For a while now Interactive Fitness Holdings [IFH] has been running “Team Cardio” events. Take a quick trip to their website and you can see the top teams and top riders of the most recent Expresso bike challenge. But what exactly are these Team Cardio competitions?
It actually all started in 2012, when IFH decided to hold a competition between two clubs in New England. The clubs wanted to run an event that would lead right into their regional conference, and placed a bet that the loser of this competition would have to wear the winner’s victory shirt at the conference. Deciding to help out, IFH created a custom competition and found the results were astounding! During the event, over 400 members between the two clubs rode nearly 20,000 miles and burned almost 750,000 calories. Participation levels increased over 250%.
IFH felt compelled to extend the program out to all of their partners so that they too could take advantage of the teamwork built as a result of the challenge. In November of 2012, IFH held their first-ever global Team Cardio challenge, giving away a new bike to the winning facility!
After the global Team Cardio challenged proved a success, IFH decided to have a new global challenge every month, with special events like the Fall Frenzy [a college competition] mixed in for good measure.
They’ve now had over 31 Challenges in total, ranging from charitable events such as the Pedal to End Cancer where riders raised awareness and money to support the American Cancer Society, to the Winter Games where riders represented their teams and their countries in different events coinciding with the Olympics.
Each challenge has a few key characteristics:
- They are fun. Most people aren’t intrinsically motivated to exercise, but if they are in a fun, friendly competition, they will have more motivation to get to the gym.
- Anyone can compete. You don’t have to be the strongest rider in the world to win; as long as you can ride a bike you can help your team.
- They are a great excuse to get your friends involved, and nothing is better for a facility than a referral!
IFH has a mission to make exercise fun, engaging, and social. While some people are inherently motivated to work out, many need another source of motivation to get moving. The Team Cardio challenges give facilities a reason to rally their members together, keep them motivated, and even get those outside the facility interested and involved.