Today I did five minutes of skaters, an exercise that sorta replicates a speed skater’s stride without the nuisance of ice skates or ice.
It was Day 30 of the Bowflex Summer Strong Challenge, which meant that once I finished the skaters… I had finished the challenge! WOOHOO!
Bowflex’s Summer Strong Challenge takes one month to complete, although it only requires five minutes each day (and you’re resting for two of them). You can read more about the challenge in my kick-off post.
Here’s what you do during those 30 days:
Visit the Bowflex Insider blog post on Summer Strong and scroll to the bottom for links to videos on how to do all these exercises.
I only made a few small changes. There were four days of push-ups, and I did different kinds of push-ups throughout the challenge: regular push-ups, push-ups alternating with side plank, and up-up-down-downs. I swapped Day 20 (rest day) with Day 21 (dumbbell tricep kickbacks), so my Summer Strong rest day lined up with my regular rest day. And it seemed silly to have Day 29 be a rest day, with the finish line so close, so I did burpees that day instead.
Apart from that, I stuck to the schedule. I even took photos!
Day 9 – Plank:
Day 15 – Jumping Jacks:
Day 22 – Mountain Climbers:
There was also four days each of dumbbell tricep kickbacks and dumbbell bicep curls, and having the Bowflex SelectTech dumbbells was fantastic, because I upped the amount of weight I lifted a couple times, and the SelectTechs, which can easily be adjusted to be anywhere from 5 to 52.5 pounds, made that so easy. I did bicep curls with 15 pounds in each arm…
…and, the next time, with 20 pounds:
There should’ve been more dumbbell exercises during the challenge, just so I could’ve use the SelectTechs more often! (I’m kidding – I’ve used the SelectTechs for lots of non-challenge exercise, including during the strength portions of some workout videos.)
Here’s why I loved the challenge: It was difficult, but never to the point where I wanted to throw in the towel. Some of the daily exercises pushed me (three minutes of planking comes to mind), but it was just five minutes of hard work, and then I was free to do the rest of my workout, whatever that was, at my own pace. I cursed sometimes while in the middle of the daily exercise, but I never woke up thinking I couldn’t do that day’s exercise.
Summer may be quickly coming to a close, but there’s no reason you couldn’t make this your Autumn Strong or Winter Strong challenge. It feels nice knowing that should I ever feel the need to amp up my strength training, I can turn to this 30-day challenge to help light a fire under my ass. After all, the same month I did the Summer Strong challenge I reached a personal best with the amount of weightlifting that I did… and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
Keep it up, David!
OH! I nearly forgot! About a week into the challenge, I gave myself an incentive to finish. I bought the Lego Simpsons Kwik-E-Mart set, but promised myself I couldn’t build it until I did all 30 days.
Staring at the box for the past three weeks, unable to open it, has been absolute torture. Now I’m free to build! I just need to find 10-12 uninterrupted hours to work on it – it has nearly 2,200 pieces! I’ll share pictures when I’m done, too – just like I did with the Lego Simpsons House I built last year!