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Landmark Workouts (Birthdays, Holidays, Hero Workouts)

stew smith

Hard workouts are obviously relative to the person as someone’s warmup may actually be another person’s full workout.  So, landmark workouts for people’s birthdays (like my 50th this year), holiday challenges (Murph), Hero Workouts, or racing events should be created for the fitness levels of those doing it.  If you happen to join a group for the first time on a day that there is a landmark workout, you may want pull back and go at your own level of fitness if you are not used to the volume in the routine. Whether it is repetitions, weight, mileage, or just a long amount of time that is required to complete the task, a logical progression for the group to get to the new workout event is the only way to proceed.

 Birthday Challenges

Throughout the fitness world, you will see people who are avid exercisers challenging themselves with racing events on their 30,40,50,60th birthdays, and even later decades as well. For instance, people have challenged themselves with a marathon on a decade birthday or 30 pullups on the 30th birthday. I even had a friend who hit 50 pullups and 50 years old.  So these challenges are for those who maybe getting older but are still young at heart and very well-conditioned to be able to even attempt these.  This year is no different.

For my 50th year, my training group and I will challenge ourselves by doing the following:

50 different calisthenics, weight, and TRX exercises (*upper, lower body, core) such as a wide variety of Pushups, pullups, dips, variety of crunches, variety of plank pose (50 seconds), squats, lunges, and many many more. You can make these as tough or as easy as you prefer.

However, in between each 50 rep exercise, you have to run 50m.  So plan to do this one on a football field and bring some dumbbells, kettlebell, TRX, bands, and other exercises, but most will actually be calisthenics exercises as in Navy SEAL Workouts (Grinder PT).

Then you get to swim 50 laps in a 25m pool to total 2500m distance, or run 50 minutes, or ruck 50 minutes with 50 lbs.

In a separate cardio only workout later in the week, the group will do the 50-50-50 triathlon: 50 laps / 2500m swim with fins, 50 minute run, 50 minute ruck with 50 lbs.

That is one way to celebrate your birthday with a group of tactical athletes and special ops candidates.

Over the last 5 years, we have done this exact workout with 45, 46, 47 and other annual challenges similar to this so it is not a shocker to the system.  Along with fun Holiday workouts for Memorial Day Murph, Thanksgiving Day Feast Guilt Free workouts, and even Super Bowl Sunday Guilt free workout challenge.  So, these are nothing new.  It is typically a little more volume than we are used to but the large variety of exercises makes it more of a fun group challenge – part gut check – than an actually overly challenging workout that people hurt themselves.

My advice for those of you if you prefer to do something like a holiday or landmark workout is to build up to it.  Take a few months practicing the events of the Murph, or multiple exercise volume workouts, or high rep calisthenics max rep challenges.  Be smart and you can avoid injury.  Jump into something unprepared and you could be down with a variety of overuse pain.


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