Over the past few years, we have seen so crazy internet fads. We’ve seen the mannequin challenge, and not too long ago, the ice bucket challenge. However, a few years ago, I was issued a burpee challenge by my cousin who serves in the United States Air Force. The challenge came in the form of a Facebook video posted on my wall one night where he called me out and then completed a set of 10 to 20 burpees. This challenged was issued during the early days of me trying to get fit. Needless to say, I had a hard time completing the challenge in one sitting, so I decided to break it up into smaller intervals throughout the course of the day so I wouldn’t pass out. At this point, you’re probably wondering what burpee is.
The burpee is a full body exercise movement that contains both strength and cardiovascular components. This workout was created in the 1930s by an American physiologist named Royal H. Burpee. He created the burpee as part of his thesis as a simple and effective way to determine fitness levels, which earned him a Ph.D. in applied physiology from Colombia University in 1940. To do the burpee, you start in a “standing straight” position, then you squat all the way down with hands on the floor and your arms about shoulder width apart, then you shoot your legs back into a plank position (the position you take as if you were about to do a push up), then you hop back into the squat position, and then go back into standing straight. There is also a variation called a “suicide” burpee, where instead of going back into the standing straight position, you add a jump. Here’s a how-to video, followed by the benefits of burpees, and what you can expect when you do them
Benefits Of Burpees
It’s A Full Body Workout And Great For Conditioning
As I said earlier, burpees are an intense full body exercise that combines both strength and cardio. They work your legs, arms, shoulders, chest, glutes and your core. They strengthen the body and can also increase your endurance.Also, because of this, you can expect to see and feel an increase in metabolism, thus an increase in calorie burn when you o burpees. If you are new to burpees, I recommend starting off slowly. Learn each step correctly so you that you make sure your form is good. You can even so a modified version where instead of shooting both legs back at the same time to go into plank position, do one leg at a time. Once you get comfortable, start to pick up the speed of your burpees so you can get the maximum benefits from it.
You Can Do Burpees Anywhere…Anytime
There will be days when you can’t make the gym, or, although it is very unlikely, there will be times when you will have to go out of town and there will probably won’t be a gym within close range. And as much as we would want to, we can’t put the gym in our pockets to use later. Thankfully, you can put burpees in your pocket and take them with you anywhere. More than likely, if you find yourself not having enough time to go the gym or if you are going into a situation where you can’t get to one, you already have a back up plan or routine to tide you over until you find yourself in the, as Instagram user Robert Frank puts it, “the glorious house of gains”. Adding burpees to your routine would definitely be a huge help in your fitness journey. Even if the above situations don’t apply to you, you can still do burpees whenever you want to get that extra burn.
You Can Use Burpees To Measure Your Fitness Levels
I mentioned how Royal H. Burpee created the burpee as part of a thesis to determine your fitness level. The Beachbody workout, Insanity, have you do a fit test every couple of weeks during the program to see how well you’ve progressed. You can use the burpees in the same way. For example, on your first set, you may do 5 burpees. Then after a week of conditioning, you are able to 6 burpees, and so on and so on…Burpees are a great way to track your fitness progress. You mark your maximum point and push yourself to reach new heights.
I remember when I did burpees for the first time. My first thought was “This was crazy, who in their right mind would do this workout”. Of course, back then, I was not as conditioned as I am today. In those days, I believe I was barely able to make it up to a set of 4 or five. Now, I can do a set of 10 or 12 before needing a break. Even though I find burpees a pain in the butt to do at times, I can’t deny how they have helped me to get where I am today and how they are still helping me to push even further. The benefits of burpees are amazing. Give them a shot, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Have you tried burpees before? Have they helped you become better and stronger? What else have you experienced with burpees? Or have you been too afraid to try them out? Drop a comment below and let’s get a discussion going. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.