Burpees Exercise: A Brutal Calorie-Burning Workout

You haven’t done a genuine high intensity workout until you’ve tried a burpees exercise routine. Yea, the name is kind of odd, but the results after a set of these are usually unbelievable. The burpee is one of those exercises that you’ll find commonly used in prisons since they’re intense and don’t require any equipment. Just your own body weight should do the trick.

What The Heck Is A Burpee?

For an exercise that’s so incredibly draining, it sure does have a strange name. But don’t kid yourself. These things will give you a serious workout regardless of your fitness level.

A burpee is a full-body exercise designed to give the participant a cardiovascular and strength-training workout simultaneously and is a combination of a full body squat, push-up, and vertical jump. This is often called the “ultimate exercise” because of how many muscles are used in the process, however not many people have actually heard of it.

I have a theory as to why this is. The reason you may not have heard about a burpee workout is probably because it doesn’t cost a dime to you! Since nobody’s getting rich off of it, nobody wants to talk about it, but this is definitely one of the unsung heroes of exercise that you might want to give a try.

A burpee is performed in 5 steps:

  1. Drop down to a squat with your hands on the floor.
  2. Kick both feet out behind so you’re in a push-up position.
  3. Do a push-up.
  4. Bring your feet back under you in squat position with hands on the floor.
  5. Jump into the air while clapping your hands over your head.

[Check out Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training and how he incorporates burpees into his workout.]

Burpee Exercise Benefits

The main benefit of a burpees exercise routine is the ability to combine your aerobic and strength workout into one exercise without the aid of any sort of equipment. Since it’s partly a cardio workout you’ll be helping your heart, improving your bodily oxygen flow, and feeling more energetic during the day. You’ll actually be getting a more intense cardio benefit in 15 minutes of burpees than you would in 30 minutes of jogging.

Burpees are also a resistance training workout that causes continuous muscle contractions that will improve muscle strength and endurance. You’ll even hear people complaining that their abs feel sore after working out. So, it’s a good core workout too!

Because of its original movement combinations it’s known as one of the best exercises to lose body fat, gain muscle, and look more lean in the least amount of time.

You Can Vary It Up For Lower And Higher Intensity

Don’t feel like you have to take this exercise as it’s presented because it’s easy to make minor alterations that’ll fit your current athletic ability. For instance, if the common burpee as I’ve described appears too difficult, why not eliminate the push-up? If that’s even too difficult, you can simply stand up erect instead of jumping vertically at the end of each repetition.

Oppositely, if things appear a little too easy for you, there are adjustments you can make to amp up the difficulty. One thing you can do to increase training difficulty in any exercise, not just burpees, is to put on a weight vest while doing your sets. You could also hold a light medicine ball or dumbbells, and believe me, you’ll want the weight to be light.

[Yea, the video is a little skewed, but dude, this guy can do 100 burpees without a break. Talk about a dynamo!]

Burpees Exercise Workouts Are Bound To Make You Sweat

A typical burpee routine consists of as many repetitions as you can complete within 30-60 seconds. As you continue to build endurance and strength, you should notice your repetitions increase in that time frame.

It’s actually very puzzling as to why this exercise is hardly ever mentioned in weight rooms or in training videos when the burpees exercise benefits are so numerous. Like I’ve said, I think it’s because exercise product creators can’t find a way to make money on something that’s effective and free so they keep it under wraps.

If you like to exercise and you want a strong combination of cardio and strength training that’ll start melting away calories, burpees are great. Just don’t forget to stay adequately hydrated since you’ll be sweating like a maniac.

P.S. If you're interested in the diet that I use when I want to get particularly lean, it's Eat Stop Eat. It's very progressive, and probably not like anything you've tried before.