Here's how I Mastered the 30-Day Burpee Challenge
They say that Burpees are the single best exercise in the world because they torch calories, and give you a full-body workout. Do most of us hate them? Yes! Do we look forward to doing them? No. But that didn’t stop me from accepting a 30-day Burpee challenge.
My 30-day Burpee Challenge
When I started this challenge, my fitness level was somewhere between beginner and intermediate.
Admittedly the night before I started the challenge, I helped myself to two servings of cake— please, and thank you.
With the holidays fast approaching, I knew there was much work to be done.
So (following the cake), I committed to eating cleaner and not going back for second helpings of anything, not finishing my kid’s tatter tots at restaurants, and doing a decent amount of meal prep each week as not to diminish the results of the challenge.
In addition to my regular regimen of heated power yoga, I committed to a schedule of burpees (read on for my guide). To accomplish my Burpee challenge, I kept a yoga mat at the ready and worked them in right at my desk.
Admittedly my endurance for aerobic exercise was weak at best. I tried to keep my sets in significant enough groups, at first doing all my burpees all together with about 1 minute of rest between each set (in Tabata style) to keep my heart rate going without pushing my lungs so hard that I’d want to quit. When it comes to burpees, I usually want to stop after about 5.
The burpees pushed my lungs to their limit on day one.
While I could have broken them up into smaller sets, I chose to do sets of 10 (easing in with a set of 5 on days that necessitated it). At first, plank days felt like off days, but that feeling was short-lived.
On day eight, I felt like I had hit my stride. Three 30 second planks were challenging but not impossible thanks to my regular yoga routine. Five or six sets of 10 burpees were hard but not impossible. And I was still able to complete them with 1 minute of rest in between.
This week gave the adage “Buck Furpees” a new meaning.
On day 16, the 45-second planks pushed my forearms and my core harder than I had expected. I broke those up and waited for more than a few minutes in between sets since I wasn’t sure I could do a second set if I jumped back in too quickly. But I persevered.
On day 18, my overall sentiment had shifted. The challenge was on. I had to buckle down to up my mental game because my enthusiasm and motivation to complete the challenge had dipped significantly.
I’m not going to lie, the last 10 days of the challenge was incredibly tough.
I wasn’t looking forward to 85 burpees on day 23. I struggled with 45-second planks on day 24, so when I hit 60-second planks on day 28, it took everything I had to do 5.
By the last one, I had invoked the mantras, “it’s okay to feel this way” and “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Neither the planks nor the burpees killed me, and for that, I am thankful.
The bottom line
Can you lose weight doing burpees? Even for a person who has a hard time losing weight, having lost only 5 lbs was still a win in my book.
It’s worth noting, my legs, upper back, and arms are distinctly more toned.
I noticed a significant improvement in lung function. Early on in the challenge, my lungs struggled after completing just two sets of 10 burpees.
By the end, I was completing more than 6-sets in stride, having to push myself for only the last few sets. My arms, legs, and core feel stronger, most notably, in isometric hold positions and when holding challenging yoga poses.
While I am incredibly proud to have completed the challenge, I never enjoyed burpees and still don’t.
Take My 30-Day Burpee Challenge
Day 1: 10 burpees
Day 2: 20 burpees
Day 3: 25 burpees
Day 4: 30-sec plank x 2
Day5: 25 burpees
Day 6: 30 burpees
Day 7: 45 burpees
Day 8: 30-sec plank x 3
Day 9: 45 burpees
Day 10: 50 burpees
Day 11: 55 burpees
Day 12: 30-sec plank x 4
Day 13: 55 burpees
Day 14: 60 burpees
Day 15: 65 burpees
Day 16: 45-sec plank x 2
Day 17: 65 burpees
Day 18: 70 burpees
Day 19: 75 burpees
Day 20: 45-sec plank x 3
Day 21: 75 burpees
Day 22: 80 burpees
Day 23: 85 burpees
Day 24: 45 sec plank x 4
Day 25: 85 burpees
Day 26: 90 burpees
Day 27: 95 burpees
Day 28: 60-sec plank x 5
Day 29: 95 burpees
Day 30: 100 burpees
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