90-Day Burpee Challenge Update: I Failed! Try Again!

IMG_1522So 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!





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One Response to “90-Day Burpee Challenge Update: I Failed! Try Again!”

  1. Lesa says:

    The app is not currently free. I just checked.

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