An Instagram post made me undertake the fitness challenge I will talk about today. My friend Julie who is a paddleboard champion posted that she is going to make 50 burpees every day for the next 30 days. She came up with this idea after she got inspired by one runner who experienced a great improvement after completing the same challenge. Julie wrote this post on Instagram, looking for candidates who will do the same challenge, and me unconsciously tagged myself and my running partner in her comments. Theoretically we have started with the challenge the next day. Believe it or not, in the next 30 days we were doing 50 burpees every single day. We even succeeded recruiting some other volunteers who join us as well. This challenge has its own key takeaways that must be mentioned:
The hardest part of the challenge is at the beginning
To be honest, burpees are not easy at all, especially if you start doing 50 burpees at once. Must say that during all those 30 days of the challenge I was more focused how I am going to perform those burpees in terms of my psyche, rather than actually doing them. There always be an excuse for not doing them, such as it is too hot, I am too tired, or too busy, or too hungry, or too full, or I just did my hair done so I do not tend to ruin the same while sweating. Once I did the first 10 burpees done I start thinking that I need to go through the same thing the next day too and immediately started to form a list of excuses why I won’t be able to do the same workout tomorrow. If you decide to undertake this challenge it is very important not to create a list of excuses why you would not be able to perform those 50 burpees today. Forget on the list of excuses, pull your hair back, and start hitting the desk.
Momentum is everything
The interesting part here is that we are not talking about the physical momentum, but about the metaphorical momentum that you need to practise every day. Delaying my exercises for the next day took me entire three days to convince myself that if I did not start now, at the moment with the burpees, I will never perform them. Once I have started with the exercises, must say that the next days were a little easier for me. Believe it or not, once I have started I went 11 days exercising in a row until I went camping. I was driving for 7 hours and that driving exhausted me so much so I have decided to skip the burpees that day. After that pause, I did only 50 burpees in 7 days, unfortunately. After the break of my 11-days momentum and spending 6 days without making even a single burpee, made me feel more energized. The good news is that once I got back on the track, at the end of my challenge I add 6 extra days as a complement for those 6 days when I went back from camping and did not practise at all.
I realized that the burpees are the most effective exercise on Earth
Before undertaking this challenge, I have run on two marathons and a number of triathlons. I was also teaching Mega-former classes twice a week and each class was including burpees. When I have started with this challenge which was consisted only of isolated burpees I could not express the benefit that each muscle of my body got. During the first week of the challenge, my entire body got sored and I was sweating a lot while performing the burpees, but honestly I felt so much in love with them so that everything I went through was worth it.
You need to see my arms
I have decided to do a push-up at the bottom of every burpee. It turned out that 50 push-ups are a lot on its own, but in a combination with other elements of a burpee sounds terrific. To be honest, my arms turned so sore during the first week of the challenge, so I was hoping that that soreness will disappear during the second week, but the same lasted into that week too. At the end of the challenge my arms looked more toned compared with day one. The photo that you may see is from the 20th day of the challenge. When I saw it I blamed it the photographer that photo-shopped someone else’s arms on my body, because I could not believe what I was looking at. If you tend to increase the muscle tone in your arms, then undertaking this challenge is the right thing for you. The burpees will tone your arm muscles to a level of not recognizing them.
Maintaining good form really helps
I do not claim that this challenge turned my body into a perfect one. It is good that the same taught me two tricks that formed my body into a slightly perfect one. The first trick is related with your elbows. Every time when you are turning your body into a plank position be sure that you are avoiding locking out your elbows. Instead of locking out your elbows be sure that you keep your arms completely engaged when you are on your half way into performing a push up. At that point your toes will hit the ground behind you. The second trick is regarding engaging the abs while you are performing the squat-thrust component. While engaging the abs you need to be more intentional, because only as that you will protect your lower back and make the whole movement more controlled and energized. If you remember that I have mentioned to you about how my arms and entire body were sore for an entire week, if you took these two tricks that I have shared with you, you will be thankful to me later.
Most of the people when will hear that these challenge includes 50 burpees per day get shocked immediately. I said the same when I was starting with the challenge too. Thus I set a stopwatch to count how many minutes will take me to do these 50 burpees daily. Believe it or not, 8 minutes was the number. The fastest set that I have done during the challenge was five-and-a-half minutes. When started with the challenge I have made up a plan that I will broke down these 50 burpees into 5 sets of 10 repetitions. Between every set I was making a pause less than a minute. When I was not in the mood and was not motivated enough those burpees along with the pauses took me not more than 10 minutes. So, no matter how busy is your day I bet you may find ten minutes to practise and undertake this challenge.
Everything started with my friend Julie. She included me into this challenge, and later I included my running partner into it. He included other people and we formed a chain of people who are now undertaking the same challenge. Several of these people got so addicted into the challenge, so that they are sharing videos in our Instagram stories. Another advantage is that I leveraged IRL accountability and started doing the burpees after my yoga class or short run.
Honestly, practising 50 burpees daily is both harder and easier than I was expecting. I am still surprised how quickly I am performing these burpees daily and how in a period of 30 days I got an efficient body look. I also got surprised how easily got addicted into this challenge. It is amazing how the mental workout of learning just influenced my mind, motivating me to end the month with 1500 burpees performed. That is the greatest thing that I love regarding challenges: you never know how they are going to end. Nowadays I am not sure what my next challenge will be, but I bet you that there will be more challenges of this type in near future.