Try This Experiment (From A Billionaire And A Marine)

Try This Experiment (From A Billionaire And A Marine)

I lived with a friend a few weeks ago. He told me a short phrase a billionaire had told him a few years earlier when he asked, “How do you make $1,000,000,000?”


“Train to swim 10 laps and you’ll get tired on lap 8. Train to swim 100 laps and you’ll get tired on lap 80.” Was his simple reply.


I’d also recently watched a YouTube video about the Marines ‘40% Rule’. I’m not sure if this ‘rule’ actually exists, but the idea is that when you feel like you’re dead and burned out you’ve really just used up 40% of the gas in your tank.


Hearing these two messages one after another motivated me to push a little further than normal.


My morning workout consists of 3 sets of 30 jump squats. It’s pretty tiring for me. Using the 40% rule as a rough estimate I decided that after my normal workout with 3 sets of 30 I would do 100 in a row without stopping. It’s probably not that hard for your average cross-fitter, but for me it was challenging to get motivated to jump into it!


But… I did it without a problem.


Every 2nd day is a ‘rest’ day for my legs, so the day after was jump squat day again.


That day after the normal workout I doubled my previous attempt and decided to do 200 jump squats in a row without stopping.


The loud music in my ears certainly helped, but it wasn’t impossible and I did it. During my normal workouts, I started feeling tired around jump 20.


Run This Experiment On Yourself


  1. Decide to do something that requires more endurance than you’re used to. Make your ‘standard’ amount 40% of the new goal. If you’re like me, your brain screams ‘No!’ in denial.

  1. Get started. Feel how the mental pain of continuing diminishes as you progress, and how the physical pain gets bad but then plateaus at a lower level than you expected. You can keep going.

  1. When you’re done, see how you feel. It’s feels great to crush a past limitation. It’s good even if you’re physically hurting.


The Results


I’m no fitness junky and 200 jump squats is nothing to be proud of but doing this little experiment got me back ‘on track’ mentally.


When I’m up late and tired, wondering if I should finish an important project that shouldn’t be set back another day, it’s easier to stay up and get it done.


When I’m reading a book and start getting bored, it’s easier to stay focused.


The regular 30 morning jump squats are easier than ever before.


Cold showers don’t even feel as cold.


Action Steps


Push through one of your mental boundaries. See how you feel afterwards.


Your brain will scream out for you not to do it, but if you do you’ll be glad you did.


OR, if you want… give me another physical barrier to push through. If you post it in the comments it will be a public challenge. 😉


(Please no long-distance running as I don’t have the shoes (or the feet) for it.)


Well what are you waiting for? Challenge me to something difficult. You can post here in the comments, message me via my contact form, of publicly challenge me on Twitter.