The Fit Fifty – 50 Fitness Challenges
No.1 1000 Burpees
Why would you want to do that? The question is how fit are you? How resilient are you? You will want to quit during this one. It’s got that mind-numbing monotony to it. Enter a world of apathy around rep number 400. A lot done but more to do. It in a way is a bit like a marathon, if the dude in ancient Greece had done a thousand burpees to deliver the news instead of a 26 mile run we would all be putting a thousand burpees on the fitness bucket list.
Why would you want to do that? How resilient are you? You will want to quit during this one. It’s got that mind-numbing monotony to it. Enter a world of apathy around rep number 400. A lot done but more to do. Can you overcome the urge to quit?
It in a way is a bit like a marathon, if the dude in ancient Greece had done a thousand burpees to deliver the news instead of a 26 mile run we would all be putting a thousand burpees on the fitness bucket list. That wouldn’t make any sense, but it felt like an Olympic effort when I did it.
A few ways to approach it including some challenges, can you keep up 10 a minute pace, EMOM it with a 10-12 burpees on the minute. Maintaining such a pace will get you to your goal in around an hour and a half. That would be very impressive. The standard I used was the CrossFit chest to floor standard. I managed to complete it which was my target.
Other burpee related challenges include how fast can you do 100? Can you do dumbbell burpees, 100 of those for time with a 30lb weight in each hand is a killer. Any challenge with burpees can become very mentally tough, set your challenge and give it a shot.
My Experience – My time was an unimpressive 3 hours 16 minutes of hell, I didn’t train for it, which was a mistake. Having not completed many burpees in training meant my technique was slightly off, meaning I had some imbalance and discomfort throughout. I really wanted to give up after around 350, it seemed like the metaphorical finish line was too far away. It was a very tough and sweaty slog, but it was completed. I had some pains and cramps towards the end, especially in my hip flexors and shoulders.
Fun Fact – depending on your time, your weight and your fitness levels this challenge could burn between 800 and 3000 calories.
Elite Challenge – 1000 in under 1 Hour
Alternate Test – 100 burpees consecutively without stopping
Fit Fifty Challenge – Completing 1000 burpees
No.2 The Yoga Jump Through
For those who don’t do yoga this one will be a mystery. For those who do practice some yoga this one is a massive challenge (that is me). For those who have mastered yoga, congratulations this may be easy for you now, but I am sure it was a journey to get to this point.
Yoga requires disciplined practice, those who get to a level of mastery are incredible athletes and usually have acquired mental fortitude along the way. The jump through requires the yogi to transfer their body from downward dog position to seated position without the hands leaving the ground and feet not touching the ground.
The weight to taken on the hands as you ‘jump through your arms’. You need to move into a tucked handstand position before crossing your legs and transferring the torso and legs through the arms.
It takes upper body strength, core control, flexibility and technique to achieve this move. It is not an easily acquired skill. The best yogis preform this with slow movement, showing ultimate body control.
My Experience – for me the main problem is that my flexibility, strength and control all suck. I also feel I can’t fit through that gap between my arms and my handstand technique isn’t solid enough. In short, I can’t do this yet. Yoga is not a strength of mine but no matter what your level it is hugely beneficial for body and mind. Try a yoga class and maybe you can see how difficult this technique and many yoga moves can be.
Fun Fact – Tao Porchon-Lynch is an incredible woman, not enough space here to write all her achievements (well there is but just go to her Wikipedia its easier for everyone – linked below). She is widely recognized as the oldest yoga teacher in the world at 101 years of age. She has a wonderful quote ‘I wake up in the morning and I know it is going to be the best day of my life.’
Elite Challenge – Jump through with full handstand and straight legs throughout
Alternate Test – Complete a full yoga class
Fit Fifty Challenge – Preform a complete jump through
No.3 Run 10km – Comfortably
Running will set you free, it is the most basic human fitness trait, make it comfortable to run this distance.
Why comfortable? When you become fit enough to cover this distance it opens the world up to the running experience, you can use it to immerse in your local nature, feel the wind in your hair, clearing your mind, see the world and enjoying the feeling. You can use it when you travel, run around a city or beach area, especially early in the morning is a joy and privilege you should try.
I distinctly remember running around London and Koh Tao (Thailand). They were both so different in temperature and feel but both were amazingly beautiful. London had the history and buildings with a bite in the air that would catch your throat whereas Koh Tao had the nature with palm trees, the sounds of animals and a stifling humidity. You get a sense of freedom with your fitness if you can do this.
You can run this distance are for time and for experience. For time is as fast as I can, I do this so my experience run is comfortable. For a measure of fitness to aim for in 10km is maybe less than 50 minutes. In my opinion it is far more important that you enjoy the experience, hopefully running doesn’t hurt for you, if it does start much shorter and see can you walk/run shorter distances.
Walking can open up the world in just the same way. So next time you travel or you are just looking for something to do on a Saturday morning, throw on a pair of running shoes, get some steps in and be free.
Elite Challenge – Run 10km in under 40 minutes
Alternate Test – complete 10km during your next trip, walking or running
Fit Fifty Challenge – Completing 10km in under 50 minutes
No.4 Climb a Rope
If your grip, upper back and forearm strength needs a bit of work this is the exercise for you. It feels like it is a real-life skill although it may not necessarily be. Someday somewhere you will have to climb a long rope to get out of the hostage situation you are in or to save some drowning kittens. Who knows?
Whatever its applications it has skill and strength to it. Techniques with and without using legs and slightly different styles it is no easy feat to climb a rope. Often used in CrossFit workouts to test and maybe exhaust the cross fitters grip strength.
Watch out for the rope burns on the way down, it is important to learn a descending technique almost as much as an ascending technique. If you slide down the rope you will have the sore hands to prove it, it is not a fireman’s pole.
If you are using your feet when climbing it is important to cover your ankles as once again this an area than can get burnt especially after multiple climbs. While not that exciting in the scheme of things, it requires the strength and technique needed to be entered on this list.
Fun facts – rope climbing used to be a gymnastic event at the Olympics until 1932 and the world record for an 8 meter vertical rope climb is currently 4.87 seconds by Ales Novak from the Czech Republic.
Elite Challenge – legless rope climb
Alternate Test – vertical kilometer, climb 1km in a day with multiple rope climbs
Fit Fifty Challenge – climb a rope using any technique
MORE TO COME, Stay Tuned 🙂