What kind of an athlete would you be if all you did was burpees? Long slow sets of burpees, short quick sets, tempo, a few at a time over the course of a day? Could doing burpees regularly create the same familiarization with the movement that a runner has with their stride? Is one burpee hard? I don’t think so. Most people don’t think so. Is one stroke of the rowing erg hard? No. But when asked to do many, with intensity it gets hard. Same with running. Same with burpees. Athletes who start a new sport, like running for example, start small like running to the end of the block. Then as they adapt to the movement it gets easier. Some of this is physical and some is mental adaptation. Suddenly running to the end of the block is no longer hard, its just the start.
Can the same thing be done with burpees? I am going to create a program based off of a running routine that I have used to prepare for races, or just improving my running, but I am going to convert running time to number of burpees. For this experiment I am going to use my mile time and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) as the test to see how many burpees I can do in the same amount of time.
First workout will be 6 minutes max effort burpees. I will pace myself just like I would for running a mile. Since it is only 6 minutes there won’t be too much slow and steady but there will be an emphasis on picking it up at the end and finishing stronger than I started. My plan is this:
First minute: 12 burpees
Second minute: 15 burpees
Third minute: 15 burpees
Fourth minute: 15 burpees
Fifth minute: 16 burpees
Sixth minute: 18 Burpees
Total burpees: 91 burpees
From this score I will plan the rest of the month’s workouts for 3 days a week.