BIGGEST WINNER SFGH Staff Wellness Challenge


SFGH’s staff compete each week to win points and prizes in individual and team fitness and nutrition challenges. It’s an easy way to improve your health, meet new people, and have fun! The group will meet weekly for 8 weeks with two personal trainers and a nutritionist. All levels are encouraged. FREE for UCSF employees. Space is limited so sign up fast! [ilink url=”″ style=”tick”]Click here to sign up![/ilink]

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This program combines fitness challenges and nutrition education to promote healthy habits.  Workouts are tailored to meet the group’s needs and goals. All employees are encouraged to participate in this (free) 8-week program.

The goal is not about losing weight, but making healthy changes/forming healthy habits. No one is ‘eliminated’ for not losing enough weight. In fact, no one is eliminated at all, as long as they show up and participate.

Our job is to keep them motivated to exercise and eat healthier through this 8-week program – and beyond – with fitness instruction and nutrition education and encouragement.  Points are awarded for winning things like fitness challenges and answering the nutrition quizzes correctly, and handing in food logs.[/box]

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How it works

Employees sign up through a link to an on-line survey where we ask a few basic questions on their current exercise habits, daily energy and stress levels and how they rate their own health.  A follow up survey is given at the end of the eight weeks to assess progress and change.

Week one of the eight week program is spent explaining the program (see below), signing the waiver and a photo release.  Each person receives a punch card.  Every time they win a challenge, hand in a food log, bring in a healthy recipe or attend one of our walking programs they receive a point (a punch in their card).  When the card is full we give them another card.  They are responsible for keeping their cards.  Whoever has the most points at the end of the eight weeks is the biggest winner!

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We meet once a week for an hour. We begin the session at 5:15pm.  Participants hand in their food logs and healthy recipes (for one point each).  Then we start with a short nutrition lecture on a specific topic (fiber, healthy fats, protein, sugar, etc.).  Participants can also use this time to stretch.  They will then have to answer a one question quiz (for one point).  The nutrition portion is only 15 minutes.  Then we start the Fitness challenges.

Fitness Format:
Each week we focus on something different and the exercises and the challenges correlate to the area of focus.  They compete in two challenges (one individual challenge and one team challenge).  The winners of the two challenges receive a point.  We have them form into new teams each week to keep it fair.

– Week 1:  Balance
– Week 2:  Strength
– Week 3:  Endurance
– Week 4:  Combination of Balance, Strength and Endurance (they do an obstacle course).

For Weeks 5, 6, 7, and 8:  We repeat the cycle but add on new exercises each week and have more difficult challenges.

Before we leave each week the trainers give a homework assignment (usually an exercise that will help them win the next weeks’ challenge, such as practicing planks).  A homework assignment is also given for nutrition, such as “try a new bean” or “eat a new green vegetable”- or something that was talked about in the lecture that day.

Bonus points are awarded for showing up for the walking program. (1 point each time they attend the noon walking program). This is a great way to earn extra points and encourage exercise.

At the end of the program we have an Awards Dinner where we announce the Biggest Winner.  Prizes are given.

Each person is given a Tool Kit, which has the nutrition notes from each lecture, a compilation of healthy recipes (brought in by them), and a list of exercises they can do on their own.

A survey is sent out at the end of the eight weeks to assess any changes to their exercise habits, nutrition habits, energy, and stress levels.


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Here’s what two of the past contestants had to say about the program: 

“It was organized and clear and I absolutely learned a lot about eating a more healthy diet. The trainers’ program was so good. They allowed us to work our way up to more difficult exercises as the weeks progressed. They gave us great instruction about how to modify an exercise if it was uncomfortable. We participated in individual as well as group exercises and all became friends. The program was so much fun AND educational. What a combination!”

“I just want to thank UCSF very much for this program. Not only did I have a lot of fun but I feel the program encouraged me to take ownership of my own health and fitness and empowered me to begin doing so. This class didn’t just teach me my eating habits were poor but taught me how to change them in realistic ways. I also learned great exercises that I can do both at home and at the gym.”


[ilink url=”″ style=”tick”]Click here to sign up![/ilink]

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