Crush your inner couch potato with the ultimate fitness challenges
Something strange happened at the Expertrain office this morning. Well, for one, the team turned up with that Friday feeling – but that's not what we're talking about. No, on this cold, dark, grey morning in London, we suddenly felt a surge of motivation to take on new fitness challenges! Maybe it has something to do with the energy bites we consumed at our desks first thing? Or maybe it's just our bodies telling us to fight the urge to slump on the sofa and delve into Netflix? Whatever the reason, we thought we'd turn that motivation into a post which will hopefully motivate you all to sign up for a fitness challenge too – there are plenty of them about!
Remember that signing up for a challenge is a great way to motivate yourself to start training as most of the below fitness challenges are intense and will require months of preparation. If you need a little extra help along the way, rope in a fitness buddy or even better, sign up for some sessions with a personal trainer (you'll find one in your area in our directory) to help you reach your goal.
Ok, so here are our top choices for fitness challenges; many of these are suitable for beginners, provided you get some training under your belt.
Men's Health Survival of the Fittest
London, Nottingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Edinburgh
Tackle the half marathon course or take on the urban assault course – this is the longest-established adventure running event in the UK. Whether you're male, female or want to take part as a team, the course takes place at a range of engaging, iconic urban venues across the country, with plenty of obstacles to challenge you as you pit your wits against thousands of competitors. It's the ultimate test of guts, grit and stamina! Oh, and at the end you can relax and reward yourself with a cheeky pint in the massive beer tent. Sounds good to us.
Taking place across the world (hopefully at a venue near you!) The next events are in West London and the Midlands
London on 2nd and 3rd May 2015 and the Midlands on 30th and 31st May
We're sure you've heard of Tough Mudder before. If not, you might want to know it's 'probably the toughest event on the planet.' A 10-12 mile obstacle course that will test your stamina, strength, mental grit and teamwork, it's not a race, and you're not in it to win it – it's most definitely the ultimate challenge! You'll come out the other side sore, tired but with a few stories to tell, and that's what it's all about. Running in a straight line towards a finish line doesn't get your adrenaline pumping – taking on the world's toughest obstacle course, in all weathers, does! So set yourself the challenge and start preparing now; time is short. Sign up here
Tough Guy HQ, in Wolverhampton
The next event is on February 1st 2015, with subsequent events on 26th April, 26th July and 4th October, giving you plenty of time to prepare and no excuses!
Billed as the toughest test of its kind, you can take on the 15km full course with over 200 obstacles or try the 10-12 km course with 180 obstacles. Not for the faint of heart, this is an opportunity to test yourself and the event is open to anyone of any age! It's based around the addictiveness of fear – that adrenaline rush you get when you take on a challenge that scares you. You'll need to channel every ounce of your motivation, mental stamina and physical strength to get through this. Expect to tackle over 250 manmade obstacles and have your fear of tight spaces, water, fire, electricity and heights tested to the limits. If all that hasn't scared you off, you might want to find out more and sign up here. We recommend taking your mates along for moral support!
Donington Park, Derbyshire
The next race is on 31st January 2015, with races also running on 18th April, 30th June and 27th September
Looking for muddy good fun and an extreme obstacle race? We recommend Xrunner's events, that's if you're in the Derbyshire area or don't mind travelling. You can choose from a 5k or 10k race, which means there is something on offer for all levels of fitness, even if you're new to running and obstacle courses. What starts off as a run through idyllic scenery quickly becomes a cross-country mud run. It's a definite challenge that will get you up off the sofa and get you motivated, and you can start training right now. There's still time to sign up for the January event and it's the perfect way to ease post-Christmas indulgence guilt and get back on track with fitness in the new year.
You can expect obstacles and challenges such as the Human Cannon Ball, Vertigo, Giant Walls, Cargo Nets, Tightropes and more – over 30 obstacles per lap! The events are held no matter what the weather, so come prepared for the cold. Luckily there are awesome indoor facilities included showers, heated changing rooms and a hospitality area where you can warm up afterwards!