In a perfect world there would be no burpees.  It might surprise you that I dream of living in such a world.  In a world where we all did exactly as we said we would, burpees might not be needed.  But in a world where we sometimes overeat and spend too many hours sedentary, a world where we sign up for classes but then fail to attend or drag ourselves in late (even though the gym clock is already set back 5 minutes as a hedge against burpees), burpees still serve a purpose.  Burpees are a good full body movement that require minimal coaching and can be performed safely by most people.  They are also fantastically motivating! 

At Empower if you arrive late to class we won’t shut you out like some places but you will be asked to perform a quick 25 burpee warm up. This will help get all your joints and muscles ready for the workout without distracting from the group class warm up already in session or requiring the class to wait while the coach explains the warm up to you. 

If, however, you arrive after the class has already completed the warm up you will be assessed as absent and denied access to the class.  This is purely for your safety as we want you to be fully warmed up before engaging in high intensity activities.  At this point you may have also missed key coaching points of instruction essential to completing the programmed workout.

The 50 burpee penalty for absence is first and foremost an incentive for you to haul yourself to the gym even though your motivation may be waning.  The threat of 50 burpees is usually sufficient:)  The secondary function is to mollify other members who might begrudge you reserving spots in full classes when they, their family members or friends are wait-listed. 

So, much as I dislike them, burpees do serve a purpose.  And at least some Empower members appreciate them.  Here is an actual email I received on the subject:

Bet you don’t hear this enough, so I wanted to say a sincere THANK YOU for the commitment to integrity, accountability, and fitness that the 50 burpee penalty represents.

I’ve been writing report cards and grumbling away about the stiff neck and cankles that are a direct result of sitting at a computer for more hours than I ever normally need to.

On Sat, Sun, and Mon I carefully cancelled my WOD reservations before the 2hr cut-off and stayed home justifying I just had to get the reports done.

Today, I was registered for noon.  I’d already assured myself I was to sit at the computer all day.  At 10:07 I looked at the clock and realized I’d missed the 2hr window.  Oops.  I was now going to the noon WOD or facing a very real 50 burpee consequence, along with the realization I was taking up someone else’s noon spot. 

Ugh.  I have no time. 

Ugh.  Burpees.  I have no time for those either.

SO I went.

It felt great. 

I Rx-ed.

I got out and got fresh air.

I laughed.

I got stronger and fitter and happier.

I got my ankles back.

I assure you, I would never have made it to today’s WOD if there was not an absolute guarantee that missing the WOD would mean 50 burpees. 

So, thank you for the burpees.  I am very grateful for the push to get out and get sweaty.”

Commitment to integrity, accountability, and fitness”.  That is what the burpee penalty is about.  And I realize we have been failing our Zoomers by not holding them to the same standard as gym users.  This was done in the early days because we were all struggling with the technology.  But by now we are all familiar with how Zoom works and most Zoom users are conscientious about joining us early in case there are technical connection glitches to work out before the class start time. 

So Zoomers, we would like to apologize for not holding you to the same standards but we have heard you and we agree that you too deserve to be held to the highest standards of commitment, integrity, accountability and fitness whether you train in-person or via a screen.  As of Monday January 25th we will be applying late and absent burpee penalties to our Zoom users as well in hopes that it will enhance your fitness journey.

Friday WOD
A fun but logistically challenging WOD to stage.  For those at home without a skipping rope we can substitute a double clapping jump.  We can substitute a broad jump for a box jump.  But the shuttle sprint may be difficult, not only at home but also in the gym.  5 burpees can do the trick.  These rounds are supposed to be quick.  Time cap your double unders at 1 minute and your box jumps at 1 minute so that each round will only be 2 minutes plus your 5 burpees at most. 

Equipment: skipping rope and box if possible, a timer

Warm Up
1 min Belly Breathing
30/30 sec Head Nods/Rotations
1 min Marching
1 min Cross Crawls
1 min Cross Crawl Squats
1 min Cross Crawl Squat Jump
1 min Up & Away March
1 min Up & Away Squats
1 min Up & Away Squat Jumps
1 min Single Unders

Double Under/Clapping Jump
Box Jump/Broad Jump
Shuttle Sprint/Burpee

5 rounds for time of:

50 double-unders
15 box jumps
1 shuttle sprint (5 yards, 10 yards, 15 yards)
Rest 2 minutes

Cool Down
Calf Stretch
Pigeon on a Box