WOD: Sunday 072008 – The Anatomy Of A Burpee


From time to time, I come across emails from some of you asking, “What exactly is a burpee?” Other than being one of the foundational exercises of my program, the burpee is a great all-around, full body exercise. However, many often confuse the “burpee” with its cousins, the squat thrust or 8-count bodybuilders. However, all 3 are great full body exercises, I suggest utilizing the squat thrust and 8 count bodybuilder, as a means to build up strength, stamina, and coordination for piecing the elements of the burpee together.

Before, you do that, I thought it would be helpful to pick apart each element of the burpee, in the following workout, in order to not only show you how the burpee is truly one of the grand-daddy’s of fat-burning bodyweight exercises, but to also give you a chance to master each element in good form separately. Don’t worry! I am not advocating isolation exercises, per se. as you will find out from this workout, each of these exercises are full body exercises of their own.

The key to each of these exercises, is to perform them with good form, engage your abs throughout each of them for stability, push through your heels on all squats (not your toes), keep your chest up on all squats, and push your hips back on each squat, as if you are trying to bump it against a wall that’s about a foot behind you.

There is no rest between each of these exercises. However, if you find the high rep count too much for you, right now, then perform 25 reps of each, rest for 3 minutes after completing all 5 exercises, then perform 25 reps of each again for another round. BTW, the Kettlebell swings at the end is just a little fat-kicking bonus! Have fun.

1. 50 Squats
2. 50 Mt. Jumpers
3. 50 Sec. Push Up Plank
4. 50 Push Ups
5. 50 Squat Jumps

Bonus: 50 1 Arm Kettlebell swings

Once you master the elements listed above, you’ll live for the day you can put them together to come up with our friend shown below, the Burpee!


The only element missing in this illustration is the push up component, which you would execute right after you kick your legs back straight.