wetsuits are not flattering....they are basically black SPANX.

I was introduced to the burpee when I first started Crossfit back in 2007.  I had never heard of this movement before and thought it was an expression for mid-workout flatulence.  I quickly learned to dread the burpee….especially when paired with thrusters.  I may dread the burpee, but I secretly love the burpee.  I have participated in a couple of different types of burpee challenges involving the completion of 100 burpees at once.  I even took a pair of argyle socks, cut the toe hole out of them to create make-shift knee-pads so I could do burpees on my hardwood floor at home without destroying my knees.  Over the past 3 years, I have probably done thousands of burpee’s….possibly even 10’s of thousands.  But I have never been so thankful for all of the burpees I’ve done than this past week when I tried surfing for the first time.

Warning: I’m about to brag and that’s OK because I have never been good at sports. I have never picked up an athletic skill easily…except for synchronized swimming when I was 11.  Coordination and rhythm are not my strengths.  It took me 1 year to get a kipping pull-up and I struggled with double-unders for the LONGEST time.  So when I signed up for my first surfing lesson, I had low expectations.  But, when the instructor (a super-cool surfer chick from Surf Diva) walked us through the movement on land, I recognized it instantly!  The familiar plank position…the pop-up to a semi-squat followed by a slow stance.  “THIS IS JUST LIKE A BURPEE!” I proclaimed.  From that point forward I was determined to nail this.  We hit the waves and the instructor told me to lay on the board – she pushed me into my first wave and yelled “Go! Go!”  I immediately popped up on the board and was able to surf for maybe 1 second.  I actually got up on my first try.  I swam back and tried hitting another wave.  In between the many misses, there were at least 4 occasions where I got up and surfed into the shore.  The instructor said to me, “you did amazing for your first time!  you are a natural!” – Yes, I’m bragging – I responded, “it’s because of all the burpees I do!”.  She said, “huh?”  I had to explain what a burpee was.  My thousands of burpees paid off and I have never been more thankful.  “Bless the burpee.”  I only wish we had waves in Toronto.

There must be other practical uses for the burpee…please share!

Today was one of those days where the wrenches kept getting throw into my plans.  I’m a Type A personality and I enter each day with a neurotic sense of what I’m going to do for every hour – that includes my workout.  If I plan on being at the 5:30 Crossfit class, then gosh-darnit I’d better be at that class or else I have a mini-meltdown because my day has gone pear-shaped.  Today I had plans to hit my gym at lunch, but as soon as I got into work I was invited to 2 different meetings which carried through lunch making this task impossible.  Tonight I have a meeting so there is no possibility of getting to an evening Crossfit class.  So what’s a girl to do?  Revival of the 20-minute workout!  This doesn’t require a unitard (although you’d get HUGE bonus points in my book if you wore one), royal blue eyeshadow or leg warmers – all you need is you and some floor space.  There are hundreds of workouts you can do at home or anywhere that require 20 minutes of your time.  If you’ve got dumbells or a kettlebell then you’ve got thousands of options and we’ll discuss those more on another post.  Here are 5 Crossfit body weight WODs that I like because they can be completed in less than 20 minutes, require no equipment and can be completed indoors in a small space:

1) For Time: 150 Burpee’s.  I love this one because you feel great after the first 25 and then realize you’re only 1/6 of the way through…the last 50 are brutal.  For those unfamiliar with a Burpee – it is not flatulence.  Google it and find out.  But if the demo doesn’t show the person putting their chin-chest-thighs to the ground during the push-up then it’s not proper form.  You’ve got to hit your chin-chest-thighs to the ground in each push-up and jump high in the finish.
2) 5 Rounds of: 30 jumping lunges (15 per side), 30 situps.  Guaranteed your butt will hurt the next day. 
3) As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of: 30 squats, 20 situps, 10 push-ups 
4) For Time: 21-18-15-12-9 of Burpees and Sit-ups (ie: do 21 Burpees, 21 Sit-ups, then 18 Burpees, 18 Sit-ups etc etc) 
5) For Time: 150 squats – 30 divebombers – 150 squats.  I just learned what a Divebomber is and I love them. They also look really cool or really hilarious depending on whether you can do them properly.  Sub in Push-Ups if you can’t do a divebomber.  

So next time you get pulled into that meeting or get stuck in winter traffic, you don’t need to freak out about missing your workout.  You can make 20 minutes for yourself to do a quick workout.  It may not be the workout you had planned, but 20 minutes is better than nothing. 

I almost forgot – You’re probably dying to know which one I did…I did 150 Burpee’s for time.  And since my floors are hardwood, I tied 2 tubesocks around my knees to prevent extensive bruising.  This Cosmopolitan Primal Girl has to be resourceful!