Our Annual Fitness Challenge is Back for 2021
And Then There Were Two…
Our annual fitness challenge is back in a new form for 2021. The Fantastic Four has been replaced by The Dynamic Duo, a contest that will pair up teams of two challengers with a personal trainer for 16 workouts over 8 weeks, with big rewards going to the most improved duos. Why teams of two instead of four? Primarily to make it easier to observe distancing and other protocols during the contest. But you’ll still get to experience the comradery and mutual inspiration that have pushed past teams to greatness. Best of all, it will wrap up right before Memorial Day weekend, so you’ll be looking and feeling like a superhero for summer! Registration starts March 1st. Don’t miss it!
Monday, March 1st through Saturday, March 20th
Friday, April 2nd, and Saturday, April 3rd
Assessments are by appointment. You will schedule your assessments when you sign up.
You’ll train 2 times a week for 8 weeks.
Monday, April 5th through Friday, May 28th.
(Scheduled with your trainer.)
Friday, May 28th through Sunday, May 30th
(also by appointment.)
Important: Individuals with pacemakers or other electronic medical devices should not take the InBody assessment.
Assessments will be done using the InBody™ Body Composition Scanner to perform the assessments. InBody is the latest, most cutting-edge assessment tool available. In less than a minute, InBody changes the way you see yourself. It’s the device that looks right through you and delivers in-depth, comprehensive analysis data like no other assessment method. In this contest, we will be scoring contestants using two primary measurements and a formula provided by InBody for scoring. The key components are:
• Lean Body Mass (Goal: maintain or increase)
• Body Fat Mass (Goal: decrease)
For the most accurate results, the following guidelines should be observed:
• Hydrate well the day before
• Do not drink caffeine on the day of your test
• Do not eat for 3-4 hours prior to testing
• Do not exercise 6-12 hours prior to testing
• Do not take InBody Test after a shower or sauna
• Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing
• Ensure access to both feet with removable footwear (no socks or pantyhose)
• Do not wear jewelry- all jewelry will have to be removed prior to testing
• Measure after standing for at least 5 minutes
• For females, avoid having measurement during menstrual period as total body water will be higher than normal
We will test you twice, once at the beginning of the contest to establish your initial measurements, and then at the end of the contest to determine your improvement. We will then compare the starting measurements to your ending measurements, and, using a proprietary InBody scoring algorithm, determine your score. We will use the same process to score each team.
The Scoring System
The formula we will use is called AWS, or Adjusted Weight System, which considers initial weight, lean body mass change, and body fat mass change all in one formula. The final score number is a percentage, the higher the better.
Using the following InBody measurements:
Initial Lean Body Mass (LBM): 150.4
Initial Body Fat Mass (BFM): 70.4
Final LBM: 153.9
Final BFM: 35.0
If you plug these numbers into the AWS formula, the final score is 57%.
The higher the percentage, the higher the placement. This formula also works for both genders, all fitness levels, and all body types as well, to ensure everyone has a fair shot at winning.
If You Really Want to Know: AWS Formula
File this under more information than you probably need, but here’s the actual formula for those who are interested:
From the basic measurements, we compute the following values for the formula:
- Initial LBM %: Initial LBM/Initial Weight
- Lean Score: Final LBM – Initial LBM
- Fat Score: Initial BFM – Final BFM
These variables are then applied in the following formula:
Initial LBM % * ((7.5*(Lean score) + 4.5 *(Fat score)) / Initial Weight = Your Score
Some advantages to this formula:
Because it is more difficult to add (or maintain) Lean Body Mass than it is to reduce Body Fat Mass (which usually can be accomplished through caloric restriction), the formula gives more weight to building or maintaining lean mass than it does to losing body fat. To gain muscle, you must:
1. Sleep well
2. Get enough proteins
3. Drink a lot of water
4. Have a good hormone profile (normal or elevated testosterone)
5. Good workout program
6. Eat enough fat (for hormones)
7. Eat in a caloric surplus
Adjustment for Fitness Level
Because it is harder for a fit individual to change their body composition, the raw score is multiplied by the Percent Lean Mass at the initial weigh-in. This means that an individual that is 70% LBM (30% Body Fat) is expected to make more positive changes than an individual that is 90% LBM (10% Body Fat).
Adjustment for Body Type
Finally, the score is then divided by the Total Weight at weigh-in into account for differences in body type. For example, a 250 lb individual would need to make more positive changes than an individual that weighs 120 lbs.
Note: We use these scoring methods in this contest instead of weight loss because not all weight loss is equal. We are seeking to encourage healthy, sustainable weight loss through the loss of body fat while emphasizing the retention or increase of lean mass (muscle). We are confident that the InBody device, along with the AWS scoring system provides the best contest scoring method.
You may pay in full or in three installments.
If you choose installments, the initial installment of $400 is due when you sign up. The remaining two installments of $250 each are charged to your account on April 1st and May 1st.
If you intend to pay in installments we recommend you sign up no later than March 15th. Your first payment is due upon sign-up, and the next installment will be due on April 1st.
You may pay in full or in three monthly installments. Includes a 2-month membership.
If you choose installments, the initial installment of $550 (which includes the two-month membership), followed by two installments of $250 each which are charged to your account on April 1st and May 1st.
If you intend to make 3 payments, we recommend signing up no later than March 15th. Your first payment is due when you sign up, and the next installment will be due on April 1st.
Prizes: Over 50,000 Reward Points were awarded in the last Contest!
Prizes in this year’s event will depend upon the number of participants – the more participants, the bigger the rewards!
If you haven’t already, download Fitness Incentive Mobile App! You can get it right here:
The prizes in this year’s contest are “Reward Points” in the FI Mobile App. The total amount of prizes depends on the number of participants in the contest. The prizes are awarded to the top-scoring duos. Additional pop-up challenges and prizes may also be awarded.
There are lots of points to be had, but to get them you MUST have the mobile app.
There are a few simple rules:
- No Fitness Incentive fitness professionals (instructors or trainers) can participate in the contest. (Other non-fitness staff may participate)
- No relatives of trainers can participate in the contest. No exceptions. Any relative that is discovered to have entered will be disqualified.
- Participants will be required to show proof of identification (such as a driver’s license) that shows their date of birth.
- Please refer to the contest contract for additional rules.
If you’re interested in joining the 2021 Dynamic Duo Challenge, here’s what you should do:
If it’s your first contest, or if you have questions about this one, stop by the front desk. They’re ready to help.
Stop by the Desk to Register! You’ll need to make your initial down payment. If you prefer to pay in three installments, they will be billed to your account. Registration ends 3/22/21, but teams often fill up quickly, so don’t hesitate if you’re interested.
Pick a trainer and join a team! If you know who you’d like to train with, just let us know when you sign up. If you’re unsure – and many are – let us know your schedule, availability and training goal and we’ll find a team and trainer for you.
Click here to view complete results from past Challenges.
Are You Up to the Challenge?
The following is an Open Letter to prospective Fantastic Four Participants from the 2011 Winners – The Coral Battalion: Annemarie Pollard, Jodi Dee, Pam Vlasak & Valerie Basile
Take a minute right now and have an honest look at yourself in the mirror. Really look deep down and realize you do not want this to continue. You want to be a better YOU! Your health and happiness are much more important than overeating and/or eating all the wrong things. Crappy food might look good, but in reality, it does not taste the same after a while. You need something to get you back on track and the Fantastic Four Fit for Summer Challenge (F4) is it!
When I joined Fitness Incentive (FI) 24 years ago, I had low self-esteem and very little confidence that I could be successful at a gym. Once I joined and got involved in a fitness routine, I discovered how to make it a priority and it became my biggest stress reliever. I started looking forward to coming, made a lot of friends and eventually, FI became an extended family. I am so thankful.
Joining the F4 contest last year was the next step in boosting the confidence I was building at FI and is one of the best things I did for myself. I learned how to eat better and fly right!
Yes, it’s hard work and takes a lot of dedication, but it’s only for 8 weeks. You can do anything for 8 weeks and you will reap many rewards beyond the contest. I can’t lie; F4 was like basic training in the US Army. As I continued, some people looked at me strangely and blurted outright that they would never even attempt such a painful endeavor. Don’t listen to those people – your family and real friends will be so proud of you.
One of the benefits I most enjoyed from F4 was getting rid of all my frumpy clothes. I now open up my closet and know everything in it will look terrific on me. No more bulges, no more flab. What a tremendous feeling! Knowing you worked your butt off and accomplished what you set out to do just makes you feel so sexy and alive again.
My physical transformation over the years at FI and especially with this contest has been amazing. I have come to understand how to work out intensely and intelligently and eat healthier most meals. I feel like a new person- as if I’m in my twenties again.
When we won the contest, I was sky-high. I felt like superwoman! Now I know there is almost nothing I cannot do if I apply myself. My F4 Coral Battalion (CB) teammates may look so different in appearance and vary in age, height, etc yet we share similar values and ideas. Most of all, our unique strengths have contributed to our winning team spirit and great friendship. I have known them for about one year but being with my CB is now like second nature and an essential part of my “most improved” lifestyle.
After you complete your 8 weeks of F4, you won’t regret looking your finest in the mirror and smiling, shimmying, and enjoying Cor’s delicious and nourishing food at the F4 Awards Party. Most of all, you’ll have a blast going into your closet and throwing/giving away a heap of “falling off of me” gear and slipping back into your hot stuff!
– Pam Vlasak
So you’re thinking about doing the contest- I’m thrilled! Totally do it- even if you keep hearing that it’s a sadistic and weak form of torture. We will all attest that it was one of the greatest experiences of our lives, not only because we were the first all-female team to win it (although we won’t lie, that didn’t hurt) but because it changed all four of our lives in such tremendous ways. We got in phenomenal shape (most, some? of which we have kept…), we made life-long friendships, and we all still work out together almost a year later.
Whether you are joining the contest because you want to walk out of the Hibernian Lodge with a four-foot check, or you just want a springboard to get in better shape for summer, here are a few pointers on how to get the most out of your experience.
1) Find a team with similar goals. We cannot stress how important it is that everyone on your team is on the same page with everything from how strictly you will follow the diet to how much extra time you want to spend at the gym for those 8 weeks. These people do not need to start out as your best friends- some of us had never met before- but we were all ready to give it 110% in order to get the job done. If you are signing up individually, talk to your trainer, and be honest about what you want so they can put you on the right team.
2) Listen to your Trainer. No, you are not going to like the diet they give you to follow (yes, it will seem like you are eating dirt and rocks). No, you are not going to think you can do what they are asking you to do (yes, you are going to hurt in places you didn’t even know had muscles) but as Fitness Incentive’s fearless leader Corinne Brown would say… “GET OVER IT!”
3) Balance your workout schedule. You want to make sure you get a mix of strength training, high and low cardio, yoga, and Pilates throughout the contest. It’s not enough to hit yoga up for the last two weeks and expect your flexibility to go through the roof.
4) Give it your best shot (alone and with your team). At the end of your 8-week journey, you want to feel like you gave it all you could- not agonize at the F4 party over whether your one weekend of springtime barbecues cost you the prize. The only difference between try and triumph is that little UMPH.
– Valerie Basile
When I signed up for F4 last year, I never realized how much it would alter my life. I lost weight that I wanted to take off for over five years, made lifetime friends and my family has continued to benefit from our healthier living. These are things you would expect from an eight-week intensive diet and exercise program. Something surprising happened though, a passion that was lost for a very long time resurfaced, and it completely took over my life. My family might say I became a bit obsessed, and I was, but it was awesome.
Following Marianela’s (MVM) program was very cut and dry- you just suck it up, do it and stop whining. It taught me so much about myself, that I can do something for myself, that I can put myself first. I was soaring with confidence and seeing the results only made me stronger.
Now that it has almost been a year since the end of the contest, I have taken the lessons I learned during those eight weeks and applied them to my new, everyday life. The challenge has prepared me to make the right decisions when eating out or shopping in the grocery store. I have been through tremendous amounts of stress and grief in the last four months and I can tell you with absolute certainty that the contest taught me that I CAN do anything. So, I pick myself up and I still go to the gym frequently because it makes me feel so much better.
I still train with my Coral Battalion friends and with MVM. I’m continuing to build on my success from the contest thanks to what I learned about what I have inside me – resilience.
– Jodi Dee
During the later stages of the contest, our Coral Battalion decided we wanted to stick together and continue to group train with Marianela (MVM) after F4. None of us wanted to give up the fabulous friendships and comradery we had been so lucky to discover. Also, the support and sneering look a teammate gives you for missing a workout help us plow forward and be the best Coral Battalion we can be.
MVM gave us a very brief amount of time to ride the wave of joy as the first all-female team to win the Most Improved in the Fantastic Four contest. During our first post-win MVM workout, we were put right back into our places, feet solidly slammed into the ground, and felt as if we had never worked out before in our lives. Man, that lady is tough!
While we train together, we have quite a few laughs, weep silent and sometimes not so silent tears while participating in the physical challenges laid out for us during the session, and always, always encourage one another.
The financial commitment to the contest and training afterward may seem like a lot at first. We recommend that you buddy up with someone else or a group to keep the cost of training down as well as trying the numerous classes the Personal Trainers at FI offer. Along with 1x a week small group training with our plate wielding commander, we attend her free 3D Fit class on Saturdays at 7:25 a.m. in the yoga studio (30-minute weightlifting, core-shaking, and wind-sucking express train) and are currently doing S^3 small group training (TRX Suspension, Bosu Stability + Kettle Bell Strength) with MVM as well. They are workouts like no other!
If you’re on the fence about the Fantastic Four contest, just GO FOR IT. You won’t be sorry. We aren’t!
– Annemarie Pollard
PS: If you would like any additional pointers, The Coral Battalion can be found in the cafe on Mondays and Wednesdays around 11 am finally being able to enjoy a little creamer in their coffee. (But shhh, don’t tell Marianela!)