Birthday physical challenge

Every year since I turned 32, I have been challenging myself to carry out a physical feat. I’m not trying to break any records, I’m just trying to keep in shape, give myself something to aim for each year, and hopefully improve myself for every year that goes by.

2009 – Challenge 32: 5km run in under 30 minutes (without training)
On the day: Ran 5km in 25 minutes

2010 – Challenge 33: Jillian Michaels Shred DVD – all 3 workouts (1 ½ hours)
On the day: Completed the challenge. Tweeted with Jillian and the BL team afterwards 🙂

2011 – Challenge 34: Max pushups in 34 minutes
On the day: 516 completed push ups in 34 minutes

2012 – Challenge 35: 500 pushups and 500 squats in 35 minutes
On the day: Completed 500 pushups and 500 squats with over 2 minutes to spare.

2013 – Challenge 36: Max chin-ups in 36 minutes
On the day: 184 completed chin-ups in 36 minutes

2014 – Challenge 37: Max chin-ups in 37 minutes
On the day: 255 completed chin-ups in 37 minutes

2015 – Challenge 38: 38 reps on as many different bodyweight exercises as possible, in 38 minutes
On the day: In 38 minutes:

  • 38 x bench press (60kg on the bar)
  • 38 x dips
  • 38 x chin ups
  • 38 x pull ups
  • 38 x squats (60kg on the bar)
  • 38 x push ups
  • 38 x leg raise crunches
  • 38 x burpees with jump and push up

2016 – Challenge 39: 100 bodyweight bench press, 50 bodyweight squats, 100 chin-ups, in 39 minutes
On the day: In 39 minutes (with 15 seconds to spare!)

  • 100 x bodyweight bench press (60kg on the bar)
  • 50 x bodyweight squats (60kg on the bar)
  • 100 x chin-ups

2017 – Challenge 40: Lift 40 tons (40,000 kg) with 4 exercises: bench press, squats, chin ups, dips, and raise money for Kreftforeningen (the Norwegian Cancer Association).
On the day: Total weight lifted: 40,100 kg. Total raised for Kreftforeningen: 10,950 kr. http://innsamling.kreftforeningen.no/kfarbeid/5-6439

Workout breakdown:

  • 10 x bench press @ 20kg = 200 kg (warmup set)
  • 10 x squats @ 20kg = 200 kg (warmup set)
  • 250 x bench press @ 40kg = 10,000 kg
  • 200 x squats @ 40 kg = 8,000kg
  • 250 x chin ups (bodyweight) @ 62kg = 15,500 kg
  • 100 x dips (bodyweight) @ 62kg = 6,200 kg

2018 – Challenge 41: 41 reps on 41 exercises.
On the day:

  • Ex.1: 41 x bodyweight bench press (62.5 kg)
  • Ex.2: 41 x incline leg press (60 kg + machine weight)
  • Ex.3: 41 x chin-ups
  • Ex.4: 41 x pull-ups
  • Ex.5: 41 x dips
  • Ex.6: 41 x bicep curls with dumbbells (10 kg)
  • Ex.7: 41 x horizontal tricep pullovers with dumbbell (20 kg)
  • Ex.8: 41 seconds farmer’s walk (2 x 20 kg kettlebells)
  • Ex.9: 41 x upright rows, bar only (20 kg)
  • Ex.10: 41 x shoulder press, bar only (20 kg)
  • Ex.11: 41 x standard press ups
  • Ex.12: 41 x starjumps
  • Ex.13: 41 x mid-rows (61.5 kg)
  • Ex.14: 41 x crunches
  • Ex.15: 41 x step-ups (30 cm, 41 reps per leg)
  • Ex.16: 41 x leg press (100 kg)
  • Ex.17: 41 x leg raises (30 kg)
  • Ex.18: 41 x shrugs (16 kg kettlebells)
  • Ex.19: 41 x wide press ups
  • Ex.20: 41 x narrow press ups
  • Ex.21: 41 x low-rows (50 kg)
  • Ex.22: 41 x supermans
  • Ex.23: 41 x leg scissors (abs)
  • Ex.24: 41 x leg raises (abs)
  • Ex.25: 41 x horizontal leg extensions (abs)
  • Ex.26: 41 seconds standard plank
  • Ex.27: 41 seconds left side plank
  • Ex.28: 41 seconds right side plank
  • Ex.29: 41 x bicep curl on cable cross machine (32 kg)
  • Ex.30: 41 x tricep pull down on cable cross machine (32 kg)
  • Ex.31: 41 seconds arm’s length hold, kettlebell (4 kg)
  • Ex.32: 41 x bodyweight lat pull down, underhand (50 kg)
  • Ex.33: 41 x bodyweight lat pull down, overhand (50 kg)
  • Ex.34: 41 x tricep dips, bench
  • Ex.35: 41 x squats, holding 12,5 kg dumbbell
  • Ex.36: 41 x standing tricep extension, plate overhead (20 kg)
  • Ex.37: 41 x bicep curl with bar (20 kg)
  • Ex.38: 41 x chest fly (machine) (20.5 kg)
  • Ex.39: 41 x reverse fly (machine) (20.5 kg)
  • Ex.40: 41 x incline press (30 kg)
  • Ex.41: 41 x reverse supermans/jack-knives

Workout time: 2 hours, 50 minutes + stretching.

2019 – Challenge 42: Strength and cardio challenge
On the day:

  • Ex.1: 42 bodyweight bench press (60 kg on the bar)
  • Ex.2: 42 bodyweight squats (60 kg on the bar)
  • Ex.3: 42 chin ups
  • Ex.4: 42 dips
  • Ex.5: 42 calories on cross-trainer
  • Ex.6: 42 calories on treadmill
  • Ex.7: 42 calories on rowing machine
  • Ex.8: 420 calories on bike

All exercises strict form, full range of motion, no ‘kipping’.


My challenge to you: Challenge yourself to a physical feat on your next birthday – something you couldn’t do a year ago! It gives you a fantastic feeling of achievement! 🙂