The 100 day burpee ladder

Categories: strength training
  1. Admit it, doing burpees for 100 day does not sound like a lot of fun. But I am going to do this, and tell you why you should too!

I am not talking of doing the 100 burpees for 30 days challenge, because honestly I have been slacking with my training for  too many weeks, and this would mess me straight up. But the progressive build up of this 100 day burpee ladder sounds right up my alley.

What is the 100 day burpee ladder?

Watch this 1 minute video by one of our club swinging friends, Ben Morris, to hear what it is, and what you’ll get out of it.

1) pick your minimum standard of burpee – this can be a lie on the floor, get up any old how; or a squat thrust to stand up; or chest to floor or chest to floor with a jump at the end etc you get the idea.
This will be your minimum. If you’re feeling saucy, you can go harder some days, but not less than your minimum.
2) day 1, you do 1. Then day 2 do 2 etc up to day 100.
3) you can do the day’s reps in any number you like over the day, the challenge is the habit
3) you can’t do loads in advance to bank them!
4) you can miss a day and catch up the day after but if you miss 2 days the challenge is over… The real challenge is the daily activity, and catching up or doing lots to get ahead generally leads to an injury for people, none of us need that!
5) smile. And use the group when you’re feeling meh – some days you will, that’s when you find out most about yourself.

AT the end of the day, no one cares you’re doing this challenge or not. Really, if you’re grown up, you are not expecting a prize, are you? Because there is none, just your own satisfaction of seeing this through and enjoying the results at the end.

Burpee 101

 The original burpee was a 4 count exercise we call today a squat thrust. Check out page 58-59 of this 1050’s military manual.
  1. Stand
  2. Squat down and place hands on the ground
  3. Kick the legs back into a high plank position
  4. Jump the legs back into position 2

When it comes to variations, your lack of imagination is the limitation.
People who lack mobility will do well to elevate their hands by using blocks or chairs .

Why do burpees?

But burpees suck…

I have read all (OK, not all, but really many…) the arguments for and against burpees.
A lot of people associate high rep burpees with CrossFit, and that enough to dismiss the exercise as stupid, pointless or even dangerous.

What is stupid is doing burpees too fast (ex: “for time” workouts), with poor form, or doing too many for your current fitness levels. But that basically applies to any resistance exercise.

You need to find a variation that you can safely do for your mobility and coordination. There are tons of variations and regressions!

Do you know the Sapate?

Look, Kushti wrestlers from India have been using high repetitions of Sapate (a combination of Hindu push up and Hindu squat) for centuries to build muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

Burpees, Sapate, and the man maker complex are included in our Ace of clubs program for a good reason. They are a great full body exercise, and fantastic for building conditioning (think cardio and muscular endurance) with only your body weight or equipment you’ll find in a home gym.

A classic military exercise

Iron wolf has some fantastic insight about doing burpees, and how you can target cardio or resistance training with a few modifications. He is a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor Trainer and a Marine Corps Force Fitness Instructor.
If you do not know who he is, go check out his channel, he is a total beast!

Mix it up

If you only swing Indian clubs (no matter how heavy) you are missing out. No single piece of equipment covers all bases.

The burpee, by the way, is no exception.
I’ll be complementing the daily burpees with training for my back in the form of kettlebell snatches, rows and deadlifts, and so on.

The important part is turning up and doing the work! You gt a chance to fine tune your sessions every day.

You do not have to do all the burpees as 1 set. You can break up the daily work over the whole day if more convenient.


A very important aspect is pacing yourself when doing high repetitions.

Remember that you will be building your fitness and tolerance to burpess gradually over 10 days.
Here are 3 examples you could use.

  • Do 1 rep, breathe in and out 3-5 times or more
  • Set you timer to beep every minute. Do 5 burpees, rest the remainder of the minute
  • Do 10 reps, walk 20 m, do 9 reps, walk 20 m, do 8 reps etc…

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