"On your mark...get set...GO! Let the adventure begin!"
What kind of response do these statements produce for you? Either you are smiling or cringing. I hope you’re smiling and up for a challenge.
A challenge...ah, now there's another word that can send shivers up your spine, either with joy or fear. A challenge inspire you to get off the couch, and get busy chasing your dreams, goals, and your next great big adventure.
If you are not seeing results with your workout, bootcamp, or fitness programs, it could be that you need a new challenge. Think about it, how many workouts, bootcamps, and fitness programs feel the same these days? The exercise marketplace is flooded with the same hype, preaching and creeds. You’ll find "Extreme Burn", "Fat-Blaster" and "Interval Pump" in your local gym. But how many trainers are offering an experience, an adventure, or a challenge?
Will Dean, the creator of Tough Mudder obstacle races says, "People come for the obstacles, but it’s about creating a whole integrated user experience. It’s really a whole weekend concept and that speaks to the second thing, which I believe in very strongly: Experience is the new luxury good.”.
Enough conceptual talk...this is the training section of Faith & Fitness Magazine so let's get busy. I challenge you to a Fitness Scavenger Hunt!
Step 1 – Gather tools. Locate the following eight items or find substitutes as needed.:
1. An old shoe, 2. A ball (any kind will do), 3. An old hat, 4. A tool of some kind (hammer, wrench, etc.), 5. A pair of work gloves or old gloves, 6. Ace of Spades playing card, 7. Dice (one), 8. Rubber ducky or similar small kids toy.
Step 2 – Select an appropriate and safe location. Take these items and your workout partner, or spouse, or children to your backyard, local park, private parking lot, tennis courts, big field or other area where all of these things can be hidden. For bad weather...stay inside and hide them around the house. Fitness scavenger hunts that I have organized worked well in church parking lots. There are typically a lot of coves and good hiding places around the buildings. Whatever location you select make sure you’ll be able to exercise safely away from dangerous spaces or moving vehicles.
Step 3 – Set-up for the hunt. Designate a “home base” and hide your eyes there while your partner hides all of the items in and around the perimeter that you both agree is the boundary for your hunt. This step doesn’t need to take much time. This may seem obvious, but just to be clear…larger areas require more running, take longer, and are generally harder.
Step 4 – The hunt. When the items are hidden, start a timer and follow this one main rule...no walking. You must run everywhere when searching for the items and if you have to rest, just stop and stand still or run back to home base where you keep your water and rest as needed.
Step 5 – The workout. Ready to exercise? Here are the exercises to do when you find the hidden items. Print and use this checklist or write it on paper and carry it with you on your Fitness Scavenger Hunt. This checklist will help each person do the same exercises when the scavenger hunt items are found:
1. An old shoe = 10-20 squats depending on your level. 2. A ball (any kind will do) = 10 Giant Circles with the ball - think about using the ball to draw a circle on a canvas in front of you as big as possible. Squat, reach out wide, up high, over to the other side, and back into a squat. Do 10 reps in each direction. 3. An old hat - 10-20 Push-ups 4. A tool of some kind (hammer, wrench, etc.) - 10 Speed "Get-ups" - simply lay down and stand-up as fast as possible. 5. A pair of work gloves or old gloves = Put on the gloves (if needed) and Bear Crawl approximately 10-20 yards away from where you found them and back. 6. Ace of Spades playing card - 10 Burpees - in case you haven't seen this exercise before, think "frog, seal, kangaroo". Squat low, pop your feet out into a push-up, do a push-up, pull your feet back under your body, and jump high. 7. Dice (one) - Roll it and put a one (1) in front of the number. If it is even, do that number of squats. If it is odd, do that number of push-ups. Example - if you roll a 3, do 13 push-ups. 8. Rubber ducky or similar small kids toy - Duck Walk - just as it sounds...squat low and start waddling. Go 10 yards away and back to the duck or toy. Quacking is optional.
Once you have found everything and completed the fitness requirements, run back to home base and stop the timer! Log your time on the printed sheet or paper. It is now the next person’s turn to do the timed Fitness Scavenger Hunt. Once everyone has recorded his or her initial hunt time then you can repeat this again so you can experience what it takes to beat your initial time. Have your accomplices hide the items in different spots (from your first hunt) within the same area.
GO HARDER, HUNT THIS AND DO MORE
I chose eight random things that many people have in their home. They can easily be carried to any location. Feel free to make your own substitutions. All of the exercises were body-weight only and you can do them anywhere. Here is an advanced version that I recently did with our clients. It includes some fitness equipment:
1. Tall orange cone – find it and do 10 Burpees beside it. 2. EZ curl bar – Curl and Press it for 10 reps with the most weight possible. 3. Purple Chalk “X” – 10 Gorilla Hops (squat, jump, and tuck your knees to your chest before landing). 4. Flat yellow cone – Level 1 = 20 Mountain Climbers straight count; Level 2 = military count (1,2,3 = 1). 5. 12-pound Red & Black Medicine Ball – Say and do this with the ball “Lunge, hip, hip, press” – 10 with each leg. 6. 16kg. Kettlebell – Level 1 = 15 two-handed Swings; Level 2 = 10 single arm Swings each side; Level 3 = High Pull or Snatch 10 on each side. 7. Ernie – What did he sing about? His rubber ducky! So let’s do duck walks 10 yards away and back to Ernie! (Yes, I actually took a stuffed Ernie from my daughter’s play room and added him to the mix!). 8. Pink Chalk “?” – Mystery ab challenge – find me and I will show you. 9. 8-pound (blue) Medicine Ball – Level 1 = 10 Woodchops; Level 2 = 10 Windmill Presses each side. 10. Blue band – Level 1 = 10 Upright Rows and Trunk Rotations; Level 2 = 20 reps. 11. 20-pound dumbbell – 10 Push-up Rows each side. 12. Monkey bars – Level 1 – sit and do Lat. Pulldowns with bands – 20 reps; Level 2 = 10 pull-ups. 13. Which one was your favorite out of #1, #4, or #8? Pick one, go to it, and do it again. 14. Jump rope – Level 1 = 30 jumps, Level 2 = 50 jumps, Level 3 = 70 jumps. 15. Ab Wheel – Do it! Level 1 = 8 reps; Level 2 = 14 reps; Level 3 = 20 reps.
Please understand something very important. The goal of this article is to introduce you to a creative program that creates a fitness “experience” and new challenge for you. Don’t get caught-up on the details of which exercises go with which activities or even the exercises I listed. Sub in your favorites along the way or the ones that you can do and get busy. I am simply offering a fun template and idea for you to run with (literally). If you don’t have an ab wheel, it is no problem. Just substitute with some other item like those found in Kirsten Quick’s article on Core Training. If you are new to training and most of the exercise terms are new to you, please ask me any question in the comments section below.
FAMILY FITNESS FUN – SCAVENGER HUNT STYLE --- YOUR KIDS GET ‘REVENGE’!
One of the best aspects to this program is that it helps you create an amazing family bonding time --- a family EXPERIENCE. Think about it…if your parents had come to you and said, “Let’s go on an adventure! I want you to hide all of this stuff and time me while I run around and try to find it,” you would have loved it. If you have a child twelve years old or under, they will love watching you and laughing at you, and then you can see if they can beat your time. This may be a tough sale for teenagers but challenge them and see if they are up for it. You could also play “Kids vs. Parents” and go through the hunt in teams, or set it up for your staff at work as a great team-building activity. Again, this is a template…take this concept and make it your own. If you have multiple participants, follow the rule that there can be only one person at an item. Participants can’t stand around and wait for someone to finish. They have to keep running and come back to it later.
Ok, if you’re all alone that is a bummer because Fitness Scavenger Hunts are a better experience when you do it with someone. But, if you don’t have a workout partner we’ve got you covered:
All Alone Option 1 Jot down your favorite 11 exercises on a card, grab a pair of dice and run! At every 3rd mailbox (or other distance of your choosing), stop, roll, and do it. List harder activities for dice rolls 2,3, 11, and 12 because it is less likely you will roll a “snake eyes” or double 6’s. If you need an idea of what to do, check out the suggestions in the article Roll The Bones Tabatas.
All Alone Option 2 Work your brain and body at the same time. Do a crossword puzzle and let the words determine your exercise. Pick a kids puzzle off the web for a quick workout, or make your way through the NY Times puzzle for a marathon event. After every word you complete, let the first letter of that word determine your exercise:
A-D = Push-ups E- H = Plank or favorite ab exercise I-L = Squat M-P = Burpee Q-T = Lunge U-Z = Jumping Jacks
This is an article that challenges you to stop just “checking the box” with your workouts and step-out of your comfort zone for a new experience. Apply that to your personal spiritual journey and let me ask you again, if God said to you, “On your mark, get set, go,” or “Let the adventure begin!” how would you respond?
You may be inclined to think, “No, that wouldn’t happen to me. God reserves that conversation for ministers and missionaries only.” Get your Bible or use an online Bible resource and take some time today to read chapter 7 in the book of Matthew and chapter 11 in the book of Luke.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Ask, seek, and knock are action statements about the next adventure EXPERIENCE that God has waiting for you. You don’t have to keep checking the box and doing the same thing if you are stuck in a rut. Take ownership of your faith and go on a spiritual scavenger hunt by asking God what He wants you to do. Seek meaningful relationships and new opportunities to Be Life and share God’s love with others. Knock and see who opens on the other side.