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Give me 20 burpees: Student organization hosts online functional fitness competition for staff and students

Thorben Fischer and Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder from CBS Mercury are organizing an online crossfit challenge for CBS students and staff. Photo: Felix Hecht

Normally, the student organization CBS Mercury arranges sweaty workouts in the basement at Solbjerg Plads. Now, it has moved its training programs online and is inviting students and staff to join an online functional fitness competition in week 17. In this article, two of the organizers share their corona style workout routine, which involves suitcases packed with books.

Coronavirus |   20. Apr 2020

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


“I worked out just this morning,” says Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder via Teams at around 09:30 am.

“Ah, you’re good,” replies Thorben Fischer.

Both are CBS students and members of the sporty student organization CBS Mercury, which has furnished part of the basement underneath Solbjerg Plads with weights, skipping ropes, rowing machines and almost everything a functional fitness heart can desire.

But with CBS closed down, the members of CBS Mercury have had to get creative if they want to break into a daily sweat. Therefore, they have just launched ‘CBS MOVES – The Functional Fitness Challenge’.

In short, this challenge covers three days – Monday April 20 – Wednesday April 22 – with three exercise programs per day – each lasting between 8 to 12 minutes – which participants must finish before Sunday April 26. During the week, participants can type in their scores, (Yes, you must be honest here!) either repetitions or time spent on finishing the program, and compete with each other for the best scores.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 07:00 am, exercises are uploaded for the participants. Check out Monday's exercises right here.

Both Thorben Fischer and Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder will ensure that everyone can participate, regardless of experience.

“We miss the togetherness and encouragement you get from working out with others. So we hope that people will want to join and feel both the team spirit of working out together, while also being inspired to try new ways of being physically active,” says Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder, who is in the third year of her BSc in Business, Language and Culture.

Thorben Fischer, who is in the second year of his MSc in Accounting, Strategy and Control, continues:

“We believe that exercising together is not only good for your physical health, but also your mental health. It’s a way to become more productive and better at dealing with the adversity we are facing right now. And we want to share that with the CBS community,” he says.

Thorben Fischer, Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder and Simen Dahle, also a member of CBS Mercury, had the idea for the challenge after participating in an online, functional fitness challenge with 15,000 participants.

“We just thought it was a really nice setup and a good idea because it encouraged us to push ourselves and it was motivating too,” he says.

Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder adds:

“And what is really nice is that you don’t need any equipment as we have adapted that part of our challenge as well.”

At the moment, more than 100 have signed up for the challenge. You can sign up right here:

From couch potato to Duracell bunny

Before the lockdown, Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder and Thorben Fischer went to the basement at Solbjerg Plads to work out with the other CBS Mercury members every day, but overnight both CBS and all gyms closed down and their daily routines disappeared.

“I had quite a hard time at the beginning of the lockdown. I started sleeping longer, and I didn’t feel motivated. I didn’t work out for 1.5 weeks, and was in a bad mood. I couldn’t see the light, really,” says Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder.

Photo: Felix Hecht

Thorben Fischer nods and adds:

“I was so used to having a fixed routine, and suddenly I didn’t. I felt tired and unproductive. But I wanted to change that, so it was time to get creative and see if I could make myself a new routine,” he says.

In order to spark some team spirit, Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder and Thorben Fischer met with the board members of CBS Mercury online and discussed what they could do to encourage the members to be physically active while at home. And this was when CBS Mercury started to increase its presence on social media by uploading videos and pictures of workouts etc.

“I expected our members to get moving and, in return, they would expect the same of me. And it was a big motivational factor for me to know that CBS Mercury was behind us” says Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder, who also instructed an online class.

With backing from the CBS Mercury community, Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder started to build up a new routine, as well as finding new ways to do her usual exercises.

“I really learned how to be creative and find other ways to use my body. For example, I use a backpack full of books for walking lunges and push presses,” she says on Teams while pushing her arms above her head, and continues:

“I have also figured out how to use a suitcase for deadlifts.”

Step-ups. Photo: Felix Hecht
Plank. Photo: Felix Hecht

Thorben Fischer explains that he reestablished a routine by setting a time and date for his workouts. And as an extra motivator, he and some friends meet online at 07:00 am and work out together.

“Knowing that you have to meet up online to support each other motives me. One morning, however, I overslept and missed a training session with my friend. He wasn’t happy,” says Thorben Fischer, laughing and continues:

“But getting back into a routine has made me feel much happier and more productive. And hopefully we can encourage more people to join us and feel the same.”

For Cecilie Nørgaard Schröder, getting back into her workout routine has helped her in the process of writing her bachelor project.

“Now and then, I just get stuck while writing my bachelor project, and then I’ll go for a walk or do a quick workout, and everything seems clearer afterwards. Maybe I feel like going back to bed and crying, but I tell myself to get active, and it helps. So, if you don’t work out to get a nice body, work out to get your brain in gear,” she says

Lunge. Photo: Felix Hecht
Pushup. Photo: Felix Hecht


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