I live for “Death By” workouts. Before I explain why I love them so much, let me explain their simple premise: You pick one exercise and set a timer. The first minute, you do one rep of the exercise. The second minute, you do two reps of the exercise; the third minute you do three reps, and so on. When you can’t finish your reps—say, 20 reps on minute 20—the workout ends.
“Death By” workouts are simple but not easy. They deliberately put you in an uncomfortable position in order to push you to your limits. They also kill your excuses. They require minimal equipment and time. In fact, most take less than 20 minutes and require only a will to suffer.
“Death By Burpee” is particularly great at forcing you to face what I call “The Moment:” That special point in a workout where your brain tells you to pack it in and go home — or the moment you decide to push yourself just a little further and overcome your mental demons. The first five minutes will seem easy. But after minute six, the fun stops. That first moment your brain tells you it’s time to stop, you need to recognize that you still have at least two more minutes in you. Pushing and getting that extra two minutes is where the real magic happens.
The best workouts test your psychological willpower as much as they do your body. That’s because it’s ultimately psychological barriers that block people from reaching their goals. You’re never going to get truly fit by just showing up and going through the motions.
The people who are most successful at getting fit show up to the gym, and they work harder than anyone else there. They don’t quit, make excuses, or take shortcuts. After their workout, they pay attention to their health outside of the gym by eating right and sleeping enough.
You build all those habits with the muscle between your head. If you build a strong mind that powers hard work and dedication, then all this “fitness stuff” is easy. This concept is why my new book, the Maximus Body, features an entire section devoted to helping you forge elite mental toughness and a never-quit attitude that will allow you to power through workouts. The reality is that if you don’t have that, you’re never really going to get fit.
The methods in the book are the same I use when I work with pro athletes, special forces soldiers, and A-list actors. The shit works. Trust me. In the book, you’ll also find a handful of other “Death By” workouts, as well as many other workouts designed to forge mental toughness.
Directions: Follow the “Death By” format: Start a timer, and do one burpee during minute one.
Do two burpees during minute two, three burpees during minute three, and so on.
Do as many rounds as possible for 10 to 20 minutes until you can’t do anymore burpees.