Burpees Exercise: Lose The Fat In One Simple Move

“OKAY CLASS, LET’S DO THIS! BURPEES EXERCISE ON THREE! ONE, TWO…”

That was the drill every morning in middle school. I hated it.  I know everyone in my physical education class hated it, but we did not have an option.  All we wanted to do was play basketball, softball or flag football, but not this.

At the time I did not understand just how valuable an exercise this was.  I mean, who would think that an exercise that requires you to move quickly from a standing position, do a push up position and back up could be so valuable?

Build Athleticism Using A Simple Exercise

In order to becoming athletic or simply get fit it takes doing a lot of cardio or lifting weights- or so we are told.  We have become used to hearing that it takes expensive equipment in order to get in shape but sometimes the smallest and simplest techniques can get us in shape as fast.  If you look at programs like Jason Ferruggia’s “Renegade Bodyweight Bodybuilding” you will find that all it takes to get in shape is your body alone.  A burpee exercise is one way to get in physical conditioning in a short time.

Bodyweight workouts are often not even mentioned in gyms and are rarely talked about in fitness magazines.  However, these workouts are also an excellent way to do strength-training workouts without having to spend money and they can be done in the comfort of your own home.

Burpees Exercises- A Full Body Exercise To Lose Fat

The burpees exercise is a simple exercise that only requires your body and nothing else.  There is no need to use equipment, yet it gives you cardio and strength training benefits like very few other exercises can.  Here you will find a sample workout using burpees.

In order to do a burpee you have to follow this sequence:

  • Begin in a shoulder wide stance
  • Quickly move in to a squat and crouching position with your hands on the floor
  • Kick your feet back in to a push up position and perform a push up
  • Bring your legs in together at the same time back in to the crouching position
  • Explode up and jump as high as you can (similar to a bodyweight jump squat)
  • Land in the same shoulder wide stance
  • This completes one repetition

Note:  the movement should be done without stopping and each repetition is performed non-stop, moving from one repetition to the next.

Do as many burpees as fast as possible for a period of one minute.  Rest for two minutes and repeat the minute sequence 4 more times for a total of 5 sets of burpees.  However, if you cannot do 5 sets that is fine.  You should be able to do a challenging 3 sets and build up to 5 over time.  Do this workout twice a week allowing 72 hours between workouts.

This exercise is an excellent total body workout.  As you can see the push up will work the triceps and chest muscles.  The explosive jump and landing will work on your thighs and hamstrings along with your calves.  The leg tucks and subsequent jump also works your abs/ core region.

If you are a beginner or simply find this sequence challenging you can eliminate the jump in the burpee as well as the push-ups.  If you can perform push-ups I definitely recommend that you keep them.

For an example of a burpee you can see the following video by Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training (turbulencetraining.com).  In this video he incorporates burpees at the end of this bodyweight routine.

Why This Exercise Works So Well

The best way to burn fat and keep lean muscle is by doing burst training or interval training along with strength training. As you can see, this workout combines the two.  Rather than do long cardio sessions you can get better results by doing short bursts of cardio broken up by short rest periods.  In the 15 minutes that it takes to complete this exercise you will get more benefits than if you were to take a jog for over 30 minutes.

How To Make This Your Workout Routine

If you do not have access to a gym, do not have the money, time or you want to switch things up a bit here is my sample weeklong workout.

Monday:  Sprint Workout (15 minutes followed by 15 minute jog or walk)

Tuesday:  Burpees & Abs/ Core Workout

Wednesday:  Rest

Thursday:  Sprint Workout (15 minutes followed by 15 minute jog or walk)

Friday:  Burpees & Abs/Core Workout

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

What I have outlined is a simple workout you can try.  If you are interested in a complete bodyweight program you can follow a more structured and complete program like Jason Ferruggia’s “Renegade Bodyweight Bodybuilding.”

As you can see a burpees exercise can be a great way to burn fat and get lean if you are new to working out or if you are looking for a different way to get in shape.

Feel free to comment below and join in the discussion.

Comments

  1. Love doing burpee workouts! I’ve been doing these for a few months now, and they never fail to give me a great workout. What I love is you can really challenge the body in such a short amount of time compared to other intensity-based workouts.

    Nice job.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Ahmed,
      Over a decade ago before I joined a gym and did weights I did burpees workouts twice a week and I found them to be very useful. They were always challenging and I never got used to doing them, which was a good thing, as I never plateaud after a few months of doing them. It is always a good thing to do variations of these in order to keep the body guessing. But I loved the cardio and muscle building benefits from doing them.

      -Sam

  2. Sam,

    Craig Ballantyne’s Crazy 8 is one of my favorite workouts and the burpees are my favorite component of this workout. It’s amazing how such a simple exercise can be so effective. The routine you outlined looks great for fat loss.

    Alykhan – Fitness Breakout

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Alykhan,
      The Crazy 8 workout is ridiculously awesome. A simple set of exercises done in a short period of time can really get anyone in to great shape.
      The routine I outlined is one I did over ten years ago when I did not have access to a gym but wanted to stay fit.

      Thanks again.

      -Sam

  3. I live me some burpees! I usually do tabata intervals of them. And as an extra added “bonus,” I’ve started doing them under a bar and add in a pull up after I jump up! I call them “burpees from Hell,” haha.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Darrin,
      Burpees from hell! I love it! I think I saw something like what you describe in a behind the scenes of the making of the movie “300.” The guys did these kind of burpees/ pull ups combinations as part of their training to get in shape. I have also seen a burpee to pull to dip when the person reaches the top. Looks like you are really taking your body to hell and back! The rewards must be huge!

      -Sam

  4. Great post! Burpees are a great exercise for burning calories and maintaining strength, love these!

    Mark

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Mark,
      Yes they are! This is an excellent exercise that gives you both cardio and muscle building benefits.
      -Sam

  5. Usually when I get my friends out to the gym and I say we’re about to do some burpees, their faces tell me everything. It’s definitely a grueling exercise but well worth the effort.

    Have you ever heard of the one mile burpee?? If you want a real challenge then you need to check this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxpmfwnZ1KA

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Srdjan,
      This is intense! It takes around 2 hours to complete? This is definitely intense and it’s the first time I’ve heard the one mile burpee. 1 mile? Insane. But let me know when you try it! Lol
      -Sam

  6. I love burpees now but it wasn’t always that way. I used to hate them because it used to leave me feeling winded :) But, years of doing them and knowing how great they are made me love doing them. I know my clients hate it when I put it into their workouts :)

    Anna

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Anna,
      Same here. I had a love/ hate relationship with burpees but I felt I didn’t have an option. It was either do them or not get in shape. These days I love anything that is a challenge and beneficial for my body.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      -Sam

    • This is a very clear explanation of the burpee and its benefits. I think it would be a great way to finish up a strength workout. Complete your TT workout as usual, then do your burpee routine in place of treadmill intervals. Not a bad idea.

      • Sam Munoz says:

        Scott,
        Burpees really are a good option over treadmills. They can be very tough as they get your heartbeat racing. Very much worth it for anyone looking to lose fat.

        -Sam

  7. Sam,
    I love burpees!!

    I make my students do an excessive number of burpees each semester! I hope they love me for it. Great break down of the exercise, and why it is such an effective move.

    I like to do a warm up called jack-squat burp.

    5 jumping jacks
    5 squats
    5 burpies

    then 4 of each, …down to 1 of each. It doesn’t sound like much, but the kids are pretty gassed in a short period of time!

    Cheers,
    Jordan

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