Burpees are maybe the most loathed exercise in the workout world. They require full body strength and build killer endurance. That’s why they’re embraced by the military, sports teams, fitness athletes, as well as your local gym bro.
Originally called a squat thrust, Royal H. Burpee created the exercise as a test of cardiovascular health in 1939 while studying for his Ph.D. He theorized that by recording heart rates at five different times before and after four squat thrusts, he could find the best formula for accurately assessing how efficiently the heart was pumping blood.
In 1942, after seeing how intense and accurate a measure of overall fitness this squat thrust was, the U.S. military added it to their entrance exam. It was officially dubbed the “burpee.” They required applicants to complete as many burpees as possible in one minute. A score of 41 was considered excellent, while anything less than 27 was a failure.
Royal H. Burpee’s exercise was much simpler than modern day burpees—they only required you to squat down, jump back into a plank, come back to a squat, then stand up.
Today our version of burpees has a couple more steps:
1) Squat down and place hands on ground.
2) Jump back into a plank.
3) Do a push-up.
4) Jump back to a squat.
5) Explode up towards the sky.
For this week’s workout we’re going to test our strength, endurance, and mental stamina. Burpees are also incredible for people lacking in spare time and exercise equipment who want to get into killer shape fast.
DEATH BY BURPEES
A burpee every minute on the minute, doing the amount of burpees based on what minute you are on. For example,
1st minute—1 burpee
2nd minute—2 burpees
3rd minute—3 burpees
And so forth, until you can no longer complete the required reps.
This is a great measure of your physical fitness. Like all exercises, establish a baseline and try to beat it every time you attempt this workout.
Follow Cam on Instagram @moderncaveman.55