I know, just seeing the word Burpee in the headline made you turn around already. You hate Burpees, I get it. Guess what?
For those that have never heard of Burpees, they originated in military training programs as a means of providing a full-body workout that challenges the muscles, respiratory system and develops mental toughness. Yes, they offer that much love.
I especially like a good hop at the end. The CrossFit version has the push-up go all the way to the ground and flatten out the body in order for each burpee push-up to be exactly the same depth. The military version has a standard 90 degree arm bend, and you keep doing it until you get it right…proving that repeated failures do serve a purpose. In this case, if you’re not smart you better be strong.
Short Course: Roughly a Burpee per calorie.
Chris’s other favorites…
Thrusters (Gym / Home Friendly Dumbbell or Barbell variant)
Thrusters are a full-body exercise that are the result of the unholy union between a deep squat and the overhead press. The entire lower body, core shoulders, back and arms need to do work. Medicine balls or sandbags can be used in place of dumbbells, barbells or rocks. To add even more complexity to a thruster you can try it with a slosh pipe. I haven’t done this yet myself but it sounds evil even by own set of standards.
The Slosh Pipe: A 6-10 foot – 4 inch diameter PVC pipe filled 50-75% with water to provide a constantly shifting variable load. Total cost of a pipe, end caps, PVC primer and sealant should be around 3 fast food meals.
CONDITIONING CIRCUIT 1: 10-10-10-10: As many rounds possible in 20 minutes
10 each: DB Thrusters, Janda Sit Ups, Alternating Lunges, Burpees = 1 Round
Full Body Circuit Training is often associated with sequential use of multiple weight training machines with short rest periods in-between to achieve a full-body workout in a short time span. This method is certainly not without its benefits and is in common use by many trainers.
A downside to this method is often a case of machine availability, especially in busy commercial gyms. If the circuit program was well thought out, the machines selected would be the ones that offer the greatest return on investment, therefore they would typically be the most popular (and most used) machines in the gym. Another downside is sequencing, if not well thought out you could wind up having to shuffle from one side of the gym to the other to use machines thus negating the benefits of the shorter rest periods.
An upside is that with a little ingenuity you can put together a decent barbell/dumbbell complex that will challenge the major muscles of the body in short course with little/no traveling distance and the use of only a few weights. In my case, a single barbell often does the trick.
From the land that brought us Vodka.
Kettlebell lifting (specifically the swing,press and cleans) the off-set weight provides a rhythm and physical challenge that differs from standard weights. KB lifting requires more than a fair bit of coaching to get the hang of. Not naming names here, but don’t rely on Millian Jichaels as your KB guru.
I KNOW I look like the runner on the bottom.
Walk-Jog-Run-Sprint. Granted, this presupposes a person has two legs and can walk in a functional manner at a functional rate of speed, Jogging and Running may be considered hard on the joints and jogging, running and sprinting are certainly not for everyone. But for those who can, I suggest mixing it up. Try running or walking up hills, going for a hike or changing up which cardio machine you use.
Favorite for weight loss: Uphill Sprints.
Favorite Gym friendly cardio: 70-85% Vo2 Max @ 30+ minutes or Tabata Interval on the stationary bike/elliptical.
Easier on the joints: Elliptical, but this method doesn’t translate to the real world very well unless you start walking in little ellipses.
Can jog but can’t run? A running coach or trainer that happens to be a running enthusiast would be a better source of info than me. I’m far better at sprinting than distance. My advice would be to imagine being chased:
Chris’s other other methods…
Chew your food more and eat slower (except for nuts)…limited studies have demonstrated that eating slower, by taking smaller bites and chewing on the food more has led to lower calorie consumption, in some cases as great as a 48% decrease.
Eat nuts, chew them less. Nuts have numerous health benefits including healthy fats, fiber and protein. Studies have shown that consumption of nuts by themselves does not lead to weight gain. Interestingly, a study pointed that by chewing nuts less, you absorb less of their fat.
Sleep like a champ…I’ve found that not getting a good nights sleep has a decided negative rub-off effect. My morale is crappy because I’m tired, I look tired because I’m tired, I typically eat worse food and drink way more coffee and might not even feel like issuing burpess during a workout. On the other hand, a great nights sleep reaps rewards of mind, body and health.