Workout Challenge: Burpee Pyramid Plus

Hard pushup

Every now and then you should take on a workout that forces you to go into your "happy place." A long, challenging, even monotonous butt-kicking workout that challenges the mind and the body is what this week's fitness challenge is all about.

The Burpee Pyramid: 

We do this on a basketball court: roughly 30 meter runs in between a burpee pyramid from 1 to 25 reps. This totals 325 burpees, and you will certainly feel this workout. I do not recommend taking it on if you are not used to doing multiple sets of pushups, dips, and burpees as you may be sore for a few days. I recommend trying a 1-10 set the first week, then advancing to 1-15, then trying a 1-25 pyramid.

Rules and Extra Events: 

You only have to go from 1-25, but you can do it in any order you prefer, such as 25-1. You will take a break every five sets while doing a max rep-set of pullups. We also added a set of stair crawls every fifth set.

Below is what the workout will look like. Items in parenthesis are optional additions to provide situational awareness drills and thinking games:

Burpee Pyramid set 1:

  • 1 burpee, run to other side of the court
  • 2 burpees, run back
  • 3 burpees, run back
  •  4 burpees, run back
  • 5 burpees.
  • Take a pullup break and drink water as needed over a light stretch.

Burpee Pyramid set 2:

  • 6 run
  • 7 run
  • 8 run
  • 9 run
  • 10 burpees – pullup break  (Get creative with the run – add other travel methods like bear crawls, low crawls, fire man carry, etc.)

Burpee Pyramid set 3:

  • 11,12,13,14,15 burpees (with runs in between still)  - pullup break (Tie knots with rope.)

Burpee Pyramid set 4

  • 16,17,18,19,20 burpees (with runs in between still) – pullup break (Situational awareness, gear adrift drill: drop a shirt on the court to see if anyone in the group noticed anything different or how many chair are courtside. Ask questions about color of shirt, walls, chairs, etc.)

Pyramid Set 5:

  • 21,22,23,24,25 burpees – This set is a bear. Many opt to get this one done first, or after the 1-10 warmup sets. 
  • Pullup break. This workout typically takes 60-75 minutes depending on how far you have to travel to do pullups.

If you have any energy left, get a cooldown cardio option of two to three mile run or 1000-1500m swim with fins.

All done!

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books:  Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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