An Anniversary of Fitness

One of my personal training clients recently celebrated her 62nd birthday, and the workout that I wrote on the board for her that day was one that caused a few people to nervously say, “that’s not what WE’RE doing today is it?”  It was a doozy, consisting of a 1957m bike, 62 burpees, followed by a 2019m row.  And she stepped up and crushed it.  It was impressive to watch!  Now this workout, modified slightly by adding one meter rowing and one burpee, can be something that she does every year to try to beat her previous time!  And if she does that, she’ll know that she has become more fit in that year’s time.
We talk a lot about not competing with each other in the gym, as comparing yourself to someone else can get frustrating and produce a lot of negative energy — generally we compare ourselves with someone that has a very good chance of beating us in whatever event is up.  But I think competing with yourself is an awesome motivator, and is why we regularly repeat benchmark workouts.  Repeating “Fran” every few months is a great view into how well adapted you have become for fast, powerful work in a short time domain.  Repeating “The Filthy Fifty” (anyone?) will showcase our ability to maintain a slower but consistent power output for a longer time.
My challenge for you is to identify one workout that you want to always repeat on your birthday.  Make it an “anniversary of fitness”, a time for you to see how far you’ve come this year.  Choose a workout that includes some of your strengths, so you will look forward to it, but it also should be a relatively well-rounded workout.  Repeating a 1RM Back Squat each year will tell you if you’re getting stronger, which is great, but strength is just one facet of your total fitness.  Maybe instead you can repeat “Manion,” which is 7 rounds of 29 Back Squats (135/95 lbs) and a 400m run, for time.  Now we have a workout that still requires strength, and getting stronger over a year will produce a better result here for sure.  But we’ve also introduced a high degree of stamina and endurance.  Bingo!
So when your birthday comes up next, definitely come on into class and help dish out some birthday burpees.  But also schedule some time to get into Open Gym and knock out that special workout.  Then next year, come back with all that extra fitness you’ve been building up, and smash your previous time!

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