I recently came across a fantastic website that I’d like to share with you, www.konkura.com.
It’s a free sport, fitness and workout site where you can join, share or create challenges for every sport or fitness activity imaginable. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, swimmer, rower, footballer, strength athlete or just interested in getting a little fitter or losing weight, you can find a challenge for you, and a community of like-minded people to train against and enjoy friendly competition and extra motivation with.
The site piqued my interest as I love anything to do with challenges! This one is particularly cool and there is a huge range of challenges to pick from. If you can’t find a sport or exercise challenge that suits you, you can quickly and easily create your own, then invite your friends (or the whole world) to compete with you for mutual motivation.
I get curious about these things as I think it’s natural for people to want to see how they compare to their peers. To me, it’s not so much a case of trying to beat other people (although I understand many people are inspired by this), but more to know whether I need to raise my own personal bar. I like hearing stories of people’s improvements to see what could be possible for me.
It’s also a question I get quite often from my clients. “How does that compare?” or “What’s normal?” My ultimate goal as a trainer is to help people improve on their journey and get to the next level, so I’m always interested in anything that helps them do that.
It reminded me of an idea I had a number of years ago when I was running. I came across a trail that zig zagged down for miles to a beach, with a steep bush trail to climb back up to the road. I remember it was particularly gruelling and I felt a bit discouraged as it took me ages to run back up. When I got home I googled it to what other people thought of this route and how long it had taken them to get back to the top. I remember thinking it would be great to have a website where you could see what is a kind of ‘normal’ times for runs and I got to thinking about what are some of the ‘standards’ for the amount of press ups, pull ups, sit ups etc. people can do. So it’s cool to see someone has created this!
My favourite challenges on the site are:
The 300 challenge
Absolute killer and not for the faint-hearted! It’s a total body workout and a great guide to see where your overall strength and fitness is at.
50 deadlift (135lbs or 61.23kg)
50 box jumps (24in or 61cm)
50 floor wipers (135lbs or 61.23kg)
25 clean & presses with each arm (36lbs or 16.33kg)
1 minute burpees + 1 minute push-ups
I think this is a great challenge as it’s tough but simple to do anywhere, anytime using no equipment, so anyone can give it a go and improve. You can use it as a regular fitness tool for yourself to see if you’re improving and it only takes 2 minutes. I like it!
The pull up challenge
A lot of people ask me how many pull ups they ‘should’ be able to do. While everyone is different and there are a range of factors that come in to play when it comes to upper body strength and endurance, it’s good to see what some others out there are doing.
Pull ups are a great test of ultimate upper body strength and I believe that most of us should be incorporating them into our exercise routine, as we tend to over-do the ‘pushing’ exercises and not enough of the important ‘pulling’ exercises which strengthen our back.
If you can’t do any at the moment, there are a range of ways you can modify them until you can do them. You can do them at a local playground on the monkey bars, BYO friend to hold your legs behind you until you can do them freely. When we realise how ‘high the bar is’ (metaphorically speaking), it can inspire us to raise our own bar, which is a good thing, right?
Coming from a more general fitness and weight lifting background, I was mostly interested in the body weight challenges and gym-type challenges on this site, but it would also be very valuable for people who need to complete certain requirements for disciplines such as qualifying for the Army, Marines and various sporting endeavours.
I’ve run countless challenges with people over my last nine years as a Personal Trainer and it never ceases to amaze me how competitive so many people are. Used properly, competition can be used to our advantage in striving to be our best. I see it a lot at my boot camps – people like to know how they’re doing so they can increase their reps or beat their time, it’s like an in-built human desire that makes us want to improve ourselves. This is probably one reason why sport is so popular.
www.konkura.com does a great job of bringing people together in one place to get inspired to improve their personal bests. It is set up with plenty of space for comments and interaction with others too. While there are a few discrepancies when it comes to the technique of some of the exercises on there, there is still a great deal of hard work being performed, which watching the videos prove and many fit people to aspire to emulate.
The only downside I can see, is that some of the numbers being achieved are so high that it feels almost too unreachable to even try. But if you take it for what it is – a way to see what everyone else is up to and create your own private or public challenges, the site is well set up and fun.
It provides a healthy dose of inspiration and many ideas for new ways to workout and challenge yourself and a platform I’ll definitely employ to help me raise my own bar and give my clients some new ideas also.
Well done Konkura on a great site! www.konkura.com