Fitness in the Workplace

Recently, on a night out with some coworkers and friends of mine, we all began talking about the “fitness challenge” that our fitness center is having for staff members during the summer (I work at a college, so we have a full gym at work). It took about 2 minutes for us all to decide that the 4 of us would form a team and crush the competition (never mind that the point of these types of things is not to crush your opponents, but instead to make yourself healthier. Oh well.) We started the competition last week, and I just want to share some of my thoughts on this particular program since I know that a lot of workplaces are now starting to have similar fitness/healthy living challenges. Are they really beneficial?

This is basically the mindset of our team. We’re awesome. 

Overview of the program:

This particular program has several components: cardio, strength training, and weekly nutritional and fitness “challenges” for extra points. Points earned are based off of completing the weekly challenges, as well as percentage of body weight lost. Body fat % is measured, however I don’t believe that that weighs into the final points system for each team.  Body weight will be measured and reported once per week, and body fat will be measured every other week.

In order to get points for exercise each week, each team member must strength train at least 2 times per week, as well as hit a certain number of minutes of cardio (the number increases each week, from 100 min the first week to 320 min in the 12th -final- week)

Why am I doing this?

True, I consider myself to be already in OK shape; I’m strong for my size, I follow a regular strength training program, and I have regular (tough) conditioning days. However, I would be arrogant to think that I don’t have something to improve apon, right? If you’re not getting better, you’re either stagnant or getting worse — neither of which seem like good options to me.

Beyond that, there is something about the appeal of teamwork that draws me in. It’s a great feeling to be a part of something and to know that there are at least 3 people who are supporting your goals. Also, who doesn’t want a little extra motivation? Sure, I’m not really lacking in the workout motivation department, but a little extra kick in the pants can only benefit me. Knowing that 3 other people are depending on me to do my very best will give me that extra push on days when I’m feeling less than stellar.

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Let’s also not forget that I do have some body fat to lose…especially since I spent a week on vacation eating about 80% refined carbs 🙂  This could be exactly what I need to kick it up an extra notch and really make some good progress!

Challenges This Week:

In this first week of the program, our challenges are as follows:

  • Nutritional challenge: Drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. Sounds easy, you say? I’ll touch on this more tomorrow.
  • Fitness Challenge: Complete 100 pushups (not all at once, but 100 over the course of the week). This one is easy for me, and at this point I’ve got 50 down with 4 days to complete the other 50. No probski.
Moving forward:
Tomorrow I’m going to go into this a little deeper — what I think are the pros and cons of this program, and some final thoughts about the program as a whole so stay tuned!  It was actually going to be one big post, but ended up being about 5 years long, so I thought I could keep your attention better if I broke it up into two smaller pieces 🙂
Also, I’m throwing around the idea of posting the fitness challenge (or another one, if I think you guys need something harder) at the beginning of each week. Would any of you be interested in that?  Whoever takes me up on the challenges will get a nice shout out on the blog, and maybe I can do some type of prize for someone who completes ALL the challenges with me?  There will be more on this as I organize my thoughts a little more.
Ready.. Break!

16 thoughts on “Fitness in the Workplace

  1. i am sooo down for some fitness challenges! 🙂

    1. Knew you would be!! I’ll get on that 🙂

  2. i think this is really interesting! my mom’s office used to do ‘biggest loser’-type challenges, but i’ve never seen such a structure fitness and nutrition-type challenge like this. i’m interested to see how you like it as it goes on!

    1. Nice! Did your mom participate, and did she like it? Tomorrow I’m going to give you guys what I think are the pros and cons of this particular program, I’ll definitely keep you all updated as it goes on as well!

      1. she did i think – i remember it being frustrating for her because it was done solely by weight lost, and she was a very solid woman so she didn’t see a huge loss of weight per se. but she and a colleague joined a gym and started with a personal trainer for the first time so i think it was totally worth it!

  3. This is a great idea – working towards something as a group is often times easier and more fun that doing it on your own. Have you thought about maybe working towards a race that all of you could complete together? I am training for Tough Mudder at the moment and knowing that I have a team who will all be working together on the day is pretty awesome. Anywho, just a thought.

    Have fun, push it, and enjoy yourselves!

    1. That’s a great idea! We haven’t talked about that yet, but it would definitely be a fun thing to do together. A few of us did the Warrior Dash together last year and it was a blast… Good luck in your TM, If I’m brave enough I may do one next year!

  4. very cool that this is happening in the work place! I led a bootcamp/slimdown with a company located near our facilities and they ROCKED it. They motivated each other and also some friendly competition never hurts 🙂

  5. fitness challenges from my girl!? bring it on 😉 HA

    I am looking forward to tomorrow’s post 🙂 I thought this was great sweetie

  6. God I’m going to need this we had friends from the states then ourselves are in travel mode first time in 2 weeks besides a smattering of 30 min HIIT trains do I have my run shoes on… Bring the challenge! 🙂

  7. I’m SO down for a fitness challenge! I need something new. Bring it on!

    Ps. I love your blog 🙂 and you!

  8. I’m SO in!!! I desperately need a new challenge 🙂

    Love you and your blog! Keep up the awesome work!

  9. Steph…I love your blogs! They are very helpful, honest, and informative. They definitely get me to think about my own routine. I would love to do a fitness challenge 🙂

  10. I just heard that Katie and I are in. Glad she made my decision up for me since I need a kick in the pants after our trip!

  11. Great blog post! Sometimes a little competition and teamwork helps us reach our goals and stay focused. We think that taking shorts fitness breaks are essential to every workplace. Our recess page has fun suggestions on how to get your office up and moving.

    We’re looking forward to hearing about the rest of the challenge!

    KEEN Recess Team

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