While more than 40% of Americans make resolutions – losing weight and getting fit among the most popular – only about 8% actually achieve those goals, according to Forbes.com and research from the University of Scranton. There are several reasons why resolutions tend to flop but many come back to boredom and lack of motivation. Nic Zahasky, owner of Aspire Fitness and Nutrition Coaching in Sioux Falls, SD, says he sees this combination all too often.
“What happens is people don’t set a specific goal, so it’s easy for motivation to drop off quickly,” Zahasky says. “Combine that with the notion that traditional fitness isn’t fun and you’ve got a recipe for failure out of the starting gate.”
This doesn’t mean all resolutions are doomed. There is a glimmer of positivity on the health horizon. The growing – and relatively new – sport of obstacle course racing is boosting the fitness industry and providing a new, fun reason for people to get active.
Big names like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder have pioneered events and seen annual participation grow into the hundreds of thousands since they were launched a few years ago. Just last year, another pioneer, HARD CHARGE, became the first televised series focused on these events. The show airs locally on Fox Sports Arizona and brings the event into homes across America through other major networks like Comcast SportsNet. Greg Lang, President of HARD CHARGE, says he loves watching the growth of obstacle racing and all the people it’s bringing into the fitness arena.
“Obstacle racing is a fun event for all fitness levels,” he says. “Anyone can participate. You can do it on your own or you can grab all your buddies and take on the challenge as a team. I love that people pick a date to participate and it becomes a defacto fitness goal.”
While some events claim to be incredibly difficult and can be intimidating to the average person, others are meant to be challenging, yet fun; a test of physical and mental fitness; and, best of all, a sense of major accomplishment for those who cross that finish line. Zahasky, also a competitive obstacle racer, feels this makes the events a perfect tie-in to resolutions.
“Whether it’s your first event of this kind or not, everyone needs to train at least a little bit to finish,” he says. “It’s a tangible goal to work towards and that’s crucial in staying motivated, especially on those days the couch and a bag of chips sounds more appealing!”
Melissa Schlader, a full-time working mother of three from Fargo, ND agrees. She signed up for HARD CHARGE with a group of friends four months prior to last year’s event. “We told ourselves, ‘This is our goal. We have to be fit enough to do the event on this date.’” she said. When the big day arrived, we’d all had so much fun training together, I think we enjoyed the event even more. We’re already planning to do another one this summer!”
In addition to being fun, Zahasky adds that training activities can burn big calories – and seeing results is another major motivator to stick with a fitness plan. “An average-size [150-pound] woman can burn more than 300 calories with just a half hour of light jogging,” he says. Using a rowing machine, another exercise Zahasky recommends when training, will burn more than 300 calories in 30 minutes for a 200-pound man. Plus, “Rowing engages muscles throughout your body, so you reap the additional benefits of a higher metabolism and greater, ongoing calorie burn after a workout,” he says.
Additional workouts recommended by Zahasky:
· - Circuit training (1 minute lifting, 30-second break, repeat)
· - Interval training (1-2 minutes high-intensity cardio, 1-2 minutes easy, repeat)
· - Tabata training (20 seconds high-intensity, 10 second break, repeat for 4 minutes)
· - Burpees
· - Squats and lunges
· - Pushups and tricep dips
More event details:
· - Four mile course with more than 20 military-inspired obstacles
· - Fun team or individual event for all fitness levels
· - Benefitting local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
· - Begins at 8:30 a.m. with CHARGE for Glory event – heats are competitive, timed, marshaled and filmed for the TV show
· - CHARGE for Fun event begins at 10 a.m. – heats aren’t timed and participants may choose to skip obstacles, with the goal to finish and have fun
HARD CHARGE® is a world-class obstacle course racing (OCR) series, and the first and only national OCR television show. Designed to challenge every fitness level, HARD CHARGE courses are four to five miles and feature military-inspired obstacles. Every HARD CHARGE obstacle mission is divided into CHARGE for Fun and CHARGE for Glory heats. Participants may navigate the CHARGE for Fun course at their own pace, or choose to compete in the CHARGE for Glory heats where top racers earn the chance to be featured on HARD CHARGE national OCR TV series that airs in more than 60 million homes through Comcast SportsNet, Fox Sports and local affiliates across the country. HARD CHARGE is a proud national partner of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with every event benefitting the local CMN Hospital.
For more information, video clips or hi-res photos, contact Lindsay Babb, HARD CHARGE director of PR and marketing, at 701.261.4440, email lindsay.babb@