I’ve found that when I’m between training programs, feel the burn out creep, or just want a new challenge, 30 Day Challenges are a fun addition.
Everyone with Pinterest and an interest in Fitness has probably come across these daily challenges. They can range from simplistic (one exercise with increasing reps/time) to complex (full body, multi-exercise, multi-rep) depending on your level and interest.
Word of warning: be realistic. If you’re experiencing muscle imbalances, tightness, or lack strength and endurance to maintain the intensity of the work out, it may be best to regress to a challenge that is, well, challenging, but isn’t injury provoking.
Example, last year I was training for the Spartan Trifecta, a series of events by the OCR brand Spartan, and decided I needed to up my burpee game. I searched for a 30 day burpee challenge (there’s a challenge for EVERYTHING). The first two weeks were ok, but I was still training for marathon season and with a personal trainer to help increase my functional fitness. The burpee challenge began causing Achilles pain, due to inflammation and lack of flexibility in my lower leg. Additionally, I started getting cramps in my legs that I’d never experienced before. I bailed on that 30 day challenge. It wasn’t worth the injury.
Once again, I am between training, plus it’s dangerously hot here in Florida already. I’ve chosen the 30 Day Squat Challenge to work my leg and butt muscles (paying attention to proper form!!!). This is one of the originals I started with a few years back and actually realized gains. I enjoy the challenge and would suggest it for anyone who can body weight squat with good form.
Core is another area I should focus on. I’m eyeing the plank challenge next month when my NYC marathon training begins in full. I’ll revisit that one further down the line.