At the gym where I train, we’ve been doing a 30-day challenge. I’ve been sharing a bit about it on instagram and my personal facebook page, and some of my friends both on and offline have joined in, so I’m inviting you to join, too!
Do this fitness challenge anywhere, anytime:
Wear workout clothes, wear regular clothes, do it in the living room, in the back yard, while the tea steeps, while the kids sleep (hey, that rhymed!)… The point is, the exercises in this challenge are all simple enough to do whenever and wherever, and they don’t require any equipment. For comfort purposes, and because DOG HAIR, I usually do sit-ups and push-ups on a yoga mat.
No, I don’t always smile this much while exercising; by squat number 843 (exaggerating, people!) I usually think unkind thoughts and make weird faces.
The challenge consists of four basic exercises: push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and lunges. It’s super-simple but it’s not easy, because each day the reps increase. For instance, on day one, you’re only doing 5 push-ups but by the last day, that number has increased to 40.
It’s your challenge and you only need to compete with yourself, so decide your own “rules” ahead of time and then go for it! Modify push-ups if you need to; do them on your knees, whatever. For sit-ups, I do some standard, some as crunches on a stability ball, and some reverse crunches. Do any kind of squat: sumo, goblet, plie, chair, etc; google these for photos or YouTube tutorials if you’re not familiar with them. You can do the lunge count for each leg, or divide the reps to do half on each leg. You could do all reps all at once, or do some in the morning and some later in the day.
Just remember to use good form to prevent injury! A few of the most common mistakes: letting your front knee go forward past toes in the lunge; pulling on your neck during sit-ups; letting your butt sag or having hands too far forward during push-ups; not keeping enough weight in your heels during squats. (If in doubt, find a YouTube tutorial to demonstrate!)
Ken has been doing this 30-day challenge, too. Even if you don’t work out at the same time, having your spouse join the challenge will increase the likelihood you’ll complete it.
Recent studies show success rates are higher for people who make healthy lifestyle changes alongside their partner. For the goal of increased physical activity, those who did so with their partner had a success rate of about 67% vs only 24% for folks who go it alone. (If you’re geeky and want to read the study, it’s here.)
You can do it!
Print off this image, or save it on your phone. Either way, just make sure it’s handy so you have no excuse not to do it. Ken and I are on Day 26 right now, so we’re in the trenches with you!
My head trainer found this online but couldn’t remember where — so I’d love to give appropriate credit but I don’t know what site this came from originally; if you do, let me know and I’ll update this post with appropriate info!
For those who have asked, no, this isn’t my full workout most days, but it does a good enough job that I don’t usually do additional leg or ab work.