Clarifications, Insight, and Advice

The Workout

  • As described, you have 12 minutes to complete as much of the workout as possible. That’s 12 minutes to get as many reps in of each movement you see listed. This is not 12 minutes per group of movements, e.g. 12 minutes for the 35 reps of burpees, sit-ups, squats, and p
  • When 12 minutes expires, you can STOP :)
  • Try to get the run completed outdoors


  • Record your 800 meter run time
  • Perform the prescribed movements in the order they appear on the Rules page. Record the total number of reps you get through for the burpees, sit-ups, squats, and push-ups.
  • Example: you complete the 800 meter run in 3:35
  • You get through the sets of 25 of each movement
  • Your score for the benchmark workout is 3:35 + 240 = 3:35 for your run, 35 reps of burpees, sit-ups, squats, and push-ups, + 25 reps of burpees, sit-ups, squats, and push-ups – (35+35+35+35+25+25+25+25) = 240


  • Assessed weekly; messaged to you. You have until Tuesday of the next week to complete your total penalties


This is not a perfection contest. We expect you to adhere to the rules whenever possible. Proper preparation will make this easier:

  • Throw out as many food violations as you can.
  • Make a trip to the grocery store and stock up on food that adheres to your chosen Challenge Level. Buy bottled water, or a large container for water (HINT HINT!)
  • I do know that life will put you in situations where your food and lifestyle choices may take a hit. If so, no worries! Do the best you can:
  • A gathering is serving sandwiches? Ditch the bread and eat as much of the meat as you can.
  • Friends want to go out for drinks? Have a drink, by all means, but don’t go overboard.
  • Traveling? Pack Challenge-approved snacks. Visit a grocery store local to your destination and stock your mini-fridge/cooler with Challenge-approved food. Apply some ingenuity to this, e.g. buy a rotisserie chick, some avocados, and some microwavable sweet potatoes. Have to hit a drive-through? Get the salad with the healthiest dressing option available. Do your research prior to traveling and make plans accordingly.
  • TRY: this may be the dickiest-sounding part of this, but don’t give up on your Challenge points for the day because of unforeseen circumstances. Most likely you have enough time to do a quick 20 minute workout in your hotel room or the hotel fitness center, and buy water from a gas station. Make plans!

…which leads me to…

Zero days
We will ALL have days where we score 0 points. It’s a fact. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Part of the point of this Challenge, believe it or not, is to show that life interrupts the best laid plans. But, don’t let yourself slide into simply “calling it” on a hard day. Resist the urge to just accept 0 points without some sort of resistance. Can you scrounge back a point or two? Do it! You will feel a million times better.


You gain nothing by fudging your scores in order to look better to your peers. The results speak for themselves as well.


If you have a healthy fitness habit that may not be Challenge-approved, send it to me so I can make a decision. For example: if you consume whey protein powder shakes after your workout, then DO NOT dock yourself a point due to the fact that it contains whey (a diary by-product).

Food Tips

The easiest tip I can give for food choices, other than those on the Food Choices Cheat Sheet, is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. The perimeter holds all your meats, veggies, froze veggies, fruit, etc.


    1. Kevin Thompson
      Kevin Thompson Post author

      If this is doubled up, I apologize. I thought I replied already, but…

      I won’t knock anyone for protein powder of any kind, unless it’s almost 100% soy based.

      Almond milk: most almond milks, like those sold at Kroger, have additives like xanthan gum, guar gum, etc., which are meant to make the milk thicker, or more viscous. Not to mention added sweeteners like cane syrup. The only allowed sweetener is stevia. I’d try to find an approved coconut milk that is 100% coconut products. That, or stick with water.