105 Burpees a day for 30 days

I hated burpees for a long time! Because they’re so damn hard. But yesterday I just finished 30 consecutive days of 105 burpees a day. Months ago I would find that crazy unbelievable so I’m happy about it.

It’s made possible by a YouTube fitness trainer I’ve been following called Jordan Yeoh, who cleverly sneaked in 105 burpees at the last part of the last day of his 21-day fitness challenge, which I wrote about here.

It was clever because if he had said before that there was going to be 100 burpees I’d be all like “Forget it!” but it innocently started with 10, then shots of 5 with rests in between, and somehow I went along till completion. And after the hundred he still breezily squeezed in 5 more. As Jordan puts it: the power of not thinking too much, just do it. Click to play the video below. The burpees start at minute 15:05 and end at minute 28:40.

With lots of huffing and puffing noisily throughout and feeling like I was going to die while screaming and cursing on the inside, I scraped through. In my exhaustion soon into it, many of my pushups were barely half done, my ‘jumps’ quickly reduced to inch-high hops, and at one point I had to pause the video to take a longer break of a full minute more, but whatever. When I finished, my lungs felt like they were going to explode out my chest, but at the same time I was so shocked and happy I managed to do it.

I gave it another go a week later. While still painful and left gasping in full breaths of air, once again I felt like such a champion that I could do 105 of the formerly dreaded burpee in one session (never mind the crappy form). I then decided to try it for 30 consecutive days. On Day 7, I made the mistake of pushing it off till I plain forgot to do it, so I had to start Day 1 anew.  Yesterday I finally finished Day 30. The bonus is that with all those reps, my form had also slowly improved, and I think my pushup part is okay now.

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Instead of having to refer to the video above all the time, for convenience I use an interval timer app I already had in my phone, installed from Google Play Store. I keyed in the following sets of workout and rest. This is what works for me; enough time to not rush through it, and I find 20 seconds of rest is enough to catch my breath.

Work 40 seconds – Do 10 Burpees for a total of 10 Rest 20 seconds
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 15Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 20Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 25Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 30Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 35 Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 40Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 45Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 50Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 55Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 60Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 65Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 70Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 75Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 80Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 85Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 90Rest 20 secs
Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 95Rest 20 secs
Work 40 secs – Do 10 for 105 (Total Time 13 minutes)

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I was actually introduced to burpees like a year ago, via the following video of a Japanese YouTuber that was featured on an online article.

Even though his burpee is sans pushup, it’s still really tough to me because of the tabata style of workout, a very short 4-minute but very intense workout incorporating sets of 20 seconds of work (in this case 8 burpees in those 20 seconds) followed by 10 seconds of rest. A total of 8 sets make the 4 minutes.

In the beginning I managed only 4 or 5 burpees per set, and was already panting like crazy after a couple of sets. It took me weeks to finally manage to do 8. Even then I never really got the hang of it. Having only 10 seconds to catch my breath in between those sets was just too hard. But now thinking about it, thanks to this brilliant workout I was already cranking out 64 burpees in just 4 minutes! Okay, sans pushup, but I still think it’s so cool.

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So why do I do burpees (let alone 105 in a session) even though I think they’re kinda sadistic? I have to admit it is a great full body workout, and giving me both cardio and strength training in one go is a great bonus. When I struggled with it in the beginning it made me realize how out of shape I was, and I decided to use the exercise to get better. Well I’m still out of shape haha, and still panting madly throughout most of the workout, and still need to sit down a bit afterwards. But my fitness level has improved somewhat so I feel better about it.

The journey continues!

Happy Ramadan

Today is the first day of Ramadan, and the start of 30 days of fasting for us Muslims who are able to do so. I did a little simple design to celebrate the occasion. Wishing all my fellow Muslims a blessed Ramadan & Happy Fasting, and wishing everyone all around the world much love and peace.

In Malay, my mother tongue

As usual, I featured the design on Redbubble for t-shirts, stickers, and home decor stuff, among others. I did two versions for both Malay and English: with the year for commemoration, and without the year, to use for years to come! πŸ™‚

To see the galleries, click here.

Those Who Wish Me Dead trailer

A new Angelina Jolie movie! What a treat. She’s my favourite actress, but for years has such few projects, probably due to personal stuff that are always reported to death due to her being a mega movie star.

The bonus is that this one is an action flick, my favourite kind of movie from her even though she’s very talented and incredibly and fascinatingly watchable in any movie. I guess that’s what they call ‘screen charisma’, and she has tons of it. Her last action thriller was ‘Salt‘ and that was released over a decade ago in 2010.

Another bonus is that there are quite a few other actors in it whose work I’ve also enjoyed watching: Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Nicholas Hoult (X Men: First Class), Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones). I’ve heard of Tyler Perry who is in it as well, but I have to admit I have not seen any of his work yet.

The movie is scheduled to be released middle of next month. Can’t wait.

The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade in Cairo

I’m not into Egyptology, but I came across this in the news and, wow, I find it really fascinating.

I know of National Day or military parades by different countries, LGBTIQ+ pride parades, Macy’s parade in New York, and of other parades all around the world, and each can be spectacular and special in their own way. This one is also very special. It’s so unique, it happened for the first time and is quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime event. Called The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade, it took place in Cairo, Egypt, last Saturday the 3rd of April.

22 mummies of 18 kings and 4 queens, were transported from the Egyptian Museum with great fanfare to their new home, the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, located 5 kilometres away. They were transported chronologically according to their reigns, from Seqenenre Taa II who ruled in the 17th century BC to Ramses IX who reigned in the 12th century BC. The mummies were placed in climate-controlled cases loaded upon wagons decorated for the occasion.

Here’s a more polished promotional type of video below. It looks like a movie production or something, dramatic and grand lol.

It’s so wonderful that the Egyptians are enjoying their heritage which they obviously take great pride in. I sure hope that the tourists will flock back soon to see their new museum and other marvels after the nightmare that is Covid is finally over. I wish the same healing for all countries around the world. The tourism industry has been battered globally and so many millions of people employed in the industry and their families are suffering because of that.

Here’s a short video of less than 3 minutes explaining what the parade is for:

Below is a longer video, but still short at under 8 minutes. It features brief snippets of information about the Egyptian Museum where the mummies had been for over a hundred years, and which will still be operating and open to visitors. It also tells a teeny bit about who the kings and queens are and what they were known for, and gives a peek into the new state-of-the-art museum. Fascinating stuff!

And finally, below is a video of some of the music featured in the parade. I find it very beautiful and moving.

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Related:

The BBC article where I first came across news of the parade – “Egypt mummies pass through Cairo in ancient rulers’ parade“.

21 Day Fitness Challenge by Jordan Yeoh Fitness

When it comes to exercise instruction on YouTube, one of the routines I have moved on to is this programme, which I like and have done 2 rounds so far. Featuring a separate video for every single day, the shortest is about 6 and a half minutes long and the longest, for the last day, is about 30 minutes.

The workouts are more of an ‘intermediate’ level but easier versions of some exercises are offered to the beginner to follow, as mentioned in the introductory video below which by the way is only 3 minutes long yet covers well what the programme is about. Clicking ‘Watch on YouTube‘ at the bottom left corner (if you’re reading from a desktop computer) will also lead to the playlist of all the videos.

What I like about it:

  • No equipment required, not even dumbbells. Just a mat for comfort. I use a yoga mat. I also prefer to have shoes on when doing cardio exercises, also for comfort, so I have a pair solely πŸ˜‹ for exercising indoors (since we don’t wear shoes in the house).
  • The instructor Jordan Yeoh’s clear instruction and calm, pleasing tone of voice.
  • His tips and words of motivation interspersed throughout the videos.
  • The useful accompanying graphics feature a clear and attractive design, so they are easy and pleasant to follow.
  • The alternating intensity. Tougher workouts are followed by videos for the following days that feature less strenuous routines, including relaxing stretching poses.
  • As mentioned earlier, easier alternatives are offered for some exercises that may be hard for the beginner.

Here’s a sample – Day 1.

And here’s an example of an easier workout for a ‘recovery day’. It’s 17 minutes long, but the actual abs workout is only under 5 minutes. Stretching poses, which are relaxing and help to prepare for the next workout the next day, make up most of the rest of the video.

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YouTube exercise videos can be just 5 or 10 minutes long so they are terrific if you just have a short while to work out and want to do something, but of course you can always combine two or more, which is what I tend to do. Since I’m already exercising and already sweating away, I try to exercise for 30 minutes or more at a time.

The remarkably brave and kind grandma and her kind family

I just saw this video earlier. It’s actually a week old, so probably considered ancient by online news standards. Sorry about that. I’ve been having a hard time coping with circumstances and been dipping back under my rock for long periods every so often. What happened to this grandma really affected me. Her crying at the end of this short video was just so heartwrenching that I cried a little too.

Imagine just minding your own business waiting to cross the street and out of the blue and for no reason somebody just takes a whack at your face. It’s bad and incomprehensible enough if you’re young, but to happen to an older lady of 75, it’s downright devastating and so hurtful. You just don’t expect the world to be so cruel and senseless.

I’m so happy she got over her shock quickly enough to whack the guy back. She must had been so enraged. She got over her shock and grief real quick and fought back. Good for her. Guess who ended up on a stretcher? Not grandma!

My God, the bruise and blood on her face in the video. That looks really painful. And not to mention the pain in her heart, which I can’t see but can hear in her cries at the end. I wept along with her. Poor lady. I feel so hurt for her but at the same time I have so much respect and admiration for her.

Her name is Xie Xiaozhen. From China, she is 75 years old.

I read in an article from NY Daily News, that there was a second elderly Asian victim, or rather the first as he was attacked first. His name is Ngoc Pham, and he is an 83-year-old man from Vietnam. From the South China Morning Post, I gathered that after Mr. Ngoc Pham was attacked, a security guard chased the assailant who then punched Ms. Xie as he was fleeing.

Mr. Ngoc Pham fell and suffered cuts and bruises on his head as well as fractures to his nose and possibly his neck.

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The assailant’s name is Steven Jenkins, 39, and according to Heavy.com he faces six charges including two counts of elder abuse.

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What makes Ms. Xie even more remarkable is that she, her husband and family have decided to donate all the money raised in a GoFundMe to the Asian American community to combat racism. According to SG News Yahoo, the GoFundMe with a goal of $50,000 had been set up by her grandson John Chen, asking for donations to cover her medical expenses. The figure has soared to over $900,000, and they are donating all of it.

In an update on the GoFundMe, Mr.Chen wrote that his grandmother said “We must not submit to racism and we must fight to the death if necessary. She insists on making this decision saying this issue is bigger than her.”

Secret Garden: my first botanical pattern

Finally tried a botanic inspired pattern, yet another type of pattern I’ve been wanting to explore. I found it an interesting experience and would love to do more. I took a long time to settle on the colours, but I’ve decided this is the combination I like for this one.

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For the full Redbubble gallery, click here.

Schadenfreude

Just a thought I had, a light-hearted take on a word I came across a few times.

It means the experience of pleasure or satisfaction at seeing the misfortune of others. That’s terrible, but sad to say part of human nature and not uncommon.

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To see the full Redbubble gallery, click here.

Auntie Dionne is wise

I’ve been following Dionne Warwick on Twitter and she’s always cracking me up but this one is really funny to me.

My thoughts exactly.

l hardly use Twitter. I created an account a while back (a year ago, maybe?) to what I thought cover my bases in social media when I was thinking of starting illustrating and some kind of print-to-order account. Or something something.

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Well since we’re on the subject of the great Dionne Warwick, here’s one of my favourite songs from her. Is the video fabulous or what.

I’ve loved her since a kid watching her host Solid Gold. Funny thinking of the show now, especially the dancers.

And I just discovered this video a few minutes ago while doing this post. What a gem:

Purple Rain

With these amethysts representing purple, I rounded up the six colours of the rainbow I did for this pear-shaped gem design. It was an enjoyable ride. I had so much fun with this pattern and as always, am fascinated by how a little illustration I did is portrayed on not just t-shirts but so many other different stuff.

For the Redbubble gallery of these jewels on black stripes, click here.

And for them on purple stripes, click here.

As always, here is a selection from the two galleries linked above:

For some reason I always get extra delight from seeing the socks. I don’t know, I just find them so funny and cute, they’re such a hoot. I always get a smile or chuckle looking at how the design looks like on socks.