There's no age limit on fitness

Thursday 25 May 2017

It’s the most feared physical exercise in gym history. A move so ugly, so gruesome, the mere mention sends shudders down the spine of even the most fearless gym goer.

We’re talking about the Burpee.

A staple for military boot camps and elite athletes, the burpee is considered to be the most effective plyometric exercise at blasting fat and improving cardiovascular fitness. It’s a six-count move that includes two jumps, a couple of squats, a push-up, and a whole lot of suffering.

Could you imagine conquering an entire hour of them?

Kate Beeley did. She defeated the Guinness World Record for the most burpess completed by a female in one hour – that’s 1,321 burpees. Which is 22 burpees a minute, in case you were wondering.

We sat down with Kate to find out how she pushed through 60 minutes of hell. 

Oh, and did we mention Kate’s a 40-year-old mum from Brisbane? Bet you didn’t see that coming!

Why the fitness industry?

I had always been physically fit and decided I wanted to start my own business – something I could work in around my family, and something that I loved doing.

What does your typical training week look like?

I train five-to-six days per week, and it usually looks something like this:

  • Monday – Boxing, one hour
  • Tuesday – CrossFit class
  • Wednesday -  HIIT (high intensity interval training)
  • Thursday – Kangaroo Point stairs and running drills
  • Friday – 30 mins lower body exercises
  • Saturday – either a rest day or run
  • Sunday – either a rest day or run
As a mum of two, what’s your secret to fitting training in amongst your daily life?

I find the time because it is so important to me to keep fit. It makes me feel so internally happy so I prioritise it into my day somewhere.

Did you find your training style changed once you became a mum? If so, how did it change?

No not really. Becoming a mum is no obstacle to any fitness regime. I was eager to return to the way it was pre-pregnancy and do all the awesome things I had learnt over the years and push myself again.

We hear you’ve broken a Guinness World Record! What made you go after the hour of burpees record?

I was out running one day and I decided I needed to set myself a goal. Something which was challenging and bring attention to the MissFit [Kate’s personal training business] brand. The idea of burpees just popped into my head, so I Googled it and started to work out how to achieve that rep count in the hour and beat it.

Kate Beeley setting the Guinness World Record for the most burpees in one hour by a female.

I shudder at the mere thought of burpees – how did you muster the strength (both physical and emotional) to withstand an hour of them?

I had trained for it for five months, consistently. Every week and a number of days each week. I was ready in my own mind, but it was tougher on the day. I pushed my form harder to ensure every rep counted, and they did.

Having completed so many exhaustive challenges, such as hectic stair runs and an hour of burpees, what would you say to experts who claim physical fitness peaks at 30 years old?

Age is no barrier. I still feel as fit as I was in my early 20s, and now I have a better mindset too.

What would you say to mums to empower them to find balance in their lives, for themselves, and for their family?

You need to prioritise some “me” time. It’s not selfish to break free for 30 mins or an hour to do something positive for yourself. Also no negotiation - get up and go!

It certainly seems you’re never without a challenge! So what’s the next challenge you’ve set for yourself?

I might have a crack at the Most Burpees Chest-to-Floor in One Hour and the Most Burpees Chest-to-Floor in One Minute. I might even come up with a challenge which involves the entire MissFit community too.

Ashley Hanger

Ashley is UQ Sport’s Content Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Partial to food of the deep fried variety, Ashley is a self-confessed social media addict with a knack for words. You’ll often find her with a cup of tea in hand, still in shock she made it through a HIIT class alive.