Making burpees friendly

July 12, 2014 by Joshua
in Fitness

Starting a set of twenty-five burpees is hard. I do something that makes them a little friendlier. It comes from the friend I started doing burpees with years ago.

Most descriptions of burpees start with you dropping down. For some reason my friend starts with a jump up before his first burpee. Ever since I first learned he started that way, I have too: I start with a jump, then do my “first” burpee.

I find the jumping the hardest part of burpees, so all this time I’ve been doing a half burpee more than I count each set, and the harder half. But doing it also reminds me of him, which makes them friendlier.

As I’ve written about habits and changes in behavior, starting with a goal of creating an emotion and emotional reward from the activity brings success more than anything else. The lack of it also makes success that much harder.

I like friendliness. That first jump makes starting burpees friendlier so I like doing them more.

Anyone can do something similar with any exercise or task.

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7 responses on “Making burpees friendly

  1. Hello Joshua,

    I agree with you on the jump first. Many times I have to drag myself to do the first 3,4 burpees, and also found that by jumping first it helps with the momentum.

    • I’m beginning to think these little tricks are more important than most people think. I suspect even great athletes, performers, etc rely on them, though I haven’t researched. What are your tricks? covers that.

      Check out this post — You call exercise torture? I call it glory. — for more on getting started on burpees.

      I’m learning as much about motivation and dedication through SIDCHAs as I’m getting in fitness. Now when I feel like doing ten or fifteen burpees starting is hardly a challenge. Starting a set of twenty-five is still hard.

  2. Hi Joshua! Great webpage – thank you. Very inspiring!! I started with burpees last year and I really love them. Can’t live with them anymore. BTW: subscribed for your newsletter and received the excerp from your book “ReModel”. Just purchased a copy via Amazon – great stuff! 🙂

    • Great to hear from you and I look forward to hearing about your burpee habit if you keep it up. And how the book goes. Note that chapter two of the book gives an exercise to work on.

  3. Many thanks for your kind reply! Sometimes it’s really amazing how things happen in live and how things lead to others… As my sportactivites always were concentrated especially on hiking, my upper-body remainded totally untrained. Last year I met a guy, who told me that he’s doing push-ups every day to keep himself fit. It sounded a good idea to me so I went home and tried one – I totally failed. I wasn’t able do one push-up properly – what a shame! Something had to be done… So I did a lot of research on the internet and stumbled accross burpees and about their benefits to fitness and health. I started with one burpee – tried to do it properly as possible. Today I do 15 burpees twice a day – and I won’t miss them anymore. Last week I noticed your website and I was very pleased to read, that you have made the same experiences as I did and still do. I subscribed to your newsletter with the book-excerp. As it happens, I’m on search for a new job as well and so your book on mental models will be very helpful too. I have reached the second chapter now with the excercises. One of my mental manifestation is: „ you are far too old for a new job – with 49 years…“ BTW: also many thanks to you for sharing your cold shower experiences here – I had my first one yesterday! Amazing! I started with warm water and turned it down slowly – I felt great afterwards!!!!

    • You’re welcome.

      Glad to hear about someone doing twice-daily burpees too. I wouldn’t trade the habit for anything.

      I look forward to hearing how doing the exercise in the book works for you and your search. I’m working on an online course on that set of skills, though it will take a few months and you’ll probably find something by then. I’ll post here when it’s ready anyway.

  4. Thanks Joshua! Looking very forward to it!!!

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