“So, I just do one burpee today?”
“Yup, then two tomorrow. Three the next day, and so on. Don’t quit till you get to 100”
“Until I get to 100?”
“That doesn’t seem so bad.”
“Easy now, this is day one!”
Moving a little more each day.
You’ve started the new year off well, accepting the 30-Day Paleo Challenge here at Paleo Plan, and maybe even made it into the gym consistently the past three weeks. Well done! For those of you who haven’t made it into your favorite place of sweat yet, and even for those who have, I have something for you. It’s called Burpees +1. Some call it 100 Days of Burpees. Either way, you’re about to do a lot of burpees. And by the end of our little experiment, you’re going to have a healthy respect for the awesome-ness this bodyweight movement can offer to both your strength and conditioning.
Burpees are one of the best overall bodyweight conditioning tools available anytime, anywhere. Got a body? You got burpees. I don’t think any other bodyweight movement gets your heart rate cranked quite as fast or as hard as the good old standby burpee. Rumor has it that a Lieutenant (Burpee of course) used this movement to condition his troops during the Civil War, where it may have gotten its name. In places where you have a lot of time, but not a lot of space (read: prison) there are stories of guys doing 1000 of them a day to keep themselves in top fighting condition. I just know they suck, and I have yet to find someone who disagrees ;)
What’s so awesome about the burpee, besides its amazing power to crumble you? Well for starters it can be done just about anywhere. All you need is enough space to do a push up, and enough room for your hands to clap over your head. You need absolutely no gear. No running shoes, no wrist wraps, no nothing. All you need is the floor or the ground, and I understand that both of these things are quite plentiful throughout the terrestrial sphere. Best of all, you get to battle that weird voice in your head that wants you to quit (more about this strange voice in a later post).
Do one burpee today. Do two tomorrow, and keep adding one each day until you get all the way to 100 burpees on the 100th day. So simple. Sooo effective.
It’s really that simple. I know, I know, you’re already training for a marathon. Consider this sprint work. You’re already working out pretty hard – consider this a finisher. You’re already CrossFitting. Awesome! You now have a cash out each day. Get them done!
How to perform a burpee
-Feet under your hips standing straight up.
-Bend down and place your hands 12-24 inches in front of your feet.
-Kick back your feet simultaneously all the way back to a push-up position.
-Do a push up.
-Jump your feet back to where they began (back to in front of your hands).
-Stand & jump while clapping overhead.
-The clap is the count.
(sweet video at the end of this post)
The fine print
If you miss a day, you must do the day you missed, as well as the current day’s number; not a big deal if you miss day 5 (you’d do 11 on day 6 – the 6 for the current day, plus the 5 you missed), but really crappy if you miss day 80 (you’d do 161, as in 81 for the current day, plus the 80 you missed).
You may break the burpees up throughtout the day. As it gets more involved, spread them out.
You may include burpees that happen to be in a workout that you are already doing. If you’re doing the Filthy Fifty, the 50 in the workout count.
However, for best results –
Do them first thing in the morning, maybe even before you eat breakfast (although Neely isn’t a huge fan of this idea for everyone, especially if you have low blood sugar in the morning. She says you should eat a little something before you burpee if that’s the case). Nothing will get your metabolism cranked up better, and you can even keep your pj’s on
Don’t scale them. Do them all in a row, each time. Make sure your chest touches the ground!
Don’t skip a day. You know right now what your workout is going to be for the next 100 days. You REALLY don’t have any excuses now, do you?
If you are already doing intense workouts (CrossFit, or some other HIIT) or are doing a lot of volume (something like marathon training), there’s no need to worry. This should be supplemental training. If you’re doing some big strength work, like bench press or heavy squats, save these for after. Even as you approach the 100th day, this shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes, so you’ll always have time to do them. If you’re worried about a rest day, you can do one day in the morning, and the next in the evening, giving yourself a good 36 hours in between.
Burpees +1 is going to have a positive effect on your training, whatever it may be, so there is no reason you shouldn’t/can’t do this!
Time yourself on each tenth day and post it to the comments here, we want to see you killing it & inspiring each other!
And when it’s starting to get hard, in a month or two, just remind yourself that it’s only 1 more burpee than yesterday! So stand up out of your chair, drop down, and do your first one…go on DO IT!! Only 99 days to go!
Max Shippee grew up in a very small town in northern Maine, minutes from the Canadian border. Growing up in the woods, and being the son of a dance teacher, he’s been physically active his entire life. He has embraced health & fitness philosophies ranging from body building to endurance training, before finding CrossFit and its performance-based approach to lifelong fitness. Before finding a fit with the Paleo approach to nutrition, Max had also tried numerous nutritional practices, including raw flood, veganism, and Atkins. A father of three, he’s as proud of his family as he is of his business, CrossFit HAX (now CrossFit 1440) in suburban Los Angeles. Max has Level 1, Kids, and Mobility Certifications from CrossFit. He likes the geeky things in life, including Legos, lasers, and computer operating systems named after cats.
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