Burpee Ladder - I'm not so sure...

I've had a couple of people talk to me offline about the burpee ladder and those conversations have started something along the lines of

"I'm kind of interested in the ladder but I'm not sure about the full 100 days"
I understand the question. My first instinct, of course, is to say "don't worry about it, back yourself anyway" but for some people it leaves something which is just to daunting. They're focused so much on the enormity of the latter stages that they'll miss out on the benefits of the challenge. I get that, fear has stopped me doing plenty of things over the years, and most of them I later come to regret (mind you, occasionally fear has kept me alert and safe, so it's not enough to say "fear is bad").

So, what to do? If the fear is creating a binary position for you i.e. you're either going to do take the challenge or you're not. And the not seems likely, why not try one of the reduced options that I proposed at the start of the burpee year: a burpee-30, or burpee-60? 

Just like the scaling options on the burpees themselves, scaling the length is about tailoring the challenge to you. Setting the minimum expectation of yourself. Sure you can exceed that (and I'd like to think that once you've started the journey with us, you'll end up signing up for a further stint and seeing it through) but you have a target which feels achievable at the start.

I'm not a big fan of giving people a back door when trying to institute change, it inhibits commitment. It's like entering a relationship while keeping a potential suitor warm. That's frankly bullshit and without committing, you'll never truly experience it. While emergency exits are important, on stuff like this, you're really just giving yourself permission to fail. Don't start out thinking about failing. That's not a recipe for success!

So my challenge to you would be this - why are you scaling? Honestly? You don't need to tell anybody. Is it because you want to guarantee yourself a victory and look good? Don't be such a soft-arse. You're better than that. Pull your boat up on the shore and set light to it. Get behind yourself.

The ladder is not about medals, or prizes. There is no race to complete reps. In fact, I'd rather you slow it down and keep the quality up than bang out a load of sloppy form or half-reps for time. There is no board with your time on. The challenge is your own, the victory is your own. The support? Well yeah, that comes from the group but that's shared experience. 

If, however, you haven't done anything for a while and are otherwise healthy, it might be that you just want to see how it goes. I'm down with that...although, like a crack dealer (or stock trader), I will be with you along the way trying to encourage you to do more, to double-down on your investment.

Ultimately, whatever your choice, we'll support you through it. But just set your stall out and give it a go. I mean, seriously, what do you have to lose but your self-doubts?


  1. Totally agree. I've no idea how this is going to go and I'd be lying if I said this wasn't daunting. But what challenge isn't. I want to test myself and see how far this goes. My sights are firmly set on completion, but it's the getting there which intrigues me. Making a decision based on the outcome/end result kind of misses the point of the ladder, as far as I'm concerned.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Competition without competing

Burpees Anybody?

100 day burpee ladder...the conclusion

Review and Apology

The 100 day burpee ladder...the beginning