About 20,000 Snap Fitness members took part earlier this year in the Chanhassen, MN-based company’s $10,000 Lose Weight, Feel Great Challenge.

The participants lost a combined 57,395 pounds in a two-month period, surpassing last year’s challenge by almost 15,000 pounds. Last year’s challenge attracted almost 12,000 members.

Sonja Lewis, this year’s first-place winner, lost 33 percent of her body weight and took home $5,000. The rest of the $5,000 was divided among the other nine winners. This year’s challenge included participation from 827 Snap Fitness clubs nationwide.

“In our industry as a whole, you’re always trying to find ways to inspire members to take their exercise experience to the next level or their goals to the next level,” Snap Fitness CEO Peter Taunton tells Club Industry. “We’ve always found that the best way to do that is fitness challenges.”

Participants in the Snap Fitness challenge could track their progress and compare it to other participants in their club, city and nationwide, Taunton says.

“The life-changing experience that one of these fitness challenges has—not only for the winner but for so many of these people—they realize how much better they feel,” Taunton says. “By eating cleaner and being a little more cognizant of what they put in their mouth, they suddenly have more energy, they feel better about themselves. There are a lot of ancillary benefits that come with this.”

Taunton says he hopes future weight-loss challenges can attract national corporate partnerships.

“Any chain of any size, if you’re not doing fitness challenges for your members, you’re just not in the game,” Taunton says.