I wasn't originally planning on participating. Then, a couple of my teammates competed and were talking about the experience. I also found out contestants received a really nice red long-sleeved tech shirt and a phone armband.
Allright, what the heck. I am in need of a phone armband and I like red shirts. So I went to the fitness center and signed on up as a walk-in.
This picture was taken a few years ago, but I think it represents well. ;-)
|Ninja Warrior contestant and/or bank robber? You decide!|
One of the contest coordinators, Willie, walked me through the course. This is what it entailed:
- Zig zag run with bear crawl on the return - 2 laps
- Shuttle-run sprints - 3 laps
- Step-ups onto a bench while holding a 25-lb plate - 50 total, 25 on each leg
- Crunches - 50
- Squat jumps - 50
- Burpee on Step 360, followed by hopping over the Step - 2 laps, 10 burpees/steps each lap
- Tricep dips - 50
- Jump rope - 50
- Push-ups - 50
- Plate push - 3 laps
Good lord. What did I just get myself into?
The competition was based on how quickly each of us could complete the course. I had heard the current leader finished in approximately 8 minutes, but most people were finishing around the 15-20 minutes range.
I didn't have much time to think about it. Willie told me I'd be starting in about 2 minutes. I hadn't done any warm up, so I tried to quickly stretch out my calves and hips. Then I hit the course.
The zig zag run and bear crawl were pretty easy. Obviously, it's always going to feel good when you're starting out. I was able to move the bear crawl along quickly by keeping most of my weight in my legs.
The shuttle-run sprints were also no big deal. It was a flashback to gym class growing up, when we had to do a Presidential Fitness Test every year.
Then, things started getting real.
The bench onto which we had to step was higher than my knees. Yowza. It was no joke to step up 25 times on each leg while carrying a 25-lb plate. I alternated and did two sets on 10 step ups on each leg, then finished with 5 each. Unfortunately I had done some serious lower-body strength-training the day before. My quads and hamstrings wasted no time reminding me of this.
Next, the crunches. This was a nice break for both my legs and my lungs. It was the easiest of the 10 activities on the circuit.
During the squat jumps, my legs once again loudly reminded me who was boss. Towards the end, I was barely getting off the ground. I was faking it somewhat by swinging my arms with gusto. =D
Burpees were next on the Step 360s. UGH, I HATE BURPEES. We had to do the burpee on the Steps, raise the Step into the air above our head, then put the Step back down and jump over it. At first, I put the Steps down neatly in front of me. After a few burpees, I stopped caring and I started flinging the Step down to the ground. One time it bounced back and caromed off to the side. This meant I had to go chase it down. Willie cheerfully told me to be careful.
I made the tricep dips that followed as easy as possible by bringing my feet close to my hips. Boom!
Jumping rope again reminded me of gym class growing up. I tried not to waste too much energy by jumping too high. But I didn't want to get hit by the rope, so I overcompensated. Once again, my legs unwittingly screamed at me.
We had the option of doing the push-ups on our hands or our knees. You better believe I did them on my knees, haha! It felt like the longest set up of push-ups, ever. I was dripping sweat onto the floor.
Finally, the plate push. I think it was a 50-lb plate that was set up on a towel on the ground, which we had to push back and forth. I had a heck of a time getting it started. I had to lean into the plate with all of my body weight, and leverage the wall behind me. I screamed, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" Once I got started, momentum helped. But having to do 3 laps with all the requisite starts and stops was literally a momentum killer. "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO DO THIS???" I feared slipping and falling flat onto my face.
After completing the circuit, I was SO BEAT.
All the strength work involved made the finish feel worse than how I usually feel after finishing a race. And believe me, that is saying something!
I told Willie I was ready to go home and pass out. He asked me if I wanted to guess what my final finishing time was. I said, "19 minutes?" He said "Nope. 13 minutes flat!"
What an INSANE fitness challenge that was. In the end, I am glad I did it! And I don't know if I'd ever do it again. =D
I did hear there was at least one DNF from a man who threw up mid-course. Yikes.
Thank you to all the organizers who put this event together! I'm currently waiting to hear how I stacked up against all of the other competitors. In the meantime, I am thrilled to have finished ahead of the curve!
This picture was taken at the PNC YMCA Turkey Trot a few years ago, but you get the idea =):
|Thumbs up from the Ninja Warrior/bank robber =D|
Wow - you work with some hardcore folks if people could actually hack that in your office!! The majority of the people I work with are 50+ and minimum 50 pounds overweight, so I'm pretty sure they would have a heart attack before stage three.ReplyDelete
The step ups sound pretty brutal so early in the course, followed by so much leg intense cardio. Way to push through!
Natalie, you should SEE some of the trainers that work in our fitness facility. They are super fit and SO inspirational. I am very luck to have access to such talented and passionate professionals. And I've certainly worked with my fair share of folks with high average ages/weights, too, so I can relate. =)Delete
Thanks! Whoever designed the course sure knows how to keep the legs grinding! When they ask for feedback on the program, I might mention that =D.
Dazed and confused Bugs! Got to love him. The only competition we do at work is see who can get to the coffee pot the quickest. I'm very impressed with the 13 minutes. You ARE a Ninja Warrior!ReplyDelete
I love Bugs Bunny!!! One of my favorite cartoon characters, ever! (I still remember your post when you included a picture of Bugs saying, "What's up, HoHo?" =D )Delete
LOLOLOLOLOLOL on the coffee pot race. Heaven knows we've got plenty of those races in my office, too. That, and anytime people put food out in the kitchen for us to help ourselves!!! =D
Nice job!!! 13 minutes is impressive because I think it would take me half that time to do all 50 push-ups after doing all that other stuff.ReplyDelete
Although, now I kinda want to try this some time when I'm at the gym...
Thanks Erin! The push-ups were definitely not my strongest suit - and I will also admit that I didn't maintain perfect form during all of these exercises, either. Thankfully I wasn't being monitored by one of the fitness instructors to keep good form, LOL.Delete
If you do try this circuit or something similar, let me know what you think!!!
Wow! That's definitely an intense workout! Kudos to you!ReplyDelete
Thanks Lauren! Although, this is nothing compared to thy Ironman Triathlon finisher. =) Even bigger kudos to you!!!Delete
That's awesome that they offer something like that at your office! It sounds a lot like the bootcamp classes I used to take - intense for sure. Not surprising that you'd be ready for a nap after that! 13 minutes sounds like a pretty good time given all you had to do. I mean, 50 burpees alone.... geez.ReplyDelete
Thanks Anne! I am very lucky that my workplace and the fitness center have such amazing programs and resources. YES - this reminds me a LOT of the few bootcamp classes I have taken in my lifetime (and also reminded me why I don't do bootcamp on a regular basis, haha!). The course didn't actually call for 50 burpees, thank goodness - it was actually a total of 20. Believe me, though, 20 was more than enough! Burpees are the WORST.Delete
Oh, I must have seen 50 and assumed it would be for the worst exercise possible - burpees! 20 isn't *that* bad. I always preferred doing them with a BOSU or Step 360 because you don't have to go down as far, but the 360 is a pain to pick up over your head!Delete
Completely agree on the double-edged sword that is doing a burpee on a BOSU or Step 360. The 360 looks like it's not that heavy, but in the midst of a tough workout it sure feels like a ton of bricks!Delete
Wow! That is quite the challenge for a workplace. I'll bet many couldn't even think of doing something that strenuous. Kudos to you for rocking it, no matter how much your legs protested!ReplyDelete
Thanks Marcia! You are right - it takes a consummate fitness expert, such as the ones that work in my company's fitness center, to come up with a circuit so difficult! This is both a good and a bad thing! =DDelete
I love that your office has things like this! When I worked in an office setting I feel like we had the opposite encouragement (though so days I wasn't complaining). We generally had beer and pop in the fridge and actually had massages in the office a few times a year. Plus pizza and cake often. It made being motivated to be healthy a bit more challenging.ReplyDelete
Thanks Alexandra! Likewise - my workplace has PLENTY of food sitting out all the time. I've actually called it a fat farm on many occasion. There are always so many meetings and events going on with tons of food. Plus they always bring the leftovers into the kitchen for everyone to help themselves. So it's kind of a catch-22!Delete
Incidentally, someone asked senior management (in an anonymous Q&A format) about the conflict between all the food and the healthy initiatives. The response was, "You don't have to eat the food." How's that for a response? LOL!
Wow! Sounds like a very challenging workout. A 50lb plate to push seems like alot.Great job! See, you did better than you thought. I wouldn't be able to do it that quick.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! I am still feeling the aftereffects almost two days later - my quads are still killer sore. But it really is true what they say about ignorance being bliss and how most of these workouts are all mental!Delete
Haha! I like the part where you were "barely getting off the ground" but started "swinging your arms with gusto" to fake it! So funny! And I can picture myself doing that too. Nice job! Never heard of this. Kind of fun!ReplyDelete
LOL, thanks Amanda! You'd be surprised how convincing it looks to swing your arms really hard when you're not really getting much air off the ground. =D Indeed, this was a really nice change of pace from the running training! My muscles are still hurting 48 hours later!Delete
Goodness gracious! That sounds so intense! I'm impressed you managed to get through it all in 13 minutes...just reading through the list of exercises made me want to DNS ;)ReplyDelete
Bethany @ Accidental Intentions
Thanks Bethany! Likewise - when Willie was walking me through the course, I have to admit I was tempted to bolt and make a mad dash for the exit, LOL!Delete
Nice job, especially signing up spur-of-the-moment as a walk-in! Are the phone armband and the red shirt nice? :)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Pete! The phone armband is nice and I definitely plan on using it! The red shirt, unfortunately, was only available in men's large by the time I got there. So Adam is getting the benefit of my walk-in, LOL. =)Delete
This sounds awesome!! You are in great shape. I might be a runner but I would need to prepare for a workout like this. Burpees are the worst!ReplyDelete
Thanks Sara! Please note that I was sore for DAYS afterwards. =) Ignorance is truly bliss because had I known what this challenge entailed, I don't think I would have attempted it!!! Burpees are awful, indeed. Curses to whoever invented them!!!Delete