When I first began workouts with the amazing SFF, we talked about how we’d schedule them. I was pretty out of shape, and I knew at the time that my recovery times were awful. I’ve come to realize that a lot of that was the fault of my previous trainer’s inability to properly plan differing muscle group rotations, but there was something to be said about giving the body time to rest and recover. Over-work is definitely a real thing when it comes to muscles and it isn’t a good thing.
At the time we decided to work out once a week, with off-day cardio I would do and track on my own. Eventually we added in small homework pieces, but generally we’ve avoided doing two “real” workouts in a week. Last week, however, we finally had 2 real ones. Ouch.
The first was the filthy fifty I did at home on my own, and it is a testament to SFF’s training ability that I pushed myself so hard. I know how to get to the edge now, and it is further in than I used to think. There’s a lot more I can do past the point of discomfort but prior to injury, and there’s a lot of value in the work done there. You have to shock the body a bit sometimes to make sure it knows you’re serious. So I went hard and I’d estimate I was probably at around 75-80% of the effort I normally put in at Ultimate Fitness with SFF guiding and watching to make sure I’m doing things correctly, safely and no slacking off.
Then Friday came and any thoughts I had of SFF “taking it easy” on me were wisps of dream never to appear. She’d just finished an intense multi-day seminar, getting nearly no sleep, and she was ready to rock and roll. Adding to that, apparently I’d complained a touch too much about burpees, how much I hated them, etc. So guess what I got to do? A LOT? You got it!
The exercise set was similar to something I’d done before, a stacking ladder. It began, of course, with some rope. I didn’t really count but it was probably about 500 jumps or so. Just to get everything ticking. Then we jumped into… BURPEES. Only 10… for now.
We then went in loops that would alternate different TRX based exercises with constantly stacking body weight moves. We started with the burpees, then a hip extension/one legged squat in the TRX. Back to burpees (10) and adding 20 v-ups, then returning once again to the hip extenders. Then burpees, v-ups and jump squats (10,20,20). Now we swapped a body-weight curl with an upward extension into the TRX, then back to the burpees, v-ups, jump squats and adding in pushups. Another run through the TRX with the curls, then back to burpees, v-ups, jump squats, pushups and a “wing” outward curl with dumbells. One last run through the TRX (a close chest reverse press followed by a broad chest reverse press), burpees ladder again, once more through the TRX and one last time with the body weight stuff ending on another burpee set (so 10 burpees, 20 v-ups, 20 jumps squats, 20 pushups, 20 outward wing curls and 10 burpees).
So I will say this: burpees are awesome. I love them. I want to do them all the time. I might get myself a t-shirt! (Think that’ll work? Probably not!) The lesson to learn there, as I’d mentioned before, is that if you really hate an exercise, it is likely because it is difficult, and because it is difficult is precisely why you should be doing it. Doing the easy, comfortable stuff isn’t going to help you get stronger or more fit. As long as you’re safe about it, focusing on doing the stuff you hate to do is probably a good idea. Eventually you might find that even if you never stop hating those exercises, they’ll eventually become slightly less annoying, and you won’t mind them as much. Meanwhile, they’ll help you get closer to your goal of functional fitness!