So last month, I shared that Michael (my app development partner) and I launched our first iOS app – the 4-Minute Burpee Challenge. Its an app that automatically measures your Burpees hands-free using sound/ breathing. Additionally, it tracks your Tabata Burpees over a 90-day challenge period. Our goal was to create a super simple yet effective app to get you working out daily. Just click a button and workout. The app does the coaching, measuring and tracking of your workout. After all, who doesn’t have 4-minutes to workout a day right?
I’m not ashamed to admit, my first attempt at the 90-Day Burpee Challenge has just failed quite miserably on the 64th day mark! This despite the fact that the challenge allows you up to 3 “missed” days.
Holy crap. I thought completing the challenge would be super easy considering I do up to 6 Tabata sessions in my workouts. So why did I fail? Here’s what I learned and how I plan to regroup and attack the challenge again:
1. Habit Forming is Seriously Hard
Especially habits for self-improvement that requires effort. There are some days when you just don’t feel like doing a workout or if its not the highest priority item on your to do list that day! I also found that there were days when I’m just depleted and unable to motivate myself to workout. In March, I moved my family out of the city to a farm and although I thought I was fit, doing hard labor with a shovel or construction work is a major killer! Especially when your body is not used to it.
What I Learned: Discipline means doing what you decided you were going to do whether you feel like it or not. On the next attack, I commit fully to forming this habit as a life long habit. After all, the movements and agility needed to do a Burpee includes cardio benefits, strength training for all the major muscle groups in the body and plyometrics (jumps). When I master this workout for life, I am setting myself up to be fit for life. In other words, its worth it.
2. Working Out At The End of the Day Doesn’t Work For Me
When I first got into fitness, mornings were my usual workout time. And so it was for many years. Well since my 2 kids started school, that changed. My current workout slot is at the end of the work day. As I mentioned above. there are days when I feel that I was already doing intensive physical labor during the day. By taking this challenge, I now know there are actually quite significant gaps in my workout routine due to this. Gaps I need to manage.
What I Learned: I need to slot in morning workouts as a MUST-do. There’s just too many excuses at the end of the day to miss a workout. Slotting in at least 4-minutes in the morning by waking up say 5-10mins earlier than usual should NOT be a difficult thing to do.
3. I Was More Motivated by Failure Than by Success
On the first week of the challenge, I nailed every single day. On the second week of the challenge (yes, only the 2nd) I had already missed 2 workouts and had 2 strikes! The fear of dropping out then motivated me to do the 4-mintues of Burpees every single day without fail until Day 64! You can imagined my devastation as I jumped out of bed at 1am on the 65th day realising I forgot to do my damn burpees and thus failed the challenge!
What I Learned: I need to be motivated by success and not by failure. I need to visualize the sense of accomplishment each day of completing the goal I set for myself rather than the fear of failing. On the next go, I will allow myself to enjoy the daily routine more and endeavour to not miss even a single day because being motivated by failure is just NOT fun.
My major takeaway from this first attempt is that its perfectly ok to fail at a major challenge. Anything that is worth doing in life often is a real challenge and its ok to not succeed at the very first go. The most important thing is to choose challenges that are worth the effort and never give up!
I did not capture a screenshot of my stats at day 64 (the last snapshot I too was at Day 55) but by then, I had already completed over 2,500 burpees and burned off much unwanted fat. By belt buckle is currently tightened by a notch and my body-fat% had dropped by 3% just in the last month.
From the statistics, I learned that I do an average of 41 Burpees (with a complete pushup and jump) during each Tabata workout and I average about 5.1 burpees per 20 second interval during the workout. My best pace is doing a complete burpee in 2.9 seconds but on average it takes me 3.9 seconds per burpee for all 8 rounds.
So in failure there is also success and there is more important – learning.
How are you guys fairing with the challenge? The app is FREE right now so go ahead and download it here. I’d love to hear your take on it and your experience.
We’re hoping to develop a whole series of apps using the algorithm we pioneered to measure reps handsfree with the microphone. So your feedback and app review is very valuable to us.
Now back to Burpees!
For many years, I’ve had an idea for a truly unique Tabata app to help in my daily workouts and to share with this community. Not just another Tabata timer app but a really innovative app that really helps people get fit with Tabata-styled workouts!
Since I’m not a programmer, it has taken a while to complete this goal. But I am so happy to finally be able to tell you that after collaborating with a good friend of mine who is a very successful Apple developer (and fitness enthusiast), our brand new Tabata App has finally been created and approved in the App Store. Here’s the link to it on iTunes:
(Android users: Sorry, the app is currently for iOS only)
What Does The App Do?
In a nutshell, its a 90-day Tabata Burpee challenge. It gets you to do a total body workout (Burpees) Tabata-style (only 4-minutes) every day and it keeps track of the intervals as well as COUNTS your reps automatically! This way, aside from a great workout, you also get unique workout statistics to monitor your performance and motivate you to get fitter.
The app is extremely easy to use! Every day, all you need to do is click a single button and place the phone on the floor in front of you. The app will launch a Tabata timer to track your workout but more importantly, it will COUNT your Burpees automatically like magic each time you perform one.
How?? Well, we we managed to create a special algorithm that uses the sounds picked up from your phone microphone to know when you’ve completed a Burpee. All you need to do is to exhale or make a sound when you are facing your phone during a rep. Cool eh? You just HAVE to try it out to see how incredibly well this works!
Why This App Helps?
The key to getting fit with Tabata workouts is CONSISTENCY! Our goal is to get you used to doing Tabata’s on a daily basis. By creating a 90-Day challenge, we want you to actually get into the HABIT of working out daily.
Since each daily workout is only 4-MINUTES and requires no equipment, you really have no excuse to not do it if you’re serious about getting fit.
Tracking your Burpee reps in realtime allows you to see very interesting and useful statistics that were not possible before such as – how many seconds you need to perform a Burpee on average.
Without this app, it would be very troublesome to measure how much time you need to do a Burpee. But now, with this app, its done automatically. Why is that important? Well, what can be measured can be improved upon.Now that you can measure your performance you can beat it! In fact, this is the ultimate tool if you want to master Burpees!
Come on. You and I know that Burpees is that one total body exercise we ALL love to HATE! Anybody who has done Tabata Burpees know the burn is real and that you will get a really effective workout in just 4-minutes!
Because no equipment is required and it only takes 4-minutes, there’s really no excuses for not doing it!
So combining a Burpee + Tabata + Automatic Rep Counting + 90-Day Challenge gives you a very very effective and fun training program to get fit!
Other Cool Features
There’s many other cool features in the app such as:
- Burpee Pace. Since we can track your performance for each round, we can compare each workout with your past performance. We can tell you whether you are doing your Burpees at a pace below or above your previous best or previous averages.
- Cadence Indicator. With your past performance as a base, we can create a cadence indicator to show you the pace you need to perform your Burpees to beat your previous best. This is like having a performance coach guide you on how to get better at Burpees.
- Workout Stats. Finally, we have graphs and charts to give you a summary of your total performance over the 90-day challenge to motivate you.
- Gamification. We’ve created a heart system to track your daily workouts. Each time you miss a workout, you will lose a heart. If you lose all 3 hearts, you will need to start the 90-day challenge all over!
- Reminders. You can set specific reminders twice a day to do your 4-minute workout. Remember, its only 4-minutes so you should be able to do this anyway. The mental discipline required to complete the challenge will train you to make getting fit a habit!
How to Get the App:
We’re really keen to have you try this app. Its on sale right now at half-price at $1.99 with free updates for life. After the first 1,000 downloads, the price will go back up to $4.99 to cover our development costs and future enhancements. So please support us and download the app now:
I’ll be doing a blog post of my progress on the Tabata Burpee challenge shortly. I’m currently on Day 30 of the challenge and boy, I’m feeling the burn. I’ve already done over 1100 burpees over this period and its actually fun!
Also, please help us spread the word. Share the app with friends and better still, challenge each other to complete the challenge and get fit at the same time!
We’re always looking for new ways to exercise using the Tabata protocol. This week we feature an interesting routine on an Urban Rebounder Trampolineand we like it!
Some of the benefits on doing workouts on a rebounder include:
- Reduces the impact of each exercise on the primary joints like your knees and ankles
- Vertical movement increases lymph circulation through the body
- Helps improve digestion
- Great for the skeletal system and increasing bone mass
- Helps improve balance by stimulating the vestibule in the middle ear
- Helps circulate oxygen throughout the body to increase energy
- And…its fun!
Here are 15 more Tabata exercise examples you can add to your workouts. These workouts are designed by personal trainer – Adrian Crowe
- Hang Clean (45 lbs bar)
- DB Renegade Row to Jump Clean & Press
- Kettle Bell Deadlift (88 lbs)
- DB Thrusters (15 lbs)
- Kettle bell swings (26 lbs)
- High Bench Alternating Step Ups
- DB / Arm Snatch (35 lbs) x 2
- Bosu Ball On/Offs
- Jump to Monkey Chin Up
- Stability Ball Up/Up/Down/ Downs
- Jump Switch Lunges
- Plank Walk Up to Push Up
- Prisoner Squat on Toes
- Hockey Jumps
- Side to Side Burpees
- kettle bell
- bar bell
- bosu ball
- chin up bar
Here are 44 bodyweight exercises demonstrated by Tee Major that you can try doing in your next Tabata workout:
Bit of warning, since Tee Major is a military fitness trainer, some of these exercises are pretty advanced. Stick to those that you can complete on the Tabata protocol before trying the more advanced ones.
Some of these exercises require equipment:
- Chin Up Bar
- Fitness Ball
- Ab Roller
Some Crossfit workouts are down right brutal. This one is exceptionally brutal. Aptly named “Fight Gone Bad”, it involves 40 consecutive Tabata rounds of 5 exercises with no additional rest in between exercises.
Here are the 5 exercises:
- Wall-ball 20 pound ball, 10 ft target. (Reps)
- Sumo deadlift high-pull 75 pounds (Reps)
- Box Jump 20″ box (Reps)
- Push-press 75 pounds (Reps)
- Row (Calories)
You basically set up a station for each exercise and you will perform all 8 rounds of Tabata intervals on each station before moving on to the next exercise.
After completing all the 5 stations above, you end up doing is 40 consecutive Tabata intervals. Enjoy.
This week’s Tabata routine is demonstrated by Rebekah “Bex” Borucki. She’s a yoga and fitness instructor and a mother of four!
Her Tabata ab routine invovles:
- High Knees
- Squat Jumps
- Mountain Climber/ Burpee
- Knee Grab
“Tabata Something Else” is the name of a popular Crossfit WOD (Workout Of the Day). We have a demo video here with round-by-round scores so you can see how you match up in this grueling workout!
Here’s the workout:
- 8 Rounds of Pullups
- 8 Rounds of Pushups
- 8 Rounds of Sit Ups
- 8 Rounds of Squats
There’s no additional rest period between each exercise (aside from the 10 second rest interval). Good luck!
I got a gem of a video for you today. This simple and highly effective workout from trainer Haskel Garmaise can be done in a hotel room or at home – no equipment needed (aside from a good Tabata timer).
What I love about this workout is that it incorporates 2 simple workout protocols – the descending ladder and tabata training protocol followed by a simple ab workout to end.
The “descending ladder” means you perform 10 reps of a particular exercise in the first set, followed by 9 reps, then 8 reps and so on until you work your way down to 1. In this video, the example is as follows:
Set 1: 10 pushups, 10 sit ups and 10 squats
Set 2: 9 pushups, 9 sit ups and 9 squats
Set 3: 8 pushups, 8 sit ups and 8 squats
Set 4: 7 pushups, 7 sit ups and 7 squats
Set 5: 6 pushups, 6 sit ups and 6 squats
Set 6: 5 pushups, 5 sit ups and 5 squats
Set 7: 4 pushups, 4 sit ups and 4 squats
Set 8: 3 pushups, 3 sit ups and 3 squats
Set 9: 2 pushups, 2 sit ups and 2 squats
Set 1: 1 pushups, 1 sit ups and 1 squats
Next, is on to Tabata Exercises. Starting with our all time favorite – burpees, then jump squats, mountain climbers and plyometric lunges. You can either do all these separately as individual Tabata sets each or do it as part of one Tabata circuit.
Finally, the workout is ended with a simple ab routine of standard Ab Crunches or Figure 4 crunches.
Although Haskel Garmaise presented this as a “hotel room” workout when travelling, I think it makes a great total body workout program you can adopt for 3-4 times during the week. It covers all the major muscle groups and is a great cardiovascular workout too.
Check it out here:
If you think your regular Tabata routine is too easy – you can always modify it by adding more rounds and doing a second set right after the first.
Here’s an uncut video of Jason Yun doing two 12 round (instead of 8 ) Tabata interval sessions back to back with a 2 minute rest between sets.
In the first modified Tabata set (12 rounds), he’s doing Pushups, Squat jumps, Speed Rows and Monkey Jumps. So you will end up doing 3 rounds of each exercise.
The second set consists of Hindu Pushups, Super Lunges, Diamond Cutters, and Burps.
These are all body weight exercises and no equipment required aside from a good Tabata Timer. Check it out: