Best group fitness & workout challenges for your gym in 2024

Danielle Easton
12 min read
Some additional information in one line

Fitness group challenges are catching on fast, particularly among younger generations. Many of them81% of Millennials and 86% of Gen Zare getting into fitness, and many prefer doing it together in groups. 

They're not just going to the gym; about 72% like mixing things up with different kinds of workouts, including online ones. 

This is part of why the online fitness market is booming and might hit $59 billion by 2027. It shows that working out together, either in person or online, is becoming a big thing.

If you're considering fitness, now's a great time to try out these group challenges. They're fun, they help you connect with others, and they can make your fitness routine more exciting. 

Whether you're already into fitness or just starting, these group challenges could be a fantastic new way to get or stay fit.

Key takeaways

  • Fitness group challenges are on the rise, especially among Millennials and Gen Z, emphasizing the preference for group workouts.

  • These challenges encompass various workout styles, from online sessions to gym activities, contributing to the booming online fitness market.

  • Fitness group challenges serve as a motivating platform, fostering a sense of community, and can significantly impact participants both mentally and physically.

  • Different types of fitness group challenges cater to diverse fitness styles and preferences, making it easy for individuals to find a challenge that suits them.

  • Engaging participants in fitness challenges involves clear goal-setting and the necessary tools, tracking, and recognition to create a successful and enjoyable experience.

Women stretching in a studio next to the title "Best group fitness & workout challenges."

What are fitness group challenges?

Fitness group challenges are organized activities designed to motivate individuals to engage in physical exercise collectively. 

These organized activities help participants stick to their fitness goals and build a strong sense of community. 

They serve as a platform for celebrating milestones and sharing progress, ensuring inclusivity for all fitness levels. 

The psychological impact of these challenges is significant, awakening a team spirit that keeps individuals committed through mutual engagement. Healthy rivalry adds an extra layer of motivation, encouraging participants to maintain and improve their health habits.

Types of fitness group challenges


Whether teaming up with friends in social fitness challenges, pushing limits in competitive motivation ones, tracking progress with fitness trackers, or choosing between total, streak, team battle, and duel challenges, fitness group challenges come in all shapes and sizes. 

They're all about getting fit, having fun, and staying motivated together.

Workout buddies and social fitness

Working out with friends or colleagues and participating in social fitness challenges is a great way to support each other's fitness goals. 

Social fitness apps provide a perfect platform for tracking progress and connecting with a broader fitness community. 

By creating such challenges, you can establish a supportive environment that motivates everyone to stick to their fitness routines and stay engaged.

Competition motivation

Competition motivation challenges focus on stimulating healthy competition among participants, using metrics like daily step count, calories burned, or workout duration. 

This form of challenge motivates participants to exceed their personal records, pushing them to new heights in their fitness journey.

Challenge options (total, streak, team battle, duels)

Diverse fitness group challenges cater to various motivational needs and preferences, each with a unique appeal. 

Total challenges, for example, set a cumulative goal for participants, like achieving a total of 500,000 steps in 40 days, encouraging a sustained and focused effort over a period. 

In contrast, streak challenges are all about consistency, where the aim is to maintain a streak of daily workouts, reinforcing the habit of regular exercise. 

Team battles add a communal dimension, with groups competing against each other, making success a collective achievement ideal for larger groups or office settings. 

Duels offers a more intense, short-term challenge, pitting two individuals against each other in a friendly competition, such as who can take the most steps over 24 hours, providing a quick, motivational boost that can be a great kickoff to a larger fitness plan.

30-day fitness challenges

30-day fitness challenges are a great way to kickstart or rejuvenate your fitness journey. These challenges come in various forms, catering to different fitness interests and goals.

Yoga challenge

A 30-day yoga challenge involves practicing various yoga poses over 30 days to improve flexibility, strength, and relaxation, catering to different fitness levels.

Each day focuses on stretching, strengthening, and relaxing different body parts, providing a comprehensive physical and mental well-being approach.

Leg challenge

The leg challenge, aimed at strengthening and toning the legs, includes exercises like lunges, squats, and calf raises. 

Over the 30 days, participants gradually increase the intensity or frequency of these exercises, making the challenge progressively more demanding and effective in building leg muscles.

Upper body challenge

The upper body challenge targets the shoulders, chest, and arms, including push-ups, pull-ups, and dumbbell bench presses. 

Like the leg challenge, the program is designed to gradually intensify over the 30 days, enhancing muscle strength and endurance in the upper body.

Low-impact challenge


The low-impact challenge includes light cardio exercises like brisk walking or jogging combined with gentle strength training, ideal for beginners or those recovering from injuries. 

The exercises are structured to gradually increase in intensity or frequency over 30 days, offering a safe and effective way to build fitness without strain.

Innovative fitness challenge concepts

Staying fit can be more fun and exciting when trying new things, and these innovative challenges, like cycling distance challenges and social accountability challenges, offer various challenges beyond regular workouts. 

Let’s discuss some of them in greater detail.

Cycling distance challenges

Cycling distance challenges encourage participants to cycle a set distance within a specific time frame. 

These challenges can be adapted to stationary bikes, outdoor cycling, or indoor cycling, effectively increasing physical activity and improving cardiovascular health.


The flexibility in setting daily, weekly, or monthly goals allows participants to customize the challenge to their fitness level and schedule.

Checklist and hydration challenges

These challenges combine physical activity with hydration and mindfulness. Participants follow a daily checklist of exercises or activities while maintaining a hydration schedule, like drinking a specific amount of water each hour. 

This holistic approach focuses on physical fitness and emphasizes the importance of hydration and mindful living for overall health and well-being.

Social accountability challenges

Participants share their fitness journey with others through social media, private groups, or dedicated apps in social accountability challenges. 

These challenges create a supportive community by reporting activities, sharing progress, and sometimes posting workout photos or videos. 

This fosters accountability, enhances motivation, and makes the fitness journey more enjoyable and engaging.

Creative monthly fitness challenges for gyms


Ready to switch up your fitness routine? These creative monthly fitness challenges, including the total body fat loss challenge and healthy eating challenge, are perfect for keeping your workouts exciting and challenging. 

Whether you want to focus on losing body fat, improving your diet, hitting the gym more often, beating your personal records, or getting into the festive spirit with seasonal activities, there's something here for everyone. 

Jump into these challenges to stay motivated and see real changes in your health and fitness.

Total body fat loss challenge

A total body fat loss challenge is a comprehensive approach to fitness, targeting the entire body. This challenge involves participants in maintaining a low-calorie diet alongside regular cardio and strength training exercises. 

The goal is not just to lose weight but to reduce overall body fat percentage, resulting in a leaner and more toned physique. 

It's a demanding challenge that requires balanced nutrition and regular exercise, but the results can be transformative, leading to significant improvements in body composition and fitness levels.

Healthy eating challenge


The healthy eating challenge focuses on consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. 

This challenge goes beyond exercise, emphasizing the critical role of proper nutrition in achieving a healthy body. 

Participants might engage in activities like meal preparation, following specific diet plans, or participating in cooking classes. 

The objective is to cultivate healthier eating habits, contributing to improved overall health and well-being.

Most club visits challenge

Encouraging regular gym attendance, the most club visits challenge is a simple yet effective motivator. Participants aim to visit the gym several times within a set period, such as weekly or monthly. 

This challenge is particularly beneficial for those who need a little extra push to maintain consistent gym attendance. Rewards like discounts on membership fees or access to exclusive classes can further incentivize participation.

Personal best improvement challenge

The personal best improvement challenge motivates participants to continually surpass their previous performance records in specific exercises or workouts. 

This challenge involves recording personal best times or weights and striving to improve upon these in subsequent workouts. 

It's a powerful motivator, offering tangible goals and leading to significant fitness level improvements.

Holiday and seasonal challenges

Tying fitness to the calendar, holiday and seasonal challenges align with specific times of the year. 

For instance, a winter challenge might involve staying active during the colder months through outdoor or indoor workouts tailored to the season. 

These challenges bring extra excitement, with participants looking forward to engaging in festive-themed workout classes or enjoying seasonal decorations in their fitness routines.

Engaging your members in fitness challenges

Engaging members in fitness challenges requires more than just making an announcement; it involves setting clear goals and deadlines and providing necessary tools to track their progress, among others, helping to create a journey that makes every member feel motivated and confident. 

We can guide you on how to set clear goals and celebrate every milestone, leading to success. 

It's about designing challenges that match your members' abilities and inspire and excite them to go beyond their limits.

Setting clear goals and deadlines

Establishing clear goals and deadlines is key to effectively engaging members in fitness challenges because a well-defined timeline and measurable objectives give members a roadmap to guide their efforts. 

This structure not only reignites motivation but also gives a sense of purpose. 

Achievable, measurable goals allow members to track their progress and celebrate their achievements, which enhances their experience and boosts engagement in the challenge.

Providing necessary tools and tracking progress

Equipping members with the necessary tools and resources for tracking progress is crucial to keep them motivated and engaged, reinforcing the importance of their participation and efforts in the challenge.

This could include providing fitness equipment, guidance on workout routines, and platforms for logging workouts and tracking progress. 

Rewards and recognition

Offering rewards and recognition is an essential strategy for keeping members engaged. 

Incentives such as prizes, discounts, or social media shoutouts for challenge participation and completion can provide additional motivation. 

Recognizing members' achievements helps foster a sense of community, encouraging ongoing involvement and commitment to fitness challenges.

Steps to organize a successful fitness group challenge


Organizing a successful fitness group challenge is a detailed process that includes steps like setting challenge rules and goals and deciding on tracking methods. 

When done right, your challenges can be both enjoyable AND effective, fostering a sense of achievement and community among your members and even elevating the experience in your gym.

We’ll walk you through each critical step, from the initial planning phase to rewarding your participants. 

Set challenge rules and goals

Begin by defining the challenge's framework by establishing the rules for participation and setting specific, achievable goals. 

Consider aspects like the number of steps or workout types, the length of the challenge, and whether participants can enter as teams or individuals.

Decide on tracking methods

Choose the most effective methods to monitor participants' progress. This might include using pedometers, smartphones, fitness trackers, or specific apps. 

Ensure the tracking method is accessible and easy for all participants to use.

Promote the challenge

Effective promotion is crucial for maximum participation, and to help spread the word. Use various channels like emails, social media, internal messaging systems, or flyers. 

Communicate the benefits of the challenge and how it aligns with participants' health goals.

Track and update progress

Keep participants engaged by regularly updating them on their progress and the overall challenge standings. This could involve weekly reports, a leaderboard, or periodic announcements. Regular updates help maintain motivation and foster a sense of healthy competition.

Reward Participants

Conclude the challenge by recognizing and rewarding the participants. This can range from prizes for top performers to acknowledgment for all participants. 

Rewards and recognition celebrate achievements and encourage future participation in similar challenges.

Impact of fitness group challenges

Physically, like how it is with most exercises, the impact of fitness group challenges keeps you active, helping improve heart health, muscle strength, and weight control.

They can even lower the risk of diseases like diabetes. A study from Japan showed that older adults who exercised regularly in a group stayed healthier and more active (BMC Geriatrics).

Mentally, these challenges make you feel good. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that boost your mood and lower stress.

Group workouts can do this even better than working out alone, making you feel happier and less stressed (ScienceDaily).

Also, fitness challenges help build strong communities. Working out together brings people closer, making everyone feel like they belong. This can boost self-esteem and help you make new friends.

In short, fitness group challenges are great for your body, mind, and social life.


What are the benefits of participating in fitness group challenges?

Fitness group challenges offer numerous benefits, including increased motivation, a sense of community, and accountability, and often lead to improved fitness results due to the competitive and supportive environment.

How do I choose the right fitness challenge for my group?

Consider the fitness levels, interests, and goals of the group members. Opt for achievable yet challenging challenges and ensure they align with the group's overall fitness objectives.

Can fitness challenges be tailored for different skill levels?

Yes, you can modify fitness challenges to cater to different skill levels by adjusting the exercise intensity, duration, or type. It's important to ensure inclusivity and that everyone can complete the challenge.

How can I keep participants engaged and motivated throughout the challenge?

Regular communication, encouragement, and tracking progress are key. Consider setting up a leaderboard, offering incentives or rewards, and creating a supportive community through social media or group chats.

Are there any risks involved in fitness group challenges?

As with any physical activity, there's a risk of injury. To minimize risks, ensure that all participants understand proper techniques and start at a comfortable level, gradually increasing intensity. Always recommend that participants consult a healthcare professional before starting a new fitness regimen.

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