The Secrets To Running A Successful Challenge

Word-of-mouth referrals off the back of a fitness challenge can be more powerful than any formal advertising. Ed Zouroudis explains how to do it right.

I have always enjoyed a gym challenge. The sense of satisfaction you feel when you reach the end and the camaraderie you feel with your fellow challenge mates is hard to top.

Beyond personal enjoyment, challenges are one of the most powerful ways to gain new clients and draw more people into your health or fitness facility. Some of the most successful businesses are continuously running challenges throughout the year and using their clients’ successes to promote their brand. These gyms or health facilities report greater word-of-mouth business – just from running these challenges, over any other form of advertising.

While it might be tempting to jump straight into a challenge, pulling one off successfully in a way that benefits your business requires a few basic steps.

A sense of community

The most important aspect of running a body transformation challenge is that you create the right balance between competition and personal development. You want participants to have the motivation to push themselves to get great results, in an environment that has elements of competition while still remaining inclusive.

The best way to foster a community spirit is by keeping your participants at the forefront of your planning. Don’t just arbitrarily pick something; instead, make it really connect to their needs, whether that be strength training, body composition or consistency.

Setting up challenge groups on social media is a great way to keep the community tight-knit and give them the chance to talk to each other about small wins and roadblocks along the way.

Measuring individual performance

Being able to see how much total body fat is lost and muscle mass gained, is an excellent way of measuring success across a challenge. Assessing the differentiation in visceral fat and subcutaneous fat mass lost over the challenge is a unique measure of progress that not many can use. These metrics are also a great way to advertise your next challenge.

Reward your clients with their own personalised report, highlighting their achievements over the challenge period, and giving them a record of their success. Conversely, if the client hasn’t obtained their desired results, therein lies a unique opportunity to engage with your client to find out how you can further support them to reach their goals.

Keeping it interesting

It is easy to set up your challenges to focus on the big things like better body composition, heavier lifts or intense cardio workouts. But remember, not everyone in your gym has the time and dedication to use a challenge to springboard into a complete transformation.

Creating challenges based on smaller, more overlooked areas like at-home step challenges, increased water consumption, more sleep-time can show your members that the benefits of a challenge are all encompassing and, in turn, attract a diverse range of members to participate.

Get tech savvy

Getting started can be a bit of a battle if you’ve never run a challenge before, but keeping track of individual results is essential to keeping your clients motivated. Most gym owners don’t have the time to be doing weigh-ins, measurements, tracking the progress on a spreadsheet, so using fitness apps or body scanners onsite like Evolt 360, is an easy way to collate data without spending hours collating excel spreadsheets.

Challenges are intense, so presenting results in a leaderboard showing metrics such as the most amount of fat lost or the most amount of muscle gained at any time during or after the challenge is an excellent way to show constant improvement, and see your participants fight it out for top spot.

A ready-made challenge

Facilities with an Evolt 360 Body Scanner are already ahead of other businesses because they can use the inbuilt, unique Challenge facilitator, housed within the Evolt Insights Management Dashboard platform. It has been designed to make the Challenge process seamless, quick and easy to use. Using this sophisticated platform, all you need to do is follow these easy steps:

  1. Create a New Challenge on the Challenge Tab in the Evolt Insights Management Dashboard
  2. Choose your Challenge Name, Start Date and Duration
  3. Generate your unique challenge code
  4. Distribute your challenge code to your participants
  5. Start scanning!

You can even run simultaneous challenges to different segments of your database, simply by creating a new challenge for each, and allocating unique codes.

Have fun and good luck!


Ed Zouruodis

Ed is the CEO of Evolt 360, which is the ultimate member engagement partner and the most advanced body composition solution on the market.