Below is a video of a woman who performed 100 burpees a day for an entire year. The hard work performed by this 40 year old mother is not only inspiring, but certainly led to an impressive transformation as well. You can see the before and after pictures within the video. There is a side by side comparison at approximately the 4:55 mark.
I first shared this story on Facebook after seeing it on my news feed. Upon sharing the video, I was surprised to hear from both of the individuals seen within (see here). I was honored to hear that they are past customers of mine who have been influenced by material.
More importantly however, I am happy to see yet another example of a low-tech exercise routine that has produced such amazing results. The type of work that Nikki performed could be done almost anywhere. Her transformation is a product of hard work and consistency. She did not need anything fancy to completely change her life over the course of a year.
As for the specifics of her routine, here is what she had to say when asked about the burpees,
“Most of the time they were done in addition to my workout. At the beginning I did 10 sets of 10. Sometimes 5 at a time with only a couple of breaths. You can spread them out throughout your day. Just make sure to keep track. I have done 100 straight. My best time was 6:30. I have done 100 burpees flipping a tire – 10 burpees – flip tire – jump in it – over it – 10 burpees other side – and repeat to 100. I have done 25 burpees with a 20lb weighted vest – run half mile – 4x. I have many creative ways to do them!
Nikki clearly kept things interesting by varying her burpees throughout the year. Yet when I look at the big picture, my eyes aren’t focused solely on the fact that she performed burpees each day. And I don’t say this to discredit the burpee. If you have followed me for any amount of time, there is a good chance you have seen me perform the movement at one point or another. Burpees are certainly a useful conditioning exercise.
No single exercise is as important as consistency and commitment however. Yes, burpees were an important part of her routine, but the fact that she was accountable for a certain amount of work each day is what ultimately triggered her success. Nikki woke up each day knowing that there was work to be done and she held herself accountable for it. She also mentions how if she missed a day, should would need to make up for it the next. That alone is incentive to get the work done now, rather than waiting for another day. Therefore, Nikki wasn’t just consistent, she focused on the present. In other words, don’t worry about tomorrow when there is still work to be done today.
Unfortunately, it is that type of commitment that does not get enough attention in the industry today. And the reason for the lack of attention shouldn’t come as a surprise. Intangibles cannot be packaged and sold. As a result, these important qualities will never receive widespread attention. The industry’s focus will always be on the exercise or routine, as opposed to the willingness to perform the exercise or routine. Yet it is the latter that is significantly more important.
If you look through this blog’s history, you will see countless weight loss stories which share very little in common from a training standpoint. For example, there was a man who lost over 100 pounds through running alone. Another man lost over 200 pounds by riding a bike. Others have lost weight through calisthenics and weight lifting. Each story highlights an entirely different approach to training. What they share in common is that the individuals finally decided to remain consistent. No longer were there periods of inactivity. It was a matter of waking up each day ready and willing to work. The cumulative effect of such hard work and consistency is what ultimately leads to success. What you choose to do is of lesser importance than your willingness to keep at whatever you do as the days and weeks amass.
In summary, I am not sharing this story to suggest that everyone should perform burpees each day. Instead, look past the specifics and focus on what is truly important. Nikki is a tremendous example of hard work and commitment. Her willingness to consistently hold herself accountable is something that most could benefit from. Hopefully her example will inspire others to make similar changes if they have failed in previous attempts.