Humane Burpee

The longer I work in the weightroom, the smarter I try to be about time. The clock, the stopwatch and the cellular phone might be omnipresent in every facility today, but wasting time is still a big issue.

To deal with time, and time wasting, we all have our tricks. Between sets of lifting exercises, I always schedule mobility and flexibility work. “Resting” is simply changing from one kind of work to another. I also ignore reps and sets sometimes and ask for a few minutes of an exercise:

Two minutes of planks

Three minutes of alternating dumbbell presses

Four minutes of swings

The best way to get time under control is to string together movements that hit every part of the body, demand multiple positions and retain some logic for the participant to easily remember the workout.

My favorite is “The Humane Burpee.” Dan Martin gave us this name and I can’t think of a better term. You can certainly make this harder or easier, but just do the basic example first.

It is based on three exercises: the swing, the Goblet Squat and the Push Up. We use Kettlebells, but dumbbells would be okay, too.

Be sure to follow the advice about reps on the GS and Push Up: we want the reps to descend as we move through the Humane Burpee, hence the name “Humane.”

So, here you go:

15 Swings

5 Goblet Squats

5 Push Ups

15 Swings

4 Goblet Squats

4 Push Ups

15 Swings

3 Goblet Squats

3 Push Ups

15 Swings

2 Goblet Squats

2 Push Ups

15 Swings

1 Goblet Squat

1 Push Up

That comes out to 75 swings, 15 Goblet Squats and 15 Push Ups. The real exercise seems to be the popping up and down for the Push Ups. Most of us don’t take any rest at all through the workout, but feel free to stop when you need to rest.

It takes between three and four minutes to do the workout with proper form. We generally take time after the Humane Burpee to stretch neglected body parts like wrists, ankles and feet. It builds in recovery and time to focus on joints that are often ignored.

This workout is also a great “time crunch” training program. If this is all you have time to do, this ends up being “pretty good.” And “pretty good” is a lot better than nothing.