Burpees

Quick Breaking News: I might be on TV next week!  Earlier today, I was briefly interviewed by a crew from “The Insider” for a piece they’re doing on Richard Simmons.  If I don’t end up on the cutting room floor, look for me next Monday, October 17, 2011.  Set your TiVos and DVRs!

Do you know what a burpee is?  It’s an awful, terrible, torturous type of exercise, which means, naturally, that it’s a fantastic, effective, wondrous type of exercise.  There are two main elements to a burpee:  first, from a standing position, you leap as high as you can in the air.  As soon as your feet hit the ground, you push them out behind you and fall into a push-up position, for the second element: a singular push-up.  Once that push-up is complete, you pull your feet back under you and spring straight up from the ground into the first element, the leap.  Then you drop back down, do a push-up, and continue like this, alternating from standing leap to push-up again and again and again and again and again and again and again.

Doesn’t that just sound awful?  Believe me, they are.  But they also use your entire body and are completely exhausting, which is why they’re such a great thing to add to your workout.

I did my first set of burpees back in February of this year, at one of my first boot camp classes with Craig Ramsay.  I hated them from the beginning.  Throughout the year, I’ve done burpees a few more times, always in Craig’s classes, and never ever on my own.  Why inflect such cruelty on myself?

A month ago, due to some purse strings that needed tightening, I had to give up (for now) working with Craig.  I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve done a burpee.  At least a few months.  I can’t recall the last time I’ve even thought about burpees.

Then, yesterday, I read “No Excuses,” the most recent post on a blog called Your Inner Skinny.  A guy named Scott writes the blog, which I’ve been reading for a long time.  Scott has lost and kept off over 100 pounds – check out how awesome he looks:

Sorry, Scott, for stealing - er, I mean BORROWING this from your website!

Photo Source.

Like me, Scott blogs to motivate himself and keep himself accountable, and, like me, he prefers variety in his exercise (for him, it’s a lot of sports in addition to hitting the gym).  Plus, he lives in a town way up near the Arctic Circle in Canada, and I like having a connection to different parts of the world, even if it’s just a guy who inspires me and will occasionally respond to my dumb jokes on Twitter.

Scott wrote something in his post yesterday that struck a chord.  He wrote about falling off and on the wagon many times over the past 6 months, and then he wrote this:

“I know how to lose weight successfully and I just haven’t been doing it.  It’s time to burn down the wagon and stop making excuses and start feeling better about myself.”

Amen, brother!  Then he issued a challenge to himself, and invited his readers to join in.  He’s going to set a goal to complete something fitness-related every day for a month.  He hasn’t actually selected what his challenge will be, but he threw out some examples:

“It could be to do 15 burpees every day for a month.  Or run at least 3 km every day for a month.”

There’s that word: BURPEES.  I read that sentence and my heart stopped, just for a second.  Fifteen burpees every day for a month?  I can’t think of anything worse.

So, I’m doing it.  I’m ready for a new exercise goal, since I just reached my last one a few weekends ago.  We’ll see what Scott’s challenge ends up being, but for me, 15 burpees every day for a month will be challenging enough.  And every time I think about how difficult they are, I’ll think about how Scott, that athletic bastard, can do them with only one leg.  Seriously.  Check out this video Scott posted on YouTube last year (the one-legged burpees begin at the 1:30 mark):

I just completed my first day of burpees.  They were brutal.  I had a take a few super short breaks, because I couldn’t do fifteen in a row.  But that’s okay.  I did all fifteen.

Tomorrow, I’ll do fifteen more.

Keep it up, David!

Keep checking back to Scott’s blog for more info on his month-long challenge, and join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag Scott created: #noexcusesYIS

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19 Responses to Burpees

  1. Katherine says:

    Ech. They look brutal! I’m gonna do it with you!

  2. Kari says:

    I saw your title and immediately went, “Yuck, burpees”. LOL! I HATE and love burpees all at the same time. A good modification suggestion (which is what I started with) is to step back in to plank, do a push up, and then step up to standing. I bet you’ll be doing those one leg burpees by the end of the month.

  3. Mom says:

    Somehow, to me, they look like an accident waiting to happen!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Burpees are brutal – kudos for making youself do them.

  5. Trina Jean says:

    I am Proud of you. You are awesome! Keep it up!

  6. Heather says:

    Oh my god how I love burpees. I used to bust out 25 in a row and rest…and go back for more! Those are definitely getting added into post natal exercise next year! (once I’m, you know, post natal.) I don’t know that junior would appreciate all the jumping and I KNOW my joints won’t.

  7. Coco says:

    I’ve never done a burpee, but I think I’ll join you in doing 15 every day for a month. Thanks for the motivation! Also, please post more pictures of Scott 😉

  8. Abel James says:

    Kudos David! Burpees are by far my favorite exercise while traveling or limited on space and time. You can do them almost anywhere and all they require is your bodyweight and gravity.

    They’re intense, but totally worth it!

    • David says:

      They’re your FAVORITE?!? Ugh. I’m keeping my eye on you, because I think you’re cuckoo crazy. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Abel!

      • Abel James says:

        Haha, you may be right, David. But after doing them for a while I actually look forward to them. I set my phone for 4 minutes and do 8 20-second intervals. That way I know I’ll be finished quickly even if I’m dogging it. 🙂

  9. Awesome to have you on board, bud! Get excited because the official post is up and starts NOW! You think 15 burpees is big, wait ’till you hit day 30 and you’re doing 45!!!

    http://www.yourinnerskinny.ca/no-excuses-30-day-burpee-challenge/

  10. Sara Rivett says:

    Burpees make me feel ill just watching them >.<

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