An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Wherein I do a burpee and it has nothing to do with a bodily function

The business-class Internet service at my house has been out for five days now (I’m writing this from Tyrant’s very elegantly appointed living room), and on Friday while I was waiting for a technician to figure out the problem I snuck upstairs to fit in my quick 15-minute workout. No, I did not sneak upstairs to do anything else, you go ahead and get your mind right out of the trash, Kevin. Although, did I ever tell you about the time I had a doctor tell me, “I’m going to go ahead and guess that you’re allergic to your vibrator.”

What has your doctor told YOU today, haah?

Yep. A clinical diagnosis. When I got home I texted my friend Stacia: “Hey, how’s your day? Me? Oh, you know. I’m allergic to my vibrator.”

Her response: “What?! Well then you better slap some saran wrap on that thing!”

Yeah. That is way too crafty of an activity for me to attempt. Like, I might as well glue some googly eyes to it while I’m at it. Maybe knit it a little hat.

So, the 15-minute workout. Five rounds of five different exercises. I’ve been turning to this routine for over two years whenever I need to fit in some high intensity activity into my busy schedule. I did some searching and found the original YouTube video that inspired me:

(You can see a step-by-step breakdown of the workout here.)

Yeah, I know, the video is kind of porn-y. But if you watch any of the other videos she’s in you can’t help but find her totally adorable. So much so that I want her to come to my house and read me the Bible as I fall asleep.

The first time I attempted this routine I thought I was going to die during the third round of exercises. It doesn’t seem like it would be super intense but then all of a sudden I was performing those bridge poses and all I could think about was whether the puke was going to dribble down the side of my chin or shoot out of my mouth like confetti.

When I finally finished all five rounds I checked the timer and it said 23:04. Not bad, no. But here’s the thing about this routine. It’s a race against yourself. And when yourself is me, well doesn’t that just suck for you? Because there you are running two steps behind yourself and yourself has a note taped to her back that says EAT SHIT AND DIE, ME.

A few months ago I started attempting this routine more often because of all the travel I was doing, and I was slowly getting faster. I’d cut my time to about 18 minutes, and then for about a month I plateaued right there. So I started to look for ways to trim it even further. Yes, I could speed up the individual exercises, but I realized I was spending a lot of time between rounds walking around to catch my breath and sipping water. And then myself started sticking out her tongue and, you guessed it, making the jerk off motion. You’re stopping to catch your breath, me? How can you claim to be the valedictorian of anything?

Yeah, myself went there. Myself kind of knows how to push my buttons which is good when you’re looking for motivation to work out, but bad in the sense that people start to stare when you’re standing there screaming at yourself and punching yourself in the crotch.

So I started to trim the time I spent catching my breath. I’d do two rounds, catch my breath, another two rounds, catch my breath. Then I cut it down to catching my breath only once. Then, last Friday, I didn’t stop at all between rounds. And BOOM. I set my personal best time.


I don’t know how much faster I can get, we’ll see, but that’s an almost nine minute difference from when I first started this routine. And I’m really damn proud of that progress. Myself over there is doing the slow clap.

NOTE: do not attempt this routine without first consulting an expert or a doctor or maybe even the Holy Ghost. If you do attempt it, feel free to share your thoughts and time and the creative obscenities you’re shouting at yourself.

  • jillypups

    Ummm so how do you not shatter your knee caps into small pieces doing those ninja jumps?

  • Heather Armstrong

    It took a lot of practice. A lot.

  • Beth

    Wow. I thought you were kidding with the disclaimer at the end but then I watched the video. Yeah, I would certainly injure myself doing that shit.

  • Marta

    I’m too distracted with her fake boobs

  • Sabine

    I think I injured myself reading the description of those one-foot burpee things. Dayum, woman!

  • HOT Beav

    This gal was once a soft-core porn chick! You’re welcome.

  • Jo DeBell

    BEAST MODE! But seriously, wow.

  • Jen

    Damn! That is hard core! Pretty sure I can’t even do one of some of those.

  • Rrrandall

    Here’s the pregnant version of all that: “enhhhhhhh”. Time elapsed: infiniti.

  • jillypups

    Hmm. I am scurred

  • Lauren3

    Uh, 10 comments in and no one has remarked on the hoo-ha stuff yet? HEATHER’S HOO-HAAAAA

  • Paula

    I’m sure Matt appreciates the hard work. 🙂

  • Heather Armstrong

    Hoo to the ha.

  • Debra

    Yes, Lauren3!! hahaha Everybody must be all distracted with the large breasts that the hop-ha Heather just “slipped in” just escapes us all. Well, not all of us. But seriously, I hope the cure for this isn’t as awful as the, um, symptoms. And the visual of the Arts & Crafts project is simply priceless. If you actually do this Heather, a photo would really be funny. Funnier than the visual? Yeah, maybe not.

  • Lex

    I love Zuzka Light! I’ve been doing her workouts for over 3 yrs. I was so happy to see you post this, but sad to see the link goes to the bodyrock website and not zuzka’s 🙁

  • MamaBella

    What you can do now is add one extra rep of each exercise and then try and do it all in the same time as previously

  • lam

    OK, seriously. Besides lots of practice…how on earth did you not break your knees or shins on that first round? It seems like its an all or nothing kind of move!

  • Heather Armstrong

    It’s a “classic case” (her words) of being allergic to latex and not knowing that most vibrators contain latex. The cure? A store that carries non-latex vibrators. This is a comment only a former Mormon could write.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I studied that move for awhile before attempting the routine.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I love this idea! Thank you!

  • Heather Armstrong

    Wait, what is her website? WHERE DID SHE GO?!

  • Hanni

    That is awesome! Just the workout I’ve been looking for…thanks, Heather!

  • Jancave

    Holy crap! I couldn’t do that jump up from kneeling on your shins thing when I was 8 years old and trying to achieve something on that long list from the President’s physical fitness program they tortured us with. I’m having a problem with an annoying neighbor. Is it okay with you if I tell him that you will kick his ass if he bothers me again?

  • Karen

    A few years ago I bought my friend’s daughter latex-free condoms. A bit awkward when the daughter jumped up and hugged me! More people should know about this! Cuz, damn if it ain’t uncomfortable.

  • Sarah McD

    ZuzkaLight on YouTube is where you find all of her videos. I can’t remember if you introduced me to her or if it was someone else but like a car accident, there is something about her that I can’t stop looking at.

  • MM3

    Holy chizlets. How do you do that jump from your knees thing without peeing your pants? Must be your industrial-strength hoo ha. She needs a sports bra a tiny bit larger. Damn, that is not for sissies. Damn, girl. That’s serious business.

  • Kaidee

    How did you change your iphone colour to that colour? I have jailbroken my phone but can’t find a theme that colours the clock and things like that….

  • Stephanie Wilson

    Sweet Jesus I want her abs. I have been doing Total Body Sculpt with Gilad for years and am getting bored. He is a sweet 80s cheeseball but I may have to switch to the heavy breathing of Zuzka. You rock Heather, as usual.

  • kamal

    hi heather how r u

  • kamal

    hi heather how r u?

  • kamal

    hi nice blog i love it.

  • carey_over

    That video has ruined my entire day now. Well, at least for five minutes until I conjure up some steely determination and decide that I can at least try the bridge maneuver. *sigh* I better go line up the Aleve supplement now.

  • joanne

    when I read this, the voice inside my head was Marlo’s, saying “Yeah, Mysthelf justht went there. Mysthelf kinda knowsthhhh how to push buttonsthththth….”

  • Emily

    Heather, do you notice if these 15-minute workouts keep you as conditioned, or even moreso, than when you were doing longer workouts?

  • kidsmom


  • lam

    So honestly, how long did it take you to work up the nerve to attempt that first jump? LOL. I see myself kneeling on the mat for 15 minutes giving a pep talk…something like “two broken ankles ain’t that bad….”

  • Beth Horton

    OMG! ANOTHER GILAD FAN! You can do eet! He is the best. His step aerobics video (oh, showing my age, DVD) will kick your butt.

  • Carolyn

    32-weeks-along me couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for the laugh!

  • Heather Armstrong

    They do keep me conditioned, very much so. I once went three weeks without having the time to fit in a long cardio workout (I just did several of these little intense ones), and when I finally go the chance to go to the gym for an hour I had no problem picking up right where I left off.

  • Heather Armstrong

    Something happened when I took the photo. Maybe the screen of the phone and the lens of the camera were talking to each other. It doesn’t normally look like that.

  • Heather Armstrong

    I just went for it. It was like jumping off the high dive for the first time. And then I had to work up to being able to do it five times in a row.

  • I started doing HIIT bodyrock style work outs as I was preparing for my wedding… mostly because I hate being at the gym for longer than 45 mins. I too almost puked the first time I tried one of the work outs!

  • Becky

    Bravo! I’m inspired by you 🙂

  • Kaidee

    Oh well that’s disappointing! This workout is insane though, especially those push ups! I can’t even do one normal push-up…

  • Lisa Martin

    Seriously?? you’re still all “I’m so skinny…” Get over it. That’s ALLLLLLL you seem to talk about yawwwnnnn.. I know what it is, you’re OLDER than me!

  • Michele S.

    Oh Heather, I did this and LOVED it (in a “I want to puke, during, sorta way). BUT were you able to do the ninja jumps right off the bat? I have to use my hands on the floor first to get myself up!

  • Heather Armstrong

    No, I did exactly what you’re describing. I did that for a while, and then at one point when I had enough confidence in my legs I just went for it and worked slowly to the point of being able to do it five times.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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