Six week +1 CrossFit Challenge: Building healthy habits for long-term wellness

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – The Six Week CrossFit Challenge at CrossFit 15-501 is designed to help participants build healthy habits, achieve fitness goals, and improve their overall well-being. Led by Tim Pedersen, this program focuses on sustainable lifestyle changes through structured workouts, nutritional guidance, and community support. Participants, including yours truly, embark on this journey to not only lose weight but to enhance their quality of life.

The Genesis of the Six Week Challenge

Tim Pedersen, owner of CrossFit 15-501, created this Six Week Challenge program to offer a manageable, time-bound fitness journey that avoids the pitfalls of longer commitments. “I love the six-week opportunity for people because it’s not too long. People can think, ‘If I can just get through six weeks, that would be good,'” Pedersen explains. This duration provides a tangible goal, encouraging participants to stay motivated and see visible results without feeling overwhelmed. Unlike traditional challenges, this program is designed to be manageable yet impactful, focusing on small, consistent changes that lead to significant results over time.

We’re making a slight modification to Tim’s typical program in this situation. We’re adding a “+ 1” component. During this six week period I will be away for multiple days during one of the weeks. During that week I probably won’t be able to make it into a gym. Therefore, during that “+1” week we will focus on what I need to do during that week to not break any of the good habits I have been developing during this challenge.

The Structure of the Challenge

The challenge is built around five core pillars: exercise, nutrition, community support, accountability, and longevity. Each pillar is essential for the holistic improvement of participants’ health and fitness.

1. Exercise: Workouts at CrossFit 15-501 are designed to be scalable for all fitness levels, ensuring everyone can participate effectively. Pedersen emphasizes that “working out without proper nutrition doesn’t yield sustainable results.” Therefore, the challenge incorporates varied and comprehensive fitness routines to build strength, endurance, and flexibility.

2. Nutrition: Proper nutrition is critical to the success of the Six Week +1 Challenge. The program includes tailored nutritional plans that align with participants’ fitness goals. Pedersen provides detailed guidance on healthy eating habits, which are crucial for achieving and maintaining results. “It’s not just about working out; it’s about fueling your body with the right foods,” he notes.

3. Community Support: The community at CrossFit 15-501 plays a significant role in motivating participants. “We have such awesome people, and people are cheering you on,” says Pedersen. The supportive environment helps individuals push through challenging workouts and stay committed to their goals.

4. Accountability: Accountability is a cornerstone of the challenge. Participants are encouraged to pair up with “accountability buddies” who help keep each other on track. This system ensures that everyone has a support network, making it harder to skip workouts or deviate from their nutritional plans.

5. Longevity: Pedersen’s ultimate goal is to help people build habits that lead to long-term health and fitness. “We want to see people get into their 90s, still feeling strong and capable,” he says. The challenge aims to instill habits that participants can maintain beyond the six-week period.

Sharing My Personal Journey

I have decided to take on the Six Week Challenge to regain my pre-pandemic fitness levels and form healthier habits. “I want to get back into the healthy habits that I had.” Like many others, I found my routine disrupted by the pandemic and am seeking a structured program to re-establish my fitness regimen.

I am hoping that my participation adds an authentic narrative to the challenge, providing a relatable perspective for others who may be considering exploring a healthier lifestyle. I hope that sharing my journey highlights the realistic struggles and triumphs of an ordinary individual striving for better health.

Overcoming Challenges and Building Habits

One of the key elements of the Six Week Challenge is its focus on creating sustainable habits. Pedersen emphasizes the importance of small, consistent changes. “It’s about those small degrees of change,” he explains. “If a plane leaving LA is one degree off course, over time it will land far from New York. Similarly, small positive changes in your daily routine can lead to significant long-term benefits.”

The challenge encourages participants to integrate fitness into their daily lives, even when they’re away from the gym. This might include doing air squats, push-ups, or simply taking more frequent breaks to move around during the day. “We want you to just think about moving more throughout the day,” says Pedersen.

The Role of Nutrition in the Challenge

On the nutrition front, the program emphasizes a clean eating approach, focusing on whole foods, balanced macros, and portion control, rather than restrictive diets. Proper nutrition is integral to the Six Week Challenge. Participants receive comprehensive guidance on healthy eating, which is tailored to support their fitness goals. Pedersen provides resources and information on making nutritious choices that complement their workout routines. “Without the right nutrition, the workouts alone won’t yield sustainable results,” he asserts.

Sleep and Recovery: The Underrated Essentials

The program also addresses the often-overlooked aspects of sleep and recovery. Participants learn about optimizing sleep patterns, understanding the importance of deep sleep, and how to integrate recovery practices into their daily routines.

Community and Accountability

The community aspect of CrossFit 15-501 is pivotal in keeping participants motivated. The gym fosters a supportive environment where individuals cheer each other on and celebrate their successes. “Having accountability partners is a big part of the program,” says Pedersen. These partners check in with each other, providing encouragement and support, which helps everyone stay on track.

Measuring Success Beyond the Scale

While weight loss is often a primary goal, the challenge emphasizes other metrics of success as well. Pedersen highlights the importance of looking at various health indicators, such as muscle mass, skeletal mass, and overall body composition. “Weight is just one number,” he explains. “We’re going to be having you do some muscle stuff, and you’re going to be building some weight with the muscle. We don’t want you just to be stuck on the scale.”

The Power of Community and Support

The camaraderie among participants at CrossFit 15-501 is a powerful motivator. The gym fosters an environment where everyone supports each other’s goals. This sense of community helps individuals push through challenging workouts and stay committed to their health and fitness journey. “We love to create accountability partners and accountability buddies,” says Pedersen. “You’ve got someone that you can check in with and just say, ‘Hey, are you going to the gym today? How was the workout today?’ Even if you’re not going in at the same time, you are working with each other and helping each other get through the six weeks.”

Longevity and Lifelong Health

Pedersen’s vision extends beyond the six-week challenge. He aims to instill habits that participants can maintain for life. “The ultimate goal is to help people build habits that lead to long-term health and fitness,” he explains. By focusing on longevity, the program encourages participants to think beyond short-term goals and consider their overall well-being. The program emphasizes the importance of maintaining physical and mental health as we age, ensuring that participants not only look and feel good now but are also setting themselves up for a vibrant, active life in their later years.

Embracing the Challenge

The Six Week Challenge at CrossFit 15-501 is more than just a fitness program; it’s a comprehensive approach to improving health and well-being. Through structured workouts, proper nutrition, community support, and a focus on long-term habits, participants are set up for success. I hope my journey serves as an inspiration for others to take the plunge and commit to their health goals.

As I embark on this journey, I’m hoping to encourage others to make positive changes in their lives. “I’m just a regular guy here living in Chatham County. If I can do this, so can you.” I’m committing my time, money and effort to successfully meeting this challenge. With the support of Tim Pedersen and the CrossFit 15-501 community, I am looking forward to completing the Six Week +1 Challenge on my path to fitness and longevity. For me, the challenge is not just about the six weeks; it’s about the +1, the extra week that represents the lifelong commitment to health and well-being.


Watch on YouTube – The Six Week +1 CrossFit Challenge – 6.7.24

00:06 Introduction to the Six Week Challenge

  • Tim Pedersen created the six week challenge as a manageable opportunity for people to get back into healthy habits.
  • The challenge is designed to provide a light at the end of the tunnel without being too daunting, encouraging personal growth and commitment.

02:41 Six Week +1 CrossFit Challenge focuses on holistic fitness and longevity.

  • Includes fitness, nutrition, sleep, motivation, and longevity pillars.
  • Emphasizes quality of life in later years, aiming for active and healthy aging.

05:21 Helping people get back into fitness routine after Covid

  • Creating accountability partners to help each other in fitness journey
  • Encouraging people to extend gym membership to continue the program

07:50 Committing to forming healthy habits and achieving weight loss goals with guidance

  • The participant is seeking guidance on how to lose weight and improve overall health
  • Willing to commit to forming new habits and working towards a weight loss goal of 10 pounds

10:29 Small degrees of change lead to lasting habits and healthier lifestyles.

  • Gradual changes in habits, like diet and exercise, have a greater chance of success compared to drastic changes.
  • Reading books like ‘Atomic Habits’ and ‘Tiny Habits’ can provide valuable insights on building sustainable habits.

12:50 Consistent small changes lead to significant results.

  • Making just one degree of change can have a significant impact over time and distance.
  • Breaking down goals into tiny habits makes them more achievable and builds consistency.

15:05 Building positive self-talk and mindset through tiny habits.

  • Breaking up push-ups into sets, aiming for 100 a day.
  • Rewarding oneself with positive self-talk and mindset reinforcement.

17:39 Six Week +1 CrossFit Challenge overview

  • Intermittent videos over the next 6+1 weeks with Tim discussing healthy vs. processed foods
  • Weekly news article on Chatham Journal site, focus on measurements to track success beyond weight

19:44 Focus on body measurements and understanding body composition

  • Utilizing a scale with muscle mass and bone mass data
  • Exploring the possibility of using a body scan for detailed information