History CF Style
Love ’em or hate ’em, the burpee remains a pinnacle of athletic achievement, nearly 75 years after its invention.
According to the Oxford dictionary, the burpee is defined as: “a physical exercise consisting of a squat thrust made from and ending in a standing position.” This sounds more like a CFer’s Bend and Thrust, so when we do burpees, we’re actually doing a modification of the original by adding a push-up in the middle and a jump at the end. But don’t think CF will change our definition any time soon!
The burpee was invented by Dr. Royal H Burpee, who according to his grandson “created the movement as the centerpiece of his PhD thesis in Applied Physiology from Columbia Teacher’s College in 1939.” Roy III also adds that “it’s the quick positional shift required when going from a vertical stand, to a horizontal position, and back up to a stand that taxes the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively to accommodate the working muscles.” (1) The ‘burpee test,’ as it was originally called, is a great measure of agility and coordination, and a quick test of overall fitness. There are several variations, ranging from the burpees we know at CF (with a push-up and jump) to burpees with a pull-up / box jump / box jump over / back flip (coming soon?) / 1-foot burpees / burpees on a medicine ball… the list goes on and on.
What’s your favorite burpee variation???
*Thank you to Eric Schippers for this topic!