How to run a Gym Challenge at your own Gym.

Part 1

Why run a Gym Challenge at your gym? And the very simple answer is , it’s a gym and everything you do in it needs some sort of bench mark – and there is no greater benchmark system then a gym challenge.

Gym Sport

Gym sport is a version of a gym challenge that combines all the elements of training in a gym to a focused conclusion. That means that all of your training is now focused onto a single day that you can train for weeks or months in advance and create training partners along the way. Personal trainers can enhance their clientle numbers by perhaps focusing on elements of the challenge and creating a training plan for it.

The Joy of a well run Gym Challenge

As you can see at the very top level a well run event (Stage 3) can produce some magical moments.

Choose a date and time

It is recommended that at least 8 weeks notice to train for an event should take place. This will also allow the admin for ordering medals, trophies and t shirts well in advance of the event.

The event itself can take place as a featured all out day , involving spectator area or a closed event. If spectators are involved have a area for viewing – if members are just taking part, it’s great to have a safe community of those that have taken part offering words of encouragement.

Time of Event

  • 0900 – 1800 – All Day Event
  • 10.00 am – Hourly sessions run over a week or month.


The concept is to bring together as many members of the gym to compete
in a Gym Challenge that will give a focus to engage in a fun and fitness
event which is challenging and doable from all levels of fitness.

Levels of fitness

This is a Stage 1 Gym Challenge 

*         Bike 

*         Run 

*         Row  

*         No Body weight exercise and No weight based exercises.

A Stage 1 Gym Challenge is a introductory phase of getting members of gyms ready to engage in a Gym Challenge. To introduce gym members into physically demanding exercise should be done over a staged process of competition and understanding your own limitations first. This is why WGC has introduced three phase program.

Stage 2 Gym Challenge 

A Stage 2 Gym Challenge introduces body weight exercises top of the core components of the Treadmill Bike and Rower. An example of this would be Buprpees or Mountain Climbers. At this stage a Gym Challenge is limited to no more then five disciplines.

*         Bike 

*         Run

*         Row

*         Body weight exercises

*         No more than 5 disciplines

Stage 3 Gym Challenge

*         Bike

*         Run

*         Row

*         Body Weight

*         Weight Based (High rep low weight)

*         5 – 10 Disciplines


Under 18’s

Sprint – Short hi intensity version – 8 min and below duration 

Intermediate – Sub 12 minute

Advanced – Sub 15 minutes.

Stage 1 Gym Challenge

  • Under 18’s – Bike 1 km / Treadmill 800 m / Row 500 m
  • Sprint – Bike 1 km / Treadmill 500 m / Row 300 m
  • Intermediate – Bike 1.5 km / Treadmill 800 m / Row 500 m
  • Advanced – Bike 2 km / Treadmill 1000 m / Row 750 m

The format takes part in two lane race. The idea is to match two people of
equal fitness to compete against each other. Races can be mixed gender. 

Time Trials

A lead up to the event with members submitting final times only on their
course times will allow the correct matching of results and pairing for the
races. Personal Trainers can develop client times during this time also. 

Location of equipment.

This depends on how movable the Bikes , Treadmills and Rowers are. It is recommended not to cause too much disruption to the gym as the idea is the gym can still operate for members not taking part. For instance the use of the existing Cardio area of the gym, but develop a race lane which is safe for transition between stations. The possibility to create events outside in the summer months is always a possibility.

Entry Fee & Costs

An entry fee that can cover t shirts , medals and trophies can be considered as well as any money that can be used for Charitable causes. These would have to be ordered well in advance of the challenge and come is sizes that will fit the members taking part. It’s good advertising for the gym and a memorable occasion to remember.

When submitting their time trial results an option for t shirt size should take place.

Publishing results

With World Gym Challenge the option is for you to enter the results yourself , or send the results to us for publication (conditions apply)

Men’s Results1000 m Run / Bike / 2 km / Row 500 m
Women’s Results 1000 m Run / 2 km Bike / 500 m Row

If permission is given all members get their own personal files with a record of the event and their splits for the event.

Warnings and disclaimers

Although the distances involved the intensity is very high and proper training should take part in the lead up to any event. This is a stage 1 event , so at introductory level should not be underestimated , it has been known for a feeling of dizziness and nausea to follow a race of such high intensity – in much the same way as any race which has not been properly trained for. This is why it is highly recommend to engage the personal trainers at your gyms to set up training programs, or classes.

Intermediate Male Athlete 55 years old.

Social Media

As much as possible the significance of of social media , Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc should not be underestimated in how to grow membership numbers and as much as possible photo and video content involving the support of the event including family participation , moments of significance (award ceremony) and records should be shared as much as possible

Tracy Davies – UK’s Ultimate Female Gym Athlete

Has your gym got what it takes to find the Ultimate Gym Athlete ?