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!

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.

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 ๐Ÿ˜‹ 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.

New Year Resolution begins today

At least when it comes to exercise.

I don’t really believe in New Year Resolutions. If we really want to do something, there’s no need to wait until 1st January. Or use it as an excuse to delay doing it. If you think about it, it’s actually more constructive to adopt a New Month Resolution or New Week Resolution instead. That would cut down the procrastination to a great extent. Of course, the best would be New Day Resolution, even better if Day refers to Today, not Tomorrow, or worse, Forever Tomorrow.

But New Year Resolutions are more fun and novel because it’s just once a year, feeding into grander dreams of what we can achieve in 365 days. Who doesn’t dream of being better people, in better situations, in better shape. New hopes, new beginnings. Hopes and dreams are fun. But that’s possibly because we can do our hoping and dreaming while our asses are still in bed or on the sofa. It’s actually having to put in the effort come 1st January and the weeks and months after that it progressively ceases to be less and less fun.

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So I’ve been thinking, the reason why my New Year Resolutions to exercise regularly crumbles soon after is sore muscles. Yes, when we work out after not doing it for weeks or months, naturally our joints and muscles become all sore the following day as they seek to recover from the sudden workout they had suddenly been subjected to. Depending on how strenuous the workout is, we might take days to recover.

So what usually happens year after year is, after only the second or third workout, I finally can’t take it anymore and have to take a break for a few days. And then find that I can’t fully get back into the previous momentum. This affects the will to exercise which gradually peters off, with more and more breaks in between, until by March or so I’m back to square one.

So, my strategy is simply to start now in early December. Get all the soreness out of the way, so that come 1st January, I’ll be all up and running. That’s the idea, anyway. Which I may or may have not thought of while my ass was still in bed or on the sofa.

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So what’s my New Year Resolution with regards to exercising regularly? Oh, only about 30 minutes or so, 5 to 6 days a week. Nothing too ambitious to cut down the chance of burning out. A mix of dumbbells for resistance training, and cardio.

For cardio, I want to incorporate the following video I came across on YouTube by an instructor called Rowan Row. I tried it yesterday (a Monday = New Week Resolution!) only to discover how out of shape I’ve become. The 10-minute routine is simple to follow: 10 simple exercises, each 45 seconds long followed by 15 seconds of rest. I found that I can’t do some (like the half-burpees, the third exercise) for the whole 45 seconds. It’s too hard.

Never mind, though. I simply do what I can for now, 30 seconds, with a view to build up my stamina over the next few weeks to do the whole 45 seconds. I also modify some exercises to suit my current fitness level. For example, for now I don’t go low on the lunges, the seventh exercise, so I don’t over-exert and hurt my knees.

So that’s another great reason to start our New Year Resolution early. Get the kinks all sorted out, get our joints and muscles acquainted to the routines we want to do. Get used to the time of day we’ve set to exercise, especially if it’s early morning. Settle all these and other things to be mentally and physically ready.

Come 1st January, we’d already be doing it with comfortable confidence, instead of just starting out. Best of luck to all of us, especially me! I’ll be needing it ๐Ÿ™‚

Onward in exploring drawing: The Croquis

My second attempt at drawing a croquis, as taught by the Nick Verreos tutorial video below. This is the pencil sketch stage.

What is a croquis? Wikipedia defines a croquis drawing as a quick sketch drawing of a live model.

Not to be confused with another French word, croquette, which is utterly delicious and making me hungry for one (or ten) just thinking about it.

In fashion, the term croquis refers to, again from Wikipedia: “a quick sketch of a figure (typically nine heads tall as this is the accepted proportions forย fashion illustration) with a loose drawing of the clothes that are being designed.” I’m including this as I first learned about the croquis from the following YouTube video by American fashion designer Nick Verreos.

This video tutorial is short, fun and fascinating. Concise, packed full with easy-to-follow instruction, and there’s still room for fun humour. I really enjoyed giving the drawing taught a try.

Trying out ‘my own design’ with the croquis. (Of course my design has serious cleavage. If I’m a woman with a bangin’ body, I’d be dressed like that hahaha)

Up next: The Fashion Croquis.

Trying out ‘my own design’ using the Fashion Croquis. A hot mess, and once again, notable boobage. (Note to self: learn how to draw some decent passable hands because these poor ladies are sadled with lobster claws, hahaha)

Blue Moon on Halloween, starring Belly


I’m not into astronomy or astrology, and when I read that there’s going to be a ‘Blue Moon’ (a 2nd full moon in the same month) on October 31st, my first thought was that I love the song ‘Blue Moon’, as sung by Ella Fitzgerald ๐Ÿ˜„.

Then I thought, ‘hmm… a special moon right on Halloween, let’s draw something with that theme’, especially since I have a black cat and all. 

I love the result ๐Ÿ’™. There’s also a version without the commemorative Halloween greeting.

Click either of the images above to go to its Redbubble gallery.

This was the dreamy song I was referring to. I love me some Ella!

And here’s a more upbeat version, by Billie Holiday. Enjoy

Luna playing

Video with clips of Luna playing from almost a year ago when we first adopted her. After she initially recovered, it was gratifying to see her quickly improving even further, turning into a very active girl ๐Ÿ˜ป

The lovely music is ‘No.9 Esther’s Waltz’ by Esther Abrami, from YouTube Audio Library.