Experience

10 Fitness Contests and Challenges For a Hybrid Fitness Business

Jenny20Weller
Jenny Weller
10 August 20
12 min read
a coach motivating gym members

Fitness challenges and contests can help give members the motivation they need to exercise and move. Health and fitness challenges are a fun and innovative way to engage members, attract potential new customers, and maximize sales. When running a hybrid fitness business, it’s important to leverage both your in-person and digital services.  

If you have a live streaming and on-demand digital fitness platform as well as an in-person boutique fitness studio, you need to think about how you can engage both types of members. Health and fitness are essential to your members’ well-being. By creating ways to encourage movement and healthy lifestyle choices, you can keep members engaged while attracting new clients to both your digital platform and in-person services. In this article, we discuss why you should host a fitness contest, and 10 innovative ideas you can apply to your business. 

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Why Should You Host Fitness Contests and Challenges 

A health challenge could be just what your members need to hit their weight loss goal. It has the power to motivate people to hit targets they never thought possible. When you create challenges for your members, you can include a wide range of topics such as nutrition and healthy eating, mindfulness and stress management, and functional movement. You have a ton of different options to choose from that will suit your members. Let’s break down why you should host a fitness contest and how it can benefit your business. 

Attract and Retain Members 

Keeping your members engaged is an ongoing issue. Fitness challenges help not only to retain members but attract new ones. It adds an extra incentive to come workout and bring a friend. It’s difficult to keep members motivated and hitting the gym, that’s why fitness challenges can be so helpful. They set a target, bring in a sense of competition, and raise the overall community at your gym or studio.  

Motivate Members  

Motivating your members will form a large part of your member retention strategy. Often, when you start working out or sign up for a new gym, your motivation is the first thing to go. You start with good intentions, but it’s easy for your motivation to slow down. When you’re continuing to find creative and innovative ways to motivate members, they will keep working out and continue to see results. Even if members prefer to work out alone, they have the added benefit of competition while completing workouts on their own. 

Drive Loyalty and Maximize Sales

When done correctly, fitness challenges can drive member results while encouraging customers to buy something at a higher value. You have the opportunity to incorporate your services or products into a fitness challenge. This is a good way to promote a product to show the value. Members can then continue using your services or products after the challenge has finished. It’s also a good opportunity for potential members to get a sense of what it would be like if they joined your gym or digital platform. 

Educate Members and Participants

Fitness challenges allow you to position yourself as a fitness expert. This gives you the chance to educate members and participants on all things health and fitness. During a fitness challenge, you can really add value to your services by offering advice and resources that will give members the chance to make a difference. This expertise and guidance could be what they need to hit their fitness goals and see results. 

User-Generated Content  

A massive bonus of fitness challenges is all the content they create. Encourage participants to post before and after photos using your challenge hashtag. You should get a ton of useful content that you can re-use and share. This is a very cost-effective way to create content that showcases your services. This applies to both digital and in-person challenges as there are no restrictions on how you can share content.

The Gym Breakthrough Podcast has a fantastic episode on hosting a successful nutrition challenge. The episode discusses how a nutrition challenge can benefit your business and engage members. It covers the do’s and don’ts of a nutrition challenge. 

3 Amazing Fitness Contests and Challenges to Inspire You 

VIVA Fitness #StayHomeStayFit Challenge 

The VIVA Fitness launched its #StayHomeStayFit challenge in April during lockdown. In association with the American online fitness coach Wioletta Pawluk, the challenge was all about posting your own recorded videos of simple workout hacks from Wioletta. The simple social media challenge encouraged users to follow and workout during the coronavirus pandemic.  

United in Movement 

United in Movement is a great example of a fitness challenge that is fully aligned with current events and has a cause that will encourage lots of people to take part. The aim of the challenge is to raise funds for businesses, gyms, and humanitarian efforts that have all been affected by COVID-19. In exchange for a small donation, participants can take part in a worldwide fitness competition. They can also access workouts with guest appearances from global fitness leaders. 

Barry’s Bootcamp Marathon From Home 

The UK arm of Barry’s Bootcamp started with a successful fundraiser for the National Health Service (NHS). Following on from this, they decided to launch Barry’s Marathon From Home. On 26th April 2020, users were encouraged to get out in the garden, or run up and down the stairs to raise money for charity. You can track your levels any way virtually and even compete with your household. The one rule was that you had to stay home. 

10 Fitness Challenges and Contests for Hybrid Fitness Businesses 

1. App-Based Challenges 

The likelihood is that all your members will have a smartphone. App-based challenges are a great way to keep members accountable. Apps like Fitbit and Strava allow users to compete with other members and track their own metrics. 

You have the option to use your own app or leverage another fitness app. You can then send push notifications to participants, reminding them to take part and complete any tasks needed. App-based challenges work for both in-person and digital members as participants can keep track of everything and enter physical activity data as needed. An app like Fitbit takes out the need to enter any data, however, not everybody has a fitness tracker.

2. Seasonal Fitness Contests  

Whether it’s summer, Valentine’s Day, or New Years, there’s a fitness challenge to suit every season. Often, before summer and after New Year, members are looking to get in shape, and this is the perfect time to launch a fitness contest or challenge. You can make seasonal fitness contests relevant for both digital and in-person members. 

It’s common for people to look for fitness services during certain times of the year. If you’re looking to attract more members before the summer, use a summer shaper challenge to bring in potential new members. Fitness challenge ideas include “New Year, New Nutrition”, “Summer Shred” , or a Halloween themed fitness contest. 

If you’re thinking of organizing a fitness challenge, but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. In our quick guide to organizing a fitness challenge, we discuss what type of challenge is best for your business and the steps you need to take to create a successful fitness challenge.   

3. Charity Fitness Challenge

Motivate members to move by running charity fitness challenges. They are a great way to donate to a worthy cause, build brand awareness, and engage members. Participants may be more motivated when they know that what they are doing is contributing to a good cause. Charity fitness challenges strengthen your position in the community and build on your reputation. 

When choosing a charity, pick a cause that your members are passionate about. Try to involve them in the process and send out a quick survey to find out what organization they would love to support. It’s also a good opportunity to get other businesses involved. They could either sponsor the event or even match donations. Challenges don’t need to be overly complicated. You can do a weight loss challenge, miles for charity, or a fun obstacle course. Depending on your audience, you have the option to create an in-person event or you can track running miles from home. 

4. Make Everyday Fitness a Competition 

With advances in technology, you now have the ability to integrate competition into everyday fitness. Thanks to wearables, you can implement competition daily. These types of challenges encourage healthy habits like moving more everyday which can be hugely beneficial. It’s far too easy to let daily exercise slip. When you add in a sense of competition, it can benefit members and make exercise simple. 

The Fitness + Technology Podcast delves into the topic of technology further in an episode on why technology is now a “must-have” for gyms. The episode offers insight into the fitness industry, digital engagement, and how technology has allowed gyms to pivot to an online offering during the coronavirus pandemic. 

5. 30-Day Yoga Challenge 

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Yoga With Adrienne and Alo Yoga, a 30-day yoga challenge is a good way to encourage regular movement while holding members accountable. You have the option to stream workouts live or through pre-recorded classes as well as in-person classes. 

You may want to keep it digital and release a new video each day for members to follow and join along. The other option is to have a combination of online and offline classes. While some members may wish to work out from home, others may be keen to get into a class. You want to create a package that caters to all your members as a hybrid business. 

6. Most Visits: Digital and In-Person

Most visits in a month is a simple challenge that motivates members to visit more often or stream classes. Depending on the type of gym memberships you offer this works for both most club visits and streamed classes. 

You also have the option to track most live classes joined. The best option will depend on your members’ preferences. Make sure to track all entries and visits so that you can announce a winner at the end of the month. 

7. Simple Movement Challenge 

A simple movement challenge consists of one type of bodyweight exercise for a set period of time. For example, squats, sit-ups, or a plank challenge for 30 days. This type of challenge can be done from anywhere and is a simple and relatively cost-effective challenge to run. 

You’re looking to encourage members to take part in daily exercise. This will help hold them accountable and see that consistent work helps them achieve the results they want. A bonus of this type of challenge is that it can be done from anywhere. 

8. Improve Your Personal Best 

This type of challenge really taps into your members’ competitive nature. Whether you have avid runners, cyclists, or weightlifters, this is a great challenge to improve fitness and see a difference. 

Challenge participants to see whose time has improved the most. The idea is that your fitness challenge program will offer advice, sessions, and tips on how to improve performance. You want to encourage participants to eat healthy meals, work out regularly, and focus on exercises that will increase performance. Check-in before and after the challenge to track the best time improvement. 

9. Social Media Fitness Challenge 

Whether you run a fitness challenge solely on social media or not, your challenge should involve social media. You want to push participants to share content on social media. One way to run a social media fitness challenge is to share a different exercise each day for a certain period of time. Ask members to follow along at home, tag the challenge, and share photos on their own platform. 

If you’re thinking about running an online fitness challenge, we cover the basics in our guide on how to create and run an online fitness challenge for your members and potential customers. 

10. Mindfulness Challenge 

There’s more to fitness challenges and contests than just movement. You can focus on ways to help members manage stress or combat negative relationships with food. A mindfulness challenge helps to boost the community and promote a positive outlook for mental health issues. It also gives you the opportunity to share educational resources and drive added value to your services. The challenge could include a set number of classes to attend or stream online. 

In Summary 

If like many fitness businesses, you have had to shift to a digital way of working during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re now running a very different business. With the additional digital arm to navigate, you need to find a new and innovative approach to member engagement and retention. By running fitness challenges and contests that cater for both online and offline members, you can add value to your services, maximize sales, and keep members motivated.