We all love a challenge – Your guide to 2014 summer fitness challenges

With Memorial Day already past, Summer 2014 is unofficially here! While summer is a time to refresh, relax, and renew, it’s also a time to take a step back and redefine a few goals that might have been too tough to accomplish over this especially grueling past winter. In the spirit of goal [re]setting, what better way to kick off your summer than with a fitness challenege?

We all have that one co-worker, friend, or family member that’s always talking up health and fitness challenges – you know, the 30 day plank or squat challenges, the 21-day sugar detox, #YogaEveryDamnDay, the list goes on. It seems like everywhere we turn, fitness challenges pop up out of nowhere, now more than ever with the ease of sharing your newfound commitment on social media. With all the different types of challenges popping up on your newsfeed, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which challenge might be the best for you, or if a fitness challenge is even right for you.

So let’s take it back to the basics before we get all #30DaysOfPlank (or in our case, #HBSummerShare 🙂 ) on our twitter feed:

Why do a fitness challenge in the first place?
The number one reason so many of us elect to do fitness challenges is to set goals and keep ourselves accountable while reaching them. Take it from loyal HB’ers and April’s Bar-Raisers, Alia Mohsen and Sara Brody who teamed up and created a calendar system using our unlimited riding package. The pair sets goals at the beginning every month and keep each other accountable by riding together, all while watching their hours clocked at the HB add up and equate to a sweet reward at the end of the month. They’ll be sure to tell you that doing a challenge or having a set goal within a certain timeframe is sure to keep you on-track and accountable—especially when you’ve got your partner in crime by your side!

It seems that when we commit to something and share it publicly—especially when there are rewards and perks involved—we are ten times as likely to stick to it. I know I wouldn’t have been able to complete the Whole30 Challenge last summer without the support of my best friend and the help of my Instagram account to share my whole food creations. Sharing, whether it be on social media, or, even better, in real life, with real friends, has a way of keeping us accountable. Because after all, who wants to falter under public pressure that we’ve willingly put ourselves under? While goals are a personal measure, it can be fun, and inspiring to share them with others! The most important part about fitness challenges and goal setting is to commit to them, for sure, but not to stress yourself if you slip up one day. At the end of the day, challenging yourself is about growth and self betterment – not about creating more of the stress you’re trying to manage with exercise in the first place.

What are the benefits of a fitness challenge?
Fitness challenges are personal by nature, meaning, you get out of them what you put into them. If you stay accountable and do whatever it is you committed to without cheating yourself, then of course you will see results! It’s important to keep in mind that results aren’t just physical. There is so much to gain mentally and character wise when one commits to something and sees it through to the end. There’s no denying that sense of gratification, and the physical results that come with it are the cherry on top.

What should I take into account when committing to a fitness challenge?
As motivating as fitness challenges can be, there are some that mean well but that don’t accomplish all that much more than being able to say, “I can do 500 squats in one day!!!!” Sure, you might have quads of steel or a little bit bigger of a butt by the time you’re done, but what about the rest of your bod? Challenges that work only one part of the body, every single day for an extended period of time aren’t the best when it comes to choosing a fitness challenge. Exercising is about constantly switching up your workouts, surprising your body, and varying the muscle groups you work. Otherwise, you might end up on the fast track to plateauing. Therefore, it’s important to commit to a challenge that gives you the flexibility to work all of your muscle groups and the ability to take a day or two off to let your muscles rest and repair.

At the HB, we sure love a good challenge

That’s why we created the 2014 HB Summer Share where we incorporate 10 full weeks of unlimited riding with spending time with friends and familiy, and some awesome perks along the way. Beginning on June 15, riders who participate in the HB Summer Share will receive 1 point for every ride they attend and 2 points for every Twitter or Instagram post that links us (@The_Handle_Bar) and includes the hashtag #HBSummerShare, with the goal of 75 points total by the end of the summer. This is our way of incorporating sweat, summer fun, and staying social. The HB will track riders’ progress on our shiny, new leaderboards in both the Southie and Fenway studios, and online.

Southie Studio Leaderboard

Southie Studio Leaderboard

All participants will receive 2 guest passes to share with friends or family during the challenge. Riders who complete the challenge will be deemed HB Summer Share Superstars and receive an American Apparel HB Summer Share tank to rock their accomplishment. The riders who finish with the top three number of points will receive an additional month of unlimited riding.

What are you waiting for? Gear up for the summer and achieve your goals, all while sharing the experience and creating new memories with friends and family. From now until Sunday, June 1st early birds will receive a $25 discount on the full price of $400. Don’t wait – shape up and #ShareYourSummer at the HB. Challenge begins June 15.

What will you do with your summer? #RaiseTheBar

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