In need of some training motivation? Well, have I got some challenges for you!
Since this global pandemic came into our lives, it has been hard to look too far ahead. It’s been deflating when the things we were looking forward get put on hold, and it’s tends to have a roll on effect as it impacts our motivation and delays taking action when there’s no end date in sight. We’re all going through this which is why it’s so important that we try to find some positives in each day and look after ourselves. After all, healthy living and staying active is more important than ever.
To help you find your mojo and get back to some long-term planning, I’ve set some 6-month workout challenges for you. You’re going to need commitment, patience, and a whole lot of determination. If you reach 6 months and you’re not quite there, that’s okay, the real challenge is about sticking to something that will make you better than you were 6 months prior.
Aside from the obvious benefits of reaching an objective within a challenge, taking a short time out of your day, even if it’s 15 minutes, is a great way to start improving your overall health. Some new research^ found that completing low volume high-intensity training (< 15 minutes), with work intervals of 60-240s (1:1 ratio) at 80-90% of your HR maximum will lead to an increase in cardiometabolic health. With this is mind, aim to take 15 minutes out of each day to work towards one (or each) component of the 6-month workout challenge. As always, if you’re new to exercise or have any conditions that may affect your ability to exercise, consult your GP before commencing.
Here are five unique weekly workout challenges that you can complete from home. You can pick as many (or as few) challenges from below to tackle of the next six months as you like. The purpose is to set a goal that you feel is achievable but will also challenge you.
1. Weekly Challenge: Walk or run 5 km in total over the week
You can start slow and aim for 1 km each day, and you notice your fitness levels, increase start extending the distance to do two 2.5 km walk/jogs within the week to reach your 5 km total for the week. If you are already quite active, aim for one 5 km run each week! Once you see improvements in your base fitness you can working on speed and incorporate running intervals (e.g. 1 minute) and gradually increase your pace and length of each interval over time.
- 6-month goal: 5 km run in <30 minutes or 10 km run in <60minutes
2. Weekly Challenge: 25 push-ups total over the week
Complete these on an incline, on your knees or on your toes. Remember to keep your chin tucked in, your body in a straight line and hips and chest should lower and raise at the same time.
- 6-month goal: 10-20 strict (to the ground) push-ups in a row
3. Weekly Challenge: 30 second plank every day
Aim to improve this by 5-10 seconds each week. Remember to keep your body in a straight line with core engaged (brace like you’re about to be hit in the stomach). You can also do this on your knees if starting on your toes feels too difficult.
- 6-month goal: 3-minute plank (on forearms)
4. Weekly Challenge: 2 minutes of squats every day
Do these body weight and work on your form before speed. You can also use a chair behind you as a depth guide to keep your squats consistent.
- 6-month goal: 100 squats in <3 minutes
5. 50 Burpees total over the week
This might be the hardest one here, but you can do it! Remember your chest needs to go to the ground, and if you prefer not to jump, you can step in and out each time. I promise these will become easier as your fitness levels increase.
- 6-month goal: 50 Burpees in <5 minutes
The key thing to keep in mind to reach the 6-month goal is you will need persistence. Just imagine how good you’ll feel when you reach your goal and see your fitness levels improve! Remember to always warm up and cool down before starting to exercise. Enjoy!
^Sabag, A., Little, J. P., & Johnson, N. A. (2021). Low-volume high-intensity interval training for cardiometabolic health. The Journal of Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP281210