Posted on 12 November 2012.
The running burpee pyramid workout
This workout is as basic as it gets and all you need is a about 20 meters of space and, if you want a more comfortable option, an exercise mat although a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and dry will suffice. The RBPW will test local muscular endurance and also your cardiovascular fitness. Take it easy on the runs until you get a feel for the intensity of the workout.
Place two markers around 20 meters apart. Don’t worry too much about the exact distance. Measure out 25 strides and you’ll be close enough for our purposes.
Follow this sequence from top to bottom, only resting once you have completed the walking lunges…
Run out, perform 5 burpees and then run back
Run out, perform 5 burpees and 10 press ups and then run back
Run out, perform 5 burpees, 10 press ups, 15 squats and then run back
Run out, perform 5 burpees, 10 press ups, 15 squats, 20 hill climbers and then run back
Run out, perform 5 burpees, 10 press ups, 15 squats, 20 hill climbers and then walking lunges back
Rest and then repeat
Beginners – 2 to 3 laps, rest 2 minutes between laps
Intermediate – 4 to 6 laps, rest 90 seconds between laps
Advanced – 7 to 10 laps, rest 60 seconds between laps
You can also adjust the repetitions to suit your individual fitness level, for example, by performing 3, 6, 9 and 12 repetitions of the exercises respectively. Also, feel free to walk or jog between markers or shorten the distance.
Perfect form is essential for exercise effectiveness and safety so make sure you perform each exercise using the best technique you can muster. It’s better to perform 3 reps in perfect form than 10 reps badly.
As equipment-free conditioning exercises go; the humble burpee is hard to beat. If you find this exercises overly demanding, just eliminate the press up and/or jump phase from the sequence.
- Squat down and place your hands outside your feet
- Jump your feet back and into the press up position
- Perform a single press up
- Jump your feet back up to your hands
- Leap into the air as high as you can
- Land on slightly bent legs and repeat
A terrific chest, shoulder, triceps and ab exercise, press ups are a staple exercise for many people – beginners and Olympic exercises alike. If a full press up is too demanding, bend your legs and place your knees on the floor. Remember, reps don’t count unless your chest touches the deck!
- With your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, walk your feet back until your heels, hips and head form a perfectly straight line
- With your abs held tight and without arching or humping your lower back, bend your arms and lower your chest to lightly touch the floor
- Push up to full arm extension and repeat
- Do not “lead with your chin” but, rather, try to keep your neck long
Squats are a primal movement pattern that we all perform many times a day. Getting in and out of your car, on and off the loo and sitting down and standing up? All examples of squats! In addition, squats are one of the best lower body exercises you can do.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned slightly outward
- Push your hips back and bend your knees
- Descend until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Squat deeper if you feel comfortable
- Drive down through your heels to stand back up
- Try not to round your lower back as this is a bad habit that can lead to problems if you squat with a weight on your back
Sometimes called alternate leg squat thrusts, this exercise is great for your legs, abs and will also drive up your heart rate. Focus on “fast feet” and really pump those legs!
- Place your hands on the floor and then adopt the press up position
- Pull one leg in so your knee is under your chest and your toe is resting on the ground
- Drive this leg back and simultaneously pull your other leg forwards
- Continue alternating legs until your set is complete
- Only count one leg so, in reality you are going to do 40 reps in total, 20 on each leg
Lunges are great for leg development and balance. Walking lunges are even better! Starting with your feet together and your hands by your sides, use lunges in place of running for your last return journey in the pyramid.
- Take a large step forwards and bend your legs. Lower your rearmost knee to within an inch of the floor. Your front shin should be vertical at the point, as should your upper body
- Step forwards and immediately into another lunge but with your opposite leg now leading
- Continue alternating legs until you have completed your journey back to the start