Over the years, I have done so many different exercises in the gym and on the football field that have been a challenge. But when it comes to burpees, it’s a totally different animal. They are not something that you do by themselves and are a movement that is done if you just want to hurt. What I mean is that you don’t walk into the gym and say to yourself, ‘let me go do some burpees.’
So just what are burpees? Well, some people call them ‘squat thrusts,’ and it is basically a five-step movement. You start standing, drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Then you kick your feet all the way back while keeping your arms extended. Then return to the squat position and stand up.
The way I implement them in my regimen is by having burpees as part of a rotation of exercises that I will do with other people. So you may have the 500-meter row, swings, squat to press, ball slams and burpees. So if you just happen to be in the rotation that starts out with burpees, you’re screwed!
I’ll normally cycle up with them, too. Maybe do them for a full minute and see how many I can do, but usually I’ll start with 20, then do 15, 10 and five reps.
They are a great strength/endurance exercise. That’s why MMA guys do them. When they get onto the later rounds, they have to dig down to a cold, dark place. You can’t get there in a fight if you haven’t been there before.
So think about it – what do burpees do for you as far as playing football, basketball, baseball or track and field? Nothing! But they will force you to go to that place. In my training, they helped me when I got into the fourth quarter or overtime in a game. If I have taken my body that far, then I’ve been there before.
GREEN, BUT WITHOUT ENVY
The NFL is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league and it’s constantly updating. The problem that I see with the New York Jets is that Mark Sanchez (who is out with a shoulder injury right now) hasn’t shown a lot in the last two years and hasn’t updated his play.
So they have put Geno Smith in there and he’s a rookie, but not one that I see Andrew Luck, RG III or Russell Wilson in. Maybe I’m wrong, but he also doesn’t have a supporting cast around him. Look at their skill set players – there’s no one there that I would want. I wouldn’t take any player on their entire offense. You win with talent in this league and they just don’t have it. Rex Ryan may not make it out of the season and they very well may be picking in the top three in the 2014 NFL Draft.
I don’t have a whole lot of hobbies (other than training, I suppose), so I like to go to the movies a lot. I either go by myself or with my girlfriend to get away from it all.
One film that I have seen lately that sticks out in my mind is “The Butler.” The cast did an outstanding job and both Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey are Oscar-worthy.
If you want to laugh, then make sure you see “We Are the Millers.” Jennifer Aniston did a great job in it and she has taken very good care of herself.
Photos by Per Bernal.