In the beginning of August, the team at Cavemantraining kicked off a 28-Day challenge that tasked participants to complete sets of burpees and kettlebell swings. While people were free to choose their own specific number of reps, the suggested goal was performing 50 burpees and 100 kettlebell swings. For observers, some questioned the intensity of such a challenge assuming that such a low number of reps requires little effort. While it’s true that it typically took less than 10 minutes each day for all the participants, the challenge was anything but easy.
The burpee has become one of the best bodyweight exercises to couple with a kettlebell exercise for achieving quick results. Do you want to target cardio, strength, endurance, and more? Simply choose a kettlebell exercise that focuses on vertical movement to pair with the burpee. Last year, I wrote about such a workout designed by Cavemantraining that incorporated a burpee with alternating dead snatches. It sounds simple but is extremely demanding and hence the reason I said it was one of 3 kettlebell workouts I love to hate.
It was actually my wife who suggested I attempt another challenge to help me get out of this funk. Honestly, my eating habits have been terrible lately. So giving me something to focus on physically is probably just want I need. It took me a few days to brainstorm an appropriate challenge. One that isn’t too difficult, nor dependent on diet but more so on mental toughness. Thus I came up with the idea of doing 100 kettlebell swings a day for the duration of lockdown.
Technically, the 6-pack ab challenge isn’t over until two days from now. However, being the weekend, those are my off days from exercising. I doubt very little will change physically until that point. So I’m calling it. Challenge over! The number 1 question everyone is likely wondering is if I did indeed build 6-pack abs. The short answer, no I did not. However, there’s been a substantial increase in muscle mass in my core area and I’ve developed a 4-pack.
January is proving to be the perfect opportunity to rebound from all of the holiday craziness. No special occasions or distractions to prevent me from exercising on a regular basis. Nor are there any excuses for eating delicious but unhealthy junk food and sweets. At the very least, I’m happy that the pounds I put on from Thanksgiving to New Year’s have been erased. My stomach continues to shrink inward, but I’m doubtful that any major definition of the abs will be visible when this challenge is over.
Two weeks into this challenge with two more to go and I am feeling it! What I thought would be an easy addition to my warm-up routines before my kettlebell workouts has proved challenging. I’m talking about the increase of ab wheel exercises from 30 to 50. That extra twenty reps of stretching out take a greater toll than expected. Although, I certainly believe it’s had a huge effect on my progress of building 6-pack abs.
It’s been 1 week since starting this challenge and unfortunately I don’t have much to show for it. Realistically, it’s not unusual to see little to no difference visually at this point. I have high expectations and it’s been a tough week, but I have faith the results I’m looking for will come at the end. I suppose the important takeaway from this week is adjusting to the strict guidelines both physically and mentally.
Now with the new year approaching and the holiday feasts in the rear window, it’s time for a new challenge. I’ve never been a vain person and in the past would scoff at the idea of building 6-pack abs. However, after putting so much effort and work into bettering myself and body, flattening my stomach completely seems like the next logical step.
I had a lot going on personally during this challenge. There’s never really an opportunity where there’s a lull in my life for 30 days. Holiday’s, birthdays, and other special occasions are a common occurrence and I knew that they would factor in during this time. It doesn’t make sense to wait for the best opportunity and say, “Hey, this month looks pretty clear on the schedule.” Even if that’s true, something stressful is bound to happen. When it does, it’s easy to give yourself an excuse to be bad and order or dine out.
It seems like challenges such as these are almost always preceded by a period of bad eating and weight gain. Late last year I decided to try a 5-day challenge. This was in response to the 10 days I spent in the Bahamas during my honeymoon. Needless to say, my eating habits were pretty damn awful.
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