Social media is full of fitness challenges with squats, lunges and planks to name a few. I struggle to endorse many of these as they are huge repetitions of one very specific movement which for some could cause very real muscular imbalances. So when the Burpee challenge popped up I smiled.
A burpee (for those of you who don’t know) is a full body movement which involves a combination of being upright, prone, using arms. legs and core with a jump at the end. In other words it is hard work and delivers elements of cardio, strength and flexibility. The burpee is universally hated as it will have you huffing and puffing like nothing else.
So 1st May arrived and with it my declared intention to complete 30 burpees for the next 15 days. The relief that I felt on day 15 cannot be underestimated! It certainly didn’t go quite as I would have predicted. I had thought that at some point there would be an epiphany and that 30 burpees would become easy – routine almost. No such luck. I can honestly say that the only change on a day to day basis was which degree of awful best described the burpees. At no point did I do them with ease. BUT…..and this is where it gets more interesting.
I have done 450 burpees – WOW! I did every single one with good form and that became my focus. Since they were so hard I switched my concentration to seeking burpee perfection. So for each one I did a full squat going down, a fully extended plank, knees bent on the squat thrust back in and a fully upright jump at the end. They may have been slow but they were perfect.
So what if any was the benefit?
Firstly I feel a very large dose of achievement. That was hard work but at no point did I cheat or skip the burpees. Even on the day when I did bootcamp and then ran before realising I still had 30 burpees to do, I still did them. My knees have been less creaky than usual and my hamstring niggle has eased. I have not felt guilty on the days where I can’t fit in my own training because I have at least done my 30 burpees. Add to that the fact that when I have run my breathing has felt better and I have settled into my stride more quickly than usual.
So on balance I am glad that I did the Burpee Challenge and I do thing that it has given me some strength and cardio gains. The big win for me is the mental boost that it has given me. I stuck at it and powered through. I found a way to distract myself and keep going. A big bonus was that my youngest daughter joined the challenge and threw herself at it too. Seeing her commit and exercise more was a valuable aside to gain. There were also the amazing ‘fit4evermore girls’ who embraced the challenge and posted almost daily with their comments. I love that they made the commitment despite an almost universal aversion to burpees. It is good to challenge yourself and instead of telling yourself that ‘no it isn’t for me’ or that you couldn’t do it, maybe you should give it a go.
You will be excited to hear that June will see a new challenge – this time we are skipping (with or without a rope/indoors or outdoors). I will put full details on the June newsletter and on the fit4evermore Facebook page so make sure you have signed up to receive my blog and liked the FB page to see it.
For those of you who are feeling inspired and can’t wait until then to get started, why not take a look at my FitPack? For only £9.99 you get 5 sessions to complete at home the longest taking 40 minutes including your warm up and cool down. You can find out more by following this link.
Please add your comments and share with anyone that you think would find this useful.