Holiday Count Down Total Gym Strength Challenge

Don’t let the stresses of the holiday season weigh you down. Instead, let’s build up your muscles and your spirits with a holiday strength challenge that will lead you right up to the big day of festivities.


The holiday countdown is on! Plan to dedicate as little as 15 minutes of your time per day to accomplish a daily strength challenge. The format is simple, but can be as challenging as you’d like to make it by adjusting the incline to accommodate your strength level.


Your assignment for the 12 days leading up to December 25, [Dec.13-24], is to perform the strength exercise(s) listed below for each day. The exercises are grouped into three segments to keep the transitions simple. However, every fourth day you will combine the previous 3 exercises to create a total body circuit. The best part is that you have the whole day to complete the challenge, or you can do it all at once, just as long as you accomplish the task by the end of each day.

When performing the exercises, make sure you:
• Focus on good form
• Take a break when needed
• Adjust the incline appropriately
• Challenge yourself & have fun!


In addition to the strength challenge and your other routines, include cardio sessions every other day aiming for 20-60 minutes. This could be a class, cardio equipment, or if weather permits, get outside to power walk or run.


Accessories Needed: Pull up bars, press bars, squat stand, cables
[medium-high level / attach pull up bars]

DAY 1: 100 Pull Ups

• vary your grip or perform plyo pull ups
[detach pull up bars / attach squat stand]

DAY 2: 200 Squats

• vary your foot stance or perform single leg squats (100 right/ 100 left leg)
[detach squat stand / attach press bars]

DAY 3: 100 Shoulder Presses

• option to perform plyo pull ups


• Set a timer for 10 minutes (or 15 minutes if you have extra time) and burn it out! Continuously perform the 3 exercises until the reps are completed.
• If you finish before the 10 minutes are up, don’t stop! Keep performing the same exercises for the full time on the clock.

DAY 5: 100 Surfer Rows

• Kneeling or advanced high kneeling
• Modify: if kneeling is not an option, perform seated rows instead

DAY 6: 150 Reverse Crunch & Curl

• Focus on breathing and activating your abs

DAY 7: 100 Chest Fly

• Seated or advanced kneeling
• Vary the angles


• Perform exercises like you did on DAY 4.
• Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and burn baby burn!

[low-medium level / detach accessories]

DAY 9: 200 Reverse Lunge Repeaters R/L

• Perform 100 right leg / 100 left leg
• Stay low and in the working zone

DAY 10: 100 Pike Up

• Take your time to execute correct form
• Modify: place knees on glide board

DAY 11: 100 Straight Leg Lowers

• The higher the incline, the harder!
• Maintain lower back contact on the glideboard
• Modify: keep knees bent or lower level


Note: change incline and attach or detach accessories for each exercise.

• Today is the day we combine ALL 9 exercises for a powerful strength challenge circuit.
• Adjust the Total Gym settings appropriately for each exercise.
• Perform the reps listed
• Option: If you’re on a time crunch, just perform exercises 9-11 for a shorter challenge.

The goal during this busy holiday season is to challenge your mind and move each day. This strength challenge can be done alone or in addition to your other fitness routines.

Be sure to check out the video to see how these exercises are performed on your Total Gym.

Dedicate time to yourself during this special holiday season and celebrate your commitment to accomplishing your fitness goals.

Happy Holiday’s and cheers to celebrating you!

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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