Waterbury Challenge 2011

Note: Damon Valley is the winner of the Waterbury Challenge 2011. Details coming soon!

Each new year people set fitness goals, and by the end of January those good intentions often get buried beneath a pile of outside obligations. I think the reason why people fail by the end of the month is because their goal wasn’t realistic – they try to do too much too soon. That’s why I created the Waterbury Challenge.

As a fitness professional my job is to outline a program you’ll stick with. It’s also my duty to ensure that the workout gets progressively harder over time so your body continues to transform.

We’re five days into the new year. Your hangover is gone, the family is back where they should be, and all those Holiday sweets have gone stale.

In other words, it’s time to get focused. It’s time to set some goals.

When it comes to setting and achieving goals, most of us fall short when we’re given options. Sounds ironic, I know, but it’s true. For example, if I told you to choose from a list of body weight exercises and do one of them every other day for the rest of the year, I’ll bet you’d eventually lose track.

However, if I told you to do a specific workout every day, it’s likely that you’d stick with it, provided it doesn’t mandate a trip to the gym. Yep, it would become part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth (unless you’re Jessica Simpson).Β Also, when a long-term goal is set in motion I like to make it logical – mathematically speaking.

That’s why in 2011 I’ve created the Waterbury Challenge. It’s a very short full-body workout that you’ll do every day. And since I like to keep things in sync with the passing year, the workout gets slightly more challenging each day. In other words, the reps for each exercise match the number of days that have passed since January 1.

Here’s the workout for today, the fifth day into the new year.

Pull-up for 5 reps
Push-up for 5 reps
Lunge for 5 reps with each leg

Seems like nothing, right? After all, that workout literally takes you one minute to complete. Heck, you could do it right now.

Tomorrow you’ll do six reps of each exercise since it’s the sixth day of the year. Friday you’ll do seven reps of each exercise. On January 31, 31 days into the new year, you’ll do this:

Pull-up for 31 reps
Push-up for 31 reps
Lunge for 31 reps with each leg

I think you probably have a grasp on this system by now.

Now, you might be wondering if on December 31 you’ll have to do 365 reps of each exercise. That’s not necessary, although you must admit it’d be pretty cool. Plus, it would take a pretty big leap of faith on my part to assume that any of us could stay on track for 365 days straight.

However, what if you followed that progressive workout for half the year – 182 days? Well, my birthday is July 1 and it just so happens to be the halfway point in the year. So that, my friends, is how long the 2011 Waterbury Challenge will last – 182 days.

This challenge serves three important purposes. First, it makes fitness a part of your daily life. Second, it will build your mettle and willpower, and this will carry over into everything else you do. Third, it will help you get leaner and stronger over the next 6 months because this workout will serve as a complement to your training program. Think of it as a metabolic booster or GPP work.

Plus, if you’re ever in need of a conversation starter at a party or business meeting, just tell them you’re doing this challenge and you’re sure to entertain, or scare the hell out of, your friends.

Now, here’s my challenge to you. Join me on this journey (yep, I’m doing it, too) and video yourself doing 182 reps pull-up, push-up and lunge on July 1, 2011.

On that day I’ll put $500 into the Paypal account of the person who has the fastest time to completion.

Or forget about the competition and prize money and just do it to get leaner, stronger and healthier.

For those of you who want to participate but are interested in the challenge more than the prize, check out the answers to these questions that you’re probably thinking.

Question: Is this a stand alone program?
Answer: No, definitely not. This challenge should be performed in addition to your current training program. For example, if you’re doing the Body of F.I.R.E. program, add these daily workouts on top of it, at any point in the day (it only takes a few minutes at first).
Do this workout first thing in the morning or use it as your warm-up for your regular workout on days you lift weights. Any push-ups, pull-ups or lunges that are already in your regular program don’t count towards your daily requirement. This must be added on top of what you’re already doing.

Question: What if I can’t do a pull-up?
Answer: If you’re a female, or too weak to do a full pull-up, you can do any upper body pull in place of it: inverted row, dumbbell row, lat pulldown, assisted pull-up, etc. It doesn’t matter which upper body pulling exercise you use, just choose one you have access to every day.
However, to win the prize money you have to do pull-ups (any hand position is accepted).

Question: Can I slightly vary the exercises over time?
Answer: Yes, it’s wise to use different variations of the exercise every few days. For example, you can switch between a wide hand position push-up and a narrow one. Or you could do forward lunges instead of reverse lunges. For pull-ups, use different hand positions.

Question: This sounds like too much volume. How am I supposed to do that many pull-ups every day?
Answer: Well, it wouldn’t be a challenge if it were easy. However, I understand that some people won’t have the will to knock off such a high volume of pull-ups in the months to come. However, it’ll be months before you get to a high volume, and your body will be prepared for it.
You can use any upper body pulling movement in place of the pull-up. Just be certain it’s an exercise that you could easily do 10 times right from the start (even though you’ll only do 5 reps the first day). Then stick with that same weight throughout the months to come. At the very least, do the lunges and push-ups every day.

Question: Who qualifies for the prize money?
Answer: Anyone who’s on my newsletter list. If you haven’t signed up you can do so at the banner on the top of this page. Then, reply to this post and say “I’m in.” That’s all it takes.

Question: What if I can’t start today?
Answer: You must start by Friday, January 7, to reap the full benefits (you’ll start with 7 reps of each exercise on that day).

Question: I’m a female and I want to join this challenge. Is it fair to make me do pull-ups to win the cash?
Answer: Females can perform an inverted row (on a bar or TRX straps) instead of pull-ups. If she has the fastest time, she’ll win the money.

Question: Do I have to do all the reps in one set?
Definitely not. Once we get further into the year you’ll have to break up the total reps into a few sets to achieve the goal for that day. Do as many sets as it takes. Do the workout as a circuit or straight sets – it doesn’t matter. Just get the reps done every day.

Question: What if I miss a workout?
Answer: Don’t.

Stay focused,
P.S. Remember to reply to this post and say “I’m in” by January 7 to qualify for the cash.

121 thoughts on “Waterbury Challenge 2011

  1. Always up for a challenge. I’m in and going to get members of my gym involved as well.

  2. Shouldn’t be it at least 1.5x for pushups (or 2x ?). Pull ups are much more challanging than pushups and it seems unbalanced πŸ™‚

    Anyway, this is great, started today πŸ™‚

    CW: This challenge isn’t about precise ratios, it’s about making fitness a part of your daily life. Most people will benefit from having stronger pulling muscles, that’s why I used the pull-up. In other words, most people are “push dominant” to begin with so this will help balance things out. But if you feel you’ll end up imbalanced, do more heavy pressing in your normal workouts.

  3. I’m in!! from Paris!!!
    First, sorry for my bad english, i’m french πŸ˜‰
    Can we split the workout in circuit?
    for example: 10 pull-up, 10 push-up, 10 lunges then 10 pullup, 10 push-up, 10 lunges etc… ?
    or we do all the pull-up then we do all the push-up, then all the lunges ??
    For the lunges, can we do walking lunges?

    Sorry for my Borat english style lol
    Thanks a lot Chad, for all your program and workout, good job πŸ˜‰

    CW: Do the reps any way you want – it doesn’t matter, as I mentioned. Just get the reps done every day. It doesn’t matter if the lunges are walking or stationary.

  4. I’ll give it a bash but I’m already struggling on day 7! Elbow tendinitis and pull ups not a good combination unfortunately. Interesting challenge though.

    CW: Use a pulling exercise that doesn’t cause pain, and get that tendonitis checked out by an ART practitioner at http://www.activerelease.com

  5. I would love to be in!

    My son’s b-day is July 1st as well…. he will be 19! always a great day
    I have deQuervein’s with my left wrist now, but am able to do fist pushups,
    so this is perfect! Energy & Strength to all!
    thank you Chad

  6. Let’s go, I’ll just substitute chin-ups for rear deltoid flies. I think it will balance my shoulders?

    CW: Yep, that’ll work. And don’t be afraid to mix it up and throw in external rotations or rows.

  7. Chad, I still look like crap, but I dig your body of fire program, so I’m in.

  8. I’ll try and give it a go.abit nervous about starting cause once I start that means I really gotta try and give it a go.

  9. Chad:

    Now that the gate is bolted, and we are on our way (I signed up yesterday), are you going to provide some guidelines for the form of the final challenge? There’s a pull-up, and then there’s a pull-up. How strict is the form, for example?

    I have followed your work (and bought your books). You do good work. Thanks!

    The most pull-ups I have done is 76 (from memory), as part of a certain “GPP ASAP” program, which I use to this day from time to time. 76 is still a long way from 180 of course, and the formula is quite different, but even so this will be a bitch by end March alone. I personally look forward to the challenge unfolding: win or lose, I can only look and feel better in six months by trying.

    Take care, and thanks for giving everyone an opportunity to get licked into (better) shape. πŸ™‚

    CW: A true pull-up starts from a full hang. From there, your chin must pass the bar. That’s a real pull-up. Only pull-ups like that count toward the total.

  10. hey chad, i just wanted to thank you man. ive been doinn your sob training for a while now and swimming for thirty minutes on the days i dont. i just wanted to thank you for some of the most awesome gains ive had in my life, SCREW SPLITS, FULL BODY FOR LIFE. also, i noticed some of your programs have you goin back and forth (a1 to a2) from different stations after every set. however, this isnt an option for me, because my gym is gigantic and crowded. so my point is can i just preform a1 back to back and then move on to a2? or is it better to do a set of bench, rest, squat, rest, bench…? or can i squat the sets back to back then move on to bench? thnx alot man

    CW: It’s better to alternate between two antagonist exercises such as an upper body push and pull. You can make this work in any gym. For example, do a set of bench press followed by a set of dumbbell rows (keep the dumbbell next to the bench so you don’t have to leave the bench).

  11. I wish I would have stumbled upon this a few days ago, but I will still challenge myself. Is there any requirement for push up tempo or depth?

    CW: Your chest must touch the floor and your arms must be locked out at the top. That’s all that’s required.

  12. I’m already doing your challenge,but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to send you the video. But I’m definitely doing the challenge,it’s really great,Thank God that we have you Chad,you always comes up with new ideas to make and keep us healthy,and your routines are the best,Thanks again.
    And I’ll also try to make video for the challenge too.

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