Completed A 100 Day Burpee Challenge

"I have incredible self-discipline. But see, I think it’s obviously a form of stupidity."
John Malkovich

Since I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over two years, I have heard about people doing the “100 Day Burpee Challenge”, but I had not met anyone that had done it before.  In January, I had the bright idea of trying it.  So, on
February 1st, J and I started this journey.

The 100 Day Burpee Challenge starts with one burpee on day one, two burpees on day two, three burpees on day three, and on and on until day 100.  The idea is to start from zero and gradually work up to a significant number of burpees because let’s face it: burpees are not fun.

My hope was that I would hate them less and find them a little easier to do by the end.

This was the burpee movement standard I tried to adhere to:
1. Start with hands on the ground in front of your feet. Keep your back straight.
2. Kick feet out behind you into the top of the push-up portion of the burpee. Your body should be straight and tight in a flat plank.
3. Lower your body into the lowest part of a push-up. Your chest and thighs should ultimately touch the ground.
4. Push up into the top of the push-up position again.
5. Jump your feet up to your hands into your starting position.
6. Jump into the air and clap your hands overhead so that your ear is exposed in front of your arms. Your feet should leave the ground.

These are the rules to the Challenge that we followed as well:
1. Use Burgener's burpee standards for form (see above)
2. You can complete each day's burpees all at once, or broken up and done at different times throughout the day
3. If for some reason you miss a day, you have to make up all the missed burpees the following day
4. If you don't start the challenge with us today, you can "buy-in"at any time by doing ALL the missed day's burpees on your first day
5. Any burpees you complete during your regular workout can count towards that day’s Challenge burpees, if you want them to.

I never missed a day, but there were some days when I was doing burpees in the middle of the night (which was not fun).

A hundred days is not an insignificant amount of time.  The first month was not too bad.  Here are a few of the notable days:

  • -March 23 (Day 51): I wore a 30 pound weighted vest all day this day.  Those were some fun burpees!
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  • -April 28 (Day 87): I got sick this week and the burpees I did, especially today when I’d spent all day in bed, felt awful.
  • -April 30 (Day 89): I wore a playable piano key neck tie.  Whenever I hit the ground, the tie made a sound.

  • -May 11 (Day 100): The sweet day I did my final burpees of the Challenge.

By the end of the 100 Day Burpee Challange, J and I had done a total of 5,050 burpees (1+2+3+...99+100=5,050!).  The thing that made it really brutal was that we didn’t reach the halfway point as far as number of burpees until day 72.  On day 50, we’d only done 1275 (that’s just 25%).

Do I hate burpees less?  I still hate burpees, but I find them a little more bearable now. 

Did it improve my fitness?  I found that my bench press improved due to all the work the burpees did on my shoulders.  Plus, I think my ability to
do a handstand pushup was a direct result of doing all these burpees.

The interesting thing about the 100 Day Burpee Challenge is that physically it gets more difficult as you get closer to the end, but mentally, there is a point where it becomes easier (somewhere in the 80s).  I think this is the benefit of discipline.  Once you’ve pushed yourself to get through something small on a daily basis, who knows what you could be capable of 100 days from now?

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