Burpees are one of the cornerstones of bodyweight training. Taking little space and no equipment, they can be performed just about anywhere and can be modified so that they provide an appropriate challenge for beginner, intermediates and advanced exercisers alike. There is no doubting their effectiveness but are they suitable for building muscle mass? Good question! Before we get into that discussion, let’s revisit the burpee so that everyone knows how to do one properly…
Proper Burpee Performance
- Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides
- Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor either side of your feet. Make sure you drop your hips down below shoulder-height
- Jump your legs back and into the push-up position. Your feet, knees, hips and shoulders should form a perfectly straight line
- Bend your arms and lower your chest to lightly touch the floor
- Extend your arms and push back up
- Jump your feet back up to your hands. Keep your hips down and try not to round your lower back too much
- Leap up and into the air
- Land on slightly bent knees and repeat
You can make burpees less demanding by omitting the push-up and/or jump. With practice, you should be able to merge some of the phases together i.e. lower yourself down into the push-up while simultaneously jumping your legs to the rear.
Burpee Variations Include…
- Travelling burpees – jump for distance instead of height
- Double push-up burpees – two push-ups instead of one
- Lateral jump burpees – jump sideways over a low hurdle
- 180 degree burpees – do a half turn jump
- Single-limb burpees – do a single arm push-up or squat
Burpee Benefits and Drawbacks
Burpees work virtually every muscle in your body, which means they are a very efficient way to get your workout. Your body has to work in a coordinated way, which make burpees a very athletic movement. The inclusion of a jump means that your legs get a great workout and may improve your general jumping ability and working so many muscles simultaneously means that your heart and breathing rate will rocket, delivering a terrific cardiovascular workouts while burning a lots of calories.
But, do all of these benefits add up to a great muscle building exercise? Sadly, they do not. While burpees will improve your muscular endurance, help you burn fat and develop a high level of fitness, they are not a good way to develop serious muscle mass – a process properly called hypertrophy.
There are a couple of reasons why burpees are not effective muscle builders…
- Too Little Overload – there is no denying that burpees are hard but their demand comes from the cumulative volume of movement rather than the direct overload placed on your muscles. To make your muscles bigger, they need to be exposed to a significant overload – usually in the form of a heavy weight. Insufficient overload means to stimulus for muscle growth.
- No Sustained Muscle Tension – when you do burpees, your muscles are only under load for a very short time – even if you do a lot of reps. Each push-up is punctuated with a period where the legs are doing all the work and each squat and squat jump is punctuated with a period where the upper body is more dominant. Sustained tension is an essential part of building muscle and most experts agree that muscles need to be under tension for 40 to 60 seconds for best hypertrophy results.
Better Mass Building Exercises
Let me reiterate; burpees are brilliant but they are a conditioning exercise rather than a serious mass builder. If you want to build mass using bodyweight exercises, there are better choices than burpees. In fact, there is a complete, done-for-you muscle building routine called The Muscle Experiment which you need to grab if you’re serious about bodyweight muscle building:
The Muscle Experiment is a bodyweight-only muscle building program developed by Mike Thiga. Yes, you read right. MUSCLE BUILDING. We all know how to drop fat with bodyweightdifferent game plan.
After grabbing this ebook you’ll NEVER look at bodyweight training the same again.
The “Muscle Experiment” Workouts
- After the 2 weeks, it’s all hardcore training. There’s 6 months of bodyweight training here.
- Start off with the first month, and stick to the program for 6 months, and you’ll be stronger and bigger than from when you started off with.
- The workouts are actually very simplistic. He uses the same exercises each month, more or less.
- But that’s a good thing, especially for mass and strength. For example, if your goal was to improve your arm strength and size, you would choose a good upper body movement.
Muscle Building through Bodyweight Exercises
Lets say you choose chinups. You can only do 2 chinups. But if you work at it, in a few weeks you’ll be able to crank out 10 chinups. Do you honestly believe that going from 2 chinups to 10 chinups will not make you bigger?
- That’s more or less the idea behind Mike Thiga’s workouts. What I like about them is that they are progressive.
- They make sense. My only fear is that they may be too boring, especially if your body adapts too quickly.
- If you feel that the workouts are starting to get too easy for you, then just move onto the next month.
- You might actually be able to complete the entire 6 month training program in 4 months.
Bottom line is I now you are going to love the e-book and benefit from it tremendously. It has been clearly proven by the results that Mike Thiga has achieved from it. And he told me during our interview that he’s moving past the 200lbs mark, with bodyweight training alone!
Get the ebook now for only $27 and rest assured that you are making a great investment in your strength and size goals.
Top 30 Bodyweight Exercises
- So, Mike Thiga actually shows you the best of the best. He has included a special exercise database where he shows you 30 of the best bodyweight exercises.
- The movements are categorized by bodypart.
- If in a particular workout one of the exercises starts to become too easy for you, you can easily substitute that movement for a difficult one from the database.
Advanced Bodyweight Training
- All in all, I feel that the Muscle Experiment is a comprehensive, sound program. Mike thiga basically over delivers.
- No one in their right minds would charge just $27 for a year’s worth of workouts.
- That’s ridiculous. You’re only paying $5.59 per month for Mike Thiga’s muscle building workouts.
- My suggestion is to grab a copy of Mika Thiga’s workouts before he regains his sanity and decides to charge a higher price for his program.
If you want to make sure that you are maximizing the results of bodyweight training or get on the right track from day one, then Mike Thiga’s Bodyweight program is for you. This manual is for all levels. The manual is on sale right now for only $27! (Regular Price: $127). Click below to order and you will receive the download link immediately. If you do not see it in your main folder check your bulk or spam folder.
P.S. If you made it this far then you are definitely ready to purchase this program. Take charge of your health and benefit from this program or get it as a gift for anyone that cares about maximizing the benefits of bodyweight training.
Patrick Dale is an ex-Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for fitness qualifications company Solar Fitness Qualifications Ltd. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles and several Internet fitness videos. Patrick practices what he preaches and has competed at a high level in several sports including rugby, triathlon, rock climbing, diving and trampolining and, most recently, powerlifting. He is also an active personal trainer with a wide number of clients ranging from athletes to average Joes and Joanne’s. When not lecturing, training, researching or writing, Patrick is busy enjoying the sunny climate of Cyprus where he has lived for the last 12-years.