Side Pattern


This month, we wanted to pay homage to one of the best exercises in a trainer’s arsenal for getting a client’s heart rate up, taxing their entire body, and making sure they will never think the workout was easy. Anyone who has ever done a burpee (also sometimes called a squat thrust) knows that the motion looks simple enough yet it is deceptively difficult when done in multiples. So where did it come from?

While most probably think that the burpee’s name is some made up word, it is actually named for it’s creator Royal H. Burpee. I know you think that’s probably made up too, but in fact he was an American physiologist who created the exercise as part of his PhD thesis showing a simple way to assess a person’s overall fitness. It became popular when the Armed Forces began utilizing the test as a way to weed out recruits during WWII, but now it is widely used by most fitness professionals. To give you an idea of what was considered acceptable during this time, eight burpees completed in 20 seconds was considered poor, 13 or more in 20 seconds was considered excellent. How many can you do in that time? Just for fun we thought we’d mention that the world record for burpees in 1 minute is 42, 1 hour is 1,480, and the most in a three-day span is 9,480.

So let’s talk about why your trainer loves them and why you should too. Here are 5 good reasons:

  1. They burn a ton of calories.
  2. They help make you stronger.
  3. They build endurance.
  4. No need for equipment.
  5. They can help with flexibility.

Looking at the list above it’s easy to see why adding burpees is a positive in regards to your fitness, even though it elicits the same negative response every time you hear it. Just remember that this is one exercise that has multiple benefits to your overall level of health. So I guess what we’re trying to say is: