The humble burpee is the Donald Trump of exercises. You love them, loathe them, or do them because the alternatives seem even more unappealing. Trainers and boot camp leaders are so evangelical about them, it’s as though they sell the sweat and tears of those they train by the gallon. Burpees even instil fear in the hearts of those who rush in where angels wouldn’t tread: CrossFitters.
Yet it may surprise you to learn burpees aren’t the love child of a relationship between an evil horned being and some sadistic tyrant. Despite being responsible for more sick than the amount of alcohol it takes to make a fitchick fall for a non-lifter, it’s quite the opposite. Love them or hate them, they are the undisputed champion of body weight exercises. Do them correctly, and you will work every major muscle in your body.
MUSCLES USED TO DO A BURPEE
There are many other benefits, which include getting your heart racing like a naked Ryan Reynolds is in your bed! Adding them into your fitness routine will make you stronger and burn a buttload of calories. And the best part is you don’t need any special equipment; you can do them anywhere, like on the beach, on holiday or your cell in prison.
To execute a basic burpee is quite straightforward and can be broken down into four discernible parts.
- From standing, get into a squat position.
- Put hands on the floor and kick legs back so you end up in the press up position and lower yourself to the ground.
- Do a press up and then jump legs forward back into squat position.
- Do a squat jump.
You may well be able to squat your bodyweight or run marathons like all your personal demons are chasing you, but can you do 100 burpees without dying? Can you do them in four to six minutes? If the answer is no, then you need to get working so you too can earn your burpee stripes and be up there with elite athletes.
You know the old adage, if you want to get good at something you’ve got to do more of it? No? Well, maybe I made it up. However, it’s still true. For that reason, check your ego at the door, grab a friend, and try a 30-day burpee challenge. You can incorporate it into your existing daily workouts, or use it as a stand-alone workout.
Taking Burpees to the Next Level
Unlike a basic chick, a basic burpee is still pretty bad*ss. However, if that’s too hard or too easy, there are variations to accommodate everyone. Yes, there really is no escaping and no reason to not take part. On the contrary, there are many reasons to take part in a 30-day burpee challenge.
Primarily, you will have unprecedented bragging rights; by the end you will have collectively done around 800 burpees, or be up to 100 a day. More importantly, stick to the routine and you’ll have a stronger core, increased strength, endurance, speed and power. Even if you’re new to working out, doing a 30-day challenge can be an excellent introduction to a fitness routine.
So where do you start? Well, unlike our counterparts at SpotMeBro who stick to bicep curls, bench press and basic chicks, we’re going to give you a real challenge. Even if you’ve never done a burpee, you can go from zero to hero. Try it, and let us know what you think!
Level: Beginner aka you-haven’t-vomited-on-yourself-enough
There are no rest days, but if you need one, take the last day off. Consistency is going to be your best friend. Pick a time of day, like first thing in the morning or as soon as you come home from work, and make it your burpee time. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your body adapts. From struggling to achieve 15 burpees without throwing up a lung, you’ll be knocking out 50 in no time. Disclaimer: Vomiting a lung remains a viable risk.
Level: Intermediate (likes-to-stare-pain-in-the-eye-and-flip-it-off)
If you’re not sure what level to start on, then this is for you. You’re fairly fit and like a challenge. Maybe you mastered the beginner challenge and want to take it to the next level, 100 burpees a day! This is comparable to a half-marathon; it’s still a feat but manageable for most if you put the effort in. There are rest days, so if you miss a day for any reason, you can catch up without derailing your progress.
Level: Experienced… death by burpee
You can knock out 100 burpees without revisiting your last meal and secretly love when they’re part of your workout. Perhaps you were dropped on your head at birth, or maybe you’re not really of this world. Either way, this challenge is guaranteed to take your fitness (and cursing) to the next level.
To help you get inspired, here are the different variations. If there’s a variation that’s just too difficult, or you are unable to perform it, you can replace it with a basic burpee. Enjoy!