Pushups and Burpees: Why God Hates You

Written by Don P on . Posted in Challenge #6

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
DonDoes30.com - Burpees Zero People Like This

Do I really even need to describe how to do a pushup, the very basic exercise you've naturally done since an infant? I hope not, but if you need some instruction, I have covered "how to do a pushup" during Challenge 2: Yoga for 30 Days. You can start there.

The real topic of discussion today is the more uncommon exercise known as burpees. If you’ve done them, chances are you absolutely hate them. Just mentioning the name tends to garner eye rolls, groans of dread, evil eyes, general dissatisfaction, shooting groin pain, severe depression, and suicide bombings — Okay, maybe a few of those are made up.

CrossFit HQ ran a question on their Facebook page asking followers, "If burpee had an alternate name, it would be _____." Out of 885+ responses, these were pretty common:

  • Hell
  • Torture
  • Burpee! Thy name is DEATH
  • The devil
  • Satan’s idea of fun
  • My ex-wife

How To Survive Burpees

The steps to completing a burpee are extremely straight forward, and, at first glance, seem like they would be very easy, but realistically you're combining three different exercises: a squat, a pushup and a plyometric jump. That's just a simple burpee, too. During research, I have found 17 different varieties of this torture exercise. Let's start with the basic "Onnit Primal Challenge" burpee: DonDoes30.com - Burpee Steps

  1. Begin in a standing position with legs spread slightly apart.
  2. Drop down into a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
  3. Kick your feet back into a pushup position.
  4. Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
  5. Jump up as high as possible from the squat position.

Some variations add pullups, jumping jacks, planks, box jumps, goat punching, and tractor truck pulling. Americans are lazy; we know it. Hell, I bet a lot of you stopped reading at "Step 1: Begin in a standing position." Sadly, though, there is no burpee variation that requires a cold beer and a nap on the couch.

Too confusing? Check out the video of the "Onnit Primal Challenge" from a previous post.

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