People have been doing all sorts of challenges to keep themselves entertained during the COVID-19 lockdown and ongoing pandemic. I quickly wrote off doing the same at the start of lockdown as a) I always work from home and would still be working as normal during the lockdown so wouldn't need to entertain myself and b) I exercise pretty much every day as it is without needing any additional motivation like a crazy challenge.

I changed my mind in late August when, some how, I ended up with a click-baity "I did X burpees for Y days and here's what happened" article in my search results. No, I didn't read the article but it did get me thinking: "Now there's something I can do as part of my normal exercise routine that could be beneficial and help with my overall body strength now I've cancelled my gym membership" so starting 1 September, I started squeezing in 30 burpees each day.

Today is 1 October and here's how it went, but first some specifics:

My Rules

I set myself a few simple rules:

  • The only change to be made is to add 30 burpees a day to my normal routine.
  • Each burpee must be a proper full-pushup-with-jump-and-arms-above-head burpee.
  • When, where and how these are done isn't important; just do 30 a day.

So How'd It Go?

As I planned this, I kept a short log for each day:

  • 1 Sep - banged thru them in 3x 10. A little struggle on the last 2 of each set
  • 2 Sep - did after a tough rowing session. Struggled a bit more so broke up into smaller chunks of 10, 6, 5, 5 & 4. BFR
  • 3 Sep - starting to feel it. Woke with tender lats, tris and intercostal muscles. Feeling stronger today and did them in sets of 5 during my run between laps around the field.
  • 4 Sep - abs feeling it this morning. Did 3x 10 after rowing session. BFR
  • 5 Sep - starting to get into the groove tho feeling tired in my upper body overall. Did 3x 10 during my run.
  • 6 Sep - not feeling the effect of these anymore. Did today's scattered throughout the day as I felt like it. Waaay easier than bunching them all together, though doesn't feel like exercising then.
  • 7 Sep - no probs with these. My upper body is now used to these now. Did after a run and a rowing session in 3x 10 blocks. BFR.
  • 8 Sep - did today's as 3x 10 during my run. Shoulders felt it more today than previously.
  • 9 Sep - tough rowing session today before doing 3x 10 BFR reps so whilst arms and shoulders were good, my lungs struggled a bit. Humid too.
  • 10 Sep - definitely getting used to these. Split todays into 2x 15 with one set before my long rowing workout and one set after. The last 2 of each was a bit of a struggle.
  • 11 Sep - went for a few rowing PBs today which burnt my legs but still managed to thrash out 3x 10 after.
  • 12 Sep - broke these up into 6x 5 reps as I lapped the university fields as part of my barefoot run today
  • 13 Sep - nearly forgot about these. Squeezed them in in the kitchen in the final hours of the evening everytime I popped in to get a drink. Tipsy burpees are tougher than sober.
  • 14 Sep - lovely sunny day today so kept these for after my row and broke up into 3x 10. BFR.
  • 15 Sep - feeling fab today. Did 15 straight after my run warm-up and then did 10 + 5 as part just before my cooldown. I really noticed the effect of the first 15 in my shoulder on my run. My front delts felt tight and I needed to wave or raise my arms loosen things up.
  • 16 Sep - Felt quite tired after my row so did these dotted around the rest of the day
  • 17 Sep - fid all 30 as part of my warmup for my run: 15, 10 5. Felt in my delts big time but they seemed to help my run.
  • 18 Sep - dotted through the day as I didnt feel like it after my row.
  • 19 Sep - dotted thru the day as i was hung over so didnt run or row
  • 20 Sep - did as part of my run warmup and split into 20, 10. Could prob do more than 20 in one go but wanted to save my legs for the run.
  • 21 Sep - Did after my row and split into 15, 10 and 5. BFR
  • 22 Sep - Did as part of my warmup - 15, 10, and 5. I think I might keep these at the beginning of my runs as they really seem to get things going and I get into my run without any issues.
  • 23 Sep - Shook things up by doing the burpees before my rowing session. Like with the running, this definitely got me warmed up pretty quickly and I ended up rowing my warmup a bit faster and more comfortably than usual.
  • 24 Sep - Split up into 15 during my run warmup and 15 during my cooldown
  • 25 Sep - Bailed on my row early due to back cramping but still did the burpees (to see if I could) and split into 15, 10 and 5.
  • 26 Sep - Skipped because back sore.
  • 27 Sep - Skipped because back sore.
  • 28 Sep - Skipped because back sore.
  • 29 Sep - Did only 10 before my back starting hurting too much.
  • 30 Sep - Did 30 in sets of 10 after my run. Pushed through discomfort in my back so get it done.

Some of the entries above have "BFR" in the notes which indicates I did those wth blood flow restriction bands around my thighs.

Other than developing a back issue (unrelated to the burpees) in the final week forcing me to skip three days and only do ten on one day, it went really well. I found them a challenge at first but once accustomed, chugged through them, whilst getting stronger. I think they also fed back into my running and rowing as I felt like both improved over the course of the month.

I have no idea if I lost or gained any weight and I don't really care. I do however now have slightly more pronounced shoulders and abs and some of my smaller T-shirts feel a little snugger across my shoulders and upper arms 😁.

Gonna Keep It Up?

I found these a great addition to my training and work great as part of my warmup so I will definitely be keeping the burpees as part of my regular routine. One thing I won't be keeping is doing them when I'm not exercising as it defeats the purpose of a rest day and they're a PITA to squeeze in when I'm not actively exercising.

So all in, these are a keeper.