I am a basketball super-fan, so I get very excited each year when March Madness rolls around. And this year, I have a special challenge for you …
No, I’m not talking about picking the winning teams in a March Madness bracket challenge. Let’s make March Madness more rewarding by trying a fitness challenge that coincides with the tournament.
I know what you may be thinking right now: B-O-R-I-N-G, especially for those who don’t love college basketball, but remember two things:
- Summer is just around the corner, so this is the perfect time to start getting back in top shape and maybe drop a few pounds after a long winter spent mostly indoors
- March Madness is three weeks long, which makes it the perfect time frame to up your fitness game!
Quick Inspirational Fact: Americans drink an estimated 220 million gallons of beer during March Madness + 120 million chicken wings + 55 million slices of pizza. Not this year. Not you and me!
#MMFBGChallenge: Game Plan
From March 13, which is the day after the NCAA unveils the actual bracket, through April 3, the Championship Game.
Whether you’re rooting for a specific team, you just love the sport, or you couldn’t care less about basketball and have no idea what the heck March Madness is, you’re welcome to take part in this challenge.
You can either participate in the challenge alone, or invite your friends to make it more fun. The more people, the more fun it is!
Spread the word about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #MMFBGChallenge to get your friends into this madness!
How It Works?
Scroll down to see our March Madness bracket listing the exercises assigned to each of the competing teams.
When the actual March Madness bracket is unveiled (March 12), you’ll have to write the competing teams in their corresponding boxes (1-16 for each Division – Midwest, West, East or South).
Don’t worry if you’re new to all this “bracket” talk. It’s easy. The March Madness bracket will be published on every sports website and sports section in the newspaper. Just copy it onto our bracket here.
There are a total of 64 unique exercises, one for each team in the tournament. All 64 exercises are divided into four divisions (Midwest – Abs; East – Upper body; West – Lower Body; South – Cardio).
All exercises in the #MMFBGChallenge are performed as a superset, which means that the two exercises are performed one after another with no rest in between them. Doing both exercises once each = one superset.
Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute between each superset. Do 3 supersets in total.
Not sure how to perform an exercise? No problem — these are very common exercises, so just drop the exercise name into YouTube and you’ll find tons of tutorials to guide you.
Take a look at Team #1 vs. Team #16 of the Midwest (Abs) division in the first round of the tournament (AKA the “Round of 64”). Every time Team #1 plays, you’ll be doing straight-leg wipers, and Team #16 indicates bird dogs. So, that’s your superset for this particular game: wipers and bird dogs.
Sound too easy for you?
There are a LOT of games happening during this tournament, so you will be building some serious home workouts when you combine the supersets from all the games that are happening day-to-day!
Why It Works!
- All exercises are bodyweight exercises, so you can do some awesome resistance training and cardio at home with no equipment. Yep, even while watching the March Madness games!
- Each division has a different fitness focus, so you’ll be getting a true full-body workout.
- The workouts are designed with progression in mind. They get a little more challenging as the tournament goes on. This is the perfect way to continually challenge your body to get stronger and leaner.
Your Game/Workout Schedule
Remember, the #MMFBGChallenge begins after the NCAA unveils the actual bracket. Here’s your workout bracket that you can follow throughout the tournament:
Round of 64
This round includes the First Four and the Round of 64. That’s a total for 8 supersets for each day (division).
March 13: Perform each superset of the Midwest (Abs) division for each of the competing teams in the round.
March 14: Perform each superset of the East (Upper body) division for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 15: Rest.
March 16: Perform each superset of the South (Cardio) division for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 17: Perform each superset of the West (Lower body) division for each of the competing pairs in the round.
Round of 32
Now that 32 teams have been eliminated, there will be still 8 supersets for each day, as you’re going to be breaking a sweat for two divisions in one day now.
Plus, you’ll notice that the number of reps and duration has increased — yes, this is getting more challenging!
March 18: Perform each superset of the Midwest (Abs) and the West (Lower body) divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 19: Perform each superset of the South (Cardio) and East (Upper body) divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 20-22: You get 3 days of rest! Enjoy it because things get tougher next round!
Now that 16 more teams — and their corresponding exercises — have been eliminated from the tournament, you’re going to perform 8 supersets in one day, covering all the four divisions at once.
March 23: Perform each superset of all the four divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 24: Rest.
Now that 8 more teams have been eliminated and only 8 teams are remaining, you’re going to perform 4 supersets in one day, covering two divisions in one day.
March 25: Perform each superset of the Midwest (Abs) and the West (Lower body) divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 26: Perform each superset of the South (Cardio) and East (Upper body) divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
March 27-31: Rest from these workouts, but stay active however you enjoy.
Finally, only 4 teams are remaining in the March Madness tournament. You’re going to perform 4 supersets in one day, covering all the four divisions at once again.
April 1: Perform each superset of all the four divisions for each of the competing pairs in the round.
April 2: Rest. Get ready for the championship game!
One of the remaining 2 teams will finally be crowned as the National Championship. , as you’re going to perform 1 superset in one day.
April 3: Perform the final superset of the tournament. It’s a tough one, but it will go quickly.
Recruit your friends, family, and co-workers to join you in the #MMFBGChallenge. Then, let us know how you did. Did you make it through the entire tournament? And if so, how are you feeling afterwards?
Good luck! —Dave
Dave Smith is a fitness and weight-loss coach who was chosen as “Canada’s Top Fitness Professional” in 2013. He is the editor-in-chief at Total Coaching, and hosts a weekly Q&A fitness podcast at makeyourbodywork.com. Contact him any time for answers to all your exercise and fitness questions!