Are you looking for some gym challenge ideas? Below are 5 examples of fun and easy-to-run gym challenges for you members to enjoy:


1) Miles Challenge

A challenge that tracks the most miles “traveled” is one you can host any time of the year. The idea behind the challenge is that the member who has worked out the most (tracked the most miles) in a given amount of time, wins. In order to run this gym challenge, all you need to do is have your staff track your members miles spent on the cardio equipment in your gym. Equipment might include treadmills, ellipticals and bikes. Once a participating member is finished using the equipment, have him take a photo of the equipment or ask a staff member to come over to verify the mileage.


2) Steps Challenge

The steps challenge is similar to the miles challenge, but allows members to track all of their activity, rather than activity only completed on your gym’s equipment. Using a pedometer, the Health app on the iPhone, a wearable or another tracking device, ask your members to tally up their steps for a given period of time. Anywhere from one week to one month would be a good challenge period. If the challenge runs a few weeks, you might want to ask them send you their results once a week so that you can put up a running leaderboard in the gym and/or on your social media pages. Tip: Ask them to send you photo proof of the steps to keep everyone honest!

3) Team Workout Challenge

Team work makes the dream work! Add a fun element to your gym challenge by assigning participating members to teams and hosting weekly challenges they can do together. The challenges can be anything from most cumulative calories burned on a piece of equipment at your gym to most weight lost by percentage of body weight. Try pairing 3 to 6 members on a team and encourage them to work out together during the challenge period. Remind them of your group fitness offerings and consider offering a discount on small group training sessions during the challenge.

4) Cycle-a-thon Challenge

The idea behind a cycle-a-thon is very simple:
  1. Gather participants at the challenge start time
  2. Have each participant get on a bike and give them a countdown to ride
  3. Ask an instructor to lead them and encourage them to bike as long as they can
  4. Whoever cycles the longest, wins!
  5. You’ll want to have as many group fitness instructors in the queue as possible so they can sub in when necessary to keep up the energy. Tie the cycle-a-thon into a charity event or make it a normal challenge with a fun prize.

5) 12 Days of Fitness Challenge

Looking for a seasonal challenge? My favorite is when gyms play off of the “12 Days of Christmas” concept by creating a fun “12 Days of Fitness” challenge.

Here’s how it works:

Each day builds on itself, so if the challenge for Day 1 is to do 10 burpees and the challenge for day 2 is to do a 1 minute plank, on day 2 they would do both 10 burpees and a 1 minute plank. Then day 3, they would do 10 burpees, a 1 minute plank and the next exercise on your list (e.g., 10 push ups). This would go on until the challenge finished on day 12.

Most participants will finish the 12 days, so the challenge is less about giving a prize and more about a fun gym activity and community-building exercise. A great way to incorporate the challenge into the gym is to have the instructors who are teaching classes during those 12 days do the exercises with participants at the end of their group fitness class. Be sure to print flyers and post it on your website/social media so that everyone is clear on what each of the 12 days entail.

I hope you found these gym challenge ideas helpful. If executed well, they should put your gym ahead of the rest and give your members something to get excited about.



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