One of the things we’re always trying to do at my fitness studio in Barna is challenge our clients and push them to new levels, not only with their fitness but in every aspect of life. Last week I launched a '40 days of 40 burpees' challenge.
For those that might not be familiar with the burpee, it's a full body exercise that involves starting from a standing position, dropping your chest and legs to the floor, popping back up to your feet, then jumping with a clap over head. It's not easy, but it's effective! We encouraged the clients to perform 40 burpees every day for 40 consecutive days. I made the challenge public on my Facebook page, and before I knew it we had 6,500 people from all over the world taking part! As you are reading this we're about 11 days into our challenge and going strong.
This year I'm working with a Console as youth mental health ambassador, and with 6,500 people in our free online burpee challenge, it only seemed right that we do something to promote positive mental health. With that in mind we set up a text line where our participants and their friends could text 'Console' to 50300 to donate to Console, the national suicide charity. My goal is to raise €10,000 by the end of the challenge. I'm a firm believer that training is simply a vehicle to growing as a person and developing yourself. With the burpee challenge there are some key life lessons that can be taken and applied to enrich all areas of your life. Here are three lessons worth thinking about:
Bruce Lee once said: “Knowledge is not enough, we must apply; willing is not enough, we must do”. With regard to health we all 'know' some things that would help us look, feel, and move better, but living in the information age, instead of implementing what we know we keep seeking more information. My idea with the burpee challenge was that we take a simple strategy that will work and take action on it every day consistently for 40 days. There's an area in your life that you probably want to improve right now, and chances are you already know some of the things you could do to drastically improve that area. We don't need more information, you need more application! Pick one thing you could do this week to improve the area of your life you'd like to change. It could be spending a little more time with your family, drinking more water, or saving a little more money.
The compound effect
Forty burpees will take the fittest of us around two to three minutes, maybe less. For beginners the 40 burpees will take a little longer, maybe up to 10 minutes. Now when you think of a training routine that doesn't seem a lot, but when you add up the consistency element there is a brilliant effect over time. After 40 days you'll have done the exercise 1,600 times. Whatever way you choose to look at it, that will make you stronger, fitter, leaner, and more athletic.
Again, there is an area of your life you probably want to improve, and there are more than likely some tiny changes you could make that will have a massive impact if done over time. If you halved the number of cigarettes you were smoking, or chose to read for a half hour instead of watching TV, it might not seem to have much of an impact in a day, or even a week. But stick with it for a month, two months, or three, and all of a sudden you'll notice massive changes to your life.
The support system
With the burpee challenge we set up a closed forum on Facebook for people to share their progress. In that group we've got great banter, accountability, and camaraderie. Now if those 6,500 people had signed up to do this challenge on their own, I have no doubt we'd have had a lot more people drop off by this point. But with the group support the majority are going strong! Think about your own life and areas in which you are trying to grow. Have you got the support network you need? If not, how could you get around the people you need to be around in order to thrive? They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
Big thanks to everyone who's got involved in the challenge thus far. If you'd like to join in just head over to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/patdivillyfit, and please don't forgot to text Console to 50300 to donate €4 to the charity.
Keep moving forward,
Pat Divilly is a gym owner, best selling author and youth mental health ambassador from Barna. Log on to www.patdivillyfitness.com to get a free 90 page cookbook for improved health and Pat's weekly newsletter with mindset and motivation tips.