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For those of you that have been following my journey, you will know that I’ve been doing the Athlean X AX1 program as a part of fat loss program. And I’m happy to say that it has worked wonders.
One of the ways they benchmark your improvement is by getting you to participate in the 400 challenge. It is a series of the following.
- 100 situps
- 100 inverted rows (bodyweight)
- 100 squats
- 100 push-ups
The goal is to do it as quickly as you can with correct form.
In the AX-1 program, you get the chance to do the 400 challenge a few times. However, in the last run, I researched strategies to help me shave more time off.
How did I go in the 400 challenge?
I didn’t record the times for the first few properly, but the improvement was along the following lines.
- 17 minutes 30 seconds
- 15 minutes
- 13 minutes
- 9 minutes
In this post, I’m going to breakdown the strategy that I used and a couple of other things that you may find helpful as well.
400 challenge transition strategy.
This made a huge difference to shaving down my time. I’ll admit that I had no idea what I was doing the first time around and those seconds transitioning from laying down to standing add up quickly as your body starts to fatigue.
On my final run, I did the exercises in this order.
- Inverted rows
What was the rep split strategy for the 400 challenge?
This was another key factor and in hindsight, I probably would have opted for something a bit more aggressive.
In a nutshell, the fewer transitions you can do, the more time you will save. At the same time, you don’t want to fatigue your body so much that you won’t be able to complete the reps quickly.
Below is the rep split that I used to get 9 minutes in the 400 challenge.
- 10 inverted rows
- 10 situps
- 10 inverted rows
- 10 situps
- 20 squats
- 20 push-ups
This was done for 5 rounds.
I think if you can do fewer rounds, you will shave-off more time.
If you can, I’d suggest doing the following.
- Squats – 40, 30, 30 or 50, 50.
- Push-ups – 30, 30, 20, 20 or 35, 35, 30
- Inverted pull-ups – Reps of 20 if possible.
- Sit-ups – Reps of 20 if possible
It definitely sounds easier than it actually is.
What other things helped?
One thing is resting up the day before you do the test.
I’ll admit, this is something I didn’t do on my last one as I played touch football and my body was fatigued. But I am still glad that I was able to beat my personal best.
Losing body weight
This helped a tonne (pardon the pun!) I went from having to power through 80-90kg of my body weight to only 78kg on my last attempt. This meant that I could power through my exercises quicker than in my previous attempts.
Eating the right nutrition gave me the right type of energy.
This is a big deal. Since I’ve been able to get a good grip on my nutrition, I can fuel my body in the morning and set it up so that I will have the energy to conduct my exercises in the evening. I also focused on eating more salads that day to keep my body light.
Please don’t cheat by doing half reps!
When I was seeing other videos of some guys doing the challenge in less than 8 minutes, I had to question their form. Some of the push-ups were half push-ups. Same with the squats. Even the inverted row was done with their legs bent. They did get a faster time, but it defeated the purpose of the challenge which is to test your fitness level. So make sure you do each rep with the full range of motion.
I’m now in my 12th week of AX-1, so I’m not sure when I will do the 400 challenge again. If you have done the 400 challenge, please leave a comment and tell us the strategy that you used and the time that you were able to achieve.
I hope that you found this helpful.
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