Sep
06
2011

  100-Day Challenge (modified)

While pregnant, I was looking into a way to get fit that would suit my postpartum situation. Joining a gym wouldn't do much good since I'd have to drive there with two kids, and the amount of lead-time I'd need to get out the door and arrive in time for a class or session with a trainer would be prohibitive. There is day-care at the local gym, but I don't think they even start taking kids until they are 6 months old. Plus there's the pesky issue of the monthly fees.

Getting a trainer to make house calls is more reasonable from a scheduling point of view, but the ones that I've seen advertised around here are pretty pricey. It's another one of those things I'd go ahead and do if T had his executive job, but since we're retired, it's a stretch.

Crossfit is a program that I found appealing. And while there is a crossfit gym in Charlottesville, you can also do many of the exercises at home with minimal equipment.

There is one basic exercise, the burpee, that uses no equipment but is a nearly perfect single exercise. It works all major muscle groups, and is cardiovascularly rigorous, so you get both strength-training and aerobic training simultaneously. I saw a website that mentioned a 100-day burpee challenge, which is this: on the first day you do one burpee, the second day you do two burpees, and so on until the 100th day when you do 100 burpees.

I thought that would be a good place to start getting back into the habit of exercising. So yesterday I did my first burpee.

Actually, yesterday, I attempted my first burpee. No way could I do one. They are like squat-thrusts from elementary school PE class, but with an added push-up at the bottom. Click here to see a video. I found a suitable amount of cleared floor space, and went to it. I made it down to the squat fine, but couldn't manage the thrust. I wound up "thrusting" one leg at a time back. And my push-up was pretty lame. And I wound up sort-of crawling back to the squat position. And by that time I was too demoralized to jump.

But today was a new day, and I decided to use the power of the internet to look up "modified burpee" and found a video that featured a few modifcations for those of us so weak we can't even do a regular one. It was basically like I did yesterday-- put one foot at a time back there and move one foot at a time forward until you're strong enough to do a proper thrust. And the chick in the video also suggested doing a modified push-up from your knees if full push-ups are too hard. So I did two modified burpees today (I'm on day 2, see, so I did two reps).

The modified versions take much longer than the proper ones, so I suspect there isn't as much cardiovascular benefit, but hey, I'm just getting started, and my joints are creaking. I trust that I'll become more fit in time. Wish me luck.