Online Fitness Coaching: Fitness Challenge Ideas

In my last post I showed you how to start a private fitness group on facebook.  So now that you have a group, what the heck are you going to do with it?  Here’s some ideas for challenges.  The goal is to keep your members excited and motivated to work out and eat well.

The first thing we did as a group was to set weekly goals and post our progress.  Each member had different goals.  Just putting them in writing and declaring them to a group of people makes it more likely that we will reach them.  It’s a bonus that we get feedback as we make progress.  We also get encouragement if we fall short or get frustrated.

A challenge we did early on was a  water challenge.  We each figured out how much water we should drink each day according to our weight (the rule of thumb is half your weight in ounces).  I needed about 64 oz. Then we posted if we made the goal or not.  I tried harder to get to 64 oz. during the two weeks we did this and I know I am still drinking more water now.  It has become a habit. A good one. 🙂

Next came the points challenge.  This has been really popular!  Sharon, one of my group members had a chart that assigned a point value to different intensities of exercise. We earn points depending on what workout we do and how many minutes we spend at it.  We have done two of these so far.  The first challenge featured 2 teams of 12 people.  The second had 6 teams of 4 people.  They both lasted for 30 days.  Members posted their points for each day in our group and I added them up using a spread sheet. (Thanks to my computer hubby for setting it up for me!)  You cannot believe how competitive this got.  After the first challenge I had several members message me to thank me and tell me how much weight they had lost.  They said they would not have stuck with it had it not been for the extra motivation of the points challenge.

We are now in the middle of “The Stupendous Chase” loosely based on “The Amazing Race”.  I mapped out a route using Google maps from the Central PA to Key West.  We are taking the round-a-bout way with stops in ten major cities.  We are using the same point system to “travel”.  One point equals one mile.  This challenge is being done in partners.  Both partners need to get to each city using their points and then must do some type of challenge.  Here’s some examples:  In Washington DC, we had to go to the American Ice Company in Georgetown (via website) and order menu items that were preselected.  Each team had to send me the bill with 15% tip included.  If they sent the correct amount, they had completed the challenge.  In Virginia Beach each team had to take part in a water sport of their choice and post a picture to the site.  The best one was Nancy’s picture.  She stood in the creek behind her house pretending to water ski.  I laughed when I saw it until I almost fell out of my computer chair.

I will be travelling quite and bit this summer and will need to come up with some challenges that won’t require keeping track of points.  So far I think I will do “Fantastically Fit Friends, where are you?”  Everyone will get a little FFF poster to hold in pictures where they are doing fitness activities away from home.  They will post the picture with a little discription of the activity.  Another idea is “virtual fitness field trips”.  Any member can set up a field trip.  Let’s say my hubby Bob wants to try a spinning class at the local YMCA.  He posts it as an event on the group site.  Anyone who is local can go with him.  Anyone from out of the area can go to one where they live.  Then they can post in the site and compare notes.

Do you have some novel ideas for fitness challenges that you could use in a private Facebook group?  Post them here!  We could end up with a giant brainstorming session and ALL end up with some great new ideas.


Author: Sue Kauffman

Health and PE teacher in Central PA. Exercise, fitness and nutrition junkie. Married, two teen girls (pulling out hair daily). Love to ballroom dance. Beachbody customer and coach. e-mail me at

29 thoughts on “Online Fitness Coaching: Fitness Challenge Ideas”

  1. Hi! I’d love to get a copy of how you assign the points and any more details on how you explain the “traveling” contest to your contestants! Thanks so much!

  2. What great ideas you have!!! So wish I was this creative! 😉 These all sound so FUN! I would love to incorporate the point value system into a game or two that you shared with us, any chance I could get the point chart sent to me too?

    Thank you over and over again for taking the time to share these ideas with us! 😉

    1. Thank you Donna! I am planning to change my “free gift” over to the point chart very soon. Check back to my site within the next week or so and you can get it delivered right to your e-mail. Thanks again!

  3. I’d like to know more about how you did the Stupendous chase challenge. I’m a new director at our wellness center and need some ideas to motivate members. Thank you.

    1. Beth,
      Partner groups were awarded a mile for every minute they worked out. When they got to a checkpoint every 100 miles they got a challenge to complete. Most of the challenges involved posting a picture to our facebook site or going to a website and finding an answer to a question. When the team got to Key West they were able to turn around and “sprint” home with the same mile per minute of exercise. The first team to finish was the winner. You can modify that idea in what ever way works for you. Have fun!


  4. Love the idea of a point system for a group challenge. Would it be possible to send me the spreadsheet? I’m curious also to how you assign points for various activities. What if someone does a 25 min hiit workout, another does an hour of yoga, and someone else does 45 min. strength training? How do you determine who gets the most points? Thanks for the idea.

    1. Kim, I will try to send out a copy of the point sheet soon. Different types of activities were assigned a different point value and then we multiply the number of minutes times the point value. Sometimes people in the group asked where their activity fell and I would try to help them. It’s on the point sheet too so that will help you when you start. Good luck!

  5. Hi Sue,

    I love your stupendous chase idea. I’m starting a fitness challenge group soon. Would you mind sharing your points spreadsheet with me as well?

  6. Hi Sue,

    Love your ideas and FFF group you have. It has def. encouraged me. I have a mommy group and would like to start something like this. Can you please share our point doc. with me as well.

    Thank you,

  7. I’m wrapping up a transformation challenge with my facebook group right now. I love the idea of a points system. Are you able to share with me your spreadsheet and how you assigned points to each thing? I think that’s a great idea! Thanks much!

  8. I’m starting up a fitness competition challenge thing at work and I love some of the ideas on your site. Would you be able to send me the point chart you used for the different activities as well? Love that idea! Thanks.

  9. Great post on online fitness challenges! Do you have the points chart that you’d be willing to share?

    How did you map out the Stupendous Race? That sounds so cool and fun!

    1. Mel, thanks and yes, I can send you the chart we use for the points. I’ll send it to the e-mail address that is listed here. Pretty much everything I did for the Studpendous chase is posted on my Pinterest site. You can access that by going to I have a board labelled “studpendous chase”. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  10. Sue,

    What a great site! I’m in the process of challenging my 5 sisters to get fit. My youngest sister will be 48 in October and the oldest is 54. (you do the math, my parents were busy and there are 2 brothers too!)

    None of us live close enough to work out together but as my mother’s 80th birthday approaches we like to get in shape for the big party we are planning. I’m going to use some of your ideas to get the ball rolling and will watch your site to pick up any tips you might have.

    Best of luck to your group.


    1. Colleen,

      Wow, your parents WERE busy! It’s great that you and your sisters are working on getting fit together. A facebook private group really works well to keep you in touch and motivated. If you didn’t already, check out my latest post “Flat Stanley Gets A Makeover”. It’s a summer activity we have going in our group to stay motivated and have some fun. You can also check out my post about Your family could join that and have a fun time doing some of those challenges too. Hope you are all in tip top shape for Mom’s big birthday bash!


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