4 Ways the STRONGER Challenge Will Make 2018 Your Fittest Year Yet

people doing a side plank during a STRONGER workout
Nicky Holender's STRONGER challenge will make you sweat like nobody's business. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

If you want to lose weight and get fit this year, you might be wondering "How do I get started? Where is my motivation? What do I need to do?"

A crucial component that's been integral to my weight loss and overall fitness over the past several years has been being a part of a fitness challenge group.

The encouragement, support, friendly competition (and let’s be honest — the kick in the butt) that a fitness challenge group provides is what I need to kick-start and stick with my diet and fitness resolutions.

I know this from experience.

I've been lucky enough to participate in two different Beachbody test groups. In 2011, I participated in the RevAbs test group and lost 15 pounds in three months.

In the summer of 2012, I was a member of the Les Mills Combat test group, and I lost 20 pounds in 60 days. (See my BEFORE and AFTER photos.) And in 2014, I lost eight pounds doing the 8-week STRONGER Challenge with the LIVESTRONG.COM team.

We’re starting an 8-week STRONGER Fitness Challenge for the new year on Monday, July 9, and we’re inviting you and all of our readers to join us. We made it our resolution to try to help as many other people as possible get fit.

That's why we made our STRONGER premium fitness program COMPLETELY FREE for everyone. Plus, you can join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook.

We'll be sharing our experiences there, and we'd love to have our audience along for the wild ride. You can also tweet at us @LIVESTRONG_COM using the hashtag #Stronger2018.

We created the STRONGER workout program </ahref="http:>with celebrity trainer and former professional soccer player, Nicky Holender. The daily workouts are all about 30 minutes long and require no equipment at all. That way, you can do the STRONGER workouts in your living room, bedroom, office, hotel room or anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. So, there are no excuses! Here’s the full calendar of STRONGER workouts.

8-week stronger workout calendar
Here's your workout roadmap. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

4 Things That Helped Me Lose Weight and Stay Committed

How to Sign Up for the STRONGER Challenge

1. Download the MyPlate app for iOS and create your account. If you're on Android or don't have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop version. Make sure you set July 9 as your start date so you can be on the same page as the rest of the LIVESTRONG.COM community!

2. On your start date (we're launching our next challenge July 9th), you'll be able to log into your account and click on “Meal Plan” in the bottom navigation bar of the app. There, you'll have access to each day's meals as well as each week's shopping list.

tracking food from a smartphone based on a meal plan by MyPlate Calorie Tracking app as part of the STRONGER Challenge
Tracking is easy with MyPlate. (Image: LIVESTRONG.COM)

3. For each meal and snack, track your calories by clicking the check mark next to each food or recipe. If you need to deviate from the meal plan, you can also enter foods manually from the “Track” tab on the bottom navigation. Just search for your food and click the “I Ate This” button. Also be sure to track your water intake from the “Track” tab.

4. Print out the STRONGER Challenge workout calendar and and follow along with each day's free workout video.

8-week stronger workout calendar
Here's your workout roadmap. (Image: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM)

5. Track the STRONGER workouts in MyPlate. On the app's main page, click Exercise then search STRONGER. All of the workouts will be listed below. Select the one you performed that day.

6. Join our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook Group to get daily tips, encouragement and motivation! You can also join the conversation in our community boards in the app ("Community" on the bottom navigation) and on desktop.

7. Do the workouts with us, cross them off the calendar and post about it in the Facebook group. We're cheering for you!

Readers — Are you joining us for the 8-week STRONGER Challenge? What do you think of the STRONGER workouts? What do you think of the meal plan? Are you having any trouble accessing and using either the workouts or the meal plan? Have you ever done a fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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