What the heck is a Burpee? Guest post by Chas Brown

Until I joined ASF, I always thought a Burpee was something you did at the kitchen table when Mom wasn’t looking! Nope, apparently a Burpee is some sort of human torture where you squat then throw your legs out and plank then stand up and jump. After my first class I was convinced Tony had made up this exercise after watching too many Walking Dead episodes while drinking an adult beverage. Picture this: Zombie gets into attack mode by squatting down then quickly pushes its legs backwards and then forward, jumps up and devours its prey.
I decided I am pretty good at researching obscure stuff and there is this nifty thing called Google. I type in “Burpee” and Boom: Here’s the Proof I received – a Burpee is a brand of seeds for growing plants and vegetables for home owners. I knew I had seen that name somewhere before. So Tony must have been forced to pick soy beans as a young boy. I can see it now, he squats down goes to pick a bean and all of a sudden a zombie jumps out. He kicks back then forward, jumps up and scares the zombie with those teeth and the Tony glare. No, no, no I don’t think there are zombies in bean fields and Tony is way too good looking to scare anybody.
I contacted the Burpee seed company and they don’t know Tony and apparently they don’t employ any Zombies. Their customer service people are not very friendly either. They would only answer my first 15 questions and they refused to comment on Zombies. Now we know how they get all those seeds in those little pouches. One thing I know for sure is the Burpee is a Royal Pain in the butt. Back to Google and I am afraid I have bad News folks: We cannot blame Tony or Zombies for the Burpee, but we can challenge Tony to attempt to break the world record for the most Burpees in 24 hours. He only needs to complete 10,106 Burpees. Turns out the Royal pain in the Burpee is exactly who invented the Burpee.
Believe it or not, the burpee is actually named after someone! In the 1930s, Royal H. Burpee created a test to measure agility and coordination for the U.S. military. The test was included in his book, “Seven Quickly Administered Tests of Physical Activity” and included the movement that would thereafter bear his name. So Royal Burpee must have been insane. I started thinking to myself he must have been in a padded room and trying to get out; squat, kick back, kick legs forward, and jump. Surely doing that 100 times would convince people he wasn’t crazy? Nope, wrong again. Mr. Burpee was a physiologist and “created” the Burpee while working on his Ph.D. thesis. One question though, how did he do this while chasing Zombies in the insane asylum?
So what in the world was Burpee thinking when he created this “exercise”. I still can’t figure out how this has anything to do with Zombies. But we can thank WWII and the U.S. Armed Services for adopting the Burpee as a way to assess the fitness level of recruits. The greatest generation does it again. Now we know why there are Zombies in Call to Duty…if you hit and hold R1, Triangle, L2, and spin in a circle, the Burpee move wipes out Zombies COD. On a serious note the Burpee is a much disputed exercise. After reviewing two web sites I clearly see no one really knows how to perform a Burpee. It’s not that hard, you grab a bag of seeds, tear it open and dump them in the ground. Wait, sorry I am so confused; the zombies and vegetables have me all confused. Not to mention the padded room I sleep in every night.
I did find the original hand written instructions from Mr. Royal “Pain” Burpee: The Burpee is done in four counts. A Man (sorry ladies apparently Mr. Burpee was not very diverse) first assumes a stand position, with arms at his sides, and feet a couple inches apart. At the count of “one” he goes down to a squatting positions with hands flat on the ground and arms inside his knees. At “two” he throws his feet back and assumes a Plank position; all of his weight is resting on his toes and hands. At “three” the zombies come out (just kidding) he quickly assumes the squatting position again. At “four” he stands up.
For the one or two of you that love Burpees, screw you, but I have good news. There are endless variation of Burpees, including: Box-jump burpee, Burpee broad jump, Burpee push up (also known as a “bastardo”), Dumbbell burpee , Eight-count push up or Double burpee, Hindu push up burpee (Dave’s Favorite), Jump-over burpee, Jump up burpee, Zombie Burpee, Knee push-up burpee, Rug Burn burpee, Long-jump burpee, Muscle-up burpee, One-armed burpee, One leg burpee, Parkour burpee, Pull-up burpee, Shitee (this is what I do after every Rep), Radish Burpee, Side burpee, Squat Thrust, Tuck-jump burpee, and my Favorite the Burpee pull and push up (body blaster).

No Burpees were harmed while writing this blog……………………and if you are sick and want to see some videos of Burpee’s go here.


Leave a Reply