Ending the Year with a 12-Week Fitness Challenge

Fitness Challenge Begins
24 Sep

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

Perhaps the end of the year isn’t the most ideal time for a 12-week fitness challenge. After all, you’re faced with three major holidays worth of goodies. However, it can be done as long as you put in maximum effort.

I’ve already demonstrated in the past that I can still lose weight while having some of the best things the season has to offer. This time, though, I’m recording the data to prove my point.

Not to mention that success in any fitness challenge really comes down to your goals and how hard you decide to push yourself. Some of us will fast while others simply increase physical activity.

It all comes down to you and what you want to accomplish.

Why a Fitness Challenge, of All Things?

The purpose of a challenge is to push yourself to achieve the objective. You don’t want to focus on something that is too easy as it doesn’t help you find your limitations. On the other hand, you don’t want challenges so difficult that you set yourself up for failure.

After my heart stopped in 2016, I’ve been far more conscious about my health. As I’m currently 47, the passage of time is getting far more difficult to ignore. While it’s true that I no longer weigh 300+ pounds, there is still so much more that I want to do that being in peak physical health would just make it easier.

For one thing, I’ve already added 20 yards to my drive while golfing thanks to adding more of a gym routine to my week. Then there is the fact that I quite enjoy spending time gardening and landscaping. Fitness improves stamina and strength for the things I want to do around the house.

Of course, then there are the vanity projects. For example, just once I would love to be looked at like a piece of meat. I know, it’s a bit on the silly side. But it’s kind of an ego boost when someone looks at you with lust in their eyes…not that I’m expecting much as I close in on 50.

Then again, I could always just hang out at the bingo parlor.

All kidding aside (kind of), I would like to be more physically active. I love to golf, go bowling, or hang around a festival without getting winded or tired. And if the zombie apocalypse erupts, I want to be a hero, not a burden.

At the end of the day, we all have things we’d love to accomplish. As long as they can keep you motivated to pursue success, there is really no right or wrong answer. For me, it’s about being physically capable of doing more while looking good doing it. For others, it may be simply to attract a mate.

As long as your goals are suited to your specific needs or wants, that’s all that really matters. As long as you’re satisfied with the results, who’s to say you’re doing it wrong?

Ultimate Goals for This Fitness Challenge

My goals for this particular fitness challenge are quite basic. It’s not necessarily the end game but the journey itself that interests me. It all comes down to being the best version of myself possible.

As I am relatively close to my initial weight loss goals, this challenge is more about discovery and seeing what I can become at the end of 12 weeks.

Weight Loss

Currently, I weigh just a bit over 235 pounds. I’m starting this one a bit heavier than last time, but that’s OK. I know how fast I can drop the weight, especially during the first week.

The problem is that I’ve also been adding a bit of muscle mass by going to the gym. Because I am six feet tall and constantly increasing the weight I lift, I doubt I’ll hit 200 pounds. This is why I am just labeling the ultimate goal as “weight loss.”

I have no doubt that I’ll have to re-evaluate a lot of eating goals and such once I near the 215-pound mark.

Less than 14% Body Fat

Once I start to close in on a “healthy” weight, I am going to work more on dropping body fat. I already crunch 155 pounds on the ab crunch machine at Planet Fitness, so I’m sure that once I get rid of this beer coozy around my waist, I’ll look pretty damn good.

Initially, I was curious as to whether I could get below 10%, but that is usually reserved for athletes. Unless there is a competition for writing, I’m a far cry from being able to maintain that physique. Realistically, I’m at my desk around 16 hours per day.

Still, that’s part of this challenge, right? I am aiming to be more physically active, after all.

Let’s start with a realistic goal. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen myself at less than 14% body fat since I was about nine years old. And according to “experts,” I should start to see six-pack abs once I get the body fat under 14%.

I just hope my Renpho scale is accurate when calculating such.

Breaking Some Personal Records

Lastly, I am constantly working to break personal records. Whether it’s the number of pounds I’m lifting with a lat pulldown or the number of minutes I can hold a plank, I’m always in competition with myself.

Since I already have a headstart on breaking quite a few personal records, it all comes down to how much I break them. On Friday, I was already matching my lat pulldowns and machine back extensions.

Unfortunately, it seems that Exercise.com is about to go defunct. the site is having image issues, the app doesn’t include all of its data, and it’s starting to feel like an abandoned project. So, I’ll need to find another app to keep track of my workouts…or perhaps even build one myself.

In the worst-case scenario, I can always just set up a spreadsheet.

What’s the Plan This Time?

For this 12-week fitness challenge, I’m going to keep things a bit simple. I know I said that the point of a challenge is to push yourself. But if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that these points are, indeed, a challenge for me to maintain.

However, most of these are going to change as time progresses depending on how easy they become. Remember, I’m always working to be the best version of myself. And that means making adjustments when things get too easy.

The following is arranged in order of importance. These are the things I am going to focus on the most in this current iteration of my fitness challenge.

1. Stick with My Net 600 Diet – For Now

The first thing I want to do is demonstrate how effective my Net 600 Diet works. Essentially, it centers around physical activity to burn off twice what you eat. By setting a 600-calorie goal in MyFitnessPal and then letting Fitbit data adjust calorie burn from exercises, you’ll wind up eating between 1500 and 2000 calories depending on how active you are.

Once I get closer to my ideal weight, though, I’ll have to make adjustments. The Net 600 Calorie Diet works to burn fat at the beginning of a weight loss journey. However, it’ll be unrealistic to maintain once you get close to a healthy weight.

So, that means I’ll have to devise a more realistic diet sometime in November, which is when I should hit around 215 pounds or less.

Then again, perhaps I can modify my diet further to act as a method to hit 12% body fat or less. That’s actually kind of an intriguing idea, considering the Net 600 diet centers around physical activity. Perhaps I can get that athletic physique after all.

In any event, until I change the diet plan, I should have every day “in the green” for calorie burn versus intake.

2. Regular Gym Visits

In the last attempt at a fitness challenge, I’ve essentially developed a habit of going to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Nowadays, it just feels weird not to go. That’s why this is a second priority.

I doubt I’ll have to put much effort into reminding or even forcing myself to go to the gym. It’s essentially second nature at this point.

No, I’m not a gym rat or a gym bro. I have no gym crushes that keep me going three times per week. I just like the idea of displacing a small yacht every time I go into Planet Fitness. To clarify, I lifted a total 44,800 pounds last Monday, which equates to just over 22 tons. My goal is to recycle a Sherman tank, which is over 60 tons.

3. 10k Steps per Day Minimum

I would love to see if I can walk a million steps in 80 days, but I’m going to work on just hitting 10,000 for now. I’m sure I’ll go over and beyond, especially if I want some extra snacks. But remember, I also don’t want to set myself up for failure.

There are days when I won’t get a lot of movement simply because I am so busy working. I do quite a bit during the day, which is why I have a very narrow window of an hour at the gym three times per week.

In reality, I intend to surpass each week’s progress. For example, if I walked 70,000 steps this week, my goal for next week would be at least 70,001. This kind of mentality is how I became such a successful writer for content mills. It’s about constant growth while relishing every victory regardless of size.

4. 300 Minutes per Week of Top Activities

Part of getting those steps is making sure that I am staying active. This is also a cornerstone of my Net 600 Calorie Diet and the driving force behind getting that “athletic” physique despite being a desk jockey.

For this fitness challenge, my top activities consist of:

  • Cycling – One of the things I’d love to do soon is to cross the entire state of Colorado on a bicycle.
  • Xbox Kinect – The majority of the weight I’ve lost so far was due to the fact of playing the Xbox Kinect.
  • Bodyblade – The way I play with the Bodyblade, I’ve raised my heart rate well over 180 bpm.
  • Oculus Quest – I’ve burned quite a few calories playing games like Fruit Ninja on the Oculus.
  • Zaaz – I’d love to do a case study involving the Zaaz vibration board.
  • Other Cardio Minutes – This will be anything else I think to remember to record as an exercise on my Fitbit.

Now, I do intend to do more things outside. For one, I’d love to go golfing a bit before the snow falls. These are just the things I’m either working on case studies for or just simply enjoy doing at home.

At 300 minutes per week, this only breaks down to just under 43 minutes per day. And if I want an extra snack, I’m sure I’ll go well above that minimum. Perhaps I’ll slowly increase the minimum time each week.

5. Social Sharing More Often

I’m going to try to remember to share more of my progress on social media. The problem is that I often just forget. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…I don’t really center my identity around social apps. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I’m just not as active on these platforms. Still, I would like to show how you’re never too old to build a superhero physique.

Not to mention that I still think that social accountability can help drive motivation. Especially if you want to prove a point to some “influencers” that steady state cardio and eating right are the key points of health and fitness. Yep, V Shred still angers me to no end.

Seriously, who fakes being on the Joe Rogan podcast in a commercial?

In any event, I suppose you can expect to see some progress photos on Instagram. I just hate taking them at the gym. I don’t want to be one of “those” people.

6. Bi-Weekly Photos

Because I am going all-in on this fitness challenge, the idea is to upload bi-weekly comparison photos. I know I said that before, and things kind of went south. This time, though, I’ll upload the starting point versus the two-week progression.

Though, I doubt you’ll see much of a difference until about week six. But I guess that really depends on just how much effort I put into this challenge.

The reason why this one is so low on the priority totem pole is that I often forget. I’m going to try my best to remember I want to share them, but don’t be surprised if there isn’t a regular feed of comparison photos on the blog.

7. Weekly Update Blogs

This is another step that is low on the list simply because it’s already a habit. I schedule weekly Sunday blogs for Crossing Colorado, so it’s not like it takes extra time or effort.

The plan is to have them written and posted before lunch. Though, it really depends on when I wake up. Since I don’t get a lot of sleep during the week, I’m usually out until 9 am on the weekends, which is awfully late for me.

Still, there will be a new post every Sunday.

Are You Challenging Yourself?

There we have it; there is a good plan set up to see what I can turn myself into at the end of 12 weeks. Any takers on whether I can commit maximum effort this time around?

That’s what separates me from a lot of people. Sure, I may fail a lot at the things I attempt. But you can rest assured knowing I will try it again. I believe the only true failing is one that you don’t learn from while giving up entirely.

What are you doing to challenge yourself in life?

About Author

2 thoughts on “Ending the Year with a 12-Week Fitness Challenge

Let me know what you think...