I mentioned burpees the other day, and the question arose, “What is a burpee?”  Short answer:  a high-intensity exercise with many variations.  I couldn’t tell you what a “standard” burpee is, because I don’t know and I haven’t found an authoritative expert who can say.  Here are a couple of examples – there are thousands, and each one is probably slightly different.  Each one probably also tells you what is wrong with the other guy’s variation and what is superior about their variation.

Burpee example 1

Burpee example 2

As always, you need to evaluate your own physical ability to do any exercise before trying it.  Having a coach watch and guide you through the first few is important so you have good form and avoid injuring yourself.  A coach can also give you some modifications if you are not ready for the full-blown exercise or if you are rehabbing an injury.

This is a demanding, high-intensity physical exercise.  It is cheap, in that you don’t need fancy equipment.  It falls into the category of “body-weight” exercises, where you work against your own body weight as resistance.  Burpees build strength and stamina. You will find different approaches to executing a burpee workout, but many people choose a time (say, 30 seconds) and try to do as many burpees in that time as possible.  After a short break, maybe another 20-30 seconds, they do another batch.  And they keep going.  And going.  And going. . . Alternately, you can use a Tabata format:  20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise followed by a 10 second break, then repeat this “round” 4 times.  Or 8.  Or more.  After about the third round of this, you are probably huffing and puffing about as hard as your lungs can go.  The best part about doing this exercise is stopping doing it.

Have fun!

One thought on “Burpees – you asked. . .”
  1. burpees certainly are a great exercise – not fun to do, but fun when the workout is over!! and I like the line… the best part is when you're finished doing them!! i totally agree! so far with the burpee challenge i have 71 🙂

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