I hated burpees for a long time! Because they’re so damn hard. But yesterday I just finished 30 consecutive days of 105 burpees a day. Months ago I would find that crazy unbelievable so I’m happy about it.
It’s made possible by a YouTube fitness trainer I’ve been following called Jordan Yeoh, who cleverly sneaked in 105 burpees at the last part of the last day of his 21-day fitness challenge, which I wrote about here.
It was clever because if he had said before that there was going to be 100 burpees I’d be all like “Forget it!” but it innocently started with 10, then shots of 5 with rests in between, and somehow I went along till completion. And after the hundred he still breezily squeezed in 5 more. As Jordan puts it: the power of not thinking too much, just do it. Click to play the video below. The burpees start at minute 15:05 and end at minute 28:40.
With lots of huffing and puffing noisily throughout and feeling like I was going to die while screaming and cursing on the inside, I scraped through. In my exhaustion soon into it, many of my pushups were barely half done, my ‘jumps’ quickly reduced to inch-high hops, and at one point I had to pause the video to take a longer break of a full minute more, but whatever. When I finished, my lungs felt like they were going to explode out my chest, but at the same time I was so shocked and happy I managed to do it.
I gave it another go a week later. While still painful and left gasping in full breaths of air, once again I felt like such a champion that I could do 105 of the formerly dreaded burpee in one session (never mind the crappy form). I then decided to try it for 30 consecutive days. On Day 7, I made the mistake of pushing it off till I plain forgot to do it, so I had to start Day 1 anew. Yesterday I finally finished Day 30. The bonus is that with all those reps, my form had also slowly improved, and I think my pushup part is okay now.
Instead of having to refer to the video above all the time, for convenience I use an interval timer app I already had in my phone, installed from Google Play Store. I keyed in the following sets of workout and rest. This is what works for me; enough time to not rush through it, and I find 20 seconds of rest is enough to catch my breath.
|Work 40 seconds – Do 10 Burpees for a total of 10||Rest 20 seconds|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 15||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 20||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 25||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 30||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 35||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 40||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 45||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 50||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 55||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 60||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 65||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 70||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 75||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 80||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 85||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 90||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 20 secs – Do 5 for 95||Rest 20 secs|
|Work 40 secs – Do 10 for 105||(Total Time 13 minutes)|
I was actually introduced to burpees like a year ago, via the following video of a Japanese YouTuber that was featured on an online article.
Even though his burpee is sans pushup, it’s still really tough to me because of the tabata style of workout, a very short 4-minute but very intense workout incorporating sets of 20 seconds of work (in this case 8 burpees in those 20 seconds) followed by 10 seconds of rest. A total of 8 sets make the 4 minutes.
In the beginning I managed only 4 or 5 burpees per set, and was already panting like crazy after a couple of sets. It took me weeks to finally manage to do 8. Even then I never really got the hang of it. Having only 10 seconds to catch my breath in between those sets was just too hard. But now thinking about it, thanks to this brilliant workout I was already cranking out 64 burpees in just 4 minutes! Okay, sans pushup, but I still think it’s so cool.
So why do I do burpees (let alone 105 in a session) even though I think they’re kinda sadistic? I have to admit it is a great full body workout, and giving me both cardio and strength training in one go is a great bonus. When I struggled with it in the beginning it made me realize how out of shape I was, and I decided to use the exercise to get better. Well I’m still out of shape haha, and still panting madly throughout most of the workout, and still need to sit down a bit afterwards. But my fitness level has improved somewhat so I feel better about it.
The journey continues!