By Linda Melone | Edited by Elena Doxey
We’ve all heard of those extreme fitness challenges. The one’s where you climb your way up a muddy wall, dive into an icy dumpster of water, get covered from head-to-toe in color pigment powders while music is blasting all around you, or even chased by zombies. To some people, all of this might sound slightly bizarre (or a little frightening). But to many, these events offer a fun and challenging way to get in better shape and work towards a goal.
What do people love about extreme fitness challenges?
In the past eight years alone, the number of participants in extreme fitness challenges has grown to over four million. Many participants revealed the top motivators as:
- The “fun” factor
- Uniqueness of the challenge
- The adrenaline rush
- Camaraderie with friends
- Sense of accomplishment
- Getting out of your comfort zone
Non-traditional challenges and themed races
There is an extreme fitness challenge out there for everyone. Those looking for a unique experience can find what works best for them. Here are some popular extreme fitness challenges you can find going on today.
If you like to get dirty, then this is the race for you. The challenges range from a short two-to-three mile (30-minute) run to the extreme challenge of Tough Mudders which are between 10 and 12 miles. For those who like to test their limits, the ultimate extreme version of the World’s Toughest Mudder lasts for 24 hours and has been known to include challenges such as obstacles, cliff dives, and running in and out of freezing water.
Spartan Races are among the most popular of the obstacle races that test one’s strength and speed. These includes several challenges such as rope climbing and trekking up an inverted wall, along with the standard obstacles. These challenges are known to offer the Marine Corps Bootcamp Challenge for those who need the motivation of a real drill sergeant.
These horror-themed challenges are more fun than scary. The challenge begins with each participant carrying three or four flags (depending on the race) on their pants while zombies try to take the flags away from them.
The Color Run
The Color Run is a charity race billed as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet.” Since its inception in 2011, The Color Run has grown to more than 300 events in over 50 countries. With the emphasis on fun rather than competition, runners are doused with white powder (a combination of cornstarch, baking soda and FD&C dyes, which are certified non-toxic) at the starting line and are dumped with additional colors as they run the race until they finish, by which time they are wearing a rainbow of colors. The runners enjoy a larger than life Finish Festival at the end of the race where they celebrate with music, dancing and massive “color throws.” (The Color Run raises money for local and national charities and has collected over $5 million in donations).
Get out of your comfort zone
Participating in extreme fitness challenges may not only change the way you think about yourself, but they might also give you a fresh perspective on how you approach situations in your everyday life.
Are you ready to go to the extreme? Find the challenge that’s right for you!