Progress The Ultimate Goal: Debriefing January

Progress The Ultimate Goal

Progress The Ultimate Goal: Debriefing January

Here was the daily itenary for the January 2020 Physical Challenge:

  • 100 Burpees
  • 50 Pull Ups
  • 3.5 mile run
  • 2 minutes of sit ups
  • 2 minute plank
  • ALL showers finish cold
  • At least 20 minutes of breath work or meditation

#1 Lesson:  We underestimate ourselves daily

Here are the final numbers:

  • 3134 Burpees
  • 1567 Pull ups
  • 111.1 miles ran
  • 1361 Sit ups
  • 66 minutes in the plank position
  • All showers finished cold but no real improvement in cold tolerance.
  • 930 minutes of meditation and breathwork

So when I say we underestimate ourselves daily, here’s what I mean.  My body is sore, my forearms are trashed, my feet hurt, I’ve got some tendonitis on the top of my right foot and yet I’m 100% convinced that I pushed my limits but never really got to what David Goggins refers to as The 40% Rule.

I finished the month with a lot left in the tank.  I underestimated what I am capable of while also exposing all sorts of leaks in my mobility.

What I need to fix:

  1. Ankle and hip mobility:  When doing burpees off the floor, upon returning to the squat position after the push up, my feet duck out which compromises my knees, so I elevate my hands on push up bars or kettlebells to give me the clearance to land with my feet point forward not tweek outwards.
  2. Cold Tolerance:  I’ll take full responsibility for this.  I can do better.  Will continue to work on this in February.
  3. Very good at pushing.  Need to get better at pulling.  The tendonitis in both forearms show that.  There were days in the middle there that I thought my forearms were going to literally explode.  LOL.

The WTH Effect:

On the last day of the month you’d expect I’d be dragging ass and barely getting through but here’s how and why I know I had more in me, I took a serving of BeetElite an hour before my run and then ran my BEST pace since June of last year.  And then later that night, I time PR’ed on my final Burpees and Pull Up session.  Again, on the last day.  So, clearly there was improvement and here’s what I think worked well in my favor:

Load and volume variations. 

  • Since we’re doing a minimum of 100 Burpees and 50 pull ups a day, I knew that balls out every day would be a recipe for injury.  So, I would vary the intensity by playing with the work to rest ratio.  Sometimes, it would be 1:1, other 1:2 or sometimes 2:1, meaning I’d cut the rest time to be half of the work time.
  • Descending Ladders and Supersets became my buddy!  Meaning I’d do 14 burpees then 7 pull ups followed by 12 burpees and 6 pull ups, 10 burpees and 5 pull ups…  etc, all the way down to 2 burpees and 1 pull up, then repeat that until I was at or over 100 burpees and 50 pull ups.
  • Speaking of pull ups, I would vary the load by doing bodyweight pull ups on one day, and then on another doing assisted pull ups with resistance bands.

The final routine that allowed for max recovery and ease of scheduling with the rest of my life:

  • Early Morning:  beat the sun up, meditate and breathe, active stretching, run, plank and static stretch, shower finish cold.
  • Early Evening:  Warm up, burpee/pull ups, sit ups, stretch, shower finish cold

Earned Rest.

There were two times during the month that I knew if I didn’t rest, I’d wind up injuring myself which just wasn’t something I was (or am) willing to do.  Two of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from the Hardstyle Kettlebell community is “finish stronger” and “push yourself but don’t be stupid” both of which can be manipulated into excuses for not doing your best while simultaneously being a litmus test for avoiding injury and setbacks.  Remember, progress is the ultimate goal.

The running course I settled into was 3.6 miles, so I was in effect “buying” mileage.  On some days, I’d do 4 miles, again, buying mileage.  Additionally, doing ladders and varying the rest, allowed me to buy reps as well.  So on Sunday January 19th, I had enough mileage and reps in the bank to take a much needed day off.  Then on Friday the 24th through Sunday the 26th, I had enough reps in the bank to give my upper body a much needed rest and only ran on those three day.  I know deep down had I done pull ups on any of those rest days, I would have done more harm than good and not have been able to finish the challenge.

Who am I now?

I am better but not done.  Progress, the ultimate goal happened.  I made significant progress.  I have a deeper connection to my body, I understand that I approach my perceived limits a few times but not really got right up there.  My mind has a new level set.  I feel more present which leads to my spirit and connection with the divine who only knows of one time and one moment and that is now.  Speaking if which, on to the next thing…