Creating a Fitness Challenge for Your Studio

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Fitness challenges are one of the very best ways to help your members kick start their fitness regime and see impressive results fast. Challenges give our motivation a turbo boost by gamifying and socializing the process- they’re fun and members have their friends on the same page to hold them accountable.

While it may seem daunting to pull together a challenge for your studio, it’s not. Check out this step-by-step list of things you need to do.

OutcomeEstablishing Smartgoals

Select the parameters of your challenge. For instance, maybe you want to help your members to lose weight, eat healthier or get stronger. Once you know the outcome you’re working for, translate it into a SMART goal. You can ask your members to strive for a percent increase or decrease, as in body weight or a number of reps, or you can ask them to get more workouts in per week/month. No matter what you decide, shoot for a measurable outcome to make the challenge easy to understand and successful.

Timeframe

Choose how long you’re going to give your members to achieve the stated outcome. Make sure the timeframe starts and ends with dates that work from a business standpoint. If you can’t be there on the final day of the challenge to close out the contest, your members could feel like the contest was poorly run. Another thing to ensure is that your contest period doesn’t conflict with holidays. Otherwise, it will make it harder for your members to participate, and you could end up losing some mid-contest.

Incentive

Share the list of prize(s) you’ll award the winners and also explain why they should participate. Breaking down the benefits and letting your members know it’s possible for them to achieve great results will help motivate them.

Support

Explain the support you’re going to give participants. Will you do weekly check-in meetings? What about sharing a Dropbox or Google Doc file of resources? Creating a Facebook group to share learnings, struggles and recipes is another great way to provide support and even build a stronger community among your members. The more support you’re able to give your members, the better their outcomes will be.

Promotion

Think about how you’ll get the word out about this challenge. To start, you can use a free program like Cava to create an attractive advertisement, and then share it in your newsletter and on social media. If you have a private Facebook group for your members, share the details of the challenge there. Finally, be sure to create a Facebook event and invite your network.

Registration

Manage the registration process efficiently by using your member management software. Once you add the event to your calendar, you can ask everyone to register there.

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Judging

Make the judging process is easy by ensuring your challenge outcomes are metric-based and measurable. If there’s a qualitative aspect to your challenge, you’re going to need a solid plan in place before the competition starts. If that’s the case, create your list of criteria for judging and make sure your judges are on the same page.

Future Marketing

Consider using challenges as a tool to market your studio to prospective members. Create hashtags for the challenge that can be used in on your social media channels, and encourage your participating members to use these as well. Once the challenge is complete, be sure to get success stories, testimonials and before and after pictures to share in your future marketing materials. Seeing success firsthand can help influence prospective members to give your studio a try. You can also use a future challenge as a tool to help bring prospective members into your studio (join in January and participate in our fitness challenge for free!). Challenges are a fantastic tool to help your members succeed. If you’ve never run one at your studio, we hope you’ll find enough inspiration and guidance here and introduce one soon.


Challenges are an excellent way to keep your members engaged with your studio. Looking for additional ideas to keep your members coming back? Get your copy of our 10-Step Marketing Guide.

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Shilo Lucyk

Shilo Lucyk

In her spare time Shilo enjoys teaching yoga classes, doing CrossFit® and reading anything she can get her hands on.

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