Villain Challenge #1

Ok, so a little over a week since this thing went public, and we’re happy as hell to have you all here. We are building something real good here and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow.

The first few installments tackled some of the more philosophical aspects of this entire villain thing. We talked about some of the characteristics that we find admirable and desirable in an individual, and shared some experiences. Similar articles will continue as the site goes on, and I am very excited about the list of contributors that I have lined up. Some columns, like that of “Sunshine” are here to provide entertainment for the readers. StrengthVillain is not ever going to be a run of the mill website that solely discusses strength training. There will always be fresh and entertaining content put out to entertain as well as to educate.

That brings us to this, the latest offering…                        -JP

We will be issuing a series of “Villain Challenges” these are intended to promote specific physical adaptations and create a well balanced, capable, villainous athlete. The challenges will all be simple in design, and will be trainable for anyone without special equipment. There is literally no excuse for a person who is not injured or disabled to not take on these challenges.

Challenge #1 is an old Greyskull standard, and here it is.

100 Burpees in 5 minutes.

We all know the burpee. It is a terrible calisthenic movement that elicits a very shitty systemic feeling when performed quickly and for high reps. Accomplishing 100 of these nasty SOB’s in 5 minutes means holding a 1 Burpee every 3 second pace or better for 5 minutes.

An overweight and or out of shape individual could begin by doing 3 or 4 sets of 5, with the goal being to accomplish the sets in less than 15 seconds per. Once they can do that, they would add a few reps, trying for sets of 7 or 10. Each time the time goals are made across the board, they would add repetitions per set.

A more in shape individual might begin with sets of 20 to be done in 1 minute, or even (as I would advise) sprint sets of 10 to be accomplished in 30 seconds or less.

The simple goal formula is: #of Burpees x 3= Target in seconds

The idea here is consistency, working towards a goal over time. This is something that can be trained daily, as in 7 days per week. How much do you honestly think your strength training will be affected by 3 sets of 10 burpees? I would have you do this after your weight training on training days, and on all of the other days in between with the understanding that missing a day here or there certainly isn’t the end of the world. After all it is what we do most of the time that matters, not what we do some of the time.

The Burpee

Ask yourself, what do you think the cumulative effect of the work necessary day in, day out, to knock this goal off of the list will be on your cardiovascular health/fitness/conditioning? What about your body composition? Do you think that your body will look exactly the same as it does now once you can accomplish this goal, assuming you are a ways off? I often tell beginner trainees desiring more upper body development that when they can bench press 100 pounds more than they can currently they will look like a guy who benches 100 pounds more than they do currently. The same goes here. Consistent effort towards the goal over time is hands down the most important variable in training as well as in many other aspects of life.

This challenge is an example of the villain mentality as it applies to training. Eat lots of good food, lift heavy weights, chin, dip, condition with calisthenics and other methods, and you will in time take on the appearance of a guy or gal who consistently does all of the above mentioned things. You do not have to be fat and sloppy to be strong. To quote my friend Anthony Roberts, we are about building “a nation of linebackers”.

So here’s the first challenge, 100 Burpees, five minutes. Get hot on it. Post your progress in the logs, ask questions if needed. Once you have it down, video it and submit it. Those completing the challenge will receive a reward as well as the intrinsic reward of knowing that you accomplished something that few will do.

Stay tuned for Villain Challenge #2!

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34 Responses

  1. Bony

    Just like old times.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:18 am

  2. Drew

    This sounds awful. I’m in. Will be posting the progress in my log.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

  3. Theo

    Sick… I have chickened out of this in the past, but I do so no longer.

    November 9, 2010 at 7:31 am

  4. David Long

    I was looking at adding a little more conditioning so this will fit right in. The first try is gonna suck and be humbling, but if being a villain was eay everyone would do it. Haven’t done a single burpee in…4 months? 5?

    November 9, 2010 at 11:41 am

  5. Jay Deeming

    Site looks great JP – followed greyskull for a long time and am building a group of solid lifters here in Afghanistan while deployed with the Australian army – will let you know how we go with the challenge.

    November 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    • Yawning Chain

      “a nation of linebackers” another gold nugget from this website. Keep ’em coming. Now back to the burpees.

      November 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

  6. Toby

    These things suck and I think it takes me about 3 seconds just to fall to the floor from a standing position. That being said, I could use the conditioning.

    November 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

  7. Kendrick Brix

    Ugh. Okay, I’ll do it.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

  8. The Dane

    Fantastic – will start doing these, I need some cardio-vascular conditioning.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  9. Andrew

    Does the Greyskull version of the burpee include the pushup, or is it the same as the USMC burpee where you just assume a pushup position before coming back into a crouch/jump position? Can’t tell from the pic if the guy is doing a pushup or just in position.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

  10. Andrew, the Greyskull version has you just flop to the bottom of the pushup position, chest to floor, without doing a pushup, and then jumping back to your feet and then in the air.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm

  11. Brian Christian

    I’ll take the challenge!

    November 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

  12. B.Ibarra

    “the Greyskull version has you just flop to the bottom of the pushup position,”

    That actually sounds not half bad. Practically what mine look like after about 10 anyways.

    November 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  13. MAD9692

    Convict conditioning….awesome.
    Lift heavy to be able to throw a foe on their necks….condition with burpees to continue to do so for long periods of time.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm

  14. Simon

    > The first few installments tackled some
    > of the more philosophical aspects of
    > this entire villain thing. We talked
    > about some of the characteristics
    > that we find admirable and desirable
    > in an individual,

    You admire some despicable things. I wish you spectacular failure.

    November 9, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  15. LT

    Is it possible to be a villain from New Hope, Pa? Great challenge John, 100 burpees in 5 minutes on top of lifting heavy will turn us into a nation of monsterbackers

    November 10, 2010 at 12:02 am

  16. KittyMcTaco

    Simon – shut the fuck up.

    November 10, 2010 at 4:24 am

  17. KLove

    You had me at “building a nation of linebackers.” I accept this challenge, though it is going to take me a long time of focused work.

    November 10, 2010 at 5:39 am

  18. Wildcard1989

    I too was needing to add some conditioning after my strength training… hoping to have a video to post.. btw. site looks great JP… congrats brother

    November 10, 2010 at 7:20 am

  19. Jay Deeming

    Well, well, consider me humbled!
    Hit this one hard at the start – had 20 burpees out in the first 45 seconds… looking good…. then started to hurt.
    Just got the 40 in 2 minutes and then my brain started saying ‘you can’t do this.’

    The middle was hell but then I had a minute to go and I suddenly thought, just maybe.. finished up with 88 reps in 5 minutes, straight away wishing I’d kept the faith from 40 to 60 and may have got there. GREAT challenge JP – awesome.

    November 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

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  22. sapper09

    @Jay Deeming

    Hey, fellow Aussie here – how’s things in the sandpit?

    What unit are you with? I’m a chocko at the moment, but been trying to transfer to ARA for the last 9 months…

    Stay safe, mate.

    December 18, 2010 at 8:46 am

  23. Jay Deeming

    Hey sapper09 – mate i’m a recon grunt with the fifth battallion – the engineers here are fantastic and they’re saving our lives on a regular basis – wish you all the best with the transfer.

    JP – it’s killing me – got 97 on my last attempt! I was at about 94 reps with 15 seconds to go and I said to myself, “ok, time to put in…….” there wasn’t much there to ‘put in’. I will have this next time.

    They way we’ve been training for this one is every couple of weeks after our lifting we’ll do 15 on 15 off 30 on 30 off 1 minute on 1 minute off then 2 minutes on 2 minutes off and then back down the ladder to 15 seconds – seems to be doing the trick.

    January 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  24. Kathy Joseph

    OK, I did 5 today. Had a good laugh at how terribly out of shape I am. You have to start somewhere and I will make progress.

    February 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm

  25. Randy Harkins

    I did 39 in five minutes my first time. I was really huffing and puffing. Wow! If I do this every day I am sure to drop a few pounds (My girlfriend says that I’ll be dead in a week. Lol!) My goal is to be able to do 50 by my 63rd birthday (in less than a week).

    February 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

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  27. GRAMBO@Old Country Barbell Club

    Villain Challenge #1 in 4:45

    Great site Mr. Pain

    March 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

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  32. Jim Edington

    7:45. Ouch. First attempt…I have a long ways to go. Half of the time I was stepping back instead of hopping both legs at once.

    January 12, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    • Jim Edington

      2nd attempt tonight slower than yesterday. 8:01.

      January 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm

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