When fitness YouTuber Chase Barron decided to challenge himself to complete 3,000 CrossFit-style burpees, he didn't have some wild time limit in mind, but rather wanted to focus on building habits. So he set himself the target of doing 100 reps every single day, for 30 days.
"The goal is not to get sore," he says at the top of the video. "The goal is to show up every day. Less intensity, more consistency, more growth cycles."
Chase began to feel some soreness in the first week, and quickly worked to correct his technique. "Once I addressed my form, my resting state became normal," he says, adding that doing the burpees also left him feeling more energetic. "I was a bit more animated than usual, I'd been doing my workouts in the gym for a long time, and when you're doing a big movement like this that incorporates your whole body and gets you off the floor, you just walk around feeling more confident than if you were doing just an isolated curl."
He built the 100 burpees into his morning schedule, along with coffee and walking the dog. However, there were some days when he overslept, so he would then carve out time during his lunch break at work to do the 100 reps. He also found that the repetition helped him identify the optimal conditions for doing his daily workout.
"When you do the same thing in nearly the same way every day, you realise how those little lifestyle factors affect your performance in profound ways," he says. "There were days that I had coffee before I did them, days that I didn't. There were days that I was out late with my friends, and those were the worst days... Not only does lifestyle affect your performance, it also affects your resting heart rate."
While naturally inclined to obsess over tracking his performance, Chase admits that it can be liberating to forget about the numbers. He'd been relying on his Fitbit for the challenge, but then it broke, so he had to forge ahead without all of the data to hand. "Really, I just had to do it," he says. "It's not about the numbers. How you feel is the biggest concern."
He also learned the benefits of HIIT exercises as a quick and efficient way of working out. "People in the gym would be like 'that's crazy, I can't believe you're doing that,' then they'd jump on the treadmill for an hour. Meanwhile, I was out of there in 15 minutes." He describes his own personal approach to working out as: "Do less, with intention."
"After a while, it kind of became a meditation. After a while, I stopped listening to music," he says. "I just showed up and it was just me, and my breath, and my movement, and this internal mantra that just said 'fall down, get back up.'"
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