“Sit Ups For Pups” – A free Challenge to Raise Awareness for Shelter Dogs – is Huge Global Success

The “Sit Ups For Pups” mission was to raise awareness that an estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized annually in the US due to shelter overpopulation.

ATLANTA (April 7, 2020) – Barbells For Bullies, a 501c3 non-profit that hosts fitness competitions around the U.S., announced an initiative with ABMAT in late February that ran the entire month of March. Dubbed “Sit Ups For Pups” the challenge was an open call to everyone, athletes and non-athletes alike, with the goal of accumulating 1.2 million sit ups as a community. The purpose?

 To raise awareness to a sobering statistic: an estimated 1.2 million dogs are euthanized annually in the US due to shelter overpopulation; with at least half of them being “pit bull type” dogs.

“When we started this challenge, I had no idea we’d be here a month later,” Barbells For Bullies’ founder, Alexander Castiglione commented. “We nearly doubled our goal, accumulating 2.3 million plus reps. That’s remarkable. I especially want to thank all the gym owners that, despite the pandemic raging across the globe, created a community that empowered their members to continue this challenge from lockdown.”

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com·mu·ni·ty /kəˈmyo͞onədē/ noun 1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. 2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Even with 90% of the gyms in the US closed, and a pandemic raging it’s way across the world; you all answered the call. You exemplified our mission of fostering a fit and socially conscientious community that rallies around rescue. You walked around with sore abs for 31 days, and did sit ups wherever you could. We’re absolutely floored by your dedication and willingness to join us to raise awareness, and save as many rescues as possible. In short, you have all embodied the very definition of community. Not only did we hit our goal, we nearly doubled it. You’re all savages, in the most endearing sense of the word, and we’re honored you stand (and sit up) with us. We love you all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you 🙏 #barbellsforbullies #situpsforpups #asmanyrescuesaspossible #crossfit #fitness #abmat #nonprofit #rescue #501c3 #adopt #endbsl #pitbulladvocate #gymdog #crossfitdog #rescue #foster #adoptdontshop

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“You all emerged as leaders and I saw you logging your reps from home, including sit ups in your home WODs, and doing whatever you could, wherever you could.”

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Make sure you’re logging your reps, everyone! We’re so absolutely floored by everyone’s engagement and energy with this challenge; accumulate 1.2 million sit ups as a community. While the 1.2 million number has a somber origin, we’re so, so very thankful for all of you – getting after it, quarantine or no quarantine. 🙏🙏🙏🙏 thank you so much for your support and helping us further our mission of creating a fit community that rallies around rescue. #barbellsforbullies #situpsforpups #asmanyrescuesaspossible #bullybreed #endbsl #rescue #adopt #foster #advocate #educate #abmat #crossfit #fitness #situps #abs #rescuedog #gymdog #crossfitdog #rescuedismyfavoritebreed

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The challenge was an open call to the community, and after 31 days, over 2600 athletes participated across 66+ gyms, with over 100 people from their homes with no affiliation, accumulating over 2,325,000 sit ups. There was no prize money, only a small incentive that the top gym and top three male and female athletes would receive custom, can’t-buy them-anywhere ABMATs; however, many athletes put up over 1000 reps a day!

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We hope you get as pumped as us when you watch this. We’re still in awe of how remarkable our community is, and how you all rallied and met the challenge – nay, CRUSHED the challenge to hit 1.2 million sit ups to raise awareness for the 1.2 million pups that don’t make it out of the shelter every year. 2600+ strong, and still raging on despite gym closures – getting after it on the floor of your living room, at work, garage or wherever you could. THANK YOU to the over 65 gyms that led their members and kept them motivated. TAG YOURSELVES PLEASE! You all deserve a round of applause 👏. Now, let’s use this quarantine to stay safe, healthy, and positive. Big thank you to @abmat for their partnership, and seriously, all of you rock. -Alex & Lindsay, @barbellsforbullies #barbellsforbullies #situpsforpups #asmanyrescuesaspossible #crossfit #community #fitness #rescue #adopt #advocate #educate #wagsandweights #endbsl #gymdog #crossfitdog #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #foster #abmat #calisthenics #abs #situps

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“I can’t even begin to express how impressed I am with all of you, and wanted to thank you all, truly, on behalf of Barbells For Bullies (as small as we are) and on behalf of the millions of animals that need our help.”

Our emails and socials were flooded with heartfelt stories, dedications, and even a couple adoption stories. We can make this place better than we found it, we can leverage fitness to raise awareness, and we can achieve our mission of fostering a fit community that helps As Many Rescues As Possible. And we couldn’t have done it without you…all of you,” Castiglione remarked. Barbells For Bullies will continue this challenge next year, and continue to come up with novel ways to leverage fitness to raise awareness for social causes and animal rescue. Further information and stats are available by clicking HERE. Search #situpsforpups on Instagram to see athletes of all stripes working to help As Many Rescues As Possible.

Barbells For Bullies® is a 100% volunteer run 501(c)3 non-profit that hosts CrossFit, weightlifting, strongman, and powerlifting events all over the US, and donates all net proceeds from these events to help local animal rescues and advocacy groups. Founded by a husband and wife with a bunch of rescue pups, Barbells for Bullies is on a mission to help As Many Rescues As Possible®.

Instagram: @barbellsforbullies