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Fitness Challenges

Updated: Jun 10, 2019

The diet and fitness industry are booming because they market to the masses looking for a quick fix without communicating the dangerous side effects of these strategies.

“Lose 30 pounds in 30 days on this training plan”

“Cleanse your body to accelerate fat burning with this detox tea”

“Get a 6 pack with this one exercise tool”

We opened Semiahmoo Athletic Club to empower people to live a higher quality of life through coaching fitness and nutrition. We understand that confidence in body image is a major driver behind WHY people sign up at a gym and we WANT you to lose the weight (or gain the muscle mass) necessary for you to achieve your health, fitness and body composition goals. Our mission is to not only teach you how to create a healthier lifestyle to get you in the best shape of your life, but also how to STAY that way in the long term!

These 8 week challenges marketing extreme weight loss results could end up destroying your long term health. In order to achieve such extreme results, most individuals participating are going from 0 to 100. Going from no exercise to 60 days without rest, sometimes 2x day workouts, will lead to mental and physical exhaustion. Now throw an extreme caloric deficit into the equation and you have a recipe for dangerously elevated cortisol levels, which WILL lead to burn out overtime, not to mention a number of associated health conditions, including the inability to lose body fat or gain muscle mass (cortisol breaks down muscle mass faster than you can build it!). Most challenge participants “can’t wait to have a giant burger and cake” when the 8 weeks is up - this is not only reinforcing unhealthy and potentially dangerous disordered eating and exercise behaviours, but it also provides an fail proof way to gain all the weight back post challenge. We’ve seen this happen all too often - we’ve read the customized overtraining schedules, analyzed the aggressive dieting protocols and have to explain over and over again why you were not actually “in the best shape of their life after just 8 weeks.” We’re not blaming the participants for falling for the marketing schemes - after all, “reach your fat loss goals in just 8 weeks” sounds far more attractive than “put in a consistent effort over a long period of time to see lasting results” - but it’s the truth if you want to achieve long term success.

A smart program should involve a linear progression. With exercise, this means that you can apply a little more stress on the body today than you applied yesterday. After your body adapts to this stress, you can apply more intensity and volume. If you apply too much stress at once, you risk injury or become discouraged with such extreme muscle soreness that you cannot continue on with your routine. The same concept goes for nutrition - gradually replacing each unhealthy eating habit with a healthier option ensures that you do not get overwhelmed and take the time to learn which foods and recipes you actually enjoy. Stuffing yourself with dry chicken and spinach for 8 weeks will not equate to you enjoying healthy eating practices and will probably result in binge eating pizza and cookies the day the challenge ends. After the instant gratification from the sugar high dies down, you will probably feel like shit, mentally and physically. “Rome was not built in a day” - treat your body like a long term project and build a better version of yourself that you can live in for the rest of you life, rather than looking back on that one time you were in great shape with your 8 week before and after photo.

While we don’t agree with extreme weight loss challenges, we do believe that fitness and health challenges focused on healthy behaviour patterns are a great tool to get you motivated and keep you accountable with the goal of instilling healthy habits long term. For example, we ran a challenge at Semiahmoo Athletic Club that focused on 5 factors that we believe are key in optimizing health. We communicated that “this Challenge is about cleaning up your diet and lifestyle to become a better version of you. This is NOT about pounds lost on the scale, or inches lost from the waist. It is about making daily choices to feel better, train better and overall lead a healthier lifestyle.” We awarded 5 points each day, 1 each for:

-Movement or mobility work

-Drinking enough water daily (take your 1/2 your body weight in pounds and drink at least that in ounces each day - for example 150lbs person should consume 75oz or 9 cups daily)

-Eliminating aritificial sugars (fruit is okay)

-Eliminating packaged and processed foods

-Avoiding alcohol

We encouraged members to take any starting measurements they desired, emphasizing pictures for body composition comparison and offered body fat/muscle mass measurements (with a CM device) to illustrate that although the total body fat lost or muscle gained would be minimal (consistent effort over 30 days should not yield dramatic results), the primary focus was on the changes they felt in their health and fitness. We tested a specific workout at Day 1 and again at Day 30 to illustrate how engaging in these 5 healthy habits daily would improve their physical performance. We did not ask them to share their results publicly (unless they felt inclined to do so), as the point of the challenge was to feel the difference in their body and workouts after 30 days of consistent efforts. This short term challenge provided the tools and accountability for our members to carry on with these habits after the 30 days if they felt and enjoyed the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

There IS value in challenges like a 30 day squat/pushup challenge, Sober October, Sugar-free September, etc… IF you are engraining healthy movement and diet patterns, reflecting on the positive health benefits reaped throughout the process and carrying the habits forth long term. But if you can’t wait to drown in a sugar coma after Sugar-free September, you don’t have much luck with long term success in your health and fitness goals.


To motivate all you CanWest Games participants (and any other members interested!) to get into the best competitive shape possible, we will be running our 30 day challenge again! This time we are tossing the measurements and focusing on performance and health. We want to emphasize the way you FEEL, which is a crucial component to competition.

On Monday June 17th we will be completing our pre-challenge WOD. Every day, you will strive to complete the 5 healthy habits listed above. We will provide everything from daily tips on mobility, to healthy recipes, to exercise strategizes to guide you through this challenge to optimizing your health and performance. At the end of the 30 days, we will re-test the challenge WOD for you to FEEL the improvement in your health and fitness by focusing on just a few simple healthy habits.

The cost to participate is $20 and the grand prize is valued over $1000 including:

CrossFit Semiahmoo 2 month membership

Raw Canvas Skin Bar medical grade treatments

Blonyx products

Paleoethics products

Nova 3 Labs products

Fascia Edge products

RMT Services by Roi Rollins

Our entire team of coaches will collaborate in order to determine the winner based on multiple factors such as dedication, spirit, progress, and more.

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