Ah, the dreaded burpee. Both admired and reviled by all, ever since… 1939, apparently, when a man named Royal H. Burpee invented the infamous exercise to determine a person’s physical fitness. (It’s fitting, really, since most people find them to be a royal pain in the you-know-what.)
Fast forward to 2017 and it’s still one of the most widely used and effective go-to exercises. To measure their effectiveness, Runner’s World‘s Danielle Zickl decided to do 30 burpees every day for 15 days and track her results.
Her running improved
Not only did her 9-minute mile pace improve, but she found she was able to run longer distances than her typical three-mile run. By one of the last days, she ran five-and-half miles! “My stride felt stronger, and my breathing was more even and composed,” she said.
Wondering why burpees had this effect on her, she asked Dr. Jordan D. Metzl, a New York-based sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery, who told her it was because burpees work all your muscles and your heart.
“Burpees target every muscle in your body and train your cardiopulmonary fitness by repeatedly bring your heart rate up and down,” he said.