One Hundred (is just the beginning)
I hit a major milestone this week. In April of this 2020 (almost six months ago), I decided to undertake a challenge to do progressively more burpees every day for a month until I hit 40 total. I blogged about it in my "burpee a day" post. I did not miss a day and hit my goal, so I created a new challenge: if I can do 40, why not 50? I came up with a new program to hit 50 burpees, 50 push-ups, 50 squats, and several other exercises in the same workout. I accomplished that goal and shared my success in my Happy Independence Day blog post. Today, I'm sharing a new milestone:
💯 I crushed a 100-Burpee Workout
This time, my volume of training was much higher so I did not do the workout every day. I planned for at least one day off per week, but ended up taking extra days. Some days it was due to other activities like intense hikes, and other days because I was feeling run down and needed the extra recovery. My preference for a plan is to build it in a spreadsheet I can easily refer to and check off the days. This is the one I put together to hit my goal.
I was so excited for the final workouts that I didn't check them off on the sheet. I finished the 100-burpee wokout and celebrated on Wednesday. During the last few weeks it was taking me over ten minutes to finish the burpees and about 45 minutes to finish the total workout. I decided to focus on extra effort for my milestone workout and was able to get the burpees done in just under ten minutes and finish the full workout in under 40 minutes.
I had another milestone to celebrate: the burpee workout happened a few days after a marathon overnight hike (seriously, it was 26 miles total) that I will write about next. The workouts help me tremendously with hiking. The volume of push-ups has built my arm strength to the point I am able to do full range one-armed push-ups! The workouts also have an extremely positive impact on management of my Parkinson's Disease (PD) symptoms, as I wrote about in Lucky Number Seven.
A burpee is essentially a controlled fall, and falling is a common cause of Parkinson's Disease complications. You might as well practice being good at it!
The lunges are one-legged and I twist and raise my arm, so they help improve my balance.
The lunges and squats both help me on the trail, especially when scrambling over logs and boulders or climbing stairs.
I always stretch thoroughly which has increased my range of motion and helped alleviate stiffness and cramping I experience due to PD.
The intense 40-minute sessions improved my stamina.
My resting heart rate (RHR) dropped from an average of 52 beats per minute when I started to 47 beats per minute. The more fit I am, the lower my RHR goes.
The workout is a high intensity interval workout, as you can see from the chart of my heart rate while completing 100 burpees and the other exercises. I highlighted the "burpee reps" in the chart. I usually do four sets of 25 with 20 - 30 seconds rest in between so it's as close to "continuous" as I can get. For this workout, I pushed it to 30 reps per "set".
Now I'm working on my next challenge. I am so encouraged by the strength gains and pushing past perceived limitations that I am going to integrate a variety of targets. For this next workout series, my goals include:
Continue doing 100 burpees per workout
Incorporate one-armed push-ups with a goal to hit ten per side
Add headstands with the goal of holding a 30-second handstand
Add pull-ups with a goal to hit 15 strict pull-ups
Add one-legged squats for balance, flexibility, and strength
I don't know what the final plan will look like but I'm always excited to design them. The programs I've built so far take me out of my comfort zone but are doable. Thanks for taking the time to read and celebrate this with me.