Ok, so this short article may be a bit biased as I just returned from a 25 minute run that included 10 burpees approximately every quarter-mile…. UGH!

So what is a burpee you ask?  Well, there’s plenty of resources online, and of course youtube so search to your hearts content. From my slightly skewed perspective, as my heart continues to thump-thump, they’re pretty much the worse thing ever, and add an intensity to a run like you’ve never known (from my beginner knot hole). However, your must respect and admire the burpee, for if you hate an exercise that much, it’s a good thing, as it’s pushing your limits – making you better, stronger. I say bring on the burpee (as my recent memory begins to fade).

There are burpee variations – with a pushup or without. If I’m going burpee, I’m going long – do the push up.

I’ve only just recently started adding burpees into my training, and wow, they are intense (at least for this beginner).  My goal over the next month is to work up to at least 20, preferably 30 burpees in between each 1/4 to 1/2 mile run interval.

Why my recent interest in burpees you may ask?  Well, a friend of mine recently asked me to join his Spartan Race team, and I naively accepted the offer, plunked down the $180 and committed myself to what I’m learning on the fly is a unique and intense race. And of course the team isn’t running the “Sprint” (3 to 5 miles, 20 to 25 obstacles), but rather the “Super” (8 to 10 miles, 20 to 25 obstacles). There’s also the “Beast” race (12 to 14 miles, 30 to 35 obstacles).  Regardless of the type and distance of a Spartan race, I’m learning quickly I need to change up the type of training, as well as notching up the intensity. I’m hoping in the end, that our team can all cross the finish line in good health, with some new found pride and glory.

But back to the beloved burpee, they are an integral part of a Spartan race. From what I’ve gathered thus far, if you can’t complete an obstacle or incur any other type penalty on the course, you must do 30 legit burpee with either a referee or video camera monitoring. Here are the full Spartan race rules (they scare me). Here’s the “official” Spartan burpee:

If you’re interested in trying a Spartan race and want some beginner perspective on training and gear, and hopefully in about a month, completing the race in one-piece, feel free to drop me a line, joe@fitlyf.com or post a comment below.

If you’re in the Snohomish, WA area, let’s do a meetup for info share and some training! I’ll also try to begin adding Spartan Race resources as I come across.