A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Burpees: A Favorite Exercise!

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I thought it would be fun to do a few blog posts about my favorite exercises. When I say an exercise is my "favorite" it probably means:

1. It's hard.
2. It's effective.
3. I love it just as much as I hate it.

I didn't even know what a burpee was until last June. When I first started doing them, they were VERY hard. They're still hard! But they have gotten a little easier.

Apparently, there are a ton of different ways to do a burpee. You can check out 30 different ways here. Each variation looks extremely challenging! Especially #4, #5, #8, #9, #12, #16, #19, #20, #23, #24, & #30... ummm, so most of them.

This is how I do a burpee:

Why Burpees Are Awesome!

1. Burpees are a FULL BODY workout... legs, core, shoulders, arms, chest...
2. It's cardio and strength training wrapped up into one movement!
3. You don't need any equipment, just your body weight.
4. As mentioned above, you can modify a burpee to make it easier or more difficult.
5. You burn tons of calories and fat because they are super high intensity.

Check out this guy! Will doing burpees all day give me abs like that????

This is just... insane. I wanted to try it, until I saw that it takes about 2 hours.
Maybe I could try to do just 1/4 of a mile. Who's with me?

Some dead grass in my yard... because I did burpees!

I don't love burpees because I feel soooooo good when I do them. I love them because they make me want to barf! Training isn't always going to feel good. In fact, if you feel good, you're probably not pushing yourself. If I am uncomfortable, in pain, and out of breath (not to the point of injury, mind you), I know I am pushing myself and therefore, getting stronger! This mindset was hard to get accustomed to. It's pretty much the opposite of the way I approached distance running. In distance running, it's not good to be out of breath or uncomfortable. The point is to be able to run comfortably for hours. That's why I will always maintain running a marathon is easier than running a 5k! But with lifting, speed work, and plyos, the whole point is to push yourself out of your comfort zone- whether it's 3 more reps, 10 more burpees, or 1 more round of sprints.

How I incorporate burpees into my training:

1. I use them as part of a circuit when I do circuit training.
2. They are usually "hearts" for a Deck of Cards Workout.
3. In the gym, I do them between sets when I'm lifting to get the benefit of a compound exercise.

I used to do 3 sets of 20 burpees once a week. They were challenging because I had very weak shoulder and chest muscles. Now, I do 3 sets of 25 burpees three times a week. They are definitely one of my favorite exercises!
Do you love to hate burpees?

Check back for a post about another favorite exercise of mine... the PLANK!

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