Seven bloggers, four challenges, one hot prize.
The first ever GymBox Bloggers’ Champion Challenge saw myself, Lorna, Charlotte, Emma, Sonia, Elle and Lulu taking on Tabata rows, tyre flips, sled pulls and more in pursuit of a coveted year’s membership to GymBox.
We arrived at the Farringdon superclub ready for battle and were introduced to our challenge leader for the day, Russell “Rusty” Clark. It was clear from the start that we weren’t going to get away with our “let’s just have fun and be a team” attitude, and he encouraged us to get competitive… though we still clung on to our team spirit in true lady-like fashion, mostly!
First up was Tabata rows. We were set up in groups of three and four to max out calorie burn over 8 rounds of 20 seconds effort, 10 seconds rest. Lulu, Elle, Sonia and I went first, and by the third or fourth round we were all gasping for air. Rowing’s never been so tough! Lulu and I were head to head, but a slip in the last round meant I just pipped her to the post. With 51 calories burned in just 4 minutes work, I was feeling the burn already.
Charlotte, Emma and Lorna set up on the rowers next, and Emma showed us all not to underestimate her innocent blonde looks as she took the lead with 53 calories burned.
Next up was the gruelling sled push and tyre flip, reminding me of scenes from the World’s Strongest Man competitions. The sled, as if not heavy enough, was loaded up with an extra 20kg. The aim was to push it up and down the 11 metre track as many times as possible in the 60 second interval. With 60 seconds rest, we were then to move on to flipping the larger-than-life tractor tyre as many times in 60 seconds as we could.
Rusty demoed the exercises to us before we started, but my lord did he make them look easy compared to how they actually felt!
After a tyre-ing three minutes the second challenge was over. I’d managed 19 tyre flips, and 6 reps with the sled and I was really feeling it. The lactic acid build-up in my quads from pushing the sled was immense and the tyre flips were really challenging with a dead-life style movement to shift the ~200-400lb rubber ring.
The scores were looking fairly close at this point, with everyone performing well on this functional fitness stage.
The penultimate challenge was another CrossFit style workout with five minutes of “Cindy” AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible). Anyone familiar with CrossFit will know that “Cindy” is a series of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats repeated until the time is up. Rusty leveled the playing field for us by giving us TRX rows instead of pull-ups, and made sure we didn’t cheat the push-ups by making us release our hands at the bottom of every one. With only five minutes to play with we went all out and were all burning by the end of it!
Charlotte and Emma steamed ahead, shouting their names after every round completed so that Rusty could take score. Lulu, Lorna Sonia, Elle and I gave it our all, but those Lunges & Lycra girls had it in the bag!
The final challenge was Tabata butterfly sit-ups, following the same principle as the rowing challenge – 20 seconds effort, 10 seconds rest, for 8 rounds, with our total reps counting towards our final score. The entire challenge could have been won or lost on this one workout!
As we got started it was clear this was going to be painful. Every round my rep count diminished and each sit-up slowed and slowed as my abs screamed. Rusty (finally) called time and we all looked at each other with a mix of relief and pain!
The Final Results
While we celebrated completing the tough GymBox Champion Challenge, Rusty added up the scores. I’m sure you’re all dying to find out how we got on?!
7th In 7th place with a score of 107, following a couple of slips on the rower, was Charlotte from Lunges & Lycra.
6th With 128 points, Sya AKA Sonia Yasmin Ali came in 6th.
5th Lulu, face of Gymwatch! came in 5th with 147 points.
4th Elle of Keep it simpElle was 4th with 152 points.
3rd With 155 points, 3rd place went to… drum roll please… me!
2nd Lorna, the Dedicated Follower of Fitness was runner up with a brilliant 158 points.
1st! Meaning… top place went to Emma “the machine” Lax from Lunges & Lycra with an astounding score of 201!
Thanks again to Lulu Le Vay for organising the first ever Bloggers’ Champion Challenge, Rusty for setting the workout and pushing us to our limits, GymBox for hosting us, and of course my fellow challengers for cheering, supporting, encouraging and just the right amount of competitive spirit. It really was so much fun!
Bloggers’ Champion Challenge July 2013, hosted by www.gymbox.com
Fantastic photos by http://www.marcsethi.com