No Excuses Challenge

It’s time. (sign up for the no excuses challenge here)

Summer is over, school’s back in session.

You’ve found your routine, or have you?

When it comes to your fitness, how is your routine working?

Are you getting results?

If you haven’t, do you have an excuse?

I can’t get enough sleep because…

My shoulder hurts, but I don’t have time to mobilize it because…

I don’t feel like going to the gym because…

All these are fine and well, until you step on the scale, look in the mirror, or get smoked in a workout by the new guy.

You have a choice.

Do you want RESULTS or EXCUSES?

I get it, sometimes you know what to do…you may have even done it before.

You know you’re only 4-6 weeks away from where you need to be.

You just need to kick yourself in gear and make it happen.

NO EXCUSESThat’s where the NO EXCUSES CHALLENGE comes in.

There are a lot of challenges out there in the CrossFit community. You might have heard about a Paleo Challenge, a Squat Challenge, or a Burpee Challenge.

They’re fun. I did a Run-At-Least-One-Mile-A-Day Challenge a couple of years ago. I definitely got better at running and I now feel running a mile isn’t such a big deal. It was worth the mental pain just to find that out!

The simple concept behind most challenges is:

1. Choose something you want to get better at but find difficult (such as eating clean for several days, a good squat, or running for more than ten minutes).

2. Do that thing daily for a specified amount of time, in order to make that thing less scary and, ultimately, less difficult.

So you might call this a challenge. Others might call it setting up structure. Resolutions. New lifestyle. It can be all of those things.

I think of it as practice. Practice doing.


Has anyone who has not had piano lessons ever sat down at a piano and wondered why you couldn’t play some Beethoven?

Have you ever picked up a baseball bat, swung at a ball, and wondered why you didn’t just hit it out of the park?

Swing a tennis racket for the first time and miss the ball?

What would you think to yourself? “I’m just not good at this.126

Hopefully you would think something like: “I need some practice.

Most people aren’t good at anything without practice, and this includes fitness, nutrition, and sleep. There is no shame in needing practice! In fact, if you are good at something without practice, the chances of you being great diminish, because you won’t work as hard to get better!

This point leads us to our challenge.


We will be running what we are calling “The No Excuses Challenge” here at CrossFit Hale. It is practice in clean nutrition, consistent training, mobility, and solid sleep habits.

Sign up online here:

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If I had to summarize up what you want, it would be this: improve your fitness and live a better life.

This might mean:

  • losing a few pounds
  • having more energy
  • getting stronger
  • feeling less pain
  • getting a faster Fran time
  • feeling better during the workouts.

We get better at fitness and life doing CrossFit.

We also get better at CrossFit with clean nutrition, and a healthy amount of rest and recovery, which depending on how your eating and sleeping currently looks, might require some practice to help set better habits.

A lot of you inquire about extra stuff——extra strength work, extra skill work——extra something to help make all of this stuff easier and come to you faster.

But until you have these things dialed in: clean nutrition, consistent training, and good, solid sleep, that extra effort is WASTED ENERGY. It is a distraction from the primary things that will generate REAL RESULTS!

Side note if you are a competitive type: many CrossFit Games competitors (including Matt Chan, Jason Khalipa, Chris Spealler, etc) do only one workout per day, with one or two rest days per week. The key to their success is not volume; It’s consistency, intensity, and a solid foundation (sleep and nutrition).


The “No Excuses” part is a reference to what we believe: if you say you are going to do something, do it.

If you don’t do it, whatever “it” is, that’s cool. That’s fine. Just don’t make excuses. Take responsibility for it and move on.

So during our No Excuses Challenge, how will you take responsibility?

Two ways:

1. Do what you said you would do.
2. Pay a penalty if you don’t.

So think about what you want.

Do you want to get better at life?

Do CrossFit, five times a week.p363847597-3

Do you want to be strong, lean, and fast?

Do CrossFit, and eat clean.

Do you want to be well-rested, recover faster, and feel amazing when you wake in the morning?

Do CrossFit, eat clean, mobilize, and get 7+ solid hours of sleep per night.

You don’t need a challenge to tell you to do this. We tell people, including ourselves, to follow this “program” all the time. This is what works. This never fails. This is not revolutionary.

However, it can be overwhelming to think this is what you need to do for the rest of your life. Downright discouraging.

But if you want to make real change, you need to start somewhere. So plan to do this with us for five weeks, if only to prove to yourself that you can (like I did with the running challenge).

Five weeks. No excuses.

You’re either going to sign up, or you’re not. We still like you, no matter which way you lean. 🙂

You can sign up online here:

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The challenge will run from Sept 21 until Oct 24, 2015.

First, we will see where you’re at with a baseline on Sept 19th.  This will include weight, body fat, hip and waist measurements, photos, and a baseline workout.

You’ll also be assigned an accountability partner and share your goals with them so they can take this journey with you.


Starting Sept 21st, you are going to document your food, sleep, workouts and moblity every day in No Excuses website (link is only available to those who are enrolled).No excuses website

Food and workout journalling sometimes sucks, but it works because it HOLDS YOU ACCOUNTABLE to what you said you’d do that day. Don’t worry, you won’t have to log everything you eat, you’ll just give yourself a score for the things you’ve done. If you have nothing to hide, you will LOVE writing all about it.

This must be done every day, before noon the next day (for the previous day).

Through our new site, you’ll be able to see your daily dashboard (and your partners) to make sure you are on track.

Each time you miss, the penalty is 10 burpees for you, 10 burpees for your partner.

If you miss logging all together, that’s 50 burpees for each of you


You’ll eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar, no grains, every day.

We don’t care about meal timing, portion sizes or ratios. Just clean eating. There are no cheat days, and no “sorta” good days.

You’ll log your nutrition on a scale of 1-5.

  • 5 – Perfect day, stuck to the plan
  • 4 – Had ONE slip up (you slipped a treat in after dinner, or had a glass of wine)
  • 3 – Had TWO to THREE slip ups (ate well during the day, but off the rails that night)
  • 2 – Had FOUR or FIVE slip ups (2 of your meals were off plan)
  • 1 – Completely off the rails

Penalty: 10 burpees per point each.


You will train five times per week.

This can be in class or on your own. Training is defined as attending a class of any type (yoga counts), or at least 10 mins of intense exercise.

Penalty: 10 burpees each per day missed.


You’ll sleep 7 hours per night.

Sleep is defined as the time you lay down in bed with no devices, conversation, or any other distractions and close your eyes, to the time you get up and have completed sleep.

If it takes you 2 hours to fall asleep because you have issues with that, it won’t be counted against you. If it takes you 2 hours to fall asleep because you were on your phone or talking (or other stuff) with your significant other, that DOES NOT count as sleep.

Penalty: 10 burpees each per day of less than 7 hours sleep.


You will spend 10 mins per day on mobility.

This could be as simple as rolling on a foam roller, or developing a routine to deal with your nagging injuries. The point of this is that you learn how to fix and maintain your own body by practicing 10 mins per day.

Penalty: 10 burpees each per mobility day missed


If you break any of the rules above, it is 10 burpees per infraction for you, and 10 for your partner.

-Eat some cookies, it’s 10 burpees
-get less than 7 hours sleep, it’s 10 burpees
-skip a day of training? 10 burpees
-forget your mobility? 10 burpees
-Forget to log your score? 50 burpees

We used to charge $50 per infraction, but we felt awful about having to collect.  On the other hand, we LOVE giving out burpees :).

You’re on the honor system. We’re all adults here and these results are your own. Own your actions. Use your partner to help motivate you!

This is NOT for the faint hearted. If you are the type to sign up for things (throw money at the problem) and not follow through…don’t bother signing up for this. If you start it and drop out, your partner will be suffering each week doing 50 burpees for each day you don’t log.

Other details

-There is a $49 entry fee. – You can sign up here:

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-Block out your Saturday mornings from 8-9am the first and last day (Sept 19th and Oct 24th) for the baseline, and 8:30-9am each Saturday during the challenge to check in with your partner and pay your burpee penalties (if necessary). The last day (Oct 24th) we will measure again and do the final baseline from 8-9am.

-Each week, we will meet to check in with our partners, discuss challenges and questions, pay our burpee penalties (if necessary), and get some quick (10 min) tips on aspects of nutrition and fitness that will help you during the challenge.  This will be your chance to get ALL of your questions answered, and develop the skills to help change your habits for life!

-your challenge starts on Sept 21st and you’ll be asked to log your scores that night or the next day.

The whole point of this is not the penalties. I expect that NONE of you will ever have to pay a single penalty. The point is that the penalties are going to hold you accountable to do what you said for the next 5 weeks.

We’ve run this in the past and the people who followed through got amazing results, losing 10+ lbs in many cases.  The biggest results we’ve gotten were mental.

No excuses challenge pilot
The Pilot group for the no excuses challenge

Many people found that the accountability (with the partner, and with the penalties) made a huge difference in the way they thought about the challenge. It was no longer about willpower, they just eliminated certain choices from their diet, and oriented their lives around taking care of their bodies (through sleep and exercise).


Why do I have to put burpees at stake? Can’t I just enter and try it? I’m sure I’ll stick with it!

Experience has taught us that intentions do NOT equal results. If you want results, you have to go beyond intention and set up a structure that will lead to a habit. Once you have a habit in place and it is consistent, you will get results over time. If you want ACTUAL RESULTS and not just good intentions, you need to put something at stake.

Check out this article about how an economist got people to quit smoking using stakes –

There’s even a website that will facilitate you putting stakes up for yourself to reach any goal –

Think about it, do you ACTUALLY WANT the goals you have set for yourself this year? If so, quit making excuses for yourself and do it.

I dunno if I want to do it. How many other people here are doing it?

This is NOT the kind of challenge you do because everyone else at the gym is doing it. When you are by yourself, staring down that plate of cookies, it’s not everyone else that is going to stop you from eating them. It’s you that gets to decide if that cookie is worth 10 burpees for you and your partner.

I’m not sure what I can eat!

We have tons of resources on our site, tons of cooks among our athletes, and a bunch of suggestions for places to go in the area. We will also send you everything you need to know. Not knowing is just an excuse for inaction.

Do people actually do this?

Yes, the ones who are committed to getting results. In our trial of this, we sent ominous emails warning people NOT to do this unless they were absolutely committed. They ignored our warnings, did it anyway, and got amazing results.

Do I have to be a member to do this?

Nope, you just have to be committed, agree to the rules, and sign up!

Can I pick my partner?

Yes, if you have someone you’d like to do this with, it will work better for you as you’ll have their support.  If you have nobody in mind, we can find you someone!

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Here’s what to do next.

  1. Click the button below to sign up
  2. Enter your details and click submit
  3. You’ll get an email with basic details about the challenge, and a link to a survey.
  4. Click the survey and answer the questions, including the name of the person you want as a partner (they must register as well)
  5. Block out the baseline and check in dates on your calendar (8-9am the first and last Saturday, 8:30am in between)
  6. Read through the materials we send with the rules, and nutrition
  7. Look out for an email with a link to our logging website

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