A Fit Summer: 4-Week Fitness Challenge

Summer’s here and you know what that means… like a caterpillar emerging from its cozy cocoon, it’s time to shed the hoodies and parkas and replace them with tank tops and swimsuits! Don’t be one out of three Americans who are shy about their bods this year, so spread your beautiful wings and make it a fit summer!

The Starting Point

The Fit Summer 4-Week Challenge will incorporate strength training, aerobic fitness, agility, balance, flexibility, nutrition, and mental fitness.

Download Week 1 Packet

Download PDF

First thing’s first – we need a place to start! As a chubby kid, I loathed the Presidential Fitness Test. But it’s a great way to assess one’s basic level of fitness. So, before you begin your month-long voyage to greatness (not that you’re not already great), complete this test. Make sure to record your results in your packet, because you’ll be doing this again in three weeks!

Fitness Challenge

One mile: Run, walk, or jog a mile and record your time. Have a partner help if needed.

Half Sit-Ups: While keeping good form, have a partner time you for one minute to see how many of these you can do.

Push-Ups: Follow the instructions provided, do as many push-ups as possible before exhaustion. Don’t cop out – push yourself! (Literally. Because they’re push-ups.)

Flexibility Test: Also called the Sit and Reach test, follow the instructions provided in the link and record your results in the week 1 packet.

Frontal Plank: I added this one just for fun. Using proper form, have a partner record how long you can hold the plank pose.

Body Composition: Have a partner (perhaps a club manager or trainer) take your measurements and weight. You may even be able to get your body fat checked. Write down your starting points in the week 1 packet, and check back at the end of the month to see your progress.

Week 1 – Fitness Plan

Demonstrations of all the strength circuit moves can be found in our exercise videos hub on Anytime Health.

And don’t forget to download the printable packet for week 1 here!

Monday – Strength Training Circuit

2-3 sets of each (depending on fitness level)

  • Warm up – 15 minutes brisk walking/elliptical
  • Core – 25 bicycle crunches, Superman pose (hold for 30 seconds)
  • Chest – chest press machine (15 reps, moderate weight), dumbbell flies (15 reps, moderate weight)
  • Back – lat pulldown (15 reps, moderate weight), bent over row (15 reps, moderate weight)
  • Cool down – 10 to 20 minutes walking/elliptical
  • Stretch – chest stretch, cat stretch, overhead stretch

Tuesday – Cardio

45 minutes treadmill or elliptical

Wednesday – Strength Training Circuit

2-3 sets of each (depending on fitness level)

  • Warm up – 15 minutes brisk walking/elliptical
  • Core – back extensions (20 reps), knee-ups (20 reps)
  • Biceps – biceps curls (15 reps, moderate weight), hammer curls, (15 reps moderate weight)
  • Triceps – cable triceps pushdown (15 reps, moderate weight), dumbbell kickbacks (15 reps, moderate weight)
  • Shoulders – dumbbell shoulder press (15 reps, moderate weight), dumbbell lateral raises (15 reps, moderate weight)
  • Cool down – 10 to 20 minutes walking/elliptical
  • Stretch – forearm stretch, triceps stretch, shoulder stretch

Thursday – Cardio

30-45 minutes Kickboxing, Zumba, Bootcamp class (permitting) or 25 minutes HIIT/Tabata style spinning or treadmill

Friday – Relaxation

30-45 minutes yoga or stretching/meditation

Saturday – Strength Training Circuit

2-3 sets of each (depending on fitness level)

  • Warm up – 15 minutes elliptical or recumbent bike
  • Core – mountain climbers (20 reps), side plank (30 seconds each side)
  • Legs – walking lunges (20 reps), Bosu ball tilts (15 reps), skater lunges (20 reps), wall sits (30 seconds)
  • Cool down – 10 to 20 minutes walking/elliptical
  • Stretch – quad stretch, hamstring stretch, glute stretch

Sunday – Rest

30 minutes foam rolling and stretching

Nutrition Challenge

Implementing a healthy eating lifestyle is all about taking baby steps in the right direction. This week, don’t think about what you need to cut from your diet, think about what you should add!

Start eating breakfast

If you’re not eating breakfast, you’re missing out on a gold mine of energy. Upon waking, your body hasn’t had fuel for nearly 5-9 hours. Your metabolism needs the morning boost to help your body function properly. If you already eat breakfast, eat more! Studies have shown that a larger breakfast helps to moderate your appetite throughout the day, which can help curb afternoon and night munchies. It may also help prevent the afternoon sleepies. Make sure to incorporate complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein into each meal. Worried about the extra calories? Don’t be. After this week, you’ll need the extra fuel.

Mind Challenge

Create goals

The first week of any new program can be overwhelming. Take this week to write down your goals – and be specific. Focus on the small steps and visualize how it’ll feel to accomplish your goals. Celebrate little victories and don’t get hung up on the occasional road block. Just remember: you’re pretty dang awesome!

Accountability is one of the best ways to reach your health goals. Share your journey with the Fit Summer Challenge on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Use the hashtag #AFitSummer

Jump to Week 2!

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Debbie spends her time at the Anytime Fitness corporate office writing and designing web content for the brand’s fabulous franchisees and staff. She has a B.S. in Dietetics, has been NASM certified in personal training, and specializes in weight loss. Her outlook on health and wellness is driven by her own 120-pound weight loss: she is a realist who doesn’t believe in diets, believes strongly in chocolate, and maintaining a healthy, sustainable balance in life. She takes a passionate interest in mental health, positive body image, and self-love. She’s an avid creator of music and mother of cats. She also can’t keep plants alive.