Life after the 28-Day Handstand Challenge

At this point, several thousand people have taken the the 28-Day Handstand challenge.

After seeing thousands of people go through this challenge, I have received scores of email from people trying to get to their first handstand and get started by doing other amazing things.  Many times, people contact me when they are just starting – guns blazing, ready for a challenge.  They tell me how they are excited and ready to take the first steps.  But then I follow up with them in a few weeks time….and they are singing a different tune.

A few weeks ago I was talking with someone (let’s call him Joe) who had started the challenge.  Joe had just started getting back into exercising, and the handstand challenge made him realize that the handstand was something he really wanted to achieve.  This was the exchange between myself and Joe:

Joe: I’ve been getting back into fitness and exercise for the past 6 months. Not making excuses or anything, but stacking up school, a 40 hour work week, wife, and kids, leaves little room for anything else so the first thing to drop when life gets hectic is training.

Chris: Its just a matter of taking one small step a day, and taking that step every day. Just 5-minutes of handstand practice a night is more than enough.  Small steps, man!

Joe: Exactly! Little steps will eventually lead to big results.

I had so much hope for Joe.  I really thought he would stick through the program and get results, however small.  Even though Joe said he didn’t have time, we can all squeeze a quick 5-minute training session in somewhere.  You can train handstands against any wall when you are starting.  I even did them in the bathroom at work when I was first getting mine!  It’s just 5-minutes, right?

But after a few weeks, I reached out to Joe again, and got a reply from him that I wasn’t expecting:

Joe: “Honestly, I lost motivation. I really need to get down on this and do it.”

“I Don’t Have Time” = Fear

Whenever people talk about doing something hard, its funny how quickly the words “I don’t have time” cross their lips.

I’ve made the 28-Day Handstand Challenge dead simple where you really only need to commit 5-minutes a day to your training.  Most people spend more than 5 minutes on the toilet, but can’t find a spare 5 minutes to take a small step towards an impressive goal…? You could just pretend its another bathroom break!!

I don’t buy it!

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From my previous post about fear, we know that I could throw 100 tutorials at Joe and he wouldn’t make progress.

FEAR is one of the things holding Joe back. Maybe it’s fear of discovering that he can’t immediately perform a handstand….or fear of failing again at performing something spectacular. Whatever the case, it’s critical to acknowledge and begin working on those fears.

Once you at least acknowledge your fears, tactics start mattering.  Fear is the silent killer of motivation that stop us from achieving great things like the handstand.  Deep down, we tell ourselves things like:

  • “If I don’t try I can’t fail.”
  • “I’m scared of falling on my face”
  • “I don’t have the strength to start”
  • “I don’t think I can accomplish something that spectacular”
  • “I just don’t think I could do it”
  • “I’m too heavy and big to do a handstand”

In the end, only a fraction of those people finish the challenge and make progress.  And after talking to these people one-on-one its clear that the problem isn’t any of my posts, emails, eBooks or methods.  No, they openly admit that they are the only thing standing in the way of their success.

The people who make real progress are those who have a heart-to-heart with themselves and recognize these fears and make a change.  Maybe you employ a Safety Net to protect yourself from these fears, or maybe you start with a small change, like using the 28-Day Handstand Spreadsheet (download) to stay committed to your goal.

That’s why in The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginner’s Guide, fear conquering tactics are built into the progression, and I cover an in-depth analysis of habit building, and understanding the handstand.  Only by understanding our fears and our goals can we really make progress.  Of course, I provide a rock-solid progression to get you to your handstand goal, but I acknowledge that the biggest element in hitting your goals is not the physical training, but finding a way to be consistent and overcome fears.

So, back to it.

We have already talked about fears, and how to make progress.  Today we will talk about the next steps once you have built a good training habit (5-minutes a day, every day), and are making progress towards your first handstand hold.

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***How To GUARANTEE Progress Towards The Handstand***

One of the biggest problems with starting a new fitness program is that you don’t know if it will actually produce results.

Will you actually get any closer to the handstand?  Or are you just spinning your wheels?  What if you waste all that time and motivation to pull yourself into training, just to get no results and demoralized at the end of the day?

  • What MOST people do: Think of a random idea, start doing workouts just to “stay active” (doing random amounts of pull-ups, pushups, etc.; randomly go running or biking for a few days, watching dozens of tutorials on YouTube), and then slowly discover that they have no idea how to hit their goals or learn impressive skills. If they are lucky, after a few weeks, they’ll shift to another random idea or routine…then another…always sure that if they find the “right” workout plan, fitness and impressiveness will fall into their lap.
  • What RESULT-GETTERS do: They research a few different programs that have gotten results for people. They ask around to ignore the noise of random Google and YouTube searches. Then they make small changes that let them start on the program — to the letter. They don’t start messing with things, because programs that get results get results for a reason – and being new to the program, they understand that they may not know why a program works.  They stick to the program for at least 2 weeks to see if they get progress.  They don’t hop around and try a different program every day.  They measure their progress, and if they are better off than when they started, they continue on that program, and repeat the whole process until they reach their goal.

What is the key that holds this all together?  It’s the small changes.

That’s why The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginner’s Guide focuses intently on getting you started with a Commitment Log (download) and teaching you habit forming techniques like the anchor events technique and baby steps techniques.

Here’s what a few 15-Second Handstand students had to say about the small changes they made that led to their success:

“The small change of 5-10 minutes a day triggered by my anchor event (waking up) had a huge effect.  If you had told me a year ago I would be excited to wake up and practice this stuff for 5-10 minutes every day, I would have laughed at you. But you said it correctly – you really get addicted to throwing up handstands!” – Kyle R.

“Finding an anchor event had a huge effect on my ability to stay committed while I was on the road.  I would do my 5 minutes every night before dinner, and I got into the habit of training every day.  Before I knew it, I was making progress like never before.” – Matt S.

Using Small Changes…and Handstands After The 28-Day Challenge

Whether you stuck with the 28-Day challenge or your motivation failed you, you learned a lesson.  Either you are ready to proceed on and learn how to get a freestanding handstand, or you need to tackle your underlying fears before you can start making progress.

Either way, you need to start making small changes every day to make progress towards your goal….so pick your path below!

I completed the challenge successfully!!  What’s next?!?

Completing the challenge means one thing, and only one thing.  That you successfully created a 28-day streak of handstand training.  Building the habit is the most important, and most difficult, part of skill training – so by completing your streak you are way ahead of the game.

By the end of 28 days, most people can achieve (or are close to) a 60-second wall handstand.  If you’re not, keep up the training every day, just as you have been doing, until you hit that goal.  After that, you need to learn to pirouette bail so that you can successfully conquer your fear of physical harm.

To get started on the Pirouette Bail, you can:

  1. Search around on google for hours, looking for handstand tutorials… (not recommended)
  2. Use my article on the pirouette bail to get a nuts-and-bolts idea of what it is, and how to learn it.
  3. Buy The 15-Second Handstand: A Beginner’s Guide where I spend 30 minutes on the pirouette bail, and step-by-step instructions that have hundreds of people used get to their first freestanding hold.

Continue to take your small step each day, aiming to progress onto the next challenge and you will be at your first handstand in no time.

Wait, I didn’t successfully complete the challenge.  Am I hopeless?

No, you’re not hopeless – and it’s not too late to start.  In the past 28 days you didn’t take the small steps that were necessary to hit your goal and you learned a hard lesson.  If you follow suit and do nothing for another 28 days, you will be in the same spot you are now.  Disappointed and demoralized.

But what if you start today?  Right now?  And then practice for 5 minutes again tomorrow? Then the next day?  After 28 days you will have made progress and you will be proud. Take the small step right now (even if you are at work – I learned handstands in my office’s bathroom so no one would see me training!).

If you really can’t get the motivation to take this small step right now then search yourself.  What is the underlying fear that you are facing?

Scared that you can do something spectacular? Then do something that scares or impresses you every day.  Like talking to a stranger in line at the grocery store.

Scared that you are too weak? Get on the floor and hold a pushup position for as long as possible.  This is the first step towards a handstand and there is no reason you can’t do it!

Scared that you don’t have the time? Tally up all the time you spend in the bathroom, surfing Reddit, YouTube or Facebook.  Can’t find 5 minutes in there?

Take a small step every day, right now, to identify why you’re getting in your own way…and then when you FIX that problem, you can start on your handstand streak and achieve something great.

Now here’s what I want you to do….

Leave a comment with the one small change that you will take to get closer to the handstand (practicing every morning?  eliminating a fear?), and I will let you know if that actually moves you closer to your goal.

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