The perfect Gym Challenge

The Gym Challenge






In all my time at WGC I’ve been searching for the perfect gym challenge, and that’s over 11 years now. Ive seen combinations from all disciplines absolutely destroy and bring exceptional athletes to their knees. Ive seen the fit and Ive seen the fun athlete compete and push themselves in their own class equally as hard. So finding the perfect workout to suit them both is quite a challenge, but I think I have done it.

But before I go onto the perfect gym challenge, its important to reflect on what makes somebody WANT to go to the gym and to do that you must understand your reasons for going.

This year for me personally my drive and focus has been crushed beyond anything I have ever experienced before. Ive always bounced back and always had a drive to keep me pushing in the gym and working hard and always enjoy a visit to the gym.

This has been my passion for so many years that everyday I’ve always been wondering what will be my next session be like?

So my surprise this year to find myself in probably the worst shape of my life , having been affected by bad luck, injuries,  personal loss, lack of motivation and the discovery of high blood pressure and the eternal issue of being on medication.

I can say now categorically at the start of 2017 I was not expecting such a disastrous new year for my me physically.

So now I find myself searching for the perfect gym challenge to help rescue me and find me again wanting to bring that fire back in my belly instead of watching the waistline grow and see a pattern develop where going to the gym is no longer an option but an inconvenience .

So this is where I look for the perfect gym challenge for me .

And to find to find it I have to look at:

The perfect Gym Workout

  • The equipment in the gym that I use.
  • The duration that I want to be in the gym.
  • The intensity I want to work at.
  • The recovery I need.

The combinations of equipment, time and recovery are endless.







This particular challenge is not the perfect gym challenge, but it is based on the principles of what works to make the best challenge possible on the day. You can change it endlessly and the variations just add to your excitement of discovering the person you want to be.

If I can continue my progress throughout next year and keep a strict eye on my nutrition then I should be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle that is both physically challenging and rewarding when I visit the gym.

Be interesting to see what 2018 brings. Will I keep to the program, or fail to achieve my ambitious plans to be on track with my fitness? I guess many of you are thinking the same.

So to those of you who are looking at perhaps starting a gym regime beginning in the new year then , really learning how best to create gym challenges for you , certainly would be a good place to start.

Check out


FitBrit 2017 – Gym Circuit 2

Treadmill / Row / Bike / CTF Lateral Jump Burpees

Do you know your treadmill speeds / 500 m row / stroke pace / RPM Bike  pace at maximum level ?

OK ,  so you are now in the sub 12 minute category of FitBrit (Advanced) and you are thinking about training for the big day in December and then thinking how is the best way to train for this?

Well lets something straight outa the way first, those of you with a qualifying time of  – sub 10’s (Men) sub 11 (Women’s) one of you will win this.

So there is no magic potion here, if you are in that category, chances are you have a good shot at winning FitBrit. But training for FitBrit needs a very good understanding of your maximal output.

So here at WGC , we have developed a Treadmill , Row , Bike and CTF finish Circuit.


To understand your maximal outputs in set distances.

A game plan before you go into the final is a good starting point. To know what your maximal reach is during each stage of FitBrit in your head and what you can do without gassing out during your race is a sensible approach.

Alternative Training

Alternative Training is the new approach to endurance events, where the focus is more on  brain activity during an endurance race and heart rate control. It’s exclusive to WGC and is reliant on having a sports watch monitor and understanding splits in your training approach.

Treadmill speeds 

Know your treadmill speeds








This 2000 m pyramid plays on set speeds with 30 seconds recovery

800 m – as fast as you can on one speed

600 m – match your above speed

400 m – match your above speed

200 m + 2 kph on your best speed

Row 500 m pace 

Know your 400 m pull / stroke finish








At 400 m (finals distance) you need to get as much distance covered in the shortest possible time (No shit Sherlock) But if you get on to row and are unable to give your best ever 400 m, it could be the matter of winning and losing .

The final 400 m needs to be conducted by not even looking at the screen , but knowing how many pulls / strokes will get you to the finish line. So you must work on your row ratio. And get the most economical finish.

You must be able to complete 400m in your set number of pull / strokes.

Bike RPM 

Maintain high RPM on the Bike








Lvl 14 for Men is a hard slog and Level 10 for women is a push

120 plus rpm must be maintained for the duration of the 1.5 km .

You will need to be coming in under 2 minutes – 2.20 for a 1.5 km finish

Ideally if Mens Fitness and Fitness First DW Fitness got their act together they would be supplying WattBikes.

World Gym Challenge – FitBrit Gym Circuit 2 

30 second recoveries prepare the brain in knowing exactly what breaks you are getting when mixed with fixed distances .

2 min recovery breaks allow the heart rate to return to a lower acceptable start point

FitBrit Gym Circuit 2








The CTF Lateral Jump Burpees need to be completed in one hit, which will be possibly where a lot of finalist will come unstuck and a smooth technique , is what needs to be worked on.






FitBrit 2017 – 13 weeks to go.

FitBrit 2017 

There are roughly 13 weeks to go till the final of FitBrit and probably the winner is already at peak fitness now. That it is to say , the qualifying time and the actual final result, will not vary by much. Excitement and the the encouragement of the crowd will create an edge and your winning time may be a few seconds quicker, but then again you can get penalised for non reps and keeping focused, when being frustrated is another complication and very hard to deal with.







Mental Focus

Before you know it the final is here. These past weeks of training have now come to an end and you have arrived to take part in your possibly your first final. How do you keep your body in tune? How do you not let the nerves get to you ? What should you eat ? How will you cope with being judged? These questions all rely on what you do now and what happens on the day of the final and its all about preparation.


With 13 weeks to go you may think that you now have it covered. But what is your opposition thinking? Are they thinking we can train relentlessly , and go all out giving the body a  huge beasting to prep and be ready for that day. Or are they thinking , Ive peaked now and now I need to train smart. I need to know every part of this course. I need to be trained in all aspects of recovery and taking my body to its limits. I need to look at my nutrition so that when I turn up , there is nothing more I can do. I am ready.

Being ready 







The winners of Fitness events at extreme level will not vary much, those that won it last year will rank well this year. They are looking out for the newbies, who have come out of dark and waiting to unleash their talents. There are those as well that have been involved in Gym Sports for ten years or so who may choose to enter.  There is a certain breed of athlete who is just formatted to cope with circuit type event and they are ready now. They are fine tuning their training. They have the confidence and more importantly the ability to push any single athlete on the day to their extreme limit. They have what it takes to be at the top of their game for around ten minutes extreme pain , where every second counts, every transition has been prepared for and in some cases, their game plan is going according to all of their training. Thats what will make the difference.

World Gym Challenge will help you in that preparation. 

We will provide a number of gym challenges specifically aimed at FitBrit, to help push you to your extreme. To keep you focused in the gym.

Look out for our FitBrit Challenges … coming soon


World Gym Challenge / New Event / The Cornwell / Advanced

New Gym Challenge – The Cornwell at Bannatyne Health Club.




Once the gym sport bug takes hold it grabs you for good. You don’t let go of it. You become engrossed into the challenge. And then you start understanding the balance of disciplines. And then you put on your own event.

Ben Cornwell (Read this short profile )






Ben has now constructed his own challenge based on years of experience in Gym Sport. The club that he trains at Bannatyne Health Club in Sutton Coldfield will be hosting this challenge for its members on the 4th November.

There will be three levels of fitness for this event, Novice , Intermediate, Advanced. Lets just have a look at the Advanced. There are some very challenging aspects to this race and at this level.






Of note on this challenge is the transition between Alt Squat Thrusts, Box Jump Overs to Shoulder Press. Static Shoulder movement in both the AST and Box Jump Overs means there will be an excruciating section with the shoulder press. The very high lactic generated at this early stage will allow a welcome transition to the Sit Ups.

Sit Ups do get a bad deal in modern ‘functional fitness’ but in Gym Sport they will allow you lie down and recover somewhat but also keep the momentum of the circuit to continue by stressing the CNS with forward flexion from the hip. The relationship between core strength and CNS /  movement is dubious at best, basically train for sit ups and continue them in a all round training and then you should be able to complete the required rep range.

Step Ups 







At 2 x 16 kg and 65 reps we are looking a combined 32 kg weight transition between steps that are 5 risers high. The average gym user will not be able to do this and Step Ups are a constant source of training for the gym athlete. Only by continually taking on high rep training will you be able to sustain 2 x 16 kg.




Press Ups 

The traditional press up (off toes) is a classic movement pattern and a firm favourite for setting up events that rely on space saving and equipment saving. In this case the traditional bench press has been replaced with press ups.








The king of the Bike in the gym. Too many variations in cadence between other brands allow the WattBike to dominate a professional quality of movement.








Concept 2 rowers have long played a vital role in all Gym Sport events, the ultimate all round exercise. At 650 m the distance will have to be taken with caution as the follow on Chest to floor Burpees will sky rocket your heart rate and do you want to be be gassing as you approach these?

Chest to Floor Burpees

Again space saving and equipment free, the CTF Burpee is mostly about technique and letting flowing movement work for you . If you break these into static and slow patterns the time impact will influence your end result.


Nice to see the 2% increment at 200 m coming into play for the first time in events. WGC has used this measure of training for a number of years and forms part of our 5 treadmill inclines at a fixed pace challenge. For those of you who don’t understand the increment, its a 2% increase from 200 m and every 200m till you reach the final 1000 m which will be at 800 m to a 1000 at 8 % incline.


Ben has put together a good combination of disciplines. At this level this is very much an Advanced Athlete level. This would mean that this challenge is not something you should do without significant training and understanding your body limitations. Do not take this challenge as goal, unless you are already very capable athlete. For those of you who are at the correct level of fitness, I think you will struggle early on and find it very taxing throughout, so you should enjoy it. Good luck to those of you who take this on.

World Gym Challenge / Low Aerobic Conditioning / LAC

Low Aerobic Conditioning







When training in a gym there is nothing worse then feeling like you have not achieved anything. Simply walking away and not feeling a benefit is almost a crime . So how do you achieve something and feel like you have not worked that hard, the answer lies in LAC

Any good coach will tell you not to over train. Its a sin. It should be avoided. You should not do it. Thats my take on it. Yet as much as I hate to say it. I struggle not to train consistently hard and there are thousands like me.

Thats why the discipline in training is not to over train. Take a step back from the very hard physical training that you do and take it down a few gears. You will find surprisingly the benefit is has for you .


How can training less increase your fitness? 

Lets remember we are talking less intensity and not volume. We are still in the gym for around an hour, only the heart is not working like V8 beast engine, more a subtle 2 stroke taking it easy. And this is important to allow the homiostatic body to recover in finding its own resting ability. If you keep flogging a horse, eventually it will collapse. However, let it out to pasture and graze, it will enjoy the full energy that it can delve into when it wants to.

Training energy systems

Training the aerobic system is as important as training the anaerobic system. Muscle tissue will react to rest and regenerate and allow the body process to start building again. But if you continually beast your body and do not recover adequately, you will ultimately suffer the consequences of poor performance.

Setting LAC targets in the gym

When wearing a good heart rate monitor set a target and do not go over it. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, set a constant speed on the treadmill, or an rpm on the bike, or a slow pull ratio on the rower, but keep your intensity low. On the RPE scale you should be able to talk to somebody training next to you – even give them a friendly smile (but careful not to scare them!) Its very much always a learning curve in discovering just what LAC sessions are like and how to adjust them so its suits you .

Here is an example of LAC Circuit and the heart rate graph


World Gym Challenge / Creating the perfect full split circuit

Split routines are traditionally split towards the breakdown of body parts say chest and back , legs and chest day etc. But WGC uses time as the routine definer and incorporates

  • high intensity
  • low intensity
  • sliding intensity

Each routine is focused on the body as whole.

Each circuit can be broken down into

  • Full Split Circuit
  • Individual split circuit

We are going to look at the full split circuit today.

Equipment management

When creating a personal circuit  you do in the gym, probably the most important factor is your gym layout and where you can safely carry out your circuit. Always make sure its feasible – going from a deadlift to benchpress for example relies on two areas of the gym to be free. WGC always cater for a full gym in operation so that as a rule you can complete the circuits hassle free. In this case we used a bike, rower and a medicine ball. The gym had plenty of these – but there may just be the the odd occasion where its not possible to create a circuit, but it is possible to always create circuit.

The Full Split Circuit

Sometimes  creating a circuit that has too many splits and recovery breaks can be a bit time consuming, to enter in your WGC personal folder,  so the full split circuit  allows the bigger time based entry to be entered saving time in recording the information.

Breakdown of circuit.






Any gym circuit that is completed in WGC relies on good working knowledge (based over time) of understanding your intensities and heart rate variation of exercise. This mean that no longer do you just cycle and look at the data in front of you , it means that at each stage you are focusing on your halfway splits and the rpm range. You will know at any stage where you need to pick up speed, cycle faster or maintain a steady rpm to reach your desired goal – all of this as you are cycling. Physically and mentally you are being challenged. The same can be said for the rower and completion of the med ball press ups.

Looking at intensities. 






In this circuit you will see High Intensity , Low Intensity and Sliding intensity as fatigue sets in.

Depending on your fitness levels, the duration of each full split will begin to vary as will your heart rate. The split may well take longer but your heart will still be working at the same level so that means you are actually working at the same level physically, but because fatigue is setting in your split timings are slower this is the sliding scale of intensity and although your performance may be getting slower, the momentum of training is continued.

Focus, motivation and achievement .

These words are used a lot in training, but it is essentially the corner stone of each visit to the gym for a WGC athlete. There should never be a visit to the gym, that does not  incorporate all three. To enjoy your visit you must feel like you have achieved something, you must be motivated throughout the session and during the session you must be focused.

World Gym Challenge / How to construct the perfect Gym Circuit for you.

My name is Sean Blyth. I am the creator of World Gym Challenge. I have created the Online Database for gym challenges so that gyms can use them for their members to record results, or members can use them for themselves. In this case, we are going to look at how individuals can create the best gym circuits for themselves.

This blog is aimed at those who train in a gym, normally by themselves, without the need for a personal trainer and are wondering how to get the most out of their training. If you find yourself in that bracket read on.

Search the internet for your own purpose if this is not for you.

There is an abundance of specialised training out there on the internet. More often then not it is a paid for service. You tube is just awash with information and you can google more or less any workout to give yourself that edge and motivation.

What’s the best way to train ? 

Ask any good coach what is the best way to to train in a gym and they will say – The one that keeps you coming back.

Now that may be a dance class, spin , Zumba , circuit training .. well you know the list goes on obviously. So, its pretty well conclusive that you have to enjoy what you do to continue to do it. Preferably if it is free, then the chances are its even more of a bonus.

World Gym Challenge is free

Well the good news about World Gym Challenge is that our service is free.

The equipment we offer for you to use, is free (as you are a paying member of a gym) and the workouts we offer are free.

The only cost implication there is – is you must have a good quality sports  watch or heart rate monitor, with a stop watch facility, as all of circuits are timed based.

That is all the motivation you need.

World Gym Challenge allows you to walk into a gym and find out just how fit you are and by benchmarking and keeping a record of all of your training , you will see over time if the workouts you do are actually working.

Creating the perfect circuit

Any gym that you walked into will provide you with a multitude of equipment and will entice you with the promise to get you fit.

But the hard part is, getting fit is left to you.

So, it makes sense to be able to walk in any gym, create a circuit and leave feeling like you have really enjoyed the experience and have a achieved something.

Take a look at this circuit .

Incorporated in this circuit is The Bike, Treadmill and Rower. There is staged recovery and active recovery. The intensity is varied. And the circuit is bench marked.

  • This means that every time you walk into a gym, if you so wish, you can do this circuit.
  • You will know beforehand more or less exactly how long you will be in the gym
  • How many calories you have burned (if you have a monitor)
  • You will have know and what rate to row at, to cycle at and what speed to run at on the treadmill.

All of this because you do the sensible thing of recording what you do when you go to the gym.

Now take a look at the same circuit three weeks later

There is an improvement of 22 seconds and we know this because we have benchmarked this circuit.

All of this information is stored in your WGC account.

If you have a heart rate monitor you can record the intensity too and in this graph you will see there is a mixture of high intensity and low aerobic conditioning too .

The bike acted as the warm up , there was then suitable recovery period of two minutes. The Row was at a fairly hi intensity pace , with a suitable recovery phase . The treadmill was a full out burst of energy which needs training for, and reached the highest peak of heart rate. Followed by suitable recovery. The trick is then to try and have the same time or better in the row and bike. In this case I failed in the row, but achieved a better time on the bike.

Warm down

After the workout, a suitable phase of ten minutes on the X Trainer with a fixed heart rate of around 130 was completed.

To conclude 

The equipment used is the equipment I am paying to use in the gym. The motivation and focus I have is all based around a time based gym circuit. At no time in the gym was I bored or unmotivated. I knew exactly what I had to do, the intensities I needed to be at and the recovery that I was going to allow myself. It is basically is the perfect circuit.

The good news 

As you become a more experienced World Gym Challenge athlete, the format of your training, the exercise variation you choose and the time spent in the gym will be second nature to you . There are literally hundreds of circuits you can choose to do and finding the right one for you  is the best circuit.

Good luck in your training.