28 Day Anti-Fragile Human Challenge

This challenge will offer a clear daily adversity that stokes your capacity to act while introducing you to a variety of training methods.

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.

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 Saturday 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.

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

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
Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Sunday

As many rounds as possible (AMRAP)

  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 10/side Diagonal Chops
  • 5/side Break Dancer

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Monday

  • How long can you hold a right leg wall sit?
  • How long can you hold a left leg wall sit?
  • How long can you hold 90-degree push-up iso hold?

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Tuesday

Get in the shower with the water as cold as it can go and stay in for 3-minutes and 30 seconds. Try to clear the chatter and simply experience this challenge.

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Wednesday

AMRAP in 5-minutes

  • 20 Plank Jacks
  • 5/side Alternating V-Up
  • 5/side Sprinter Starts

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Thursday

Set a timer for 3-minutes of practice

  • Jumping Side Kick Through

Want more?

  • Try the Monkey Cartwheel

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Friday

Five-minutes of lunges. Forward lunges, reverse lunges, or, for better scenery, walking lunges. Do not stop.

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 2: Saturday

“Observation and Perception are two different things; the observing eye is stronger, the perceiving eye is weaker.”

Miyamoto Musashi

Ready to get really uncomfortable? Find a quiet place and set a timer for five minutes. Sit, or lie, on the floor, and do nothing, except watching your breath. Every time you catch your mind wandering, just let that thought go and watch the breath.

You’ll wonder if you are doing it wrong. You aren’t. The monkey mind is just hard to tame. Every time you catch your mind wandering and return to the breath, that’s a mental push-up. This is a practice in observing life as it is and separating observation from perception.

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Sunday

Today we are doing five rounds. Every minute on the minute, you will have a new exercise and set number of reps. Whatever time is left in that minute after you have finished the reps is for you to rest. Set your timers and move.

  • Round 1: 120 Jumping Jacks
  • Round 2: 100 Mountain Climbers
  • Round 3: 1-leg Glute Bridges – 30 (15 per side)
  • Round 4: 20 Donkey Kicks
  • Round 5: Three Step Lateral Shuffles – 5 per side

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Monday

5-minute AMRAP:

  • 10 Air Squats
  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 5 Supermans

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Tuesday

Get in the shower with the water as cold as it can go and stay in for 4 minutes. Try to clear the chatter and simply experience this challenge.

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Wednesday

Five-Minute (10 Round) Two-Exercise Tabata:

  • Burpees and Russian Twists

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Thursday

We live in an insane world. You have to be willing to buck convention or you’ll be swept away to norms like Pop Tarts for breakfast or spending hours each day on social media despite research that more time leads to more loneliness and depression. You have to be willing to be the weirdo. Today you will practice building an immunity to social awkwardness. At work, or someplace very weird, do these stretches:

  • 1-minute/Leg Rear-Foot-Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch
  • 1-minute/Leg Figure Four

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Friday

Head down the ladder dropping two reps each set.

  • 10 Jump Lunges
  • 10 Typewriter Push-Ups
  • 8 Jump Lunges
  • 8 Typewriter Push-Ups
  • 6 Jump Lunges
  • 6 Typewriter Push-Ups
  • 4 Jump Lunges
  • 4 Typewriter Push-Ups
  • 2 Jump Lunges
  • 2 Typewriter Push-Ups

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 3: Saturday

Again, get in the shower with the water as cold as it can go and stay in for 4 minutes. Embrace this experience and clear your thoughts.

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

This week may require a bit more planning than normal. This seemed appropriate for the final challenge.

Remember as an added challenge, do your Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday workouts within the first 20-minutes of being awake. Will yourself to get up and go!

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Sunday

5 Minute Quadzilla (EMOM)

  • 10 Spiderman 180 Jumps
  • 12 Hindu Squats

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Monday

5 minute Strength AMRAP

  • 3 Push-Ups
  • 5 per side 1-Leg Glute Bridge
  • 5 per side Reverse Lunge to Power Skip

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Tuesday

Get in the shower with the water as cold as it can go and stay in for five minutes. Try to clear the chatter and simply experience this challenge.

Bonus Challenge: I told you all challenges would take 5 minutes or less. this one actually takes no time. Fast until lunch. Shoot for 17 hours between dinner Monday night and your first meal Tuesday. Allow water and coffee. Hunger is just a petulant child. Ignore it, engage in tasks, and you’ll forget its there whining.

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Wednesday

  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Supermans

Now do a max push-ups set to a baseball. Beat your original number!

There is time remaining – 15 burpees, go!

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Thursday

5 Exercises: 45 seconds of work/15 seconds rest

  1. Inchworms
  2. Bicycles
  3. Breakdancers
  4. Glute Bridge Crunch
  5. Mountain Climbers

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Friday

4-Minute Alternating Exercise Tabata

  • Three-step Lateral Shuffles to Push-up
  • Supermans

Bonus Challenge: 5-minutes of meditation.

To review, find a quiet place and set a timer for five minutes. Sit, or lie, on the floor, and do nothing, except watching your breath. Every time you catch your mind wandering, just let that thought go and watch the breath.

You’ll wonder if you are doing it wrong. You aren’t. The monkey mind is just hard to tame. Every time you catch your mind wandering and return to the breath, that’s a mental push-up. This is a practice in observing life as it is and separating observation from perception.

Anti-Fragile Human Challenge Week 4: Saturday

This day is your rite of passage. For today you’ll need a kettlebell or dumbbell that is 1/4 your body weight. For example, at 200 pounds you’ll need a 50 pounder. Set a timer and do five minutes straight of suitcase carries.

Keep your core tight, shoulders down and back, and keep a good grip. Whenever your grip needs rest switch arms, but keep walking.

Find Your Workout
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4