These days, with so many influencers trying new fitness challenges, it seems like every day there is a new way to test your performance and fitness.
Fitness challenges are a great way to motivate yourself to get in shape and achieve your fitness goals. There are many different types of fitness challenges available, so you can find one that is right for you, no matter your fitness level or goals.
Regardless if you want to run a 20 minute 5k, complete an Ironman, or test yourself in another manner, most of these challenges will help you find some motivation outside of normal training plans.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most popular fitness challenges, as well as some other similar challenges.
Goggins Challenge – 4x4x48 Running by David Goggins
Summary: Run 48 total miles, split into running four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours.
A relatively complicated way to run a very slow ultra marathon. This effort has an added element of moderate sleep deprivation based on the need to run 4 miles, every 4 hours, over a total of 48 hours. Of course that totals 48 miles at an average of 1 mile per hour, a totally doable task on the surface. Take into account though the accumulated distance and inability to properly recover or sleep and this can present a real test of the mind.
A Mile An Hour – Another Slow Marathon
Summary: Run one mile every hour, on the hour, for 26(.2) hours.
While others had done similar things, the idea of the mile an hour marathon was popularized in a 2019 Runners World article. Similar to the Goggins Challenge is stretches out an otherwise long but unremarkable distance into an enudranc feat be requiring a level of consistency that can be monotonous.
Armed Forces Fitness Tests
The US Armed forces each have fitness tests that have become a popular, especially for fitness influencers and creators.
Army Fitness Test – Famous for the fact that so many individuals are exposed to it every year, the US Army physical fitness test is a popular way to see how you stack up. With so many people having completed it, the standards are well established and a good gauge for overall fitness.
Navy Fitness Test – Similar to the other armed forces tests the Navy has their own flavor.
US Air Force Fitness Test (Scoring Chart PDF) – This is a series of exercises with scores for each one that dictates what an expected score should be to stay “healthy”. An aggregate score is computed and measured against different age groups to determine where someone lands. Exercises include pushups, sit-ups, crunches, planks, and shuttle runs.
Marine Fitness Test – The US Marines also have their own test which is rather simple to understand. Pull-ups, Push-Ups, and Plank hold, and a short (3 mile) run. These all are a great way to gauge strength, and can be a solid standard on which to compare yourself before and after any training.
75 Hard – A 75 Day Lifestyle Challenge
75 Hard is a 75-day challenge that was created by Andy Frisella, a fitness entrepreneur and author. The challenge is designed to test your mental and physical toughness, and it includes a variety of tasks, such as working out twice a day, drinking a gallon of water a day, and taking progress photos every day.
The focus of this challenge is more on trying to develop better habits. 75 Hard is a challenging but rewarding experience, and it can help you to reach your fitness goals and improve your overall health.Many people though have found that after the challenge is over their habits fall back to normal, though others suggest that they even being able to maintain one or two of the habits leads to continued success.
20 meter Pacer Test
This challenge is simplified and ideal for sprinters, middle distance, and distance runners. The design is simple, setup two cones 20 meters apart and run back and forth between them. The goal is to complete each 20m section before a prescribed timer beeps. The beeps get progressively shorter in interval, requiring you to run faster and faster as the test progresses.
10,000 Calorie Challenge – Eat and consumer 10k in 24 Hours
This is one of the challenges that is well outside of the norm but has become a bit of a fad with a handful of youtube fitness creators. The idea is to burn 10,000 calories and consume 10,000 calories all during a single 24 hour period. Most of the videos on this challenge use it as a way to highlight how hard it is to “outrun” a bad diet. Many of those who have undertaken the challenge have failed, most due to the difficultly in burning 10k calories in a day (though notably one influencer who is more of an endurance athlete managed to burn the 10k but failed to eat enough as their body shut down near the end.
We HIGHLY recommend not under taking this challenge. The point of it is questionable, as the only real goal is to get the views and prove how difficult it is. At the same time, we should point out that it is very likely a number of ultramarathoners and Ironman athletes likely do this on their race days. Especially if they go for large celebratory meals afterwards. Of course famous athletes, like Michael Phelps, have also been touted to have huge diets and likely have accidentally accomplished this goal on particularly busy peak training days as well.
Apple Watch Monthly Challenges
Some easier to understand (and complete) challenges are often tied to popular fitness trackers. The Apple Watch notably focuses on closing daily activity rings. This need to close rings is also the basis of many of the popular monthly challenges created for watch wearers.
Each of these monthly challenges is personalized based on your previous few months of effort. They are also unique, and although they are somewhat repetitive, two people may have very different challenges structures on a given month. We reviewed all of the Apple Watch Monthly challenges in a separate article here.
Other Similar Challenges:
- The Couch to 5K Challenge:
- The Couch to 5K Challenge is a 9-week program that is designed to help people who are new to running to run a 5K.
- The program is gradually increases the distance that you run each week, so it is a great way to start running without getting injured.
- The P90X Challenge:
- The P90X Challenge is a 90-day home workout program that was created by Tony Horton.
- The program is designed to help you to build muscle, lose weight, and improve your overall fitness.
- The Insanity Challenge:
- The Insanity Challenge is a 60-day workout program that was created by Shaun T.
- The program is designed to help you to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health.
- Workplace Wellness Bingo
- A 30-day (or more) challenge to complete bingo squares made up of various fitness tasks.
- Focused on small groups and ideal for the workplace.
Named Diet and Meal Prep Challenges
Beyond just physical challenges, a number of meal delivery and diet services have built a “challenge” around following their diet plan for a few weeks or months. These include:
- The Whole30 Challenge: The Whole30 Challenge is a 30-day diet program that is designed to help you to improve your health and well-being through switching to less processed foods. The program eliminates all processed foods, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, and alcohol for 30 days.
- The Bikini Body Challenge: The Bikini Body Challenge is a 12-week workout and diet program that is designed to help you to get in shape for the beach. The program includes a variety of workouts and diet plans that are tailored to your fitness level and goals.
- The 21-Day Fix: The 21-Day Fix is a 21-day meal plan and workout program that is designed to help you to lose weight, improve your health, and get in shape. The program includes a variety of healthy recipes and workouts that are designed to be easy to follow and sustainable.
- The Slim Down Challenge: The Slim Down Challenge is a 10-week workout and diet program that is designed to help you to lose weight and improve your overall health. The program includes a variety of workouts and diet plans that are tailored to your fitness level and goals.
- The Eat Clean Challenge: The Eat Clean Challenge is a 30-day diet and lifestyle program that is designed to help you to improve your health and well-being. The program eliminates all processed foods, sugar, and artificial ingredients for 30 days.
- The Vegan Challenge: The Vegan Challenge is a 30-day diet and lifestyle program that is designed to help you to try a vegan diet. The program eliminates all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey, for 30 days.
- The Vegetarian Challenge: The Vegetarian Challenge is a 30-day diet and lifestyle program that is designed to help you to try a vegetarian diet. The program eliminates all meat for 30 days.
- The Dry January Challenge: The Dry January Challenge is a 30-day challenge that is designed to help you to give up alcohol for 30 days. The challenge is a great way to improve your health, save money, and detox your body.
- The No Sugar Challenge: The No Sugar Challenge is a 30-day challenge that is designed to help you to cut out sugar from your diet. The challenge is a great way to improve your health, lose weight, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
- The No Processed Foods Challenge: The No Processed Foods Challenge is a 30-day challenge that is designed to help you to cut out processed foods from your diet. The challenge is a great way to improve your health, lose weight, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.