Why everyone should learn to love burpees!
A slightly rogue topic choice I’ll admit...given that most people would probably say they enjoy burpees as much as they enjoy the idea of sticking their head in a freezer for 20 minutes or walking barefoot on broken glass. However, here are 4 reasons why burpees are great and why they should be part of your training.
If you have no idea what a burpee is, stop what you are doing, have a look on Youtube...then give it a go, then if you’re not put off, come back and read the rest of this blog.
The king or queen of exercises - I understand that this might seem like a big claim but here’s why. First off, burpees work pretty much every muscle group in your body, meaning a higher demand for oxygen and greater energy expenditure. Basically, you can burn lots of calories in a relatively short amount of time performing burpees. Secondly, because they work your entire body, they’re a full body workout in a single exercise, great if you’re in a busy gym or if you’re short on time (try 10-15 minutes - 30 seconds on//30 seconds off of burpees and tell me if you don’t feel pretty worked out by the end). Equally, they require no equipment, meaning they can be done anywhere. And lastly, they are a very accessible movement, pretty much anyone can find a variation that works for them. In conclusion, the best, if not, one of the best exercises.
Building mental toughness - not only are they a great exercise physically but also mentally. There is something to be said about simple, yet brutal exercises. When performing a burpee, repetition after repetition, you are in a battle with your mind to not give up. Their simplicity makes it difficult to distract yourself from the pain and your mind will try to find any excuse to get your body to slow down and ease off. However, if you choose to ignore that voice in your head, you’ll definitely come out of that workout mentally stronger and more resilient.
Versatility - another reason why burpees are great is because they are so versatile. You can make them easier, harder, add in a press up or a jump or combine pretty much any movement with them in order to keep them fun and challenging. Feel free to get creative! My personal favourite - performing a burpee to the floor, then once standing, performing a pull up with a hanging knee raise at the top of the pull up and repeat...
They work - no matter how fit you are, burpees are still hard - there is a reason why people hate burpees, which is also exactly the reason why you should do them- put simply, they work. If it is any consolation, I do lots of burpees (not to say that I am super fit by any means) and I still find them challenging. That being said, whilst they don’t necessarily get any easier, you do get better at performing them. You get better at dealing with how they feel mentally and physically and slowly get faster and faster, meaning they remain challenging and more importantly, beneficial. Whilst that may not seem like a consolation, there is something to be said about an exercise that remains challenging for absolutely everyone. Anyone who says they don’t find burpees hard, is probably lying or isn’t working hard enough...you can always make a burpee harder, no matter your fitness levels, so you’ll never truly outgrow the exercise. All the more reason to make them part of your training and learn to love them!
By Luca Samara