As most of you are probably aware, throughout the month of October I participated in Athena’s Fall Into Fitness Challenge. I had previously participated in her April Arms Challenge, but only after coaxing myself into it. If you remember, when I recapped that experience, I told you I was hesitant to join the challenge since I did not want to add any more to my already busy workout schedule. Well, I am so glad I did because that challenge was what really started to get me interested in adding more lifting to my workout schedule. Since then, I have made a conscious effort to incorporate more lifting into my schedule and I’ve learned to really LOVE strength training and I look forward to my strength-only workouts. Because of this shift from cardio junkie to a more balanced approach to working out, I have noticed amazing results with regards to my arm muscle definition, ab definition and overall strength capabilities. Strictly cardio is NOT going to get you the body you dream of having; it’s a balance between cardio and strength training (and what you put into your body… that’s huge!)… trust me, I’ve been working out for years and have not seen the results I have seen recently until I got off the “cardio only” workout bus.
With that said, it should come as no surprise that when Athena started throwing around the idea of another challenge to me, I was very encouraging of her idea, and absolutely all on board to join whatever challenge it was that she was going to do. Athena and I often bounce workout ideas (formats and exercise moves) off of each other, so I knew that anything she put together would be well thought out and different from the regular ol’ boring/basic exercises we may resort to when we go to the gym.
What I loved most about the Fall Into Fitness challenge was that rather than dedicating a whole month to a certain muscle group (abs, arms, etc.), the goal was just to complete a single exercise each day for the whole month. The exercises ranged from lower body to upper body to core to cardio and everything in between! In addition, the challenge was not set up to stand as a whole workout for you, but rather just an extra move to supplement your current workout for that day. This was PERFECT for me since the last thing I really need is another 10-20 minute workout to add to my schedule. I need something that can take the place of a different exercise I was planning to do in a workout I already created… and this is exactly what I did with the “move of the day” each week.
I wasn’t the only one benefiting from “new to me” or “hey I totally forgot about that exercise!” exercises Athena had us doing throughout the challenge- my members did, too! As a fitness instructor, being introduced to new moves or reminded about old moves I hadn’t done in a while was awesome because it helped give me some new moves to incorporate into the classes that I teach each week.
It was also great motivation to do SOMETHING even on my rest days (not that I need that- if anything I need more rest, but you get the idea… it’s good to move and do something light once a day, every day in my opinion). Friday’s tended to be glute days and even though I usually rest on Friday’s, a little extra glute work is never a bad idea 😉 There was one Friday where I almost copped out on the bridge and crunch exercise because of a bad and busy day, but I sucked it up and did it and was happy I did. I may have been in jeans and drinking wine while I did the exercise, but that’s ok in my book 😉
Lastly, I loved the community aspect of the challenge. We were all encouraged to share photos of ourselves doing the various daily exercises and since I follow a number of the people participating in the challenge, I loved seeing them doing the exercises, too! It was like a virtual cheering section and showed you that EVERYONE could participate in the challenge. It didn’t matter your age, your schedule or your fitness ability because Athena offered various levels for each exercise. All that mattered was you getting out there and trying something new! That right there should serve as enough motivation to join her next challenge (rumor has it there will be one in December! 😉 )!
Thanks for such a fun way to make fitness fun, Athena! Looking forward to the next one!
Questions for you: Did you participate in Athena’s Fall Into Fitness challenge? If so, what was your favorite move? Are you motivated by challenges?