My 8-Week Fitness Challenge: Let’s Try this Again

8 week fitness challenge
31 Aug

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

As you might have guessed, I am still not at my goal weight. While I don’t look like a superhero just yet, at least I am still losing a bit here and there. So, I am going to try an 8-week fitness challenge and try to commit to the experience.

Why an 8-week fitness challenge?

Well, in just over eight and a half weeks, I am going to WordCamp US in St Louis. It’s the biggest WordCamp in America, and I would love to look my best. And since it’s Halloween weekend, I would also like to dress up as a superhero.

I know it sounds kind of vane, but in reality, I am just tired of being tired and overweight. I want to set a good example for my kids…and right now, that’s really not happening.

What will Go into this 8-Week Fitness Challenge?

Here we go again with another challenge. Hopefully, I can maintain this one longer than just a week or two. I have a hard time committing to fitness challenges. Mostly, it’s because I don’t have real accountability other than to myself.

And I often struggle to keep up the pace.

In this 8-week fitness challenge, I am going to:

Keep Caloric Intake Reasonable

First, I need to pay attention to my caloric intake. I’ll do this by using MyFitnessPal to monitor a net 600 calorie diet. I’m fairly sure I’ll need to bump this up a bit because I plan on doing a lot more weight training this time around.

It works like this:

  1. Using the free app MyFitnessPal, I’ll set my calorie goals to about 600.
  2. My Fitbit Charge 3 will then send data to MyFitnessPal to offset calories I burn through physical activity. Which means the more active I am in the day, the more I can eat.
  3. Then, I’ll eat according to how many calories I have left in the day to keep MyFitnessPal numbers in the green.

In reality, I usually end up eating closer to 2,000 calories while on a net 600 calorie diet. This is because I’ll burn far more than I’ll consume.

Without glucose to sustain lifting weights, I easily throw myself into hypoglycemic shock. So, I’ll need to pay close attention as I’m prone to low blood sugar levels.

But regardless, I am going to focus on keeping my calories in the green every day…something I really haven’t done since about 40 pounds ago.

Curb the Nighttime Snacking

I found that I drop weight faster if I refrain from eating past 8 pm. This has been a constant problem for me over the years, and I still haven’t quite mastered the process.

Like I’ve said many times before, I just need to keep myself occupied so I don’t snack at night.

Since I have plans to do more live streams on YouTube and Twitch, this will help greatly. I don’t like to eat on camera, and being engaged with an audience keeps my mind off of snacking.

Something else I want to try is snacking on healthier foods. If I have to snack, use something like v8 or fruit cups.

Break at Least One Personal Exercise Record per Week

I don’t want to just lose weight. I want to try to do a total body transformation. Sigh…who am I kidding…I want muscles.

I’m not a small guy by any means, but I do lack definition in various parts of my body. And I would love to see if I can do something about that for the sake of doing so.

I’ve never seen myself “ripped.” I wonder what that would look like?

At any rate, for this 8-week fitness challenge, I am focusing on breaking one person record per week. Since I record workouts in, this will help me see what records I currently have to break.

Exercise Records Records

Throughout the week, I’ll do workouts that focus on a specific exercise. Then on Sunday, I’ll attempt at breaking the record for that particular workout.

For instance, a record I want to break is Bicycling for 3.91 miles. I’m sure I can break that one easy enough. So, I’ll spend the next 7 days riding and “training” myself to overcome that record by riding two or three miles per day to prepare.

Achieve Weekly Calorie Burn and Point Goals

I am still looking for a good way to gamify fitness and keep me engaged. In this case, I am using a spreadsheet that is similar to how I keep track of my freelance writing career.

In this spreadsheet, I’ll:

  • keep track of my morning weight every day. I know, it’s not ideal to track weight loss this way. But I am also collecting data to see how much weight will bounce around on a daily basis.
  • track the calorie difference between intake and output. Each week, I can see if my “score” is in the green. This will tell me if I need to be more active if I want to improve.
  • record points I earn through Each week, the spreadsheet will show whether I am on course to improve in terms of points. In turn, this will keep me motivated to surpass previous totals.

weightloss spreadsheet

How this spreadsheet works is that it will provide estimated weightloss based on the activities from the day before. Every day, I enter the numbers. Then, the rest of the spreadsheet adjusts for the new data.

At any point, I can scroll down and see an estimate of how much I’ll weigh by the end of the 8-week fitness challenge.

If you watch the update videos, you’ll see the spreadsheet take shape as I do.

Speaking of which…

Provide Daily Update Videos

Now, I’m not 100% convinced I’ll be able to do daily vlogs on Crossing Colorado’s YouTube channel. This is simply because I have so much going on. Sometimes, it takes nearly half the day to record, edit, encode, upload and publish a new video.

But if I can keep most of the footage raw, and without jump cuts, I should be able to at least provide an update.

Perhaps I can do a video first thing in the morning before I even start my regular routine. In the past, I would waste time watching random YouTube videos before working out. But if I use that time for recording, I might be able to swing a daily vlog.

The idea behind the videos is to keep me motivated. Perhaps I can motivate others to be healthier as well. But I would also like some accountability. When people watch my progress, I feel as though I need to push that much harder.

When I don’t make a video for, I feel like I am letting the audience down. Perhaps I can find the same kind of inspiration through daily fitness vlogs.

Write Weekly Update Blog Posts

And lastly, I want a written record of my progress. I might go back to using the fitness timeline in conjunction with weekly blog posts during the 8-week fitness challenge.

If anything else, it’ll give me something to look back on for future strategies.

Not only that, but I also feel more motivated when I blog about my experiences. It seems to light a fire under me, which is probably why I’ve been slacking so much lately.

I haven’t been blogging nearly as much.

Let’s See How Well I Commit to an 8 Week Fitness Challenge

So, I need to set aside my doubts and misgivings for this next attempt. I have failed all my past challenges, but I’ve learned why and how to improve. I am feeling confident that this 8-week fitness challenge will be different from the rest.

I just need to put in the effort to succeed.

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