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Burn The Ships: June Edition

Burn The Ships: June Edition

We’re introducing a new series for Members. It’s called Burn the Ships. It features a tough weekly workout that will improve your performance and help you not break Rule 2. We’ll do the workout every Friday.

Why it matters: Doing one tough workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over the weekend) is a positive, life-giving way to end the workweek.

Some housekeeping

  • This is the first post for members only. Thanks to all who became Members in May!
  • If you’re not a member, you can become one below to access the entirety of this post.
  • Note that the audio readings of Member posts will be at the bottom of the page, just above our excellent sponsor shoutouts. If you want access to audio readings, become a Member.
  • Special shoutout to Fernando Delaserna for the Burn The Ships image above. He’s one of the last great American Traditional tattoo artists and based in Las Vegas.

In April, I wrote about one of my favorite workouts I learned from my time reporting inside Gym Jones, a place that was intense in the sense that a gunfight is intense.

We’d usually do that workout on Fridays. That’s because Fridays were reserved for the week’s toughest workout.

There was something purifying about doing a challenging workout that weekday. It wiped the workweek off the books and made me feel like I was riding high into the weekend.

I’ve continued the practice of making Friday workouts more challenging.

There’s an upside to pushing it once a week. Scientists at King’s College in London analyzed 53 studies on how intense exercise impacts mental health. They found that it led to “improvements in mental wellbeing, depression severity, and perceived stress compared to non-active controls, and small improvements in mental wellbeing compared to active controls.”

Intense exercise also seems to have a slight edge over less intense exercise for increasing VO2 max, which is associated with all sorts of good physical outcomes.

In other words, all exercise helps. But it probably makes sense to go hard sometimes.

But more isn’t always better when it comes to intense exercise. The smartest trainers I regularly speak with suggest that one tough workout a week is the sweet spot for health and performance. More than that, and we tend to get burned out and beat down. Less than that, and we miss out on some health and performance upsides.

Enter Burn the Ships.

Burn the Ships: How it works

On the first Friday of every month, we’ll publish a new workout for Members only on 2%.

The idea is that you’ll do the workout every Friday for the rest of the month. (Don’t sweat if you can’t do it Friday—just try to do it some time each week.)

We’ve designed these workouts to be safe and effective. They’ll improve your strength, cardio, movement quality, and—in turn—your health and performance.

In other words, we’re pushing edges safely. It’s easy to be hard but hard to be smart.

“It’d be a lot cooler if you did …”

2% is a cult whose Kool-Aid is a desire to improve ourselves and the world.

And as a cult, we should be interacting and spreading our weird message.

If you like, spread the workout on social media. Tag me and use #burntheships

Or don’t if you think social media is a wasteland. Which it can be—unless you’re using it to share fun group workouts and build a cult that helps people. :)

(I’m kidding about the cult thing … or am I?)

This Month’s Workout: High Speed, Low Drag