4 Awesome January Challenges to Get You Back to the Gym

Getting back into your workout routine after the festive season lay-off is a challenge for even the most dedicated gym goer. A fantastic way to overcome the inertia and get yourself off to a great start is to take on a January workout challenge.

A January challenge will provide you with a focused short-term goal to zero in on. That is precisely what’s needed to reset for the coming 12 months. There are literally hundreds of challenges that you could take on to start the new year. In fact, there are so many challenges on offer online that it can become quite overwhelming.

In this article, I’ll provide an overview of four awesome January challenges that will help you to lose any extra Xmas pounds while putting you on track to make this new year your best workout year yet.

The best workout challenges are those that support a great cause. This one is all about stopping the trafficking of girls in Nepal and the Philippines. As well as saving girls from this form of slavery, rehabilitation is also provided for those who are rescued, along with prevention strategies for vulnerable communities.

The Workout Challenge involves completing 5000 reps between January 3rd and January 31st. These reps are completed with the following exercises:

  • Push Ups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Sit Ups

As these are all bodyweight exercises, you can do the challenge at home whenever you want, which is a huge advantage. The goal is to do 50 reps of each exercise every day for 25 days. That gives you four days off throughout the month.

You can do the exercises in any order and at any time of the day. The only requirement is to complete 1250 reps of each of the four exercises before January rolls into February.

You can either donate your own pledge when you sign up for the challenge or fundraise among your family and friends to support the cause underlying the challenge.

To sign up for the Workout Challenge, go here.

It is not uncommon for gym goers to pack on some unwanted pounds during the Xmas holidays. Throwing yourself into a weight loss challenge during the month of January is the ideal way to strip them off and get back to your pre-break leanness.

The goal of this workout is to lose 10 pounds during the month of January.

The following 30-day challenge comprises 5 steps:

The intermittent fasting part of the challenge involves stopping eating at 7 pm each night and then fasting for 16 hours until 11 am the following morning. You do this between Monday and Friday. On the weekends you eat normally. At 7 pm on Sunday, you begin the following week’s fast.

During your 8-hour eating window, you will have 3 servings of lean protein, 2 servings of vegetables, and one serving of fruit. Cut out as many sugars as you can, replacing them with oats, beans, and nuts.

To make sure that you get your 8000 steps in each day, you’ll need a Fitness watch or an app that counts your steps.

You will need to average four 20-minute workouts per week. These can be made up of any type of workout that you like, including with weights, cardio, or body weight.

Here’s a challenge you should give a try:

If you’re worried that you have lost upper body strength during your vacation, a pull-up challenge is a great way to get it back. Pull-ups are sometimes referred to as the upper-body squat. They work nearly every muscle of your upper body and are one of the fattest ways to build strength through the back, arms, and shoulders.

The goal of this challenge is to complete 1000 pull-ups during the month of January. Here is a plan to meet that pretty daunting goal …

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  • Days 1-5: 20 pull-ups per day
  • Day 6: rest day
  • Days 7-11: 30 pull-ups per day
  • Day 12: rest day
  • Days 13-17 40 pull-ups per day
  • Day 18: rest day
  • Days 19-24: 50 pull-ups per day
  • Day 25: rest day
  • Days 26-30: 60 pull-ups per day

You do not have to do your daily pull-ups at the same time of the day. So, to get your daily total of 30 on Day 7, you could do three sets of 10 spread out over several hours. So long as you achieve each daily target before midnight, you’ll be good to go!

Here’s a challenge that will help you to build a base level of cardiovascular fitness to carry through the first few months of your training while also helping to burn off those excess Xmas calories.

The 100-mile challenge involves running, biking, or hiking a hundred miles between Sunday January 1st, and Wednesday, February 1st. You can focus on just one of these disciplines or mix it up between all three.

You will achieve your hundred-mile goal by completing 25 miles per week. Break that down further to a daily target of 3.6 miles. If you don’t want to train every day, you could cut it back to three days per week, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday (there are five Sundays in January). Set your daily target at 7.1 miles and you’ll hit the hundred-mile goal on Tuesday, January 31st.

Choose one of the four challenges presented in this article and commit to it for the month of January. By doing so, you to be able to ease out of holiday mode and kick into the new year with all guns blazing.

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Steve Theunissen is a freelance writer living in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is a former gym owner and personal trainer and is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness and fat loss. Steve also writes history books with a focus on the history of warfare. He is married and has two daughters.

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