I have started working with a personal trainer one day a week. Today marked my third week of work with Matt, who is our throws coach for track and a certified personal trainer. Quite frankly, he’s kicking my butt!
Typically, we concentrate efforts on olympic lifts: bench press, dead lift, hang clean, squats. These lifts strengthen upper and lower body and core, while also helping improve explosiveness. As a track coach, I also focus on olympic lifts. Runners need to be able to get out fast and sustain pace on tired legs. The olympic lifts work well with our schedule, particularly as we get deeper into the season. I've found I get more bang for my buck when my athletes can focus on those lifts. I also have limited time for my own workouts and goodness knows, I need to improve my strength and explosiveness. But doing the same thing every week gets boring and Matt came up with something different today. And that is where the dreaded burpees came into play.
Today's workout was a core circuit that included Russian twists, bicycles, suitcases, shoulder taps and the dreaded burpees. The challenge was to cycle through each exercise, 10 of each, (except for those stupid burpees—only had to do 4 of those, thank God) keep repeating them for 3 minutes, then run for 3 minutes and rest for 3 minutes. I went through the circuit 3 times. I hate burpees. And my burpees form sucked! By the last circuit, I could barely get back up from the pushup position. Honestly, I don't think I’ve never been so happy to run in my life! I had just been complaining to a friend that I have really struggled with running lately. I’ve felt like I did when I first started running; every step was a miserable fight. However, today, running felt easy compared to those damn burpees! I was even able to finish up the rest of my 20 minute run after the workout. Progress is in evidence. Well, except for the freaking burpees.
Now, I suppose I could just say to Matt, “Hey, can we substitute squats or something for those ridiculous burpees?” After all, I’m paying him to put together my workouts. And I’m far away from being a youngster who recovers quickly. But what would that solve? So burpees are now my challenge to face and overcome. By fall, I hope to have some decent form when doing burpees. Maybe they will eventually become easier. Maybe I’ll even like them at some point. But today, I hate burpees—every single one of them!
Commercial & editorial lifestyle & travel photographer, educator, competitive cyclist, track/cross country coach