Burpees. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny the fact that they’re stupid effective.
In a single exercise you can do anywhere and anytime, you work the upper body, lower body, and turn your body into a fat burning machine.
For most people, burpees are hard. And I’m not talking about the racing heart, burning muscles, and gasping lungs. I’m talking about the movement itself. A push up at the bottom and a jump at the top? Buckle up.
Other people are semi-pro with the burpee (we’ve all seen those backflip burpee videos). Crazy, right? Must be nice.
The burpee is notoriously popular among everyone—fitness newcomers to seasoned veterans. Too popular.
Most people shouldn’t be doing burpees.
Not conventional burpees, at least. If you’re new to fitness or simply getting back in shape, diving face first into burpees can literally result in a nasty faceplant. Nobody wants that. If you can’t safely do a burpee, you shouldn’t do burpees.
On the other hand, if you’re an exercise enthusiast that can pound out burpees like a champ, you probably need to up your game. Progress is a result of adaptation. And your body won’t adapt unless your exercise program demands it. If you’re at the point that conventional burpees are too easy, you shouldn’t be doing them either.
Like any other movement, burpees need to change in order to fit the needs of the individual. Not the other way around. Sloppy form and easy sets won’t do you any good. But I see both all the time.
It’s a problem.
Luckily, there’s a better way.
Burpee Progression From a Beginner to a Boss
Fitness should meet us where we’re at, help us move forward, and your body should set the pace. It’s a long game. A proverbial marathon, not a sprint.
Sustainable, long-term progression is infinitely better than going too hard, getting hurt, and being forced out of commission. It’s also infinitely better than a program that lacks progression, isn’t challenging, and sticks you on a plateau.
Instead of trying to meet burpees where they’re at, they should meet you where you’re at.
By both regressing or progressing the movement, you’ll be able to reap all kinds of great burpee benefits without running the risk of underworking, overworking, stalling results, or getting hurt.