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So Monday was the 30th day and I've been swamped with work so I didn't post my progress. Here are the pics:

3-21 front.jpg

3-21 back.jpg  

3-21 flex.jpg  

So far I'm showing obvious results but still not where I want to be. That will take months but the challenge has given me solid results and I've set my diet and workout habits back on the right track. IMO this is what you should use a challenge for -- getting your habits right for long-term results. The challenge is making those habits stick and making a 100% commitment to them for 30 days.

From here on out, I will continue the transofrmation. So let's see what I look like at 2 months, 3, and six months. I predict great things. LOL.

For anyone thinking of doing this, realize that Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will you be. It will take a while to figure out what works and what doesn't. I also highly recommend getting a plan from a book or trainer that you trust. I wish I had done that to begin with rather than trying to figure it out on my own. I worked hard but not always smart over the past month.

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I set a new PR this week in deadlift. My goal is 181kg, which is 400lbs. I might have done it if I tried at the beginning of the workout but you weightlifters know that's rarely how it works out. What happens is you're feeling pretty good one day already into a workout so you go for it. That's what I did here. My 30 day challenge is almost at an end and I'm happy because I'm obviously making gains.

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Weight 83.1kg Fat 17.2%

So let's check this weeks results. It was a wild week and don't let my progress fool you. I had a lot of ups and downs this week concerning my method. But pics first and then details.

front 3-14.jpg

side 3-14.jpg

back 3-14.jpg

My back is showing the biggest improvement so far but I'm up in muscle all over. And feeling it, too.

Here's me three weeks ago:

2-28front.jpg front 3-14.jpg

2-28side.jpg side 3-14.jpg

So I'm showing some obvious improvement.

So what went wrong this week? Many things. First, after I posted the pics last time, I tried to work out and just failed. I had no energy whatsoever because I cut my carbs down too low in an effort to cut fat. Not smart. So I scrambled for a solution and that's when I realized that my G-flux thing didn't seem to be fluxing. As in, I didn't really have a program to go by, just a couple of articles. So I kind of scrapped the idea. I'm now doing other things and seeing good results.

Another thing that is wrong is my focus. Question: what is not in the pics? Legs. What do I spend 70% of my time on? You guessed it. As a functional guy, I tend to spend lots of time, squatting, deadlifting, swinging and cleaning the kettlebell, etc. Funny but all that stuff above in the pics tends to get ignored. Well it's time to spend some time on it and that's what I've been doing. I call it "filling in the blanks" because that's what it is. I'm filling in what isn't there.

Needless to say, I'm learning tons of stuff along the way but sometimes it's so much that I get overwhlemed. Then I need to step back and reassess before moving on. Sometimes it takes me a few days to process it.

So there you have it. More later.

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I've been quiet for a few days and I'm gonna be quiet for a few more. I'm in a dark period regarding the transformation and I'm letting myself get schoold by the moment. I'll explain more later but for know, I'm going to let the process play itself out and see how it goes. Let's just say I'm learning a bunch of stuff that I did NOT know. And that was the point in the first place. So stay tuned!

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Weight: 82kg Body fat: 16.5% Muscle: 39.9%

I took a break from blogging everyday to let the story unfold. I'm busting butt in the gym and all my major lifts have gone up as have pullups. I've stuck to the diet and after only two weeks, I'm seeing solid results.

So far: 2.5kg lost and down 2% body fat in two weeks!!! I also GAINED muscle up from 37.7% to 39.9%!!!

Here are the pics:

front 3-07.jpg

Notice right away that the love handles are going away. I was shocked. I thought they'd still be there. And no, you can't suck in love handles, LOL.

back 3-07.jpg

My wife suggested a back shot because she says she can definitely notice that my back is getting broader. She mentioned "two bumps" on my traps that weren't there before. Haha. Traps coming in. The back love handles are the hardest to lose. I'm coming for you!!!!!

side 3-07.jpg

Side is still good. Compare this to last week.

breakfast 3-07.jpg

So anyone thinking I'm starving myself, here's breakfast and this has been pretty standard lately: 2 eggs, and a serving of meat (usually leftovers from the night before), and a coffee with artifical sweetener. The sweetener is a choice I made. The brown sugar I was using was adding calories and I want to tighten that up. You choose what you use. This keeps me going all morning.

I just got back from two hours in the gym and I feel great. Looking at possibly walking some this afternoon if I get the chance.

It seems to me that at this point I might have what I need to do figured out. Let's see!

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Weight: 83.2kg body fat: 17.2%

Yesterday was a cheat day by accident. I slept poorly for three hours so I had two breakfasts -- one was a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. So carbs in the morning. I then had my customary two scarmbled eggs around 8am. I ate a great burger with onion rings and a soda for lunch, had my usual healthy and PN compliant dinner, but then had a small ice cream for dessert. I also had two large protein shakes yesterday. Result?

I killed it in the gym today!

I worked out for two hours including an hour and half of heavy weights and 30 minutes of metcon and I left feeling super. Wasn't even fatigued. My work capacity is going through the roof. So today I had Subway after my workout (also PN compliant, have carbs AFTER working out). I got the large steak and cheese on whole wheat with extra meat and cheese. Great!

Looking forward to walking an hour this afternoon.

Days like today let me know I'm on the right track.

So what's keeping me going?

1. multi vitmain, fish oil in huge amounts, and whey protein every day.

2. Good quality 8 hours of sleep (except yesterday)

3. massive amounts of water. I'm up to 4500ml on some days.

4. PN compliant diet with lots of protein

5. smart exercise selection with enough variety to not exhaust any one thing

6. my tennis ball routine I use to get the kinks out of my muscles

So there are some tips for anyone wanting to get serious. You have to get a plan in place and stick to it. Plus, you need your support system and the above six things are a great start.

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Weight: 83.1kg bodyfat 17.3%

Training: Bench 82.5kg 5, 90kg: 5,5,5,4,4 felt great!

pullups: 9,7,6x5,4=50

OH press 70kg 2,2,1 65kg 3,3

BB Row 60kg 6 65kg 6 70kg 6,6

STX suspension trainer combo: 20 chest press/15 low rows/10 tri ext./10 curls x4

Workout time: 65:00

Walked fast pace for 60:00

Diet: 2 eggs, 3 pieces of lean pork, medium coffee with brown sugar

lunch: 4 veggies, 2 and half meat servings, medium Ovaltine after workout but before walk


This is what lunch looked like. I go to the local buffet and get only veggies and meats. Sure, the meats aren't super lean but I'm convinced this is much healthier in the long run than other choices. My carbs come from the veggies, I don't get rice with this usually. So this is one way I get lots of protein in my diet even while in Taiwan. Find a good buffet. They are very convenient.

Today I want to mention the principles behind what I'm doing because most people aren't aware of them. The nutrition aspect of what I'm doing comes from Precision Nutrition and specifically the G-flux articles that Dr. Berardi has written. So what is G-flux?

Your typical dieter does something like this: eat 1500 calories - burn 2000= -500 calories per day burned

This sounds great and all but it doesn't work well. Why not? Imagine taking gas out of your car and then trying to drive it faster. Not smart, is it? Now here's the idea behind G-flux: eat 3000 calories - burn 3500= -500 calories burned per day.

Both diets give you a caloric deficit but look at the amount of calories eaten in the two equations.

Now ask yourself this: what could you do with 3000 vs. 1500 calories? A lot, right?

Imagine the muscle you could build. Imagine how much more fiber you could get. Imagine the vitamins and minerals. And imagine NOT being hungry and miserable all the time. Sounds good, right?

That's what this diet offers. Yeah, you have to work out a lot. Yes, you have to be smart about your nutrition, eat lots of protein, and not deviate from a plan. But this is a MUCH smarter, more effective way to lose fat and/or gain muscle at the same time. Click here for some crazy results.

I had a great workout today and was excited to be in the gym. I've gone to the gym on little to no calories and it's terrible. I've had the hunger pains at night and denied myself food because I was already over my calorie limit for the day. The Precision Nutrition way should avoid all that and it has so far. I'm setting PRs and watching the fat go down. It feels great.

BTW, here's an audio interview by the authors of a great book New Rules of Lifting for Women. They talk about a similar strategy for women and suggest a minimum 2000 calories diet to do the hard workouts in the book.

This is the athletic way to lose fat vs. the starve and cardio yourself that everyone wrecks their health with. Let's see how it goes.

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Weight: 83.5kg body fat: 17.4% Dropped 1kg (2.2lbs.) in one week. Happy about that.

Training: a disaster, squat 80kg 5x10

single leg deadlift 2x20kg 5L/Rx4

swing ladder 20kg 1-8

jump rope 1000x in sets of 100

bike 10:00 100 cal. burned

Trained on an empty stomach this morning and had zero energy. Won't do that again. I squatted 135kg for reps last time and this time, 100kg felt like a ton.

So here I am in all my...... ugh.......Hide the kids.


This is all of a smile I could muster today. No breakfast and no coffee before working out make Dave a dull boy. Notice the fat around the waist, especially on the sides.


I'm actually happier with this one. The weight I lost this week appears to have come off the store of abdominal fat under my abs first. That's a good sign IMO. I deleted the pic of my pinching the love handles. Everyone has their limits and that pic exceeded mine. Sorry.

I can't believe I have pictures of me without my shirt on on the net. This is a sign of how dedicated I am to doing this because as most of you know, this is not me! I'm not the type to put pics like this up. But I want accountability and I will accept no excuses from myself. This body will improve!!!

See you tomorrow!!

Update: won't let a bad workout slow me down. I did another one this afternoon and broke some PRs:

100 air squats in 2:04, new PR

100 Burpees in 8:34, new PR

5 reverse crunches/5 leg thrusts x5

10 jackknives/10 russian twists/:30 plank x5

4:00 Tabata mountain climbers, made it all the way through.

Replacing a bad daily workout with a better one in the afternoon was a great choice! Live and learn!

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Weight: 83.6kg and bodyfat 17.5% That's looking more like it.

Training: weighted hiking with 16kg 50:00, bike level 4 21:00 burned 200 cal

I asked the bug guy JC Santana about the whole functionally fat vs. functionally fit thing on Facebook and this is what he said:

Although I have referred to myself as fat at some points in my life I never quite considered myself such - I've always been an athlete and have been fit. However, at times I have looked like a lineman and sometimes like a running back. So you can be both at the same time - functionally fat AND functionally fit.

Don't worry about your look - its your life that is important. As long as you live the fitness life - you body will go through changes - depending on training, career situations, schedule, etc. See the fitness life as "STYLE" and your body comp as "FASHION". STYLE IS TIMELESS -FASHION IS ONLY NOW:)

So there you have it style vs. fashion and lineman vs. running back. Good ways of looking at it.

I re-read his "Out to Pasture" article where he went from 19% to 9% body fat and it was inspiring. I hope to meet a similar goal...lol....even if I only do it once. Have to do it and then take pictures. I might need to use those pics the rest of my life. Haha.

Getting taped for the first time tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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Weight 84.0kg and body fat 17.9%

So a slight increase from yesterday but no big deal.

This morning my wife got up to find me doing an Insanity DVD. Gotta get in the morning sweat. I did 45:00 and was happy with that.

The reason I didn't do kettlebells, heavy weights, STX suspenion trainer, circuits, etc. was I just spent 5 days straight doint that stuff. I wanted something I never do and Insanity fit the bill nicely. Good back up workout. Please feel free to recommend any others!


So a while back, I uploaded this photo as a role model for more local women to follow. She's called "Iron Barbie" in Chinese (金剛芭比) and she's unique here. Someone made a comment that really struck me, "She's obviously put a lot of work into her body." I just stopped when I read that because it's true -- she has worked hard and has a lot to show for it. She looks great. Many of us functional trainers are working hard and have good movement skills but the work we're doing isn't always so obviously noticable. That's a problem. She's a walking billboard if she's a trainer. Am I a walking billboard? Maybe for Pillsbury. :)


I remember top trainer JC Santana going through a mid life crisis a few years back and he questioned the functional fitness he was known so well for. IIRC he decided to clean himself up, lose weight, and added back in some bodybuilding training that he had rejected in the past. His body responded very well to it probably because it was so different from the functional training he had been doing so much. After he dropped the weight, he had a new take on training. Select the tools needed from the functional OR bodybuilding or whatever to get the job done. It's a more balanced approach.

I let myself go from functionally fit to functionally fat because I wasn't paying attention. So it bit me in the butt.

I wonder how many other functional trainers are in this predicament?

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I'm behind already on this so we'll skim a bit to catch up.

Here's my stats so far:

Day 1: 84.5 kg body fat 18.2% UGH!!!!!!

Day 2: 84.7kg body fat 18.1% Yes, my weight went up!!

Day 3: 84.3kg and 17.9% body fat

Day 4: 83.8kg and 17.8% body fat

That day 2 would have scared most beginner weight losers away. Work hard all day and the next day you weigh more? Welcome to the weight/fat loss world. You need to look longer term. Don't expect results the next day. So I've lost almost a kg already. Yeah!

Unfotunately I don't have time to type up all my workouts over the past four days. I've been doing 30-60 minutes of weight lifting, maybe 16-20 minutes hard cardio, and 1-2 hours of walking a day. Remember, this is my personal transformation and I've set a goal of 30 days. So this isn't necessarily the best plan for others but it provides some tips.

So how are the workouts going? GREAT!

Yesterday I deadlifted 145kg for the first time, a new PR. My previous squat PR was 136kg and yesterday I did 135kg for 10 reps and that was my last set!! Blowing squat out of the water! Double kettlebell clean 5:00 EDT my previous record was 61. Yesterday I did 70!!! Kicking butt! Today I killed upper body with bench, 50 pullups, 50 dips, rows, clean and press, and I finished off with four sets of curls and tricep pulldowns -- the first isolated movement training I've done in a while. It was great!

Here's what I've been eating for dinner:


Large salad with dressing, tomato soup, three pieces of steak. I had a small cup of coffee for dessert. This is very filling and very nutritious. I love eating like this.

Today after killing it in the gym, I had a smaller lunch and a itty bitty piece of cheesecake:


The cheesecake was a baby one, about six inches wide. So a piece won't set me back too much. :)

I have lots more to say but the kids are sick and at home so I'm busy with them and the gym. Look for more progress reports soon!

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We've all seen the personal transformation stories in P90X and the movie 300. And I'm tired of reading top coaches talk about it. You know: a guy loses a ton of fat and gains a ton of muscle in a set period of time, usually 30 or 60 days. Well, I'm tired of just hearing about it, it's time to do it!

So here's my personal story.


This was last year and I was 78-79kg and doing fine. I was happy with my weight but not the amount of muscle that I had. As a personal trainer, I've always envied the other trainers in the field that look like a million bucks. I could name a lot of names like The Rock and Vin Diesel and those are names you know. They aren't super low in body fat and have a look I'd like to achieve. But another name you might not know is Christian Thibaudeau. As you can see, he looks a lot like Vin Diesel.


But here's the thing -- he didn't always look like that. He used to look like this:


I was reading one of his books and he talked about his personal transformation. He was a personal trainer and he looked like that on the left. He decided to transform himself for personal and professional reasons and now he looks like that on the right. Needless to say, he's charging whatever he wants for personal training and probably beating clients off with a stick.

His story and that of others really has stuck with me. I'm no where near my potential personally and haven't been since I was about 25 and in the army. Can I get it back? Can I get the body of my dreams and hopefully enhance my career? Heck yeah! Let's do it!!!

So last year, I started lifting heavy weights because I want to be a strength and conditioning coach as well as a personal trainer. I was making progress on the lifts and trying various diets, all with some success. In December of last year, I made a breakthrough and gained 2.4kg of muscle in a single month. I was so happy! And then came January.

After two months of bulking, I was getting a bit tired of the routine I was using. It was a bit exhausting doing 10x10 as I was doing and my business grew in January. So I found myself in between programs unexpectedly. I looked around for another bulking program because I wanted to continue that but I wasn't sure which one to go with. And here's the key -- the whole time I continued eating like I was still bulking.

February came and Chinese New Year meant the gym was closed for 9 days and I was home with the kids. I knew I still needed to work out so I used my 16kg kettlebell and did burpees, etc. as a home workout. I worked out every other day during that period but I still keep eating like I was bulking when I clearly was no longer on that kind of program!! This is a key to training -- your diet and training MUST match. If you're on a bulking diet but not a bulking training program then watch out! But I wasn't watching out. I had slipped off the program.

The end of February rolls around and I teach a Kettlebell Taiwan certification. The pictures and video come back and I look like this:



What the heck? What is that around my waist? It's a little pouch. I was shocked and weighed myself, something I haven't done in a while because I thought I was fine. Result: almost 85kg and over 18% body fat!!!! I was disgusted. I didn't even want to post the video we shot.

So that was last weekend and I'm already into day three of the transformation. The plan? The whole enchilada: gain muscle, lose fat, increase my weights on all the primary lifts. Basically be all I can be in 30 days.

Why 30 days? Because it's the least amount of time I can get anything done and if I go longer, I'll get lazy. Haha. If we need to extend it 60, I'll make that decision at 30 days.

I waited until day three to say something about this because I wanted to try it out for a few days and make sure this was somthing I wanted to do. After three days of training and getting my eating right, I've decided to go for it, so here we are!

I'm very excited and a little nervous about this. Being public makes it accountable in ways that make me uncomfortable. I don't like the spotlight like this but I know the added pressure may keep me going. If I talk the talk, I have to walk the walk, right? Yikes. Here goes nothing.

So this is the intro and I'll be posting training diet progress as we go along. I already have lots to say since I'm in day three already.

Stay tuned!

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pauline nordin squat.jpg  

(not me BTW, :) )

I hit a new personal record this morning in squat: 302.5lbs (137.5kg)!! Yaaaaaaay!!!! I'm very excited about this. Progress is cool. It wasn't the pretiest squat ever, but it was there.

What has helped me in both the heavy squat and the deadlift (especially) is to allow my form to follow the function. I'm not competing or likely too. My goal is lifting for fitness and whatever gets me there is acceptable in my book.

Problem is there are three primary weightlifting communities: powerlifting, Olympic lifting and bodybuilding. The techniques they use all cater to their needs and us fitness guys don't fit squarely into any of their competitive molds.

What I'm finding useful is to watch all their technqiues and then try them out yourself. Which technique allows you to lift the most safely? Go with that. Feel free to choose the technique that fits YOU. Do not feel beholden to a community that you aren't a real part of anyway.

I'm finding that higher-bar squats and butt-down, chest-up deadlifts fit me pretty well. Find out what works for you!

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I want to get a better gasp of my programming for class so I'm going to do 20-30 minute circuits for a while. Had fun with this one today:

5 pullups

5L/5R KB snatches 16kg

5 burpees

100 rope jumps

30:00 got 13 and 1/2 cycles


10 KB box squats double 24kg

run around the block fast pace

30:00 10 cycles

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I gave this to a client today (without weights) and then decided to try it myself:

walking lunges w/30lbs. dumbells -- 12

box squats w/30lbs. dumbells -- 20

step ups on short box 1:00


I made 8 reps of the circuit.

Doing lunges with weights really hammers home the idea of having stability in the knee. You need to get the pattern as correct as possible with body weight first but them switch to weighted lunges to hammer out issues with form. What happens is the weight really forces you to push off the front leg and make that front knee stable. Try it out.

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My gym isn't just that, it's the lab where I work on myself. So I'm part mad scientist, part monster. Haha. This is why I believe that trainers should be in shape themselves. We should be testing material out on ourselves, thinking, and growing in the gym right along with clients.

A lot of programs look good on paper but actually doing them shows how they often need to be tweaked. If you don't do them, how could you recommend them to clients? When I recommend something to clients it's because I've done it personally and I know it works. Clients can be confident that they're getting a safe and effective program that I can tweak to suit their needs. And there are a ton of programs out there. Pick smart!

So I've been doing the escalating density training (EDT) lately. Here's what I did yesterday:

workout 1

Remedial warmup (more on this later)

L-sits 10x:06

Tucks 10x:06

EDT 15:00 double 24kg KB military presses and double rows -- 60 reps each accomplished

Abs: superset 5 reverse crunches/5 crunches x3


20:00 jump rope

I was bummed after the EDT session because I knew I didn't have it in me to do a second session of pullups and pushups. And then when I calculated my numbers and compared them to the first time I did EDT, the numbers hadn't changed a bit (60). So I felt pretty depressed for a few minutes.

Then I went back and checked my notes: the first EDT session was 20:00, this one was 15:00!!! I did the same number of reps in 25% less time. Definite improvement.

So in the "lab," EDT is working very well. Go experiment and enjoy.

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EDT 15:00 2x24kg KB press/row 5L/5R: 7 sets

I crapped out at the 10:00 mark. Just didn't have it in me after being sick for two days. Dropped down to:

Kb clean and press 1x24kg 3L/3R: 6 sets

So this is something that doing kettlebells can teach you: change something other than the weight. When i did weightlifting, I'd just drop down in weight if I couldn't perform the exercise. With kettlebells, you can change the exercise or another parameter. Of course you could do that with regular weights too, but most people IME simply drop the weight. Instead, I just switched immediately into single 24 clean and press and kept rolling.

EDT 15:00 pullups/pushups 5/5: 9 sets 4/5: 9 sets total: 81 pullups,  90 pushups

Pullups felt great today! Waaay stronger than every before. I think the EDT is paying off! I did drop down to sets of 4 instead of 5 but I was mostly able to maintain form throughout. I think this might be working. Stay tuned.

Workout 2

20:00 jump rope, 10:00 bike

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Wow. This was tough:

EDT 2x24kg KB squats and swings 20:00

I got 16 sets and this taxed my cardio a bit. I had to really catch my breath between sets.

The swings were interesting since I've never swung that much weight before and I'm a short guy. I had to make the swings short so the combined weight of the bells (48kg) didn't swing me off my little lepruchan feet.


superset leg thrusts and reverse crunches 10/5 x3

0:05 break between thrusts and crunches, 0:10 between sets. Come down as slow as possible on the crunches.

This has become my abs workout lately and I'm loving it. Just takes a few minutes and works like crazy. Try it out.

Workout 2

30:00 on bike program 3 level 10=400cal burned

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Lower body focus yesterday


wall squats: 11, 12, 14, 20

box pistols: 20, 20, 20, 40, 20

KB swings 28kg: 30, 30, 30, 20

Squats 2x20kg: 4x20

KB clean 20kg: 100

reverse crunches: 3x15

crunches: 2x10


ran for 30 minutes

The wall squats were something that Steve Cotter really emphasized at the IKFF cert and boy do I need to do them. He had a whole progression of them but the first one is still hard for me.

I have no idea where the pistols came from today. I've been working on the box version of them but balance and flexibility have always been an issue. Today they were there in droves. Just WOW! I think the wall squats really primed my body to do the pistols. I'll keep that sequence for sure.

The squats were tough today but I ground them out.  For the running, i said damn the number of laps and just ran as I pleased. Very refreshing and no pressure.

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I want to start talking a bit about my own training. I'm a little worried about this, though. I'm afraid that people won't understand.

As a trainer, I design programs for other people and often I have done them myself, sometimes for quite a while. I don't like recommending programs I haven't done and am not intimately familiar with. But just because I've done those kinds of workouts doesn't mean I'm doing them right now or that I do them non-stop and do nothing else.

Also as a trainer, my responsibilities are greater. I have to be competent in a wider range of training modalities than your average fitness enthusiast in order to train people as I think they should be trained. For me, intimate knowledge of kettlebells, body weight, and endurance programming are essential to what I do. And it takes me lots of time to build skills in those areas. So I have to spend quite a bit more time than the average guy testing out what works and what doesn't.

So just because I recommend a specific client do a 20:00 workout with 10lbs. dummbells doesn't mean that's what I do everyday. :)

Here's what I did yesterday:

workout 1

L-sits: 10x 0:06

Tucks: 10x 0:06

Dips: 10, 10, 10

Pullups: 10, 7, 7

KB Clean and Press 20kg: Alt. 12, 14, 14

Double Kb rows 2x20kg: 12, 12, 12

KB chest press 24kg: 10/10x3

workout 2

20:00 jump rope no rest

I do two workouts a day because I maximize EPOC that way. EPOC= excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Basically your body continues to burn calories after a serious workout and the maximum benefit from EPOC comes from doing two sessions a day. So I'm maximizing my calorie burn. Also breaking it up helps me control the lactic acid a bit better. Long, intense workouts generate more lactic acid than my body can handle. As the process continues, my uric acid levels go up -- not good for a gout guy like me. Two sessions a day keeps that under control. 

One important note about workout #2. Steve Cotter told us during the IKFF cert that doing reps can really limit your abilities. What happens is that you get this number in your head and then once you start getting to that number, your body starts backing off. You actually are limiting what your body can do.

I've noticed this in my rope jumping -- an exercise I like very much. I usually rope jump as active rest or a warmup and I do sets of 200 continuous jumps. But I noticed that even after 6 straight months, those 200 jumps were about all I could do continuously and that didn't make sense to me.

So yesterday, I just set a timer for 20:00 and sure enough, I did it all the way through. I didn't count reps but just kept going. Counting reps had really limited my ability. So going for time took the brakes off. Try it out for yourself.

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