7 Ways to Survive a 100-Day Burpee Challenge

Before we actually discuss surviving this crazy challenge that results in an athlete doing 5,050 burpees over the course of 100 days, let’s talk about WHY anyone would anyone want to do it in the first place.  First, we’re going to define a burpee as starting from a standing position, moving to a horizontal position on the floor where chest and thighs are on the ground, returning to a standing position and jumping with a clap above the head to open up the hips to full extension.  So, why do a burpee challenge?

  • CrossFit is hard enough, why make it harder? Exactly!  Life’s hard.  But, when you choose to make your life “harder” with the challenge of CrossFit (how it seems early on at least), you give Life perspective.  When you CHOOSE to make your life more challenging, you are more in control of it.  Not many things in Life can reach the intensity you normally find yourself in during a WoD.  Accepting the Burpee Challenge is just another way of telling Life, you got nothin’ on me!  It truly makes all the other challenges of your day easier.
  • The challenge hits around 60 burpees a day near Thanksgiving and over 90 by Christmas? Ain’t nobody got time for that!  What the burpee challenge reminds us is that we need to keep moving, we need to stay disciplined, and sometimes do something even when we’d rather not.  At the holidays, it’s a huge motivation to get off the couch and not put those seasonal pounds on as well!  You’re making a conscience decision!  Get after it!

OK, so hopefully, you’re still with me…  Here’s how to survive the challenge:

  1. Save your wrists! From Day 1, work on technique and don’t drop to the ground with your hands much higher than your shoelaces!  This may mean doing mobility work BEFORE you start.  Hamstring stretches, rolling a lacrosse ball on your plantars are a couple of many alternatives.  Find what works and do it!
  2. When you are deeper into it, think about changing up your burpee style. Do 10 posterior dominant, next 10 quad dominant, next 10, step back into them and out of them.  Monotony is not your friend, have a little “fun” with it.  Not sure what the different styles are?  Check out the video below and practice yourself!
  3. Track your progress! Download the Burpee Challenge spreadsheet (100DayBurpeeChallengeSpreadsheet)  and see how many burpees you  have done for the challenge on a daily basis!   They start adding up pretty fast!
  4. Hope for burpees in the WoD! Nothing changes the mindset about having burpees in a WoD like being in a Challenge!  Heck yeah, yours count, all the way up to the total for that day OR if you’re having to catch up!
  5. After about Day 40, DON’T SKIP DAYS! Discipline is a major component of the challenge, so don’t sabotage yourself by skipping a day or three.  It can feel insurmountable trying to catch back up.  So don’t!  Hopefully it gets you up off the couch at halftime on Thanksgiving Day as well!  It’s also great for getting visiting family involved.  Heck, get the kids involved!  Do them as the first thing out of bed, see if you’re day isn’t better than normal!
  6. It’s OK to break them up during the day. Do you have a normal let down an hour after lunch?  Kill 10 or 15 then to wake up and get productive!  Watching your kid practice football, lacrosse, basketball?  Do some in the corner.  Just don’t listen to the other parents snicker.  I would say for the best results, it’s best to do them with intensity, but some days, it won’t be there.  Find a way!
  7. Find an accountability partner! We’re all about Community, so find someone to lean on and for them to lean on you.  Makes them twice as easy!


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