Fitness Achievements, Where Are You?

Why is it we spend so much time on this mundane game mechanic known as achievements?  Wait, I know the answer…


While I have limited myself in the last few months (I just earned the Father of Two achievement), I always seem to get stuck on this simple game mechanic.  Achievements in World of Warcraft and Mafia Wars, Medals in Farmville, traits in Lord of the Rings online, the mayor-ship and badge system in FourSquare and Gowalla.  I will kill the Eff out of some boars just to get the next achievement, and I will spend waste a lot of time doing it. Which led me to a realization that there is a total lack of this addictive mechanic in online fitness tracking world, where it could provide a big benefit.  Daily burn has medals that display on your profile when you win a challenge, which is similar, but it is not as autonomous as I would like to see. If I and many others will happily do nothing to get a little “ding” that means nothing in a game that (let’s face it) means nothing, why wouldn’t the same psychological boost help motivate me to do a little extra during my workout?

So I think I will use this post to propose just a few fitness achievement that would fit in great in the average fitness tracking site.  Of course you will have your basics: lost 10 pounds, lost 20 pounds, ran 5k, etc), but I prefer to take the World of Warcraft approach in coming up with these, which means that there are a few achievements that are obvious, but most try to throw in humor and pop culture references. Also, some of these are negative achievements that you don’t want to get.

  • A Friend of Tortoises – Walk one mile or less  in 30 minutes or longer
  • Go Speed Walker, Go! – Walk a mile in less than 10 minutes
  • A Proclaimer Part 1 - Walk 500 miles (does not have to be all at once)
  • A Proclaimer Part 2 – Walk 500 more (that’s a 100o total) Da-da-da-da.
  • Girly Man – Bench press exactly 45 pounds (that’s the bar alone)
  • Lost My Sit! (-ups) – Do 6 sets of sit ups with the following rep counts: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23,  42
  • Just eat it, eat it, eat it, eat it – Eat more than 4000 calories in a single day
  • Noob – Win 1 fitness challenge
  • 1337 – Win 25 fitness challenges
  • Cylon Prototype – You weight 87 pounds.
  • Greg Kinnear Would be Proud – You ate a bowl of soup
  • John Henson Would be Proud – You ate a second bowl of soup in the same day
  • Joel McHale Would be Proud – You really need to lay off the soup

These are just a few silly ideas, but I was having fun coming up with them.  The more I thought about these for this post, the more I wished that someone would implement this system, because I would love to be surprised these pop-up as I logged my work outs and food.  It would give me a reason to log more.  It would even give me a reason to change up my workout, or give it that extra umph to earn an achievement.  I love these little bits that might lighten up the tough process of losing weight, while at the same time, gives you a reason to work harder.

Do you have a fun fitness achievement ideas?  Leave me a comment.

  • Kathleen

    How about

    One DID just simply walk into Mordor – Walk 1779 miles (distance from Hobbiton to Mt. Doom –

  • Ralph Loizzo

    I think making an iphone app or mobile app on different platforms would be great.

    Funny you came up with this idea – I was just discussing that with my wife a couple of weeks ago as well. Why not make life-goal seeking a lot more fun?

    And proudly display the achievements on your facebook profile or web page?

  • George Titswoth

    @Kathleen Sweet! I totally think us geeks (I would for sure) would walk that many miles just to get a silly virtual badge that says that. That would definitely be a grind, but a healthy grind.

    @Ralph I have thought about that. I have thought a little bit about starting up a website/game/app like the *villes based around fitness. But I really don’t want to make a fitness website from scratch, no time for that, so I would probably just hook into an API of one of them. I think it would be something fun to have, give that little bit of extra motivation.

  • Jim

    yes this is such a wonderful idea.. I’ve been wishing for something like this for a long time now and I can’t find anything online. it would just be very motivating to have achievements for, lets say, doing 100 push ups in total, 1000 push ups etc.. things of this nature.. of course there would be the cheaters using the system because you can’t prove you did them but you’d just be cheating yourself. any websites coming out with this yet?

  • George Titswoth

    The closest thing I know of is Daily Burn’s Challenge system. They have some opt-in “everyone wins” challenges that give you a little badge when you lose 5 lbs/10lb, etc. or do 100 miles of running. But I haven’t seen a system that just does it, though I haven’t really been looking in a while.

    I am thinking about writing a little mobile app that hooks into daily burn, but adds a little extra layer of fun on it. If I ever get the time…. :)

  • AC

    Just discovered your site yesterday. I’ll be using these to motivate myself:

    1. Press Start- You haz decided 2 get n shaype… Gud job!
    2. Best laid plans- Workout schedule devised
    3. Wet feet- First day’s activities completed
    4. Deep End- First week’s activities completed
    5. Gold Star- Today’s activities complete
    6. You’ve done well- Week’s activities completed
    7. Than a whore in church- One entire month’s goals met
    8. Where’re my toes?- Starting weight recorded
    9. There they are!- 5lbs lost
    10. Lovely handles- 10lbs lost
    11. Nice profile- 15lbs lost
    12. Sexy Bastard- 25lbs lost
    13. Where’s Waldo?- Starting strength recorded
    14. Kanye- Strength increased 25%
    15. Superhero- Strength up 50%
    16. Godkiller- Strength up 100%
    17. Eater of worlds- Strength up 200%
    18. Man boobs- complete 25 pushups in one day
    19. Chest beef- complete 50 pushups in one day
    20. Push down the world- complete 100 pushups in one day
    21. Keg- Complete 25 crunches in one day
    22. Box o’ booze- complete 50 crunches in one day
    23. Six pack¬- complete 100 crunches in one day
    24. The numbers!¬- 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 sit-ups and pushups
    25. Yertle the Turtle- Walk one mile
    26. Walkabout¬- Walk two miles
    27. Strider- Walk five miles
    28. Lift those heels!- Jog one mile
    29. Con increased- Jog two miles
    30. Watch out, Kevin- Jog five miles

  • George Titswoth

    AC, those are awesome! Thanks! I especially like the crunch track.