In Defence of The Burpee



Language is a funny old thing.


“Station 5 – Burpees!” groans. Recently, on one of our Facebook threads (brilliantly communal Fitness Soul is – you should try it!) one lovely person was saying, mostly in jest “You always make us do burpees”.

No. We don’t. Ever. I don’t know any coach who has ever made anyone do burpees. Or made anyone do anything actually.

We encourage burpees. We promote burpees. We plan them on the programme for you.

We coaches are, perhaps, burpeemongers. Or burpeesmiths. We craft them, artisan-style, for your enjoyment. And there is such a range of burpee modifications out there. I could do a whole week of workouts just on burpees of different kinds. Now there’s a thought…


Anyway, it got me thinking about the power of language as I said. Would it improve the humble burpee if we tried to turn around our thinking about it?
Anyone who has read Christopher McDougall’s book “Born to Run” might have picked up on the sense of joy so many of the barefoot, ultra marathon community excude. “I run because I can” is the mantra that comes up again and again. That simple love of the action over the result. They don’t run to get faster, or fitter, or to post on Facebook. Simply to run.


That’s all well and good in the sun-baked picturesque landscapes of glorious….wherever. On the first day of Bootcamp 2018, however, I had to scrape ice off the INSIDE of my windscreen at 05.30 before I could get there. Not feeling the joy….so I had to remind myself I’m able to get up, get to the gym, and do a workout that I will enjoy. That’s a privilege. And amazingly, 11 other awesome people turned up to work out at 6.30 too!
I burpee because I can!

I am allowed to burpee! I get to do it, whenever I want!

Last month I wrote about falling in love with the process of movement, not the results – .

I’m trying to channel that spirit my own exercise sessions as well as the classes at Fitness Soul. We are able to move freely and playfully in our bodies – to run, jump, balance, throw and catch and dammit even to burpee!

Let’s be mobile because we can!



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