Wednesday Workouts: Free Online Fitness Challenge Programs

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A lot of times I think it's easier to motivate myself to workout when I'm following a program or a challenge, which usually costs big bucks. However after years of paying for the newest workout program (#throwback: Tae-Bo, anyone? anyone?) and finding myself "too busy" or straight up bored, when some friends introduced me to Mr. Shut Up and Train's 30 Day Challenge I was excited to try! The best way for me to do these challenges is to do it with friends/roommates- that way I feel like a total loser when you are with a group of people and they are talking about how hard the workout was and I didn't do it. Peer pressure at its finest. Here are my favorite challenges:

Melissa Bender 30 Day Fitness Challenge
What it entails:
  • 30 Day Fitness Challenge requiring a minimum of 15 minutes exercise every single day
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Yoga
  • Body Sculpting Workouts
Summary: Occupational Therapist and Group Fitness Instructor Melissa Bender has two separate 30 day challenges- one involves 15-25 minute workouts only, and the other involves some longer workouts. Her husband Jamie (who sneezes during taping) tapes her doing a workout which you repeat 2-3 times.
Length of Workouts: 15-45 minutes
Equpiment: Small dumbbells
Access: Videos posted on the website

Blogilates Workout Calendar
What it entails:
  • Meal Plan and recipes
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • HIIT
  • Cardio
  • Kickboxing
  • gym/eliptical/treadmill workouts (includes alternative methods for people without access to the machines)
Summary: A month-long calendar of workouts and meal plans from personal trainer/DVD star/internet mega-star/Livestrong trainer/group fitness instructor/fitness fashion mogul/Victoria's Secret trainer/top 10 media influencers in the fitness industry Cassey Ho (yes, she does everything).  Her spunky personality makes her videos fun to watch. Read one of my favorite fitness reviewers EatHardWorkHard's review of July's calendar here.
Length of Workouts: 40-60 minutes
Equipment: Changes month to month, generally dumbbells
Access: Register at for the "secret password" to access the calendar.
What it entails:
  • Plyometrics
  • Cardio
  • Body weight exercise
Summary: Select your focus (arms, core, legs, strength), then select the 30-day challenge you want. Each challenge lists 30 days and the exercises for the day on the page.
Length of Workouts: 10-30 minutes
Equipment: Minimal, equipment depends on the challenge you choose
Access: Each day's workout is listed on the website. You don't have to check back daily for new posts, they are all there in one spot.

The Daily HIIT 
What it entails:
  • Daily HIIT videos 
  • Tutorials before each video
Summary: Short 8-12 minute HIIT videos are posted daily.
Length of workouts: 12 minute max 
Equipment: Barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls
Access: Check the website for new daily HIIT videos and tutorials

Mr. Shut Up and Train
What it entails:
  • Daily cardio workouts
  • Daily nutrition challenges
Summary: A few times throughout the year, Atlanta based personal trainer (for celebs like Tia Mowry and Joe Johnson) Rahm Grayson aka Mr. Shut Up and Train hosts a free 30 day challenge that includes daily cardio workouts you can do at home, as well as a nutrition challenge for the day. When you sign up you receive daily emails with the challenge for the day. He also has a great online community of participants that is really encouraging (i.e. "that grandma can do it, so can I!").
Length of Workouts: 20-45 minutes
Equipment: Small dumbbells, medicine ball, jump rope
Access: On Sundays he emails a Preview for the Week. Daily emails include a breakdown of the workout and nutrition challenge with a link to a video that explains the workout.

The Hump Day Blog Hop


  1. These are all awesome! I have been looking for a fun new way to spice up my boring workout routine. I also stay motivated if I start a challenge with someone else! It's so easy to get lazy when it's just me.

  2. Oh yay I definitely also like occasionally following a workout calendar/challenge to keep my motivation up. The Blogilates workout calendars are really good, and I'm excited to check out and Mr. Shut Up and Train!

    1. I agree with your post about the Blogilates calendars though- up to an hour for the workouts is a lot of time!

  3. I love Blogilates workouts, the are really challenging. I like doing them on days when I don't feel like going to the gym or when its too cold/rainy outside to run.

    1. Yes I LOVE her workouts! plus she is so peppy!

  4. Lindsy - my mind is blown! Too much for me to follow! LOL! Thank you for your presence at WOW Link Up as always!

    1. haha! it's a good year's worth of challenges to do! Thanks for hosting WOW- I always find great resources!

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  6. Great post! These are all really great workouts - and I'm all about HIIT/quick workouts. I have 15 minute workouts that anyone can sign up for at But it's great to see so many other people are in for the cause too. Also your site is so cute!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Markita! What a great resource- I just signed up to receive the workouts!

  7. I agree with your post about the Blogilates calendars though- up to an hour for the workouts is a lot of time!
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