Three years of burpees

December 22, 2014 by Joshua
in Exercises, Fitness, Habits, SIDCHAs

Yesterday began my fourth year of burpees.

I’ve written about them at length, so I’ll keep it brief today. A few sets of burpees are good fitness exercise. A few years of burpees is a solid foundation for a healthy life. Here are the top things they create for me.

Sticking with them for a long time without missing any creates discipline, which is a foundation I can build other habits and behaviors I want in my life. I meant to make only burpees my base exercise. While increasing from ten per day to two sets of twenty-six per day, I couldn’t help but include inverted rows to work my back and sit-ups to work my abs. My one-minute workout has increased to maybe five minutes of exercise.

Building up from a foundation I mastered, simple as it is, empowers me. My body, at forty-three, is as fit as it’s ever been and has less fat than ever, which I like. And it’s so easy. Just one simple exercise daily. I increased it but you don’t have to, although I bet you will. That’s empowerment. You know you can do things you never thought you could. You do them. Next thing you know you have a six-pack. Same with cutting food I don’t like from my diet. Once I took up burpees daily, choosing to start habits I wanted or stop habits I didn’t was easy.

The ability to change habits enables you to change yourself as much as you want.

Finally, doing burpees when you don’t want to or are hard—like after a marathon, when you haven’t eaten in a day, etc—and when no one is around develops integrity. I don’t know how to describe integrity. It’s what you do when no one is looking. It’s doing what you believe is right. You can wait for challenges to befall you to find out if you have integrity if you want to leave things to chance, or you can train it in yourself and know what you’ll do when times call for it. I’m sure you can tell, I choose the latter.

Learn to make Meaningful Connections

with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.


  • Step by step instructions
  • Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
  • An excerpt from my book

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2 responses on “Three years of burpees

  1. Integrity is a interesting concept. Its the same thing for me, after having developed some strong daily habits, which are different from yours. It has made developing harder habits, much easier.

    How is integrity different from self-control? Isnt self-control the same as doing something when nobody is watching?

    The way I think about it is, that developing any habit requires some amount of stress psychologically. Once you develop a small habit (Habit A), the incremental stress to develop a harder habit (Habit B), is the same as the stress I would encounter if I started habit A initially. On the other hand if I tried to develop habit B, right off the bat, on my own, I would have encountered a much higher stress, as a result, I might have faltered.

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