As I’ve referred to this a couple of times and will be bringing it back into my training again, I thought it would be useful to have the man himself describe it:
Extract below from Johnny’s blog
Villain Challenge #1
We will be issuing a series of “Villain Challenges” these are intended to promote specific physical adaptations and create a well balanced, capable, villainous athlete. The challenges will all be simple in design, and will be trainable for anyone without special equipment. There is literally no excuse for a person who is not injured or disabled to not take on these challenges.
Challenge #1 is an old Greyskull standard, and here it is.
100 Burpees in 5 minutes.
We all know the burpee. It is a terrible calisthenic movement that elicits a very shitty systemic feeling when performed quickly and for high reps. Accomplishing 100 of these nasty SOB’s in 5 minutes means holding a 1 Burpee every 3 second pace or better for 5 minutes.
An overweight and or out of shape individual could begin by doing 3 or 4 sets of 5, with the goal being to accomplish the sets in less than 15 seconds per. Once they can do that, they would add a few reps, trying for sets of 7 or 10. Each time the time goals are made across the board, they would add repetitions per set.
A more in shape individual might begin with sets of 20 to be done in 1 minute, or even (as I would advise) sprint sets of 10 to be accomplished in 30 seconds or less.
The simple goal formula is: #of Burpees x 3= Target in seconds
The idea here is consistency, working towards a goal over time. This is something that can be trained daily, as in 7 days per week. How much do you honestly think your strength training will be affected by 3 sets of 10 burpees? I would have you do this after your weight training on training days, and on all of the other days in between with the understanding that missing a day here or there certainly isn’t the end of the world. After all it is what we do most of the time that matters, not what we do some of the time.
Ask yourself, what do you think the cumulative effect of the work necessary day in, day out, to knock this goal off of the list will be on your cardiovascular health/fitness/conditioning? What about your body composition? Do you think that your body will look exactly the same as it does now once you can accomplish this goal, assuming you are a ways off? I often tell beginner trainees desiring more upper body development that when they can bench press 100 pounds more than they can currently they will look like a guy who benches 100 pounds more than they do currently. The same goes here. Consistent effort towards the goal over time is hands down the most important variable in training as well as in many other aspects of life.
This challenge is an example of the villain mentality as it applies to training. Eat lots of good food, lift heavy weights, chin, dip, condition with calisthenics and other methods, and you will in time take on the appearance of a guy or gal who consistently does all of the above mentioned things. You do not have to be fat and sloppy to be strong. To quote my friend Anthony Roberts, we are about building “a nation of linebackers”.
So here’s the first challenge, 100 Burpees, five minutes. Get hot on it. Post your progress in the logs, ask questions if needed. Once you have it down, video it and submit it. Those completing the challenge will receive a reward as well as the intrinsic reward of knowing that you accomplished something that few will do.
So decided to go ahead with the burpee challenge after all. Started with 3 sets of 20 in 1 minute with 30 secs rest between sets.
Set 1 – 44secs, Set 2 – 53secs, Set 3 – 1:03 (dammit!)
Started too quick and by the end of set 2, I was blowing! Going to progress as I did last year and add a rep at a time to build up to 3×30 in 90secs a set. To keep the stress on the elbow/shoulder joints I’m going to layer it into my training maybe 3-4 days a week and see how it goes ..
Been sticking to the frequency method for last few weeks. This week now up to 9 chins and 19 press-ups for 6 sets throughout the day. Now I’m back full time in a gym I have access to the bar so don’t need to use the ladder method.
Also decided to bring some conditioning work back as I’m not teaching spin or anything else at present. I’m keeping it short and sharp and literally when I’ve got free time as opposed to a strict regime. I’m toying with the idea of hitting the Villain Challenge #1 (100 burpees within 5 mins) a few mornings a week as well, I was making good progress on it last year and felt good for it, but the overall volume alongside the classes etc was too much and had to stop in the end.
Today’s lunch break session – 100 kettlebell swings @ 24kg – time 5:30, followed by 50 ab sling knees-to-elbows (not for time) .. Not great, I was hoping to get under 5 minutes but it was good for a quick blast and now have a time to beat!