Why I Love Burpees
Written by Holden Rethwill
(Originally Published on May 24, 2016)
I know what you’re thinking.
Blasphemy! Crazy talk!
How could anyone in their right mind enjoy a movement 99.9% of the world despises? Well you heard it here first – I love burpees, and I’ll give you three reasons why!
You Will Never Fail.
The fear of failing keeps even the greatest of athletes from reaching full potential. So what is better than performing a movement that you will never, I repeat never fail? I’ve completed, and witnessed, thousands upon thousands of burpees in the time I’ve been coaching and competing. I have yet to see someone fail a burpee (ok you may get no-repped here and there during bar facing but that’s besides the point). There are movements – 1 rep maxes, pull-ups, handstands, etc. – that you may hit muscular fatigue, or even a strength and competency deficit. But you will never be too tired or too sore to fall on the ground and get back up.
This brings me to my second reason why I love burpees.
It is a Pure Test of Mental Toughness.
Are burpees painful? Yes. They can even be darn right hard once your shoulders are pumped beyond belief. But someone who can push past this and continue to knock out rep after rep is as mentally tough as they come. It goes back to never failing a rep. Knowing this, someone with a strong mental game knows they have no choice but to push through until the end. Rather than standing and having a staring contest with the ground (which I promise you will never win), they keep fighting and keep moving.
Ready for the third reason why burpees are awesome?
Drum roll please…
You Are Only Doing Half of the Work!
What do I mean by this? Gravity! It is our greatest ally in this test of grit. Seeing as a burpee is essentially a controlled fall to the ground, gravity does the majority of the work for you on the first half of the movement! You just have to do your part in getting back up. Any time I am coaching a workout with burpees I like to remind my clients and athletes of this. The majority of the time they laugh at me and still give me crazy looks, but it is the truth! There are very few, if any, other movements where you only have to do half of the work. What’s not to love about that?
Still think I’m crazy? That’s ok. Just keep these thoughts in mind next time you’re doing some burpees and let me know if it helps! I’ll continue to fall on the ground and get back up, and do it with a smile on my face!
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