I’ve found the perfect exercise: the burpee pull up. Well, I’m not sure what it’s perfect for…mostly losing your lunch.
No one should feel the need to throw money away on fitness gadgets and gimmicks to improve their fitness level. I know more people that go out and buy expensive treadmills and bikes and elliptical machines that ultimately end up collecting dust or drying laundry when all they need to do is the burpee.
Josh Carter taught me how to do a proper burpee here and ever since I’d conveniently forgotten about burpees until I got called out on Face Book to do this workout, (thank you very much Ben Hessel).
As if burpees weren’t enough fun on their own… I took Ben up on his burpee pull up challenge and thought I’d share it with you.
In this challenge, the pull up was the rest phase for me. It must be because I do lots of pull ups and burpees and I are just getting acquainted.
I feel the need to extol the virtues of the lowly burpee as an all around body conditioner.
Burpees will condition your entire body and will develop strength, explosive power and anaerobic endurance.
Anaerobic exercise is exercise used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power. Energy systems trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently compared to aerobic exercise. Anaerobic training leads to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities that last from seconds up to about 2 minutes. In sports that require repeated short bursts of exercise, it’s the anaerobic system that enables muscles to recover for the next burst.
In contrast, any activity performed longer than about two minutes is considered aerobic exercise and taps into a different energy system. These exercises include lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time like running, swimming, and cycling. They require large amounts of oxygen to generate the energy needed for extended exercise time.
All this mumbo-jumbo means that I can coast through a low intensity aerobic workout if I want to:
But there’s no coasting involved in anaerobic training. The beauty of anaerobic training is that it’s short and sweet:
(The ‘after glow’ of an anaerobic workout…)
Whatever your preference for training, you can’t knock the benefits of anaerobic training. If I loved running for hours, I’d do it. I just happen to loathe it, so it works out well that I can train for 20 minutes and feel like I’m DONE.
Oh, and have I mentioned the virtues of the pull up as the grand-daddy of all body weight exercises? I think we all know how taxing and how much strength they require. Anyone that’s tried a pull up, or multiple sets of them will tell you that they’re no walk in the park. Nuff said about the pull up.
Onto the 100 burpee challenge…
For fun, I didn’t do it once, I did it twice…Here’s the first day results:
My pull up bar is 9 ft up. I’m 5’2″, even with my arms over head, I’m only 6’3″. There’s no way I can jump that high, even fresh let alone after a burpee, so I had to jump onto a bench then to the bar for the pull up. This may have been a bit of a cheat, I don’t know, it was darn hard is all I can say. When I was done, I figured out my second plan of attack (keep reading).
I decided that I needed a mental strategy to tackle 100 reps. For most challenges, the hardest part is the mental game. I figured I can do 10 of anything, so I got the clock started and did sets of 10. I took some rest between sets, about 30 seconds or so. I definitely slowed down as the sets wore on. I kept looking at the clock and thought it’d be interesting to record the finish time of each set, remember that these times are cumulative…
Here are my results:
- 10 burpee pull ups – 1:20
- 20 burpee pull ups – 2.42
- 30 burpee pull ups- 4:25
- 40 burpee pull ups – 6:20
- 50 burpee pull ups – 8:07
- 60 burpee pull ups – 9:50
- 70 burpee pull ups – 11:45
- 80 burpee pull ups – 13:48
- 90 burpee pull ups – 15:28
- 100 burpee pull ups – 16:53
Here’s my second time around…
My bar wasn’t quite high enough, as you can see, there’s no real jump here:
So for this round I decided to try sets of 20:
- 20 burpee pull ups 1:50
- 40 burpee pull ups 4:31
- 60 burpee pull ups 7:08
- 80 burpee pull ups 10:20
- 100 burpee pull ups 13:22
After each of these workouts I finished with more back and bi training, but I was pretty baked.
The burpees got pretty ugly in the end in both workouts. They didn’t have the crisp pop out quality and they looked rather bedraggled. I didn’t video this workout cuz my assistant wasn’t around and I couldn’t get the camera/tripod positioned in my gym to get the burpee (on the ground) and the pull up (9 feet in the air) in the shot.
You’ll just have to trust me on this challenge….or maybe we can do it together one of these days…
Looking for a return to ‘old school’ training? No gimmicks, just the fat burning power of the burpee in short do anywhere workouts. You’ll find 21 all new burpee challenge workouts with coaching previews along with a 500 and 1000 Rep Challenge Workout. Check out Challenge Burpees.