Weight Loss Support - Are contests/group fitness things ever worth it?

08-16-2012, 01:39 PM
The place I work for and where I have membership for the gyms is hosting a Rock Your Jeans contest/event. Here's the description I got from a co-worker:

The program is designed to get people into slimmer jeans so they can “rock their new look in 2013”

8-week fitness challenge starts October 15-December 15
registration starts September 4-October 8, people can sign up at any of the three CA fitness facilities
Each participant purchases a pair of jeans two sizes too small or bring an old pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore to the first personal training session. The assigned personal trainer keeps the jeans for the duration of the program. Participants will have the opportunity to try on their jeans halfway through the program to check their progress.
If people don’t have two jeans sizes to lose, the personal trainer can still work with them to develop alternative fitness goals.
Program features:
weekly motivational personal training sessions with two people teams
workout plans that include fitness classes
people workout in pairs so everyone has a partner for encouragement, support and fun
comprehensive nutrition program
celebration event at the end of the program to applaud success and retire the old jeans
chance to win a $250 Macy’s shopping spree, a free pair of designer jeans ($150 value), a shopping consult with a Macy’s personal shopper

The cost for me would be $299. Finding the money isn't an issue, but will it help?It would start on my 19th wedding anniversary and end 5 days after my 43rd birthday. AND, it would perhaps, motivate me to get to goal - finally.

Right now, fresh off vacation, my motivation is sky high. But... can you maintain such a thing with then a lesser than workout? Like, I'm willing to work out extra hard for 8 weeks, but for the rest of my life I would like to settle back into 2-3 times a week for weight training and 2-3 times a week for cardio (because it makes me feel good!).

Anyone have input as to whether or not such things helped them or not?

Arctic Mama
08-16-2012, 01:43 PM
Not for me, no. I'm looking for permanent solutions I can live with, not anecdotes from a Bootcamp :)

It just depends on what motivates you, you know yourself better than we do. I'd be better off spending that money on a weight bench or more free weights than a personal trainer, because I work at home and keep it simple. But if a challenge would reboot you or inspire you, go for it.

08-16-2012, 02:28 PM
I love the idea of that challenge! It's different than any I've seen. That would definitely motivate me...that being said, I wouldn't do it because for me, that would be too much money for something like that. Not saying it's not worth it, just not to me.
I guess it just depends on the person, and what motivates them. If the money isn't an issue then maybe it's worth checking out!
I think it could be really helpful to people, provided they continue on with their healthy eating/exercising habits after the challenge ends.

08-16-2012, 02:48 PM
I'm going to agree. For me, something like that would motivate me a little bit more. I'd do it, if we had something like that where I'm at

08-16-2012, 02:58 PM
You know what I like about it? it doesn't center around a number on a scale! The number on a scale isn't the victory. It's the better fitness.

I've already lost a gob of weight, but I want to get tighter, slimmer. It's possible, quite possible to not even drop a pound and still drop 2 pant sizes!

08-16-2012, 03:34 PM
I think it depends on the person and on the goals.

Weight loss goals that are weight-oriented usually don't work well for me, whether I'm competing with others, or just myself. However, I've found incentive goals work very well.

As an example, last year hubby and I participated in our YMCA's "Passport to Fitness" Challenge. With every qualifying workout (no more than one per day) each participant earned a stamp to the passport booklet, and by getting 12 stamps the 30 day time-frame, participants earned a sweatshirt.

I have never worked so hard to get a prize before, especially one that didn't fit at the start of the contest (3X was the largest size they had, and I could barely squeeze into a 3X at the beginning of the contest).

When I got the sweatshirt it fit nicely (even though I hadn't lost much weight during the contest, I'd lost several inches). I don't even wear the shirt very often because it's usually too warm for me, but I'm so proud of it, every time I see it in my closet I get a little thrill of accomplishment.

I also find the small contests in my 3FC group very motivating. Our chapter runs a lot of small contests, challenges and incentives (such as free monthly dues if you lost weight the previous month). My yearly expenses for being in the group is about $90 per year, but this year I've already "made a profit," by earning free dues and winning small contests here and there (for example best loser for the month wins $5 AND gets free monthly dues (so a $10 value) and best loser for the quarter wins $10 (so if they're also best loser for all three of those months, they get the equivalent of $35).

Best losers every week also win about $2.50 for any given winning week.

Any loss at all during a month earns membersfree monthly dues, so it's like being paid $5 to lose weight (because our monthly chapter dues are $5 per month).

I don't do quite as well when I'm competing AGAINST other people, but when it's an incentive I can earn for meeting my personal goals within a specific time frame (as long as the goals aren't number of pounds lost), I find the contests and challenges extremely motivating.

When I compete against others, I tend to try to "catch up" when I see others pulling ahead of me, and sometimes the methods I use or am tempted to use to catch up are self-defeating. Even being tempted to crash diet tends to backfire (even if I don't give in to the temptation it changes how I see my lifestyle and triggers stress and bad choices).

08-16-2012, 06:00 PM
I don't know any of the details, but my DIL won $500 at a contest at her work. The work has a gym for the employees. I don't know how much she lost, but I can tell she is thinner.

08-16-2012, 06:15 PM
It sounds fun! I love challenges. I, also, am in this for the long haul, but I find things like this to be motivating, especially now that I'm smaller (smaller being a relative term, obviously I'm not small). I say go for it if you have the money to spare!

08-16-2012, 08:59 PM
I think it's a great idea. It may motivate you to continue whatever program you are doing. Early in my weight loss, I joined a biggest loser competition - Won. Then I joined a calorie burn - Won :) The Cal burn contest was cool, because it did not center on the scale. GREAT! but I had to buy a heart rate monitor. Once I got that, my workouts got better and more efficient. Now I use my HRM all the time. It was just another tool in helping me reach my weightloss goals and I'm really thankful there are places that offer these different contests. I love them! I guess it's all in what you take from the contest and apply it to your life in a permanent way :) Good luck to you and I hope you win!!!

08-16-2012, 11:02 PM
The cost seems reasonable for what you get I think, if you actually make use of the stuff.

I actually started losing weight because of a biggest loser competition at work where 1st prize was an ipad. For me, the weekly accountability and weigh ins were a big motivational factor to me. It was actually one of the key reasons I made it past my normal "week of dieting". I didn't win as they used % lost, but what I got out of that...and what I continue to get from those beginnings is worth WAY more than an ipad. (which I won later anyway in a different work contest hehe.)

If you think it would be fun and motivating for you, why not?

08-16-2012, 11:15 PM
I like challenges from the motivational aspect, but the money side of this one. Not.

I participated in a fitness challenge on another board from Jan to March. I didn't win, but was voted best cheerleader!:carrot: Everyone who completed the challenge, got an autographed book from the folks who threw out the challenge and helped us along the way.

I'm doing another one, same forum, no prizes, just community spirit and support! Gives me a place to chat, commiserate, whine, and cheer! Along with advice and folks who just understand.

It's up to you if the $ are worth it.