You’re almost through the 2020 Gold’s Gym Challenge. As you begin to schedule your “after” photos and write your essay, finish strong with these tips from former winners and a few of our personal trainers.
How to close out the 12 weeks
Look back with pride.
Review the Gold’s Gym Checklist you filled out 12 weeks ago and see how far you’ve come. Make sure to complete your essay and “after” photos.
Return to your why.
Christine B., the 2019 Gold’s Gym Challenge national female overall winner, says she always thought about the reason she was participating in the first place. “I was so tired of the yo-yo dieting and making excuses,” she says. “I didn’t want to start over year after year. I wanted to be there for my family and my grandchildren.”
Plan your workouts ahead of time.
Block time for tomorrow or sign up for classes. Make it so you have plans to get to the gym. “I ask a friend to train with me if I’m especially unmotivated,” says Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer Aubrey Williams, adding that she’s less likely to flake out on someone she knows. And remember to have a plan for the final week. That way, you’ll be more likely to finish on a high note.
Focus on what’s in front of you.
While plans are an important part of the Gold’s Gym Challenge, it can be helpful to focus on the now. “I looked at each day, day by day,” says Tania S., the 2019 first place winner in the women’s 30–39 age group. All she worried about was that one workout. “Once you start thinking about how much longer you have or everything you have to do, you will stress yourself out and feel overwhelmed.”
Savor your victories.
“Celebrate your wins that got you to the point you are at now, and grow from the failures you experienced as well,” says Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer Mitchell Fischer. Reflecting on both ups and downs will boost your confidence because you made it through, and you’ll be that much more prepared to handle future challenges in any facet of life.
Remember to love yourself.
“Your health is a product of your decisions,” says Kwabena M., the 2019 national male overall winner. “Own those results. How good you feel determines how far you are willing to go. Love yourself enough to know you are worth the effort.”
How to keep the momentum going after it’s over
“The Gold’s Gym Challenge is a hard task, but it is just a small part of the rest of your life,” says Jeremy M., the 2019 winner in the men’s 30–39 age group. “So, remember that this event did not set you up for a small-time goal. It set you up for a lifetime of being healthy and active.”
Set new goals.
“Make small, reasonable goals for yourself, and when you check those off, make some more,” says Williams. “Can’t do a pull-up? Set a goal to do one in three months’ time and focus on strengthening the muscles to help achieve that!”
Try something new.
“Find a new routine, try a new class or set new goals,” says Fischer. “Reach out to your gym community and try new stuff.”
Build a habit that will last a lifetime.
“One thing that I like about the Gold’s Gym Challenge is that it is only 12 weeks of your time,” Williams says. “But it’s 12 weeks that could change the rest of your life. That’s 84 days of building a habit that will carry through to healthier living for you and potentially the people around you. Keep going!”
Don’t forget to take a breather.
After the final week, Fischer says to remember to give yourself a mental break and tone down your intensity. “Continue to go to the gym at the same frequency and eat right, but rest is necessary after 12 weeks of work,” he says. “Take one to two weeks at that lower intensity level, depending on your need for recovery. This will prevent burnout and give you time to create your next fitness goal.”