Is a 12 week fitness challenge right for you? If you want to lose a whole lot of weight quickly and you need a quick fix to jump-start the ‘new you’ that you dream of……..then NO, a 12 week challenge is not for you.
It won’ t last. It’s not sustainable. It’s a short cut that will last for…..only 12 weeks. 12 week challenges are a great start to changing your lifestyle but if you think it will be the quick fix solution to all your health and fitness challenges then you will be sadly disappointed, at about week 14.
A 12 week challenge is the start, not the destination. So often I see people sign up for 12 week challenges with hopes and dreams of amazing results. They do get those amazing results in 12 weeks. But what happens at week 13, 14 & 15? They end up going back to their old habits and lose many of the gains they worked so very hard to achieve over 12 weeks. And their pockets are a little lighter than when they started.
Don’t get me wrong, 12 week challenges can work. For 12 weeks. It certainly does work while someone is programming your diet, expecting you at training, emptying your pockets of hard-earned cash. These are all very good motivating reasons that will keep you on track for 12 weeks. Maybe 13 weeks. 14 weeks at the most.
What happens though when it all ends and you don’t have an exercise timetable to keep to each week, your trainer is not giving you a hard time if you miss training, your training buddies have stopped training with you, you don’t have reminders, you relax your diet because ‘you deserve it’ after 12 weeks of hard work? This will be when you realise that your achievements really were for, well, 12 weeks.
12 week challenges are costly. They are costly in financial terms, in time, in effort. A lot of the time this can’t be sustained beyond 12 weeks. However, it is an over commitment people are prepared to make for 12 weeks to be able to short cut what would normally be long-term hard work.
If you have your heart set on a 12 week challenge then see it as the beginning, only the beginning. If you are thinking about long-term goals then a 12 week challenge may give you the quick results you crave. Go for it! Learn about what you can achieve. Be amazing. Commit yourself to the full 12 weeks. It can be a good thing, but have a bigger goal. Don’t stop your planning at 12 weeks. 12 weeks is the warm up to the ‘new you’ that you want to be for the rest of your life.
The good news is that exercise and training beyond a 12 week challenge is much cheaper than a 12 week challenge. The not-so-good news is that YOU have to do the self-motivating. YOU have to be the one to set the goals, YOU have to make sure you get to training, YOU need to find reliable training buddies, YOU need to keep yourself in check. That is where the real work starts.
So, if you have your heart set on a 12 week challenge, and you can afford it, go for it. Squeeze every bit of learning out of the opportunity you can with a view to being the ‘new you’ beyond 12 weeks. During the 12 weeks plan for beyond the 12 weeks. Find a suitable gym, personal trainer or exercise buddy to keep you on track. Lock in a plan. Set achievable goals. Keep roughly to your healthy food intake. Be the person you wanted to be in 12 weeks for the rest of your life.
12 week challenges are a great way to get started. Don’t let it end there. Get fit, stay fit, train and exercise consistently. Don’t stop at 12 weeks. Invest in your future health now.