Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Hoping something sticks

As previously shared, one of my Fall 2019 fitness goals is to complete 100 burpees in 12 minutes or less. Pierini Fitness sports fans who have followed me for a while know that at various other times in my fitness training past, I’ve had burpees performance goals.  Some I’ve achieved and some I haven’t.

The last time I had a burpees goal was preparing for my 61st birthday back in 2016 with a goal of completing 100 burpees as fast as possible.  I was making good progress with a time of 12:03 until catching a bad and extended case of the flu that unexpectedly ended this burpees challenge.

Don't forget to jump when doing your burpees!

This time, like the last time, I’m taking a methodical approach with my training.  While it has slightly evolved, my current training approach plans on burpees training three times a week and looks something like this:

Burpees training day 1 – This currently involves completing a round of five burpees every minute on the minute for 30 rounds.  This is a total of 150 burpees in 30 minutes.  My plan is to keep the one-minute time interval constant while slowly increasing the rounds.  We’ll see how far I take this but if all goes well, I’ll be up to 60 rounds and 300 burpees in 60 minutes.

Burpees training day 2 – This currently involves completing a round of five burpees at a fixed time interval for 18 rounds and then a final round of 10 burpees done in a sprint to the finish for a total of 100 burpees.  Currently, my training time interval is 0:40 and my best recorded time is 12:48.  My training plan is to slowly inch downwards the time interval by a second or two with each faster progression. 

To achieve my 12-minute goal, my time interval will need to be 0:38 with the burpees x 10 sprint to the finish being completed in 36 seconds.  Logic tells me that so long as I continue diligently training, I should achieve my goal by the last day of Fall 2019.

Burpees training day 3 – This currently involves doing a Sprint 8 burpees workout.  I learned of the Sprint 8 protocol after reading a book written by Phil Campbell, Ready, Set GO! It consists of 8 rounds of high-intensity cardio for 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of recovery.  Here’s a video demonstration of a recent Sprint 8 burpees workout:

I may substitute this with a Tabata-protocol burpees workout down the road as my burpees conditioning improves.  The Tabata-protocol will be even more intense than the Sprint 8 because I’ll perform 8 rounds of burpees done as fast as possible for 20 seconds with a brief 10 second recovery. This workout will take a mere 4 minutes to complete and be very brutal.

Taking this structured training approach will increase my odds of achieving my burpees goal.  If all goes well, I’ll continue with it with a 65th birthday goal in slightly less than 4 months of completing 100 burpees in 10 minutes.

I do best with training structure when tackling a challenging fitness goal rather than an approach of throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

Monday, October 28, 2019

Going and coming

Well, by golly, haven’t I been AWOL!

It’s been almost one month since Pierini Fitness has had new content.  What’s up?

Well, I’ve been on vacation most of the month.  While not far away from my locale or a computer, this vacation mindset spilled over to adding new Pierini Fitness content.  I just didn’t have it in me to step up to the plate and deliver new middle-aged man reflections about living and dying, gracefully-aging and trying to live a good and honest life.

Despite being on vacation, my fitness training continued full steam, maybe even a little more as I chase my Fall 2019 fitness goals, goals that I shared in my last update.  I’ve achieved two goals thus far that I share below: 

Complete a single set of 25 bar dips
I accomplished this goal on October 11th by performing a single set of 25 reps.  Not that long later, I performed a single set of 26 reps on October 25th.  Here’s a video of the 26-rep effort:

Pull-up hang hold of 1:50
In a total surprise, I did a 2:02 pull-up hang hold on October 19th.  I don’t have a video of my effort.  I’ll keep hanging periodically and maybe one of these days I’ll capture a video of me hanging for a respectable time.

Meanwhile, training to achieve the other goals remains a work in process.  And, I also do some other stuff to keep my training interesting.  Recently, I decided to test myself and see how many pushups I could perform in a single set.  I don’t regularly do pushups.  The last time I tested, a couple months ago, I did 35 pushups.  On October 20th, I was able to complete 50 pushups.


Just about all my training this year is done at one of several parks I visit, since I no longer have a gym membership.  I’m enjoying my park training and have met several people while there, men and women training just like me.  I even bumped into a person I used to train with in the Olympic lifts about ten years ago.   He no longer trains in the Olympic lifts, like me, and, like me, his training nowadays includes both pull-ups and running.  He’s young enough to be my son.

Last week while carrying my kettlebells to the pull-up bar station, noticing how heavy they felt and wondering how I was going to perform the planned workout, I saw this elderly woman who was walking at a reasonably brisk pace next to me.  “Good morning” I greeted, “Are you going or coming?”  She replied that she was going as in going home.  A short pause later, she added that, however, she was also coming, coming from the place where she had walked to have breakfast, something she does a couple days a week.  So, she clarified, she was both going and coming.

Her updated answer was a Eureka moment for me.  It made me realize that all I do in my life, like her, involves both going and coming.  I never had thought of it this way.  Seems like I always fancy myself as going or coming, one or the other, but not both.

She made me realize, that I’m always doing both.

So, in my gracefully aging journey, I’m going towards the end of my life but coming from the youthful life I’ve previously lived.

And, in my current journey of chasing good fitness, health and wellness, I’m going towards a heightened level of physical fitness and coming from a lesser level from allowing myself to get out of peak conditioning.

I could go on and on and so can you, we’re doing not one or the other, but both, going and coming. 

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum