Humans are anti-fragile by nature. The concept of anti-fragility is not that we deflect attacks like a Gore-tex repels water, but that we, in fact, need resistance to grow stronger. Humanity is not totally activated, empowered, or fulfilled without challenge. Resistance activates us and breeds human flourishing. This is the backbone of all training. Resistance and adaptation.
We are now witnessing a human spiritual crisis. Across modern society depression, obesity, suicide, and drug overdoses have skyrocketed. We experience the highest standard of living in human history, yet few are fulfilled amid the affluence.
In the modern environment, necessary pain and challenges are no longer baked into the experience of being a human. We don’t sacrifice and toil for a larger group purpose. We don’t experience the self-actualization, satisfaction, and authenticity endeared through raw, vulnerable experience. We isolate, flee resistance, chase pleasure and remain a shell of our potential.
For self-development, you could stand in the mirror repeating mantras for 10 minutes but that won’t amount to a hill of beans without actual action. Inspiration follows action—it doesn’t precede it. Spend that 10-minutes doing a brutal 5-minutes of non-stop kettlebell swings, a 4-minute cold shower, and then a max set of push-ups and you’ll feel real confidence-real badassitude.
The most important thing we can do to flourish in this environment is to enter the challenge each day and train the capacity to enter temporary discomfort on behalf of a larger purpose. This is the process of training greater willpower. That is the point of the next four weeks. This challenge will offer clear daily adversity that stokes your capacity to act while introducing you to a variety of training methods.
The challenge will stretch 28 days. Every Friday I’ll update this page with the entire following week of challenges until all 4 weeks are done. I encourage you to bring friends and family in on this challenge. In this way, you can utilize positive peer pressure to build a habit of entering purposeful discomfort for 5-minutes or less each day.
Just bookmark this page and keep coming back to it.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Sunday
30 Jumping Jacks 10 Supermans
Now test yourself. How many push-ups, to a baseball, can you do without stopping. Record this number.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Monday
You will feel funny doing this, but allowing yourself to be awkward is another useful discomfort to overcome. Go through Dan John’s entire get-back-up series. Press play and join along.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Tuesday
The Tabata protocol is one of the best ways to jam a ton of fitness benefits in just four minutes. Tabatas are eight rounds alternating between 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. For this first one, we’ll alternate between frogger hip thrusters and push-ups. Set the timer and go, or if you want more guidance, you can just do them along with the video below.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Wednesday
Get in the shower with the water as cold as it can go and stay in for 3-minutes. Try to clear the chatter and simply experience this challenge.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Thursday
Today you’ll do another Tabata, but this time you only get one exercise. It will be more fatiguing. Tabata bear crawls. Feel free to crawl forward, back, and side to side. If you want to make it easier, do a bear walk. If you need to make it easier still, do a baby crawl on all fours.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Friday
For today’s challenge, you will do 5-minute nonstop planks and Superman holds. Whenever you can’t go any longer on one, go right into the next. Set your timer and go.
Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 1: Saturday
Being fit is great, but to stay healthy and recover well we need to be mobile. Set a timer and do each of these stretches for one minute per side.
Rear-foot-elevated hip flexor stretch (aka Couch Stretch) Figure Four