You knew it was coming and now it is here. Well, at least sign up is here. This post contains everything you need to know to decide if the Catacombs Spring Challenge is for you. Post questions to comments and we will answer them for all.
What is it?
The Catacombs Spring Challenge is a 6-week lifestyle challenge to help our members reset and get focused on their overall health and fitness. Our goal is to provide opportunities for education and awareness around the variables that affect your health and wellness. Of course the big one is food. What you put in your mouth has a huge impact on how you feel. Beyond just food, we will also address sleep, exercise, and social interactions in an effort to find a healthy balance and shift our health and lifestyle toward wellness. At the very least, our hope is to provide you the opportunity to look and feel your very best and understand the variables at play in achieving that state. At best, this could be the challenge that helps you take control of your health and changes some habits forever.
How does it work?
This challenge is set up on a point system. You will self score daily based on the criteria outlined below. We believe that if you follow the criteria we have set up, you will significantly shift the dial toward wellness. It is not an all or nothing challenge; meaning, if you choose to eat something you aren’t supposed to or break one of the other rules, you lose a point for that day, but you are most definitely still in the challenge. Our goal is perfection for all criteria, but we are willing to except progress! The Challenge Packet will be a comprehensive resource with full rules and point structure along with a recipe packet. Below you will find the tentative guidelines and point structure:
- Food Quality: We are following a no-processed foods nutrition plan. Sugar and grains are off limits and non-negotiable. Gluten free options of pastries, breads, and crackers are also off limits. Nuts are allowed, but we are going to talk about quantity when it comes to nuts. Dairy and legumes are negotiable depending on your goals for the challenge. (4 points per day: 1 point each meal plus 1 snack)
- Alcohol is discouraged and will cost you a point. It may also limit the benefits that you are able to reap form the challenge. (1 point each day)
- Water Consumption: All participants are asked to consume one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. Yes, it is a lot. You can include the water you drink pre and post workout. (1 point each day)
- Sleep: Participants are asked to sleep 7 hours per night. Don’t tell me you can’t. It is only 6 weeks. (1 point each day)
- Social interaction is increasingly recognized as a critical component to happiness and overall mental health. As part of the challenge, we are asking you to commit to spending a minimum of one hour per week socializing with a friend. This can be a walk, a bike ride, a cup of coffee, or really any activity. Just put it on your calendar and make it happen. (3 points per week)
- Workouts: We believe exercise is fundamental to a healthy lifestyle. It feeds your health and fitness; fights off depression and elevates mood; and provides a valuable social interaction with your people. This challenge requires three days of workouts at Catacombs and a minimum of one outdoor workout per week (run, bike, hike, whatever). (1 point per day, max 6 per week)
- Personal Development: Set one personal goal that you can make significant progress on over the six week challenge. You will award points based on the time invested in the goal over the course of the challenge. (3 points per week)
- Smart Supplements: We believe fish oil to be an important supplement for the healthy athlete. There is certainly no evidence that it is harmful. (1 point per day)
- Mobility/Accessory Work: Spend 10 minutes each day working on your weak, sore, tight, inflexible areas. (1 point per day)
Who can participate?
This challenge is limited to Catacombs members. As accountability and check in are key components to any challenge like this, the Catacombs Community will be key to your success. You are free to do this on your own, of course, but just like a workout, the community is what helps keep us honest and on-track. We will use Zen Planner to track points and a Facebook Group for sharing ideas, recipes, encouragement, and questions.
Dates, Costs, Logistics
The challenge runs from April 17 to May 27th (6 weeks). The cost of the challenge is $55 which includes:
- The Catacombs Spring Challenge packet laying out all the rules and point structure.
- Recipe and meal-planning guide.
- Access to Coach’s Office Hours (4 hours per week). If you are struggling or need a little guidance, we will sit down with you and review your log with you and help you troubleshoot where you are stuck.
- Online and in person accountability to help you succeed via personal check-ins and the Facebook Group.
Additionally, we have partnered with PHD Advanced Nutrition to do pre- and post-challenge body composition measurements. These are important metrics for measuring results…and you know how we feel about measuring results. This component is optional, but well worth the investment if you are going to spend 6 weeks working on improving your health. Pre- and post challenge body composition measurements with PHD Advanced Nutrition are $30 for both. These will be more precise than the portable scale measurements done at Catacombs previously. As part of this package, Ashley will provide additional meal planning and portion guidelines. Pre-Challenge measurements will take place at PHD Advanced Nutrition on Saturday April 16th from 11 AM to 1 PM.
While this challenge is points-based, it is more about self-improvement than “winning”. You do not get “kicked out” for failing nor do you “win a prize” for succeeding. This challenge is about making a commitment to yourself and the community and keeping it. We aren’t trying to catch you eating something you shouldn’t or see who can lose the most weight. We are all just taking the next step in the journey to be healthier, happier, more fit humans. The monetary commitment covers the time that the coaching staff have and will invest in the challenge. It also causes you to have some skin in the game. The structure, accountability, and community give you a far better chance of being successful than you have going it alone.
Want to go deeper?
Several of you have asked about getting even more serious about your nutrition. Dr. Ashley Lucas of PHD Advanced Nutrition has offered to work one-on-one within the context of this challenge with those of you needing and desiring more intensive intervention. You get the individualized program and expertise of a nutritionist within the structure of your community. While a more significant monetary investment, this is a significant savings over doing it on your own and you get the opportunity to do it with your people! The cost for this program is $375 and include a detailed intake assessment, customized meal plan, and every other week consultations with Ashley.