort into each one. Your training frequency is an important variable to get a handle on. Some people can thrive on as many as 5 workouts a week, but for others this is too much. To make sure you get enough recovery days, you could opt to pick 3 days a week for your weight loss routine (example Monday / Wednesday / Friday).
Fill the Gaps With Cardio
If you chose the 3 day option then fill 2 – 3 days with cardio. Then one day with flexibility such as yoga.
Plan to Succeed
Set up your 30-day fitness challenge for success with the proper planning. Put your goals in writing and keep track of your progress with a journal. Use it to log your meals, sleep habits and workouts. Take note of how you feel after training. Are you sore? Do you feel energized or worn out? Paying attention to all these details might seem like a waste of time, but it’s only for a month. When the 30 day fitness challenge is over you’ll have a wealth of information to evaluate. Use this information going forward to tailor your fitness regimen based on what you learned about yourself.
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