Men’s Health recently ran a story: “This 78-year-old’s birthday workout will wreck you.” I was wrecked just by the idea of working out on my 78th birthday.
I am someone who enjoys taking it easy on my birthday. Maybe I’ll walk the dog to the park. Or, since I am really enjoying cardio kickboxing class right now, I might do that class — maybe. If it didn’t interfere with my plans for lunch or seeing a movie matinee!
Thus, I can’t fathom each year having a set workout that gets more difficult as I age (and not just because my muscles are getting older too). But that’s exactly what Jacinto Bonilla does. For him, “birthdays are definitely not a day off from the gym.” Well, he is the so-called “grandfather of Crossfit,” so that makes some sense, but check out his reps.
Beginning on his 69th birthday, Bonilla created a workout that pushes him to do the number of repetitions of the exercise coinciding with his age. Yes, you read that correctly, he started this tradition at 69! On July 3rd, 2017 he turned 78 and so he did:
- 78 double unders with a jump rope
- 78 squats,
- 78 push-ups
- 78 pull-ups
- 78 wall ball shots
- 78 kettlebell swings
- 78 deadlifts with a 90-pound weight
- another round of those double unders (yeah, I didn’t know what those were either — apparently you make two passes per jump instead of just one).
The workout — now known as the Jacinto Storm — has spread worldwide among Crossfitters. Bonilla told those working with him this July in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen: “If you keep it up, you’ll be fine at 78, too.”
Still, even if I wanted to be that fit, I think I might save the Storm for the day after my birthday.