fbpx The New Year 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge: Strength without Strain | Gokhale Method Institute
Sign up for our Positive Stance™ Newsletter

The New Year 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge: Strength without Strain

January, 2023

We’re here to help with your New Year’s fitness resolution. Join us for a FREE 10-day New Year 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge, which is offered as part of the Gokhale Exercise program. It will be fun, safe, and effective, enabling you to build your strength without strain and injury, because, all the while, you are also training for healthy posture! 

The Gokhale Exercise banner showcasing six different program teachers.

Your 10-day challenge consists of three sets of three (3 x 3) popular exercises. Our approach to these well-known exercises is unlikely to be found in any standard gym or fitness program where, unfortunately, poor postural habits go undetected or are even unknowingly promoted. Here the exercises will be taught with our “Gokhale filter” to respect what is natural and healthy for your body.

The New Year 3 x 3 Challenge Exercises:

Exercise #1: Push-ups

Push-ups are a highly functional exercise that will assist you with many daily tasks and a range of activities—getting up from the floor, yoga, weight training, gardening, pushing heavy doors or strollers, etc.

A lot of people, especially women, have difficulty supporting their weight with their arms; their upper body muscles are much weaker than lower body muscles. That was certainly my story.

To this day I haven’t yet done a full push-up though I am getting tantalizingly close thanks to our Gokhale Fitness and Yoga programs. I can now lower myself to the ground with full control, (an excellent eccentric exercise, which you can read more about here), and can push up from part way up. I am hopeful that the 10-day New Year 3 x 3 Challenge will take me all the way! 

Gokhale Method teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates a push-up with poor form.
This push-up is done at a bench rather than on the floor to be easier. However, common problematic habits can still creep in, as Gokhale Fitness teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates.

Gokhale Method teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates a push-up with healthy form.
This push-up shows healthy form.

Exercise #2: Squats

Growing up in India, I was surrounded by people sitting on the floor and squatting frequently throughout the day. These habits contribute to greater mobility in the formation of the hip joint, and flexibility in the tissues surrounding the hip joint. 

People in our culture rarely have this degree of mobility and flexibility in the hips and ankles, and so squat poorly in a way that does damage—rounding the back and pronating the feet. This is more of a collapse downward than a well-supported, well-aligned squatting movement. 

In the 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge, Eric will show you how to do squats in a safe way, to boost the strength of your knees, quads, glutes, thighs, and whole lower body. Done well, deep squats are not only safe—research shows that they can improve the health of knee menisci and cartilage, ligaments, and bones.

Gokhale Method teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates a squat with poor form.
This squat demonstrates poor form, such as internal rotation of the legs. 

Gokhale Method teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates a squat with healthy form.
This squat demonstrates healthy form.

Exercise #3: Deadlifts

Often known as a Romanian deadlift due to its popularity among weightlifters in Eastern Europe, a deadlift strengthens almost everything on the back of your upper and lower body. It is also a good exercise to test and develop hip mobility, and to develop bone density. 

The deadlift utilizes our primal way of bending, which we call hip-hinging. Hip-hinging is instinctively used by our infants, and widely by adults in many parts of the world where traditional patterns of movement have been maintained. Hip-hinging is taught in our Gokhale Method® in-person Foundations and Pop-up courses, and our online Elements course.

Gokhale Method teacher Eric Fernandez demonstrates a deadlift with a kettlebell and poor form.
This deadlift demonstrates common mistakes such as rounding the back.


This deadlift demonstrates healthy form.

Here’s your Challenge:

Day 1: You’ll test how many reps of each exercise you can do in a minute. You’ll take a minute’s rest between each of the three sets, and between each exercise. 

Days 2–4: You will do other exercises that compliment and build up your strength for the 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge.

Day 5: Check-in on your goals.

Days 6–9: Continue with strength training.

Day 10: You’ll go through the challenge again and see in what ways you have improved. Expect an improvement in your strength, in the number of reps you can do, and in your range of motion!

Is this fitness challenge suitable for everyone?

The 3 x 3 Fitness Challenge is designed for practically everyone, with easier options given for those taking steps towards the full exercise, and additional challenges for those who find them relatively easy. 

People are often surprised at how working with healthy posture changes their experience of an exercise—depending on the situation, you may feel stronger and lighter, for example. Or you may discover that you were unknowingly “cheating” and can benefit your body by making different, healthier efforts.

If you have had an injury or surgery recently, or have a particular health issue, we recommend that you seek the advice of your preferred physician or health professional before starting the Challenge. We encourage everybody to work within their capabilities—this is not a no-pain, no-gain program!

I look forward to meeting you as we challenge ourselves to greater fitness, and healthier posture.

If you would like to find out more about how the Gokhale Method can help support you, sign up to join one of our upcoming FREE Online Workshops. . .

Like what you read and want more? Sign up for our newsletter!

Upcoming Workshops

Lower Back Pain Relief with the Gokhale Method

Date and time: Thursday, February 02, 2023
12:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale

Wake up Your Glutes: They Snooze, You Lose

Date and time: Monday, February 06, 2023
4:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale
Introduction to The Gokhale Method and Living Pain-Free
Date and time: Tuesday, February 14, 2023
4:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale
Introduction to The Gokhale Method and Living Pain-Free
Date and time: Tuesday, February 14, 2023
7:00pm

Europe/Ljubljana

Open spots: Open
Language: Slovenian
Teacher: Sabina Blumauer

Fix your feet with the Gokhale Method

Date and time: Thursday, February 16, 2023
12:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale
Introduction to The Gokhale Method and Living Pain-Free
Date and time: Thursday, February 16, 2023
6:00pm

Europe/Berlin

Open spots: Open
Language: German
Teacher: Julie Johnson

Sturdy, Upright, and Tall: Posture for Aging

Date and time: Monday, February 20, 2023
4:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale

Is Sitting at Work a Pain in the Back?

Date and time: Wednesday, February 22, 2023
2:00pm

Pacific Time

Open spots: Open
Language: English
Teacher: Esther Gokhale