The dictionary defines grit as, ‘firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger’. Psychologists, who define grit as a personality trait, come pretty close to the same definition, landing on, ‘passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions’.
While some consider grit to be an inherent personality trait — one you either have or you don’t — the good news is that many psychologists believe that grit can be actively trained and developed. By consciously plunging yourself into ‘controlled hardship’ and practicing the art of perseverance – striving to reach a larger goal, against ongoing self-talk, endlessly advocating for the logic of giving up – we’re able to strengthen our resolve in much the same way we’d strengthen our biceps.
This workout aims to do just that, offering you up an end goal, but giving you the freedom to choose just how long it takes you to get there; asking you to choose between a short term burst of enormous effort and willpower, or suffer a long and gruelling slog to the finish line (that’s if you don’t give up first).
Your goal is to hit 100 burpees, simple right? Not easy. But definitely simple.
The catch is, before you even start chipping away at those burpees you’re going to perform a 10 calorie sprint on the air bike – a sprint you’ll perform at the beginning of every minute, before continuing on with those burpees. Your choice here is to either go slow on those sprints, leaving yourself a tiny window in which you’ll complete minimal burpees, stretching this workout out further and further as you fatigue, or, muster up the effort to sprint hard, go full send on the burpees and finish before the first bead of sweat has had a chance to form.
How gritty can you get?
Air Bike x 10 Calorie Sprint
Set up on the bike – your back should be straight and the saddle adjusted so you have a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of your cycle (A). Go for a max-effort sprint until the display reads 10kcal, keeping your torso and head up, and controlling your breathing (B). Try not to flail around, keep your self centred and still to conserve energy. Push the first few calories as hard as possible, then settle into your pace. Keep in mind the slower you go the longer this will take.
Burpee x 10
Hop off the bike, squat down and place both hands on the floor between your feet. Jump your feet back into the top of a press-up and lower your chest to the ground (A). Straighten your arms and hop your feet forwards, before jumping into the air with your hands on your head (B). Keep your mind focussed and work your way through these, right until the buzzer sounds.
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