The problem with fitness challenges is that they are too challenging for the average couch potato. An example is one that I recently tried. It was a 30 day planking challenge, and you would plank for X number of seconds each day, gradually increasing the duration each consecutive day. In theory, it sounds easy, but by the 8h or 9th day, the length is getting to the point of insanity for someone that is use to sitting in front of the boob tube. I am not saying the challenge needs to be super easy, but one that can take the fatty off the couch and not discourage him/her because it gets too tough too soon.
I tried another challenge a few weeks ago where it was also a 30 day challenge. It had a combination of crunches, leg lifts and planks every day of X number of reps/seconds. Every 4th day was a break. “Great!” I thought and implemented it with my family. After 8 days, the constant adding of reps/seconds was verging on insane once again. So, I decided to come up with a modified 30 day challenge for the not-so-fit. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hugely out of shape. I’m a 43 y.o. male – 6′-0″ tall, and weigh 195. I am slightly overweight, but not terribly. My “ideal” weight is 180, and I would love to be back down to 175. I just feel “pregnant” when I look at my beer storage facility in the mirror. My arms/legs are skinny, comparatively. I just need to lose the gut. I know what you’re thinking – Stop drinking beer. Well, my friend, that is not an option. I must increase my physical activities as a compromise. Here is what I come up with.
Now, after this 31 days challenge, I feel I can take on a more aggressive challenge and hopefully continue on to bigger and better fitness activities. I started last night, and the first activity took a whole 3 or 4 minutes. The planking is the worst, but the leg lifts are a close second. The crunches seem to be OK for me, but we’ll see how I feel after the second break.
The rhythm I used here was to give the same repetition/seconds for three consecutive days. That way, you at least know that if you can just barely squeeze out the daily exercise on the first of the three day cycle, the following day should mentally be easier. The point of where the other challenges failed for me was because of struggling on any given day. Mentally, I knew if today was rough to hit, tomorrow was certainly going to be tougher. We’ll see if my theory pans out.
Feel free to share and share often for those that are in the same boat as I am.