My first Instagram challenge!

I’ve seen fitness challenges all over Instagram ever since I started my account. Usually between 7-30 days, each fitness challenges features moves/workouts/poses to be done in a specific order over a specific number of days and then photographed, hashtagged and spammed all over Instagram! (Or something to that effect.) While most of the yoga challenges scare me off a bit (often the poses look a little bit out of my beginner league) I was excited to find Lori Harder’s 14 Day HoliBurn Challenge. Finally a challenge that didn’t involve handstands or hypermobility!

To sum up the 14 Day HoliBurn Challenge, Lori Harder (who according to her website is a certified personal trainer) and her team put together a 14 day workout schedule based on 4 corresponding workout videos (3 Strength Workouts + 1 Cardio Workout). The workouts alternate between strength and cardio each day, are only 20 minutes long, and are circuit style based on mat, bodyweight, and dumbbell exercises. The challenge part comes from each participant posting a post workout photo (either a “sweaty selfie”, a shot of their gear, or an inspirational quote) with the appropriate hashtag to keep you “accountable” for the whole 14 days. The challenge got going on November 28th and so I got working out and posting!

My Workout Face

The Pros:
The challenge itself was straightforward and simple. Follow the calendar, do the workout video each day, take a picture and post it. With each video being only 20 minutes long, it was also quite easy to fit in each workout everyday. The three strength workouts had a verity of exercises, including a few new ones for me. It was great to learn something new and something I can go back and share with my own clients. We were also sent emails with the link to the page where the workout videos were all posted together, so nothing was fussy or hard to find. Also, each workout ended with a 2 minute meditation led by Lori which was probable the best part of the whole challenge. Being able to take 2 minutes each day to simple focus on positive thoughts and myself felt like bliss! (I had a few rough days in the middle of the challenge, so this really helped.)

I also liked how having the dedicated hashtag to the challenged seemed to create a sense of community on Instagram for those in the challenge. You could easily find others who were doing the same workout, getting it done just like you on the same day, and throw some love their way. It can seem lonely some days doing at home workouts but by posting for the challenge, I felt that I was connecting with others all over the world. It also forced me to get a little more creative with my posts, as I didn’t want to post the exact same photo 14 days in a row. So bonus creativity!

The Cons:
While these workouts were designed to be simple, I had to get a bit creative with them as I don’t own dumbbells. Lori did suggest using other house hold items as substitutes , but I would rather use actually weight then pulling out my wine bottles during my workout. So kettlebells it was! Also, the downside of any set workouts is that they don’t account for personal injuries/body aches/pains. I had to cut out most of the plyometrics, as my knee only likes 30 seconds of jumping before getting cranky. Between these two facts, I was changing about 2 exercise out of the 5 or 6 in the circuits. Okay when you are like me and know how to change exercises out, though it does make me wonder about others.

In regards to the cardio, with Lori only supplying one cardio workout, I was very glad that I substituted my own in for a couple of the days. It is stated in the plan you can sub in your own workouts (though that does seem like a bit like defeating the plan then!) it would have gotten way to repetitive if 8 out of the 14 days was the same workout. I also found that with all of the workouts, I never got that full burnout/accomplished feeling at the end. Sure, I felt relaxed and happy to get a workout in, but I never felt really pushed. Maybe it would have been better had I had a set of dumbbells, but maybe not. (Update: having a proper set of dumbbells really does help get to that burnout phase!) Some days I were left wanting more, and ended up doing more post 20 minute session. (Or maybe I am just that fit! Haha….)

Overall, I think this Instagram challenge was fun, motivating, and an interesting way to mark my progress. I liked being pushed to get more creative with my posts and enjoyed the feeling of community that the challenge hashtag gave. Lori Harder came out with a pretty good set ups and some good workouts, and while I may not look different, I do feel stronger and more capable of making my own fitness more of a priority in my life.
I’m not 100% sure I’ll continue with the extended challenge ( #HoliBurnChallengeRound2) which starts tomorrow on Dec. 13, but I do think it could be a great idea to anyone who wants extra motivation to stay on track throughout December.

Still Working On My Six Pack

If you want to check out all my #14DayHoliBurnChallenge photos, follow me on Instagram: @fitandnerd

Do you enjoy Instagram challenges? Is there another one I should try?
Happy Training!