10 Fitness Challenge Ideas

Are you looking for new ideas to challenge your members? Need to break the status quo? Uplift your members by adding exciting fitness challenges to your gym!

Motivate your Members with Fitness Challenges!

Finding the motivation to work out can be difficult for both new and existing members. At the beginning of the year, your members’ training motivation is at an all-time high! You can feel the new year buzz at your gym! The classes are full and the energy in the room is electric! However, as weeks and months go by, that motivation starts to slow down.

Why is this? It’s common for members to get bored with their standard workout routines.  Other members might become discouraged because they are not seeing the results as quickly as they hoped. Highs and lows come with every fitness journey. Your job as a coach or gym owner is to keep your members motivated year-round! A vital part of member retention is learning ways to maintain motivation so members continue to see results and value in your business.

One of the best ways to encourage members is to create challenges for your gym. Fitness challenges give your members a new goal that is achievable, has a clear timeline, and a plan to follow. Challenges can also bring your members together. With a healthy sense of competition, your members will feel a deeper connection to their unique gym community!

How do I create a Fitness Challenge that everyone will love?

When creating a fitness challenge, you should consider the fitness levels and abilities of your members. You want to create a challenge that is fun and challenging for everyone! If you need to add beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels to your challenges you can do that as well.  This way none of your members are left out. Get everyone involved including members, staff, and friends!

Whether it is a 30 minute or 30-day challenge, the complexity is up to you. Remember, you are implementing fitness challenges in hopes of creating healthy habits that members can continue even after the challenge.

When creating a gym challenge, you will provide a clear goal and timeline. And don’t forget to bring the noise! Frequent encouragement is key for running successful fitness challenges. For example, with a “Most Visits Challenge” you want to consistently send email or text reminders to your members throughout the month. Encourage them to keep coming back to your gym.

A great way to increase participation is to provide a reward or incentive. This could be free membership, supplements, a gift card, or a plaque on your gym wall for everyone to see!

The Benefits of Fitness Challenges

Member Accountability

In the fitness world, accountability is key. Whether it is a member trying to eat healthier, lose weight, or gain muscle, your support will keep them accountable. Fitness challenges reinforce accountability. When members feel like you’re monitoring their progress and performance, it will help encourage them to complete the challenge! Also, they will hopefully learn to be more accountable with themselves along the way.

Member Encouragement

Fitness challenges give you a chance to encourage and celebrate your members! Especially in the beginning, your members may easily lose motivation because they aren’t seeing instant results. But with your encouraging words, they will want to keep going because they see you believe in them. When challenges are completed, you get the chance to recognize and congratulate the winner, along with all the other dedicated competitors!

Promotes Member Retention

Member experience is a huge part of your retention strategy. Member retention is the number one problem gym owners are trying to solve. By implementing challenges, your members will feel motivated to keep going. They won’t want to cancel their membership and you have a higher chance of attracting new members!

Strengthens Community

There is great value in building a strong community at your gym. A positive community attracts new members and promotes member retention. With challenges, your members are all competing for the same thing together and can encourage each other along the way. Whether online or in-person, your members can keep track of one another’s progress and communicate throughout the challenges.

10 Fitness Challenge Ideas for your Gym:

1. Stretching Challenge Idea

Stretching keeps muscles strong and healthy! By implementing a stretching challenge, your members will hopefully get into a better habit of stretching regularly. Every day, members must do three different stretches before and after their workout. Each day, add 10 seconds to each stretch. See who doesn’t miss a day and stays loyal to their stretching!

2. Plank Challenge Idea

The plank challenge is an effective challenge for every member whether new, inexperienced, or advanced. It’s simple to understand and requires no equipment! Set a time period like 30 days and give them a short starting time. Gradually increase the duration and coach members throughout the period. This challenge strengthens the core and helps build up endurance… perfect for every member!

3. Burpee Challenge Idea

During this challenge, your members complete various types and numbers of reps/sets of burpees. Depending on their experience level, make this suitable for both beginners and advanced members. Ideally, you would want this challenge to last for two weeks or a month so your clients have time to improve. For each day, provide explanations of technique, number or reps, and number of sets.

4. Walk/Run Challenge Idea

Start by setting a realistic time and distance goal for members, like 20 miles in 20 days. It is then up to your members to set their own pace and how they want to reach those miles. Whether walking, jogging, or running, every member can complete the challenge any way they want!

5. AMRAP Challenge Idea

This stands for as many reps or rounds as possible. This will be an intense and exhausting workout that will definitely get your heart racing! It will only last about 10-20 minutes.

For this challenge, you will select a workout activity (burpees, push-ups, treadmill, weights, etc.) Members go as long as they can until they need to stop. Do the same thing each day for about a month and try to increase round time. See which member has the biggest improvement!

6. Distance Challenge Idea

This challenge is perfect for members training for marathons or other sporting challenges! First, each member will choose a distance goal and calculate exactly how many miles it takes to get there.

  • Example: Clearwater, FL > Disneyworld, FL (94 miles)


Your members will then “go the distance” any way of their choosing: walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing. Whether it takes a week or month, they must complete those miles! This challenge is a fun and interactive way to motivate your members.

7. Healthy Eating Challenge Idea

Besides physical activity, nutrition is a critical aspect of staying healthy. Healthy eating challenges can be broad or specific, it is completely up to you. The most important thing is that it is realistic for everyone to achieve! Encourage your members to share recipes and log food data with one another.

Here is an example below:

  • Finish one gallon of water a day
  • Eat five fruits or veggies a day
  • Cook two healthy recipes a week

8. Personal Best Challenge Idea

A personal best challenge is a great way to celebrate your members! Every member works out at a different pace and prefers different activities. Encourage your members to improve in whatever workout of their choosing. For example, running, lifting, or swimming.

For this particular challenge, each individual will document their “personal best” workout. Then, set a timeline for how long they have to improve before their next test. Throughout the period, offer tips, advice, and frequent encouragement!

9. Most Visits Challenge Idea

One of the main reasons you should implement challenges is to motivate your members to attend your gym. So why not make that a challenge of its own?

This challenge encourages members to visit your gym as much as possible. It not only helps them to stay committed to their fitness goals, but it will also be a fun competition! This challenge will help foster retention and loyalty at your gym.

10. Share your Transformation Challenge Idea

Consider creating a challenge where your clients show their before and after photos when they have completed a challenge. It is completely up to them as to when they present their “final reveal.” This is an excellent way to instill confidence in your members! You can celebrate their progress and make them feel appreciated… a perfect way to motivate them to keep going.

Picture of RhinoFit


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