Posted by on Mar 25, 2013

Arnold's 1% Challenge

Arnold’s 1% Challenge is a partnership between Fitocracy and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was created to help you find your spark by exercising for just 15 minutes (just 1%) of your day. Read the post from Arnold Schwarzenegger that started it all.

Joining the Challenge

If you’re not currently a Fitocracy user, you can sign up for both Fitocracy and Arnold’s 1% Challenge directly.

If you are already a Fitocracy user, you can go to the Arnold’s 1% Challenge Group and join from there.

Earning “Arnold Points” and Prizes

The goal of Arnold’s 1% Challenge is to collect as many “Arnold Points” as possible. A new Arnold’s 1% Challenge starts every month, and participants are encouraged to aim for 15 points every month.

In order to collect an Arnold Point, you must complete one of Arnold’s 1% Challenge routines that day. (Note: You cannot earn more than one Arnold Point per day.)

Earning Badges

If you earn 15 Arnold Points within a month, you will get a special limited-edition Arnold’s 1% Challenge Badge from Fitocracy. There will be a different 1% Badge for each month, so you have plenty of opportunities to earn badges.

Once you obtain three 1% Badges, you’ll obtain an elite Fire Badge from Fitocracy.

Other “Prizes”

Users who earn the most sparks within a month will be eligible to receive a special video or voice mail from Arnold himself.

At the end of the year, users with the most sparks will receive a personally signed copy of Arnold’s book, Total Recall – My Unbelievably True Life Story.

Remember, this challenge was created so that even the complete beginner can participate. While winning Arnold’s 1% Challenge for a month is a fine goal, simply collecting points will lead you on the road to better fitness, health, and finding your spark.

The Routines

You can perform one of two 1% routines to earn sparks – a free weight routine and a bodyweight routine.

Routine A – Free Weight Circuit

Text Instructions:

routine-a-smallFor this routine, you are going to perform the following exercises in order for a total of 30 seconds per exercise:

Romanian Deadlifts
Bent Over Barbell Rows
Standing Barbell Press
Kettlebell Swings

At the end of each exercise you are going to take a 30 second break. Once the entire circuit is complete (you should have just completed Kettlebell Swings) rest for 2 minutes and repeat the entire circuit twice more.

Routine B – Bodyweight Circuit

Text Instructions:

routine-b-smallFor this routine, you are going to perform the following exercises in order with the following repetition counts or time intervals:

Bodyweight Squat – 8-10 reps
Push Up (or knee push ups) – 5-8 reps
Plank – Stop at 15 seconds (if you cannot hit 15 seconds, just plank as long as you can)
Jumping Jacks – 15 reps
Reverse Lunges – 6 reps per leg
Glute Bridges – 10 reps

At the end of each exercise you are going to take a 30 second break. Once the entire circuit is complete (you should have just completed Kettlebell Swings) rest for 2 minutes and repeat the entire circuit twice more.

Logging your Workout

The first step to logging your workouts is selecting the Spark routine that you performed. You can find the two 1% Challenge routines either through your routines list or activity search.

Your Routines List
After you join the 1% Challenge, both Spark routines (bodyweight and free weight) should be available in your list of routines. Simply select the 1% Circuit that you performed.


Activity Search
Alternatively, you can search for the term “Arnold” in the activities search box under the “Track” tab. You’ll find either routine.


Entering Your Workout Details

Once you have selected a 1% Challenge routine, you’ll be asked to enter some information about your workout. You may be asked for an exercise’s weight, reps, or total time.

Fill these out to the best of your ability. If you cannot remember, just make an educated guess and try to record more carefully next time.

After you finish entering all of your numbers, you are finished! Hit “save workout” and enjoy your sparks. Most importantly, you’re just a little bit closer to finding your spark and leveling up in life.


I can’t do one of the exercises due to an injury. (flexibility issues, etc.) Can I still get points?

Of course! The point of the challenge is to get participants to find their spark. Substitute the exercise that you cannot do with the closest thing, or drop it altogether. As long as you are trying your best, then you’ve captured the “ethos” of the challenge and can earn an Arnold Point.

Is there a way to log reps on the free weight circuit?

Unfortunately not. You may want to add reps in the “notes” feel, but we decided not to add the reps field as we felt that some users would be overwhelmed by counting both time and reps.

If you are trying to track progress, we recommended that you stick to a cadence (e.g. 1 second up, 2 seconds down) so that each workout will contain roughly the same number of reps.

It seems like no matter what I do, I earn the same amount of “points.” Why is that? Can I earn more points for one of the routines?

The main goal of performing a 1% Challenge routine is to earn Arnold Points, not Fitocracy points. We want to encourage participation regardless of your ability, so we made it so that people of every level will earn the same amount of points. If you want to earn more Fitocracy points, we suggest that you try one of our programs that focus more on progression, such as Starting Strength or our Guide to Running.

How do I know if I earned a spark today?

Go to Arnold’s 1% Challenge Group and click on “Arnold’s 1% Challenges” on the left hand side. The leaderboard will appear on the right side. Scroll down until you find yourself (you should be highlighted) and the number of sparks that you have.

There have only been 10 days in the challenge, but some people have 11 Arnold Points!

Those people are in time zones that are ahead of yours. Don’t worry, everyone gets the chance to earn the same number of Arnold Points.

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