Sure, fine, burpees are tough and we hate them. But they are a phenomenal full-body workout, and it won’t kill you to try just one. Maybe two. (Or 10. You know where this is going.) We’re all going to be so strong by the end of the month!
Photo: US Navy
I'm inspired by Danielle Zickl, who did three sets of 10 burpees every day for a month. Her results:
I started running faster without consciously ramping up my speed. My lungs felt clear and I coasted through miles. ... starting my day with this kind of extreme physical exercise [burpees, that is, not running] helped me feel more awake in the morning without having to rely on caffeine. ... I felt powerful.
I'd sure like to feel more powerful by the end of June, and to see a boost in my running, too.
Here's how to do a burpee:
- Put your belly on the floor.
- Jump up like you're trying to touch the ceiling.
In practice, it looks like you're touching your toes, jumping your feet back into a plank, doing a push-up, and then jumping your feet back into a squat position before jumping up. There are other ways to do burpees, including the original "four count burpee" that doesn't include a jump or a push-up. There are no burpee police here, so pick your favourite.
(Here's a tip - take a video of yourself on the first day, and then you can do a before-and-after comparison at the end of the month.)
Remember, it's especially important with daily challenges that you pace yourself. Don't do so many burpees that you'll be sore the next day; start out with an amount that feels easy, and adjust day-by-day once you're sure you can handle it.
So here's what we'll do. Every morning, do at least one burpee. Aim for three sets with a little rest in between - maybe that's just one burpee per set (three total). Or maybe you'll ramp up to doing 30 like Danielle. Some of you beasts might aim for 100. Then shower and get dressed and go about your day, feeling a little bit wobbly but perhaps, also, a little bit powerful.