Embrace the Burpee

As we know and as we said in numerous blogs thus far, we are functional athletes and because of this, we place a significant emphasis on core stability and strength. This is one of the main purposes of functional fitness.

So where am I going with this? Well, what do elite athletes and military forces have i common?? They EMBRACE THE BURPEE!!

So what exactly is a burpee? A burpee is a calorie-torching, strength-building, full body exercise that can also be done anytime anywhere. The best part, it’s all about speed.

Tip: don’t start off fast, start slow and gradually build up a good pace.

Now why should us as firefighters embrace the burpee? Here are a number of reasons to embrace the burpee.

1. Total body fat torching exercise that burn up to 50% more body fat than moderate exercise.

2. Speeds up your metabolism. This will help burn calories even after the workout is finished.

3. It is the ultimate example of functional fitness and a total body workout. Burpees will hit your chest, back, biceps, triceps, gluteus, quads, hamstrings and abs.

4. This is a great way to condition your body for overall health. Conditioning and endurance training is key for all firefighters to keep your body healthy and ready. Also, this will get your heart rate up quickly for conditioning and endurance.

We spoke about why burpees are a good addition to firefighter fitness so now here are a few burpee exercises we can do:

1. 21-15-9-6-3
burpees, body squats, plyo-pushups.
This is a 5set workout starting with 21 reps (in order) with a min rest then 15 reps and so forth and so on until all 5 sets are complete.

2. Burpee-pull-up
Do a burpee in front of a pull up bar, then do a (jumping) pull up. As many as you can for time (time limit: 3min).

3. Burpee-push-up
Do a burpee and upon completion of the burpee do 1 push-up. Continue that sequence for 2min.

4. 100 burpee challenge. Aim for 100 burpees in 15min. Do as many as possible before taking a break then continue.

5. Burpee-sprint
Do 1 burpee then sprint 50yds and do another burpee. That’s one set. Do this for 5 sets. Rest 1 min between sets.

Take these workouts to your firehouse, your home, anywhere and have fun with them. These workouts can also be a great team building exercise as well with multiple benefits all in one. 

Please note: Always consult with your physician before getting into physical activities while recovering from any injury or surgery. It may not be the best treatment option after an injury or surgery or may be limited to particular modalities. 

Until next time; work hard, stay safe & live inspired.

 About the Author

NICHOLAS J. HIGGINS is a firefighter with 15 years in the fire service all within departments in Piscataway, NJ. Nick has held the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain as well as being a township elected District Fire Commissioner for 1 term (3 years) in Piscataway, NJ. He is also a NJ State certified level 2 fire instructor and currently a State of New Jersey Advocate for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University working in Corporate Taxation and is the founder/contributor of the Firehouse Tribune website.