This serious mental and physical fitness goal is challenging. The typical time to finish may be 1 to 4 years. For one person to accomplish the Challenge in 1 year, they would need to lift over 164,000 each day. (I am personally testing this goal and it seems achievable, see my Ship Shape Award "Mailman" record.)

You may register as an individual or as a two-person team. For instance, a team could be two people going through physical rehab, a male-female team or 2 buddies who may wish to use the Challenge to achieve shared physical fitness goals. If entering as a team, enter your nickname with an "&" such as "Mork & Mindy" with a single two-person picture, then pick a lead person for any private personal information entered such as the email address to be used and select "2-Person Team Lift" designation when registering. When reporting your lifting progress, enter your combined lifting in the single data entry field.

Enter at your own risk. Consult your doctor before & while participating.

Measuring Foot Pounds Lifted

Progress reporting is done using the honor system.

A sample Excel spreadsheet is available here for download that may help in recording your daily lifting and progress in completing the Ship Shape Award challenge.

Foot pounds lifted = ((weight * vertical lift distance in inches)/12) * number of reps per set * number of sets

  • Free Weights - measure your vertical lift distance as the distance between the dumbbell or bar at the beginning of the rep and at the end of the rep.
  • Weight machines - measure your vertical lift distance as the distance between the top of the wight stack at the beginning of the rep and at the end of the rep. With many machines your legs or arms may move much farther than the weight stack so we cannot use the distance of the body motion.
  • Floor exercises - we have only made an allowance for push-ups. Do a pushup with your hands on a floor scale to measure the weight effort. Then measure/estimate the distance between your chest at the beginning of the exercise and the floor to determine your vertical lift distance.
  • Cardio exercises - we may in the future be able to create an acceptable formula for converting calories from cardio into foot pounds but do not have such a formula at this time. So no foot-pound credit is being calculated for cardio exercises yet.


Personal Observations That May Be Helpful


  • Moderate weight levels combined with high reps works better than high weights with fewer reps. Low weight levels with very high reps would just take to long to complete but may work for some people.
  • Circuit training works well. If there is a tough exercise in your circuit try to get an extra one done early in your daily routine and by having one extra done early it sort of "pulls" you through the routine to complete each circuit.
  • Alternate between different muscle groups in your circuit so as not to overly exhaust any one muscle group to soon. For instance do shoulders, then back, then legs, then chest, then abdominals, then triceps, etc. and then repeat the circuit. Do the math to calculate how many circuits are needed to meet your daily goal. Pace yourself, there is no hard stop date.
  • If you overly exhaust your muscles you may need to take 1-2 days off to recuperate.
  • Have Fun.


Experiment to discover the program that works for you and be sure to consult with your physician prior to and during the challenge.