Top 5 Monthly Workout Challenges for Your Gym

Sep 14, 2022 - 5 min read
workout challenge with virtuagym

Monthly workout challenges aren’t a new concept, but they continue to increase in popularity.

Gym challenges are a way to get gym-goers motivated, foster a sense of healthy competition amongst your members, strengthen your brand and provide an excellent atmosphere for attracting new clients.

As the digital fitness landscape expands, these monthly workout challenges have become a critical tool to keep clients engaged and accountable both inside and outside of the gym.

Gym challenges can be conducted online, offline, or in a hybrid capacity using online apps and platforms.

In this article, we’ll go over best practices for incorporating monthly workout challenges into your business and 5 exciting new workout challenge ideas you can implement straight away to keep your members motivated.

How to Set up a Monthly Workout Challenge in Your Gym

No matter the type of challenge you decide to run (and of course, you can run various challenges throughout the year), the best challenges share a few important qualities.

Adhering to these basic elements will ensure a successful, enjoyable workout challenge for your members and a profitable, brand-boosting experience for your gym or studio.

A Clear Goal

A great workout challenge should have a clearly stated end goal. Let your participants know exactly what they’re working towards:

  • amount of miles ran or walked
  • amount of gym check-ins
  • classes attended
  • hitting a PR
  • weight lost
  • money raised
  • etc.

Start/End Dates for Your Monthly Workout Challenge

A proper challenge requires a specific timeline.

Many challenges are conducted over 30 days but some take 6-8 weeks or more.

Regardless, let participants know exactly when the challenge begins and ends.

Reasonable Expectations / Standards

One of the hallmarks of an effective monthly workout challenge is that it is challenging enough to keep members engaged and motivated, but not so challenging that it sets participants up for failure.

Make sure the intended goal is realistic for the members/leads you are targeting.

A gym-wide challenge should be adjustable for a range of fitness levels, so it’s important that something open to everyone be super adaptable with progressions and regressions.

That said, not every challenge will be marketable to your entire gym clientele, and that’s OK.

You can try out workout challenges that are intended for beginner gym-goers, ones that are good for intermediate-level clients and incorporate more difficult movements or goals, and of course some challenges for your most advanced members.

Progress Trackers

This will be challenge-specific, but all participants should have a clear, simple way to track their progress throughout the challenge.

This could be a physical leaderboard set up on display in your gym or be done through your online portal in your branded studio app.


Give your challenge participants everything they need in order to be successful.

Depending upon the specifics of your challenge, this could be plenty of class time options, meal plans, video demos of exercises if they’re working out from home, etc.

1. 30-Day Fitness Challenge

The 30-day fitness challenge is a tried and true method for motivating members and setting them up for success.

The details are up to what works best for your gym:

  • in-person classes 2-3 times per week
  • simple bodyweight exercises / equipment-free workouts that participants can do from home
  • a theme
  • full body or certain muscle group focus
  • etc.

This monthly challenge can be as detailed or as simple as you’d like. It’s a good idea to open up 30-day challenges to both members and non-members.

Offer your current members a discounted rate to join the challenge and prospective members can receive a special deal on a full-time membership upon completion of the challenge.

2. 6-Week or 8-Week Fitness Challenge

These longer challenges are ideal for current members looking to level up their success and are a great way to show new clients how you overdeliver for your members.

Sometimes referred to as “transformation challenges” because in 6-8 weeks dedicated challengers can get amazing results - leading to both happier clients and higher member retention .

6 or 8 week workout challenges might also include healthy eating practices (though if you plan to incorporate a meal plan, make sure you have it certified by a registered dietician), or smaller daily challenges in addition to the workouts (drink more water, walk more steps, etc).

Potential members have the opportunity to get to know you, your gym, your programs, and the feeling of being a part of your community along with getting amazing results, which should be all you need to convert them into long-term members.

3. Weight Loss Challenge

A weight loss challenge won’t appeal to everyone in your gym, but for some members, it might be just the push they need.

The end goal is simply that the person who loses the most weight wins.

Keep in mind that nutrition is a key factor here, so a weight loss challenge might incorporate both workouts as well as nutrition tips/advice or even a full meal plan.

4. PR Challenges

Personal Record challenges can be done in any number of ways, so you’ll have to find the sweet spot for your studio.

If you run a lot of in-person classes, a monthly class attendance PR could be the goal.

If you have a lot of heavy lifters, of course, a PR in any of the big lifts is a great option. Runners, rowers, and cyclists can all PR in the distance, time, speed, etc.

5. Walking / Running Monthly Workout Challenges

Walking or running challenges can appeal to many members and is a simple option for a challenge that can be done outside of the gym.

By choosing a set number of miles for the month, each participant can complete the challenge at their own pace.

The best part of monthly workout challenges is the ease with which you can bring your fitness community together, organize a bit of competition and drive the success of each and every one of your members.

For your gym or studio, monthly workout challenges can both bring in revenue on the front end while also fostering new leads, converting potential new members, and improving your gym trial conversion rates .

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Nan de Bruin

Content Marketing Team Lead

Visual storyteller and winter sports enthusiast with 15 years of writing experience in English, Dutch, and Czech. Currently doing reps as the Content Marketing Team Lead at Virtuagym.