gym challenge

Keep it Simple: Six Fun Ways to Challenge Your Gym Community

Hosting simple challenges for your gym community is a great way to increase revenue and member retention. Here are six challenge ideas to try at your gym!

Emily Beers
July 3, 2023
Keep it Simple: Six Fun Ways to Challenge Your Gym Community
Hosting simple challenges for your gym community is a great way to increase revenue and member retention. Here are six challenge ideas to try at your gym!

If your gym community is like most, your members are always looking for new, fun ways to challenge themselves, and each other. It’s the combination of challenge and connection that always makes for a good time.

Sometimes, gym owners think hosting a gym competition is the only way to provide that opportunity. It does give members something to train for, builds community and can even drive some additional revenue.

However, it’s often a lot of work for a minimal return. So how do you give your members what they want while not overextending your time and effort?

Fun challenges for your gym community
Finding fun ways to challenge your gym community can increase revenue and retention.

Create a challenge and keep it simple! Whether it’s an online challenge or in-person event for your gym community, keep the concept and the rules simple.

You know that moment when you open your fridge to see fresh-cut veggies and hummus in front of you? Creating the convenience ahead of time makes it simple for you to eat healthy. If there’s nothing healthy and convenient, you’ll probably pick the next-most convenient option. Even if that’s potato chips.

The point is, we’re creatures of convenience. And so are your members. The more complex or time-consuming the challenge is, the less likely they are to participate. In addition, the more rules, guidelines and conditions there are, the harder it will be to get people to sign up.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few challenges - and simple details - that you can create for your gym community.

Six Simple Gym Challenges to Run at Your Gym

1. The Eight-Week Hiking Challenge.

Challenge your gym community to complete one hike per week for eight weeks. Members “check in” to their hikes by posting a picture along the way each week, and tagging your gym.

This one is best hosted during the warmer months of the year in your area. The distance or difficulty of the hike doesn’t matter. However, encourage your members to share the name of the trail so that others can give it a go!

Those who complete all eight weeks will be entered into a prize drawing.

2. The 100 Burpee Challenge.

This challenge is a good one to ring in the New Year with, giving people an extra push to burn off the holiday calories.

Seasonal gym challenges motivate gym members
Help gym members improve fitness with a burpee challenge.

The 100 Burpee Challenge is just as it sounds: Complete 100 burpees each day for the month of January. Members can break up the reps as needed throughout the day and time does not matter. And yes, burpees done in class count toward the goal!

Charge $50 to enter. Then anyone who completes the challenge gets entered into a drawing for 50 percent of the cash prize!

This challenge is especially easy to manage with PushPress Train. You can charge the entry fee right in the app. Then members can track total burpees, and notify you when they’re done there as well.

3. The Indoor 2,000m Rowing Regatta.

The end of a heavy-rowing programming cycle is a great time to host a 2,000m rowing challenge. This gives your gym community motivation to improve their rowing technique before the big event.

For gyms with Concept 2 rowers, simply download the syncing software. This allows you to sync all your machines and project the regatta onto a screen. Now, your event is spectator-friendly as well.

To connect an additional revenue stream to this event, consider offering an eight-week rowing prep program. Check out how gym owner Rachel Wilson uses this idea to increase gym revenue and retention.

4. The Pick-Your-Sport Tournament.

The top of the CrossFit pyramid is sport. And although most of your members aren’t playing pro sports, you can certainly cap that pyramid with some fun at your gym.

Choose a sport and host a tournament! Softball, Spike Ball on the beach, dodgeball in the gym... you’re only limited by your imagination and location. A fun tourney gives your members some friendly competition and connection outside of classes.

If it’s a hit with your gym community, consider making it a quarterly event and choosing different sports.

5. The 5k or 10k Run.

Local 5k or 10k runs are the tried-and-true gym challenge with several benefits.

First, there’s very little work for you as a gym owner. Simply coordinate the signup and a place for everyone to meet on race day.

Organize a local 5k or 10k run for members
Organize a local 5k or 10k run to motivate members and give them a new training focus.

Second, if there’s one activity that CrossFitters often resist, it’s running. With something to train for, they now have a reason to incorporate it into their training. Plus, it’s a great “active recovery” activity. And similar to rowing, you can offer a running-prep program for additional gym revenue.

6. The Self-Care Bingo Challenge.

As we discussed last month, your members’ mental health is an important part of their overall well-being. With that in mind, consider creating a fun way for your gym community to focus on their mental health too.

Dr. Christina Magliara came up with the Self-Care Bingo Challenge and shared the details with us. Check it out in part four of the mental health series: How to build a mentally-fit gym community.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve chosen the challenge you want to start with, use PushPress Grow automation to save you time in spreading the word to all of your members quickly! Book a demo with our team today to find out more!

In Summary: Challenge Your Gym Community And Keep it Simple.

Hosting simple gym challenges is a great way to increase member retention at your gym. By giving your gym community opportunities for friendly competition and connection, you’re providing unique value in their membership.

From hiking to self-care, your members will get new ways to be active and have some fun in new ways. Use the list above for challenge ideas to run at your gym without adding a ton of extra work to your plate.

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

The gymOS Podcast

Helping gym owners build better businesses, one episode at a time.
Listen Now

Ready to scale your fitness business?

Try our hassle-free Gym Management Software loved by thousand of successful Gym Owners.
Get started for $0/month
“PushPress is the reason my gym became profitable.”
—Joe M. Gym Owner

Follow along and build a better gym with us

Get actionable strategies and ideas to help you grow your gym and manage it successfully, in your inbox every week!

No Spam. Ever. Unsubscribe anytime.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.